Nicknamed ‘The Theatre of Dreams’, there is certainly something magical in the air once you make your way into Old Trafford.
After all, the place was opened in 1910 – so there’s over 100 years worth of memories jam-packed into the arena. It survived two World Wars, a number of recessions and English Football’s darker days of ‘hooliganism’ to continue being home to Manchester United. And whether this is a good or bad thing, the place hasn’t exactly seen a Tesla‘s level of renovation to ‘keep up with the Joneses’ of today’s sporting stadiums.
In other words, besides the place getting a little bigger by popular demand, not much else changed! Of course, the electricals improved, it had to be maintained for modern regulatory provisions and the pitch turf became the carpet upon which Premier League ballers have become accustomed to, but everything else outside of that was up to the club to decide. And let’s say that they like to keep things ‘rustic’.
For example, there aren’t many escalators (if any) which is easily accessible to the average ticket holder – for such privileges are preserved for those who went for the more expensive packages. The large shop based near the entrance of the stadium has had to make its way underground to maximise the space around Old Trafford.
And something that’s always irked me is the dismal state of the stadium’s ‘jumbotron’. You know – that big ol’ screen placed at most top-level arenas which says who gets substituted and how long is left to go in the game? Well, United doesn’t have one as such. Instead, there’s this strip-light adjacent to each goal-line which holds about 20 characters … MAX!
But you know what … who cares! The purposes of articles like these in on ‘Ultra United‘ are to consider more than what meets the eye. And the fact is, going to Manchester United’s home is an experience – the vibrant red setting, the sound track of the United faithful and usually, the football that’s on show! And what’s more, it’s like a living museum – one which has been home to some of the most incredible moments in footballing history, and a setting for some of the greatest players to ever play the game.
When I go there from time to time, I always think ‘wow, that’s where Ruud van Nistelrooy scored that solo-run against Fulham in 2002’ or … ‘goodness me, did George Best really play here?!’ Call me a nerd all you want, but it’s insane for me to think about stuff like that. It gives occasion to the occasion – meaning that going there can never get old.
Would I like some escalators? Sure. Would a nice plasma screen go amiss? Of course not. But I do not care. I’m a Red Devil through and through, and I don’t want anything to change about Old Trafford. After all, home is home.