Emirates Stadium SnowWiki info
Arsenal's initial proposal to rebuild Highbury was met with disapproval from local residents, as it required the demolition of 25 neighbouring houses. It later became problematic once the East Stand of the stadium was granted Grade II listing in July 1997. After much consultation, the club abandoned its plan, deciding a capacity of 48,000 was not large enough. Arsenal then investigated the possibility of relocating to Wembley Stadium and in March 1998 made an official bid to purchase the ground. The Football Association (FA) and the English National Stadium Trust opposed Arsenal's offer, claiming it harmed England's bid for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, which FIFA itself denied. In April 1998, Arsenal withdrew its bid and Wembley was purchased by the English National Stadium Trust. The club however was given permission to host its UEFA Champions League home ties at Wembley for the 1998–99 and 1999–2000 seasons. Although Arsenal's time in the competition was brief, twice exiting the group stages, the club set its record home attendance (73,707 against Lens) and earned record gate income in the 1998–99 season, highlighting potential profitability.