PHOTO: Manchester United's Old Trafford soccer stadium. (photo by Worldwide Scott)
Whether you consider yourself among the rapidly growing (and rabid) soccer fanbase or not, there is still about a zero percent chance you haven't heard of Manchester United before.
That’s because this club based in northwest England is hands-down one of the most famous sports teams on the planet. A tour of their iconic stadium Old Trafford is an absolute must when visiting Manchester.
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What to Expect
A tour of Old Trafford is a fun and informative guided stroll that lasts approximately 80 minutes. It is sure to entertain both sports fans and non-sports fans alike.
Your tour ticket also includes access to the onsite museum, which is a treasure trove of shining trophies, game worn jerseys and vintage club paraphernalia. You are free to spend time in the museum before or after the tour.
What You Will Learn
As the squad was started all the way back in 1878, and has been playing at Old Trafford since 1910, the rich history of Manchester United is a major focus of the tour. You will get the inside scoop on all the glorious games that have gone down over the decades, along with stories about more than a few famous players (Sir Bobby Charlton, David Beckham, Ronaldo, and Wayne Rooney, just to name a few) and coaches (most famously, Sir Matt Busby and Sir Alex Ferguson) that made those victories possible.
You will also learn lesser-known details like the fact the team was originally named Newtown Heath L&YR Football Club and that Old Trafford was leveled during World War II by a German bomb.
While it has been mostly good times at Manchester United over the years, the team has also been the victim of tragedy, which still weighs heavily today—including the tragic 1958 plane crash in Munich that killed several active players.
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What You Will Get to See and Do
The Old Trafford tour weaves its way through both the bowels of the stadium and the grandstands themselves. Along the way, there are numerous opportunities to take pictures and experience the stadium from a player’s perspective.
Highlights of the interior portion include a visit to the locker room (where current players’ jerseys hang in preparation for the next big game and you get to learn about their game-day routine), the media room where post-game press conferences take place, and the visitor’s locker room.
The highlight is when all participants are given the opportunity to trot down the runway just like the players do at the start of each match. Crowd noise is piped in just for the occasion, and all are sure to get goosebumps. Directly after, the tour takes a pitstop at the player’s seats, where you will get the chance to sit in the exact same spots that the players and coaches do during games.
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Know before You Go
— Tours run every day from 9:40 AM to 4:30 PM, except on match days—when there are no tours at all.
— Pre-booking your ticket online is highly recommended, as spots fill up fast.
— Tickets are approximately $22.50 for adults and $14.50 for children.
— If you happened to be in Manchester on a blustery day, dress warmly, because half of the tour takes place outdoors.
— Old Trafford is located in the heart of Manchester and can be reached by Metrolink or a short cab ride from the center of town.