Opened in March 2007, the new Wembley Stadium is “truly iconic,” one for the world to see. With a capacity of 90,000 seats, its signature is a circular lattice archway that is the largest unsupported roof structure in the world. As for the roof itself, it’s an engineering stunner: retractable and integral in recreating the Wembley “roar.” When converted into an athletic statdium, the stadia’s capacity lowers to approximately 60,000 (fans) strong.

Inheriting the storied history of the Old Stadium, Wembley is ready to rock out and make brilliant memories of its own. For instance, in October, it will host the first-ever NFL regular season game outside of the United States. Announced by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell two days before Super Bowl XLI (February 4, 2007), London was named the city. Wembley the venue.

David Beckham once said, “Every young child wants to play at Wembley… for me, it’s the ultimate statdium.” And now, 92 lucky American football players will get that very chance.

October 28, 2007, 1 p.m. EST (17:00 London time)
Week 8 of the 2007 NFL season
Teams: Miami Dolphins vs. New York Giants

These two teams are historic franchises, with the Miami Dolphins still being the only team in NFL history to post an undefeated season (1972), while the New York Giants have won six championships, including two Super Bowls: XXI (1986) and  XV (1990). Key players of the game will likely include Eli Manning, quarterback of the Giants, and Jason Taylor, reigning Defensive Player of the Year and team leader of the Dolphins.

In June, the Miami Dolphins made their preview trip to the city. Taylor’s excitement spoke for all players – ”With fans like this behind us in the UK, it’s going to be fun when we get over here and play later in the year.” As for the fans, it’s estimated that 10,000 Americans will make the trip to London for the game. For those visiting, getting to / from the stadium is easy, with Wembley serviced by three stations and five lines.

1. North Wembley Station, Zone 4
2. Wembley Park Station, Zone 4
3. Wembley Central Station, Zone 4

As for where to stay, the following hotels are located within 2 miles of Wembley and vary in price and star rating, from economy to luxury, from 1 to 4 stars.

Wembley Plaza, 0.2 miles
Quality Hotel Wembley, 0.4 miles
Premier Travel Inn London Wembley, 0.4 miles
Wembley Hotel, 0.7 miles
Travelodge Wembley Hotel, 1.2 miles
Brent X Hotel, 1.5 miles
Fox and Goose Hotel, 1.6 miles
Holiday Inn London Ealing, 1.8 miles
Kingsland Hotel, 2 miles

So, are you planning to attend this historic event? Will you be able to say you were there too? … As for American football in England, there’s actually an interesting history. For instance, in 1944, on Valentine’s Day, a Canada-United States football game was played at White City Stadium in London, England. And if you didn’t know, American football began as a variant of rugby, which itself can be traced to the UK and its “football” games played during the mid-19th century. So in some ways, this NFL regular season game, to be played on October 28, 2007, is like a return home. … See you there (at Wembley or on TV!).

* Photos reprinted with permission of Wembley Stadium.