Old Trafford is a football stadium in Old Trafford, Greater Manchester, England, and the home of Manchester United. With a capacity of 74,994, it is the largest club football stadium in the United Kingdom, the second-largest football stadium, and the eleventh-largest in Europe. It is about 0.5 miles (800 m) from Old Trafford Cricket Ground and the adjacent tram stop.
Nicknamed "The Theatre of Dreams" by Bobby Charlton, Old Trafford has been United's home ground since 1910, although from 1941 to 1949 the club shared Maine Road with local rivals Manchester City as a result of Second World War bomb damage. Old Trafford underwent several expansions in the 1990s, and 2000s, including the addition of extra tiers to the North, West and East Stands, almost returning the stadium to its original capacity of 80,000. Future expansion is likely to involve the addition of a second tier to the South Stand, which would raise the capacity to around 88,000. The stadium's record attendance was recorded in 1939, when 76,962 spectators watched the FA Cup semi-final between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Grimsby Town.
Old Trafford has hosted FA Cup semi-finals, England fixtures, matches at the 1966 World Cup and Euro 96 and the 2003 Champions League Final, as well as rugby league's annual Super League Grand Final and the final of two Rugby League World Cups. It also hosted football matches at the 2012 Summer Olympics, including women's international football for the first time in its history.
Before 1902, Manchester United were known as Newton Heath, during which time they first played their football matches at North Road and then Bank Street in Clayton. However, both grounds were blighted by wretched conditions, the pitches ranging from gravel to marsh, while Bank Street suffered from clouds of fumes from its neighbouring factories. Therefore, following the club's rescue from near-bankruptcy and renaming, the new chairman John Henry Davies decided in 1909 that the Bank Street ground was not fit for a team that had recently won the First Division and FA Cup, so he donated funds for the construction of a new stadium. Not one to spend money frivolously, Davies scouted around Manchester for an appropriate site, before settling on a patch of land adjacent to the Bridgewater Canal, just off the north end of the Warwick Road in Old Trafford.
Designed by Scottish architect Archibald Leitch, who designed several other stadia, the ground was originally designed with a capacity of 100,000 spectators and featured seating in the south stand under cover, while the remaining three stands were left as terraces and uncovered. Including the purchase of the land, the construction of the stadium was originally to have cost £60,000 all told. However, as costs began to rise, to reach the intended capacity would have cost an extra £30,000 over the original estimate and, at the suggestion of club secretary J. J. Bentley, the capacity was reduced to approximately 80,000. Nevertheless, at a time when transfer fees were still around the £1,000 mark, the cost of construction only served to reinforce the club's "Moneybags United" epithet, with which they had been tarred since Davies had taken over as chairman.