Even schools can get a kick out of this football tour

Date Posted: 09/05/2012

Rob Yandell took the fantastic audio tour of Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium and found something with a wider appeal than you might imagine. Superbly executed and delivered; it should hit the spot for those in search of fresh ideas, whether you’re a school group of football fans or not.

I left the changing room and headed up the tunnel to the roar of the crowd and took my seat in the Arsenal manager’s chair. It’s not every day you get to gaze across the pitch of the Emirates Stadium through the eyes of Premier League-winning manager, Arsene Wenger.

Whether your class are football fans or not, the tour of this magnificent 21st century stadium is insightful, interesting and surprising. And it’s flexible for an eductional visit.

Since the recent introduction of the audio tour, teachers are not locked in to specific time slots and the children within your party can wander at their own pace. Tours take place every day except match days, between 10.15am and 3.45pm and you can arrive at any point between these times.

I enjoyed the fact it’s as light or as in-depth as you like; you’re in control.

Former Arsenal goalkeeper and football pundit, Bob Wilson adds his dulcet tones to the excellent narration through your handheld device and the video element gives a new dimension to the overall tour experience. There is a considered blend of the football club’s history and tradition, as well as its forward-thinking approach and continual evolution.

Interviews with the manager and players such as Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott reveal how they prepare for match day, what it’s like arriving at the players’ entrance - and there’s also match action to enjoy should you wish.

From the Directors’ Box to the Diamond Club, which boasts a top restaurant and facilities enjoyed by celebrities and world leaders, you get to explore true VIP areas and behind-the-scenes. The access you are given is remarkable.

The level of detail and work that went in to building this truly modern, world-class venue is quite remarkable. With Arsene Wenger fully involved in many aspects of the stadium’s plans; it was fun and intriguing to learn how different layouts and designs have been used to gain any slight advantage over opposing teams.

Having only moved to their new home in 2006, the 60,000-seater stadium doesn’t lack any atmosphere. It’s already seen some of the world’s best footballers apply their trade, as well as live concerts from the biggest names in the music business.

The fact that you are in control of your own tour means you can stay a little longer in a particular area of interest and enjoy additional content via your audio and video tour. Plus, staff are on hand to answer questions and share stories.

In fact, it was the staff at Arsenal that left a lasting impression with me. Nothing was too much trouble and their genuine, friendly approach to visitors was a breath of fresh air. I find good service is sometimes a rare commodity so it generally resonates. Always nice to know when organising educational travel.

I’m no Arsenal supporter, but as a football fan I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. But what was interesting was the interest and enjoyment from those not as fascinated by the ‘beautiful game’. School travel organisers take note: this could be something people will be talking about for seasons to come. You might even get one or two Arsenal converts.

The Museum

To complement your school visit, you will be able to have a look around the club museum included in the price of your tour.

Exhibits include cup final shirts, trophy-winning boots; which along with a mass of memorabilia and interactive elements provide you with further insight into the history and success of the football club.

Prices:

School / education rate for classes of ten plus: £8.10 for children, £15.75 for adults and one free teacher ticket per group.

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