Etihad Stadium (City of Manchester Stadium / Eastlands)
|Clubs||Manchester City FC|
|Other names||City of Manchester Stadium (2002-2011)|
|Cost||140 mln Ł|
|Record attendance||54,523 (Manchester City - Sunderland, 26/12/2015)|
|Address||Rowsley Street, Manchester M11 3FF|
Description: Etihad Stadium
The Eastlands plot was initially planned as a future olympic stadium site, when Manchester was bidding for hosting Olympics in 2000. As the bid failed, planes were downsized and a much smaller stadium has been built as the main venue of the 2002 Commonwealth Games. Capacity decreased from 80,000 to 35,000, part of which was temporary seating. Total cost stood at 110 mln pounds.
Soon after the event the first revamp has started. Athletics track and pitch were removed and the ground lowered to create space for additional tier of seating in a football-specific configuration.
The temporary stand behind one goal has been dismantled and replaced by a permanent construction identical with one at the other end. This had cost another 30 mln pounds and made the stadium a good home for Manchester City which could then leave their historical home – Maine Road.
In 2011 the naming rights for the stadium were obtained by Etihad airlines for 150 million pounds – a record deal in British football at that time.
In 2014-2015, for the first time since takeover by Manchester City, the stadium was expanded. The south stand received a large new third tier, increasing overall capacity by over 6,000 seats. Similar expansion is also planned behind the northern goal in the future.
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One more change is coming to Etihad Stadium in the near future. Installation of 5,620 rail seats has been confirmed by the Cityzens. These will accept fans after the current Premier League campaign.
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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.
Manchester: City postpone further expansion plans
This could have been Premier League's second largest stadium but it likely won't, at least for some time. Etihad Stadium's north stand will not be expanded in the short or medium term, City chairman confirms.
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By 2021/21 Manchester may be the home to not one, but two largest stadiums of the Premier League. Etihad Stadium might exceed 63,000 people by then, surpassing all London rivals and shying only to nearby Old Trafford.
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From January onwards the main stand of Etihad Stadium will undergo major upgrade as new players’ facilities and a luxurious business club will be prepared for the 2017/18 Premier League season.
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From the 2017/18 Premier League season no club will be allowed to place away supporters far from the field. At least one section has to be placed just behind the field.
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Manchester: City planning further expansion this season?
Already during the 2016/17 Premier League season Etihad Stadium in Manchester should begin to grow again. Reaching 61,000+ in 2018 is realistic, but the club are yet to confirm it.