Etihad Stadium first-string fan facilities


Final sign-off for Manchester City stadium Image: Manchester City

Mammoth plans to expand the Premier League team Manchester City F.C.’s home pitch – the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, England (UK) – and build a huge new fan zone – have been given the final sign-off. The North Stand extension will take capacity at the ground to just fewer than 62,000.

‘Manchester Evening News’ stated that the plans were approved in July, but a number of conditions had to be approved before the final okay was given by the Town Hall bosses. A 400-bed hotel, a TV studio, a roof walk ‘attraction’, and a new fan zone for up to 3,000 people are included in the blueprints.

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

The City of Manchester Stadium (currently known as the Etihad Stadium for sponsorship reasons) is the home of the Premier League club Manchester City F.C. With a capacity to hold 53,400 spectators for domestic football, it is the sixth-largest football stadium in England and the ninth-largest in the United Kingdom.

‘Manchester Evening News’ further stated that the fan zone will include food and drink outlets, a new club shop and a museum.

The project is estimated to inject £70m of added value into the Greater Manchester economy each year, and lead to 1,795 extra full-time jobs. That number will reach 3,000 bosses say when part-time workers and casual shifts are taken into account.

The North Stand’s capacity will be increased by 7,900 seats, taking the total capacity to 61,968. The current club shop will be knocked down and a new eight-story shop built in its place.

The nine-story hotel will have 391 bedrooms and 10 suites. Building work is due to start in November, with work due to be finished by August 2025.

After approval was initially granted by the Planning Committee in July, Danny Wilson, City’s Managing Director of City Operations, said, “We are delighted that the Manchester City Council’s Planning Committee has approved the club’s proposals for a best-in-class fan experience and year-round entertainment and leisure destination at the Etihad Stadium. This development will not only enable the club to enhance and expand its offering to fans and visitors on both matchday and non-matchday, but it will also create lasting long-term economic and social benefits for our local community, building on the regeneration work the City Football Group has delivered in East Manchester since 2008.”

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 Abu Dhabi United Group, 18 percent by the American firm Silver Lake and one percent by the Chinese firms China Media Capital and the CITIC Capital.

The plan forms part of an overarching vision for East Manchester – the latest step in the Etihad Campus masterplan. A design and access statement said, “The proposal aims to help the Etihad Stadium become one of the best stadia in the world. It is fundamentally the platform for driving wider change across the area and investment in its facilities will ensure that it can continue to perform this role to its maximum potential, keeping the Manchester City Football Club operating in the best way for Manchester and in line with its peers in international football.”

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