FA Chair Greg Dyke Insists FA Cup Semifinals Will Stay At Wembley To Offset Stadium Cost
FA Chair Greg Dyke insisted that the FA Cup semifinals will "remain at Wembley to offset the cost of building the stadium," according to the BBC. The new Wembley cost more than £750M and has "staged the semis and final" since '08. Moving away from the "tradition of hosting the semis at neutral venues around England has drawn criticism." Dyke spoke in the "aftermath of Wigan Athletic's penalty shootout semi-final defeat by Arsenal on Saturday." Dyke: "It is about the economics of building a stadium like this and having to use it to make enough money to pay for it. There were 80,000-odd people here. It was an enormous turnout. Where would we play it to get those sorts of numbers? Villa Park? You would get 40 or 50,000." The BBC has secured a "four-year shared rights deal with BT Sport that will see both broadcasters show the FA Cup" from the start of the '14-15 season. Dyke said, "If we can get the FA Cup referred to on all sorts of programs and all sorts of ways, I think you will begin to see the revival of the FA Cup as we used to know it" (BBC, 4/13).