Etihad Stadium expansion sketches unveiled


ManCity stadium expansion unveiled Image: Manchester City FC

The first concept sketches for the Premier League club Manchester City F.C.’s proposed North Stand expansion and a new fan zone at their residence – the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, England (UK) – was revealed on February 28th.

‘Manchester Evening News’ stated that in December last year, the City announced plans to begin feasibility studies into increasing the Etihad’s capacity to over 60,000 and making the stadium an entertainment destination all year round. Fans and members of the public were invited to give their thoughts on the adding of thousands more seats in the North Stand, as well as the building of a new City Square fan zone, a museum and a hotel within the development.

The Manchester City Football Club is an English football club based in Manchester (UK) that competes in the Premier League, the top flight of English football. Founded in 1880 as St. Mark’s, they became the Ardwick Association Football Club in 1887 and Manchester City in 1894.

The City of Manchester Stadium in Manchester, England, also known as the Etihad Stadium for sponsorship reasons, is the home of the Premier League club Manchester City F.C., with a domestic football capacity of 53,400, making it the sixth-largest in England and 10th-largest in the United Kingdom.

‘Manchester Evening News’ further stated that now, the club have unveiled concept designs for how the expanded North Stand could look, as well as the covered fan zone and other facilities, with a new phase of fan and community consultation now beginning.

When City added 7,000 seats to the South Stand in 2015, a third tier was added, similar to the three-tiered stands running along both sides of the pitch. However, the North Stand sketches show an expanded second tier above the existing first tier, giving that end of the ground a unique design.

As well as the increased capacity, the North Stand expansion would be fully integrated with an expansion into the current City Square area, with a covered fan zone for 3,000 before and after games. The new City Square would have a variety of food and drink outlets, a new club shop, a museum, and a hotel. Some workspace for start-up and medium-sized businesses would also be incorporated into the plans.

If a planning application was submitted and approved, the construction program would take place over a three-year period, with works staged to minimize disruption during the football season, meaning the proposed works wouldn’t be fully completed until 2026 at the earliest.

The City say matchday travel measures are currently being explored with a view to enhancing existing services, and the club are developing alternative methods for fans to travel to and from the stadium. The club add that training, recruitment and employment opportunities would be prioritized for the local people.

The proposals come as construction continues on the 23,500-capacity Co-op Live Arena directly behind the North Stand, which is set to open in December 2023 and is backed by City’s owners the City Football Group. Coupled with the plans for the stadium, the City want to make the Etihad Campus a year-round entertainment and leisure destination.

The Etihad currently holds 53,400, and City says the new designs would take the capacity to over 60,000. The Manchester United F.C.’s Old Trafford holds 75,000, with the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium seating 62,000 spectators. Liverpool F.C.’s latest expansion of Anfield will take their capacity to 61,000, with Arsenal F.C.’s Emirates Stadium and the West Ham United F.C.’s London Stadium both having capacities of around 60,000.
Fans and members of the local community will be able to offer feedback and comments on the plans and a temporary exhibition space will be open in City Square from March 4th to March 26th. In addition, there will be three consultation events in East Manchester in the coming weeks:

  • Beswick Library – March 9th, 3-6.30 pm;
  • The Foyer at the National Cycling Centre – March 13th, 3-7 pm; and
  • Church of the Apostles, Miles Platting – March 15th – 3.30-6.30 pm.

Manchester (UK)-based the City Football Group Limited is a holding company that administers association football clubs. The group is owned by three organizations, of which 81 percent is majority-owned by the Newton Investment and Development LLC, 18 percent by the American firm Silver Lake and one percent by Chinese firms China Media Capital and CITIC Capital.

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