Wembley Demand Crashes Web

Within three days of Aussie builder Multiplex finally handing over the keys to Wembley Stadium, there was so much demand for tickets for the first public event that the Football Association Web site crashed.

Sixty thousand tickets for the England Under 21 soccer team’s game against Italy Under 21s on March 24th – the second of the two ramp-up events the stadium needs to run to earn a safety certificate – were put on sale at 3 p.m. on March 12th. But the demand was so great that the site crashed within five minutes.

The venue needs to stage the safety exercise days to get a safety certificate from the London Borough of Brent in time for the FA Cup Final on May 19th, a competition that’s already nearing the semifinal stage.

The first trial run is March 17th, a Community Day primarily for local Brent residents to enjoy a free viewing of the new 90,000-capacity arena.

Some of the free tickets are already on eBay at prices ranging between £10 and £40.

Wembley National Stadium Ltd. took the keys for the £800 million venue on March 8th, nearly two years late and about £200 million over budget.

The first act to play the stadium will be George Michael on June 9th.

Wembley Stadium has always featured prominently in Michael’s career. He has played many of his most memorable concerts there, including Live Aid in 1985, Wham!’s farewell concert with Andrew Ridgeley in 1986, the Nelson Mandela concert in ‘88, the Freddie Mercury tribute concert In ’92 and Net Aid in ’99.