Football: World Cup 2006 - England's 15 World Cup grounds

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NEW WEMBLEY

Projected capacity: 90,000

The centrepiece of England's bid "will be the spectacular setting for the 2006 World Cup final", according to the document supporting England's claims. The new pounds 475m stadium will rise on the site of the old Wembley, "for generations... a place of pilgrimage for football fans".

World-renowned architect Lord Foster, who led the design team, says it will be a fitting sequel to its predecessor, twice the size of the existing stadium but retaining its best-loved characteristics (not including the twin towers, of course).

What it will have, according to the document, is a partly-retractable roof, the main facade with four giant masts, the giant undercover concourse, the bowl shape, the royal box and the acoustics.

VILLA PARK

Projected capacity: 50,904

The plans are to extend its capacity from 40,000 to almost 51,000.

"Additional wheelchair places and corporate hospitality boxes will be part of the new development," say organisers. "There are two railway stations near the ground as well as park-and-ride schemes in operation so that spectators can get to and from games smoothly."

Villa Park was a World Cup venue in 1966 and also staged games in Euro 96. It has staged 45 FA Cup semi-finals and the 1999 European Cup-Winners' Cup final.

ARENA 2000

Projected capacity: 45,000:

Coventry's new arena will be sited in the north of the city and will have its own railway station, with Birmingham International Airport just 15 minutes away.

"The 45,000-seat arena will not only have a retractable roof but also a retractable, hydraulically-driven pitch which will preserve the playing surface in perfect condition between matches." says the document. Additionally, it has been acoustically engineered for the best possible atmosphere.

PRIDE PARK

Capacity: 40,000

Derby County's new ground was opened in August 1997 on one of the sites which was short-listed for the Millennium Dome. "[It] is typical of the new genre of England's football stadia with plenty of space on the outside and bursting with modern facilities. Even though the stadium has only been in use since 1997, there are already plans to increase the capacity."

ELLAND ROAD

Projected capacity: 45,000

Elland Road, a venue for Euro 96, is to be developed further, in addition to its most recent addition, the East Stand, which has been in use since 1993. The document says: "Planning permission [has been] granted for a leisure scheme comprising a 14,000-seat indoor arena, a 200-bedroom hotel and leisure facilities including bowling, restaurants, discotheques and bars."

LEICESTER

Projected capacity: 41,341

"The new pounds 30m stadium at Bede Island will offer the most sophisticated spectator accommodation and state-of-the-art media, hospitality and disabled access facilities. In keeping with Leicester's environmentally-friendly image, the new stadium has plans to recycle water and use solar panels for energy."

ANFIELD

Capacity: 45,365

Organisers are promoting the unique atmosphere which remains despite extensive re-development, including the rebuilding of the Kop and erection of a new Centenary Stand.

GOODISON PARK

Capacity: 40,185

One of the first purpose-built stadia in England when Everton moved to the site in 1892, it was the first ground in Britain with double-decker stands on all four sides and "the distinctive stadium has been redeveloped many times over the years". A venue during the 1966 World Cup.

STAMFORD BRIDGE

Capacity: 42,000

"An extensive redevelopment has turned the ground into one of the most lavish in Europe, complete with restaurants, a megastore and two hotels," says the document, adding there are plans to further develop the West Stand.

CITY OF MANCHESTER

Projected capacity: 48,000

The new pounds 90m stadium will be "a state-of-the-art venue offering world- class facilities for the Commonwealth Games in 2002 before becoming a permanent 48,000-seat football stadium. The design of the stadium ensures that spectator views will be unobstructed and close to the action. The stadium will be visually dramatic with oval geometry and a cable net roof supported by masts around the perimeter."

OLD TRAFFORD

Projected capacity: 68,400

The "Theatre of Dreams" is the second largest stadium after Wembley and the bid document says there are plans to add another tier behind each goal to increase capacity further. The North Stand, completed in 1996, is covered by the largest cantilever roof in the world. A venue for both the 1966 World Cup and Euro 96.

MIDDLESBROUGH

Projected capacity: 42,400

"Middlesbrough moved from Ayresome Park to the new state-of-the-art Riverside Stadium in 1995. "Despite being so new, the pounds 18m stadium is already subject to further development, with an expansion planned to take its capacity from 35,000 to 42,400," says the document, also boasting of "the spectacular new pounds 7m Rockliffe training facility with training pitches, extensive gym, medical and sports science centres."

ST JAMES' PARK

Projected capacity: 51,000

Newcastle United's stadium has been extensively developed in the 1990s, completely transforming it.

"Current development plans will see the construction of the largest cantilever stand in Europe, increasing capacity to 51,000 and accommodating extensive leisure facilities."

Another attraction is that the ground is served by its own Metro station.

HILLSBOROUGH

Capacity: 40,000

"Hillsborough is one of a number of Sheffield's premier sports venues which earned the city the accolade of `Britain's first National City of Sport' from the Sports Council," says the document. "Hillsborough's facilities include 32 executive boxes and two restaurants."

The stadium was a venue for the 1966 World Cup and Euro 96, and has staged more than 30 FA Cup semi-finals."

STADIUM OF LIGHT

Projected capacity: 63,000

Sunderland's ground, built two years ago, is the largest new football stadium in Britain. It is described as "a symbol of Sunderland's regeneration and regularly attracts capacity crowds for games. Facilities include 54 executive boxes and a sports bar packed with memorabilia from the old Roker Park." The stadium held 42,000 when opened but capacity will grow to 63,000.

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