Approximately 1,100 seats in front rows of three stands will be removed to make room for the second strip of LED signage. With empty stands, this makes more financial sense.
Changes are coming to Etihad Stadium. Manchester City has confirmed the removal of app. 1,100 seats. All of them are located within rows 1-3 of the north, south and east stands.
Their place will be taken by additional digital signage, which should double the advertising space in TV broadcasts and take attention off the empty, tarped seats. Similar step was executed last year in Wolverhampton, at Molineux.
This move should help reshape the revenue structure by increasing ad revenue from matchdays. While there’s still a chance of crowds returning for the 2021/22 Premier League season, the situation is dynamic enough to make the move sensible. It seems the overhaul will not be temporary.
In a statement sent to fans, the Cityzens have reassured all season ticket holders from the affected areas that they will be allowed to select any relocation point, even if it’s more expensive than their front seats (this includes freezing prices and priority during extension of their season tickets). Also, fans occupying rows 4 and upwards are guaranteed to not have their sightlines impaired in any way.
The change means overall capacity of Etihad Stadium will fall to under 54,000 seats. However, the club still has plans to expand the north end (just like the south one in 2015), which would help reach 60,000. Although City have put the scheme on hold in 2020, it’s understood they would relaunch them once the public health situation allows it.