Saturday, February 22, 2014
22 February 1913 - Arsenal Heads North
Established in 1886, Arsenal spent the majority of their early years at the Manor Ground in Plumstead, southeast London. But after the turn of the century, attendances started to decline, placing the club into a difficult financial position. Majority shareholder Henry Norris (pictured) led the search for a new ground, eventually choosing the Highbury neighborhood in the North London district of Islington and publicizing the decision in the newspapers.
Despite objections from Highbury residents and the club's own supporters, Arsenal completed the move over the summer of 1913, moving into the new Arsenal Stadium that had been designed by Archibald Leitch and built at a cost of £125,000. In their first season there, their average attendance was 23,000 per match, more than doubling the average of 11,000 from the previous season. The move also created the North London Derby, Arsenal's rivalry with Tottenham Hotspur, who were there when the Gunners arrived.
The club remains in Islington, but moved a short distance to Holloway in 2006 for the new Emirates Stadium.