Football: Wembley hospitality claims `exaggerated'

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The Independent Online
THE WEMBLEY Stadium management have rejected suggestions that as many as 15,000 of the 90,000 seats in the new national stadium will be set aside for corporate hospitality.

While not providing a specific figure for the corporate areas, Wembley's spokesman, Martin Corrie, said the 15,000 quoted in reports was "inaccurate" and insisted that football fans should have no fears about the availability of tickets.

The new Wembley, the centrepiece of England's 2006 World Cup bid, will have top-class corporate facilities, Corrie said, but the ordinary fan will also benefit. He said: "In keeping with all new stadium developments in the western world there will be a number of corporate opportunities at the new Wembley National Stadium.

"It will be very much the fans' stadium, however, with at least as many seats available to the general public as there are at the existing stadium.

"That means well over 80,000, so there's no need whatsoever for anyone to be alarmed that regular supporters will be frozen out."

The present Wembley stadium has 29 executive boxes, each for 12 people, and 28 club suites, which seat eight. The new stadium is certain have more and the revenue gained from the expensive corporate packages will help to subsidise cheaper seats.

Corrie said the revenue from corporate hospitality would be kept in the game, rather than going to outside organisers.

Work on the new Wembley stadium is due to start next summer and the ground should reopen in 2003.