The City of Manchester Stadium known by its sponsorship name of The Etihad is the home ground of Man City F.C. It currently has a capacity of 47,805, with the clubs owners currently exploring the feasibility of expansion to 61,000.
The City of Manchester Stadium was originally constructed for the 2002 Commonwealth Games but was later converted into a dedicated football ground – a move which was planned as far back as 1998. Built by ArupSport at a cost of £112 million to replace Maine Road, the initial capacity was only 38,000, with 16,000 of the seats being contributed by temporary stands.
Aiming to avoid the mistakes of other converted athletics stadiums such as Stadio Delle Alpi, the reconfiguration work cost £42 million in total and was jointly financed by both the club and the council. It resulted in the lowering of the pitch and the removal of the running track with a capacity of 46,000.
At the time The Citizens didn’t have any money, and the relocation to world-class facilities for around £20 million was regarded as a major coup. In 2008 when the blues were purchased by the Abu Dhabi United Group, the stadium would soon become known as The Etihad as part of a multimillion pound sponsorship deal with Sheikh Mansour’s Etihad Airways.
The billionaire owners are currently looking to bridge the gap with Manchester United’s Old Trafford and other English stadiums such as The Emirates by increasing the capacity of the ground to 62,170. This will be achieved in two phases with the the South Stand’s third tier completed over the Summer of 2015.
Below is a seating plan of Manchester City’s The Etihad Stadium:
The Etihad is comprised of the following four sections: The Family Stand (North), The East Stand, The South Stand and the Colin Bell Stand (South).
Click the thumbnails above to enlarge an image of each stand and to read a more detailed description of each part of the stadium.
The Matchday Experience
Supporters who make the trip to the Etihad Stadium are housed within one central block of the South Stand. Situated behind one of the goals, the away section follows the same pattern of the rest of the ground with a two-tier seating structure which gives fans the choice of whether they want to be closer to the action or have a better overview of the entire pitch.
The state-of-the art stadium provides decent views throughout with the cantilever roof ensuring that there are no problematic support beams. Leg room in the away section is probably just-above average with the blue plastic seats on the whole pretty comfortable – not that away fans generally sit during the match.
Before kick-off there is an excellent outdoor area known as the Summerbee Bar which gives the away fans a pleasant and fully-covered place to drink on-site. Within the well-sized concourse itself which is accessed by the electric turnstile, there are further kiosks which serve up a decent range of food and drink options.
The area immediately around the stadium is pretty barren but Manchester city centre is alive with pubs and restaurants at every corner – you only need to exit Piccadilly or Victoria train station to see this is the case. The Printworks near Victoria is usually popular with away fans as is the Yates’s near to Picadilly.
There are a handful of pubs dotted around the Etihad Campus which you might want to give a miss, as they are generally reserved for the local home supporters and aren’t located on the most welcoming of roads.
To the east of the ground there is a McDonalds restaurant which is predictably popular on matchdays, with the nearby Asda Superstore a decent tonic for those looking for something slightly healthier. South of the ground on Ashton New Road there are a few independently run chippies.
As mentioned previously at the stadium there is an outdoor “festival style” area sometimes referred to as Summerbee bar. It is a family-friendly space with a decent selection of pre-match grub ranging from Pizza and Burgers, to Curry and Chips.
Manchester City operate two club shops in addition to their own online store which local fans can use to click and collect. The most popular CityStore is of course the one at the stadium.
- Monday to Saturday: 9.00 am – 5.30 pm
- Sunday: 11.00 am – 5.00 pm
- Matchdays: 1 hour after the full time whistle
City offer fans the chance to embark on a 70 minute tour of the Etihad covering everything from the press conference room, the home players dressing room, the tunnel, the pitch and even the managers chair.
Prices are £14.00 if you’re an adult, or £10.00 for everyone else, with under 4s being allowed to enter for free when accompanied with a paying adult.
Tours run 7 days a week, although tour times can vary so it’s best that you call +44 161 444 1894 or select your dates using the online booking tool here.
Tickets for Man City games are available from the usual channels: Online (firstname.lastname@example.org), Phone (+44 161 444 1894), or at the ticket office depending on demand/when they are released.
As is the case with the majority of clubs, tickets are divided into three categories A, B, C depending on the profile of the game.
Below is a sample of price ranges for two sections of the stadium:
South Stand Upper
- Adults: £32.00 – £51.00
- OAPs: £25.00 – £42.00
- Under 16’s: £17.00 – £27.00
South Stand Lower
- Adults: £30.00 – £49.00
- OAPs: £23.00 – £40.00
- Under 16’s: £17.00 – £27.00
Etihad Stadium is 1 and a half miles East of Manchester city centre and takes between 20-30 minutes walk from Piccadilly station.
The Etihad Stadium’s address for satnav is as follows:
- Ashton New Road, Manchester, M11 3FF.
Due to the out of town location and forward thinking stadium planners, parking is available at the ground at £10.00 per car or £20.00 for a minibus.
If you want a cheaper option, there are a number of “unofficial” carparks which operates along the main roads which are slightly cheaper at around £5.00 – £7.00 per vehicle.
Manchester is served by four train stations in Piccadilly (The largest one), Oxford Road, Deansgate and Victoria.
The Stadium is approximately 20-25 minutes from Piccadilly Station and the walk is quite intuitive due to the “Sportcity” road walk which is like an extended boulevard built in preparation for the Commonwealth Games.
The City of Manchester Stadium recently got its own Metrolink stop known as Etihad Campus on the East Manchester line and is probably one of the easiest ways to get to the football.
At a return ticket cost of £2.90 for adults and £1.40 for kids, frequent service on matchdays and a journey time of 8 minutes you are looking at the best transport option when trying to get to Eastlands.
A 20 – 30 minute walk is often prime for a bus journey and thankfully the Etihad is served by numerous bus services including:
- 53, 54
- 185, 186, 216
- 217, 230, 231, 232, 233, 234, 235, 236, 237
- X36, 37
After the full time whistle, buses will depart from Ashton New Road right next to the South Stand but you can expect quite a large queue.
Airports and Flying
Manchester Airport is 11 miles away from the Etihad and once you have landed you can either choose to get a cab from the airport for around £25 or catch the train to Manchester Piccadilly Railway station. Services usually run every 10 minutes or so, and take approximately 20 minutes.
The City of Manchester Stadium is towards the east of the city in not a very well built up area for hotels. Think out of town shopping area, minus the shopping.
As a result, it’s probably advisable that you book one of the usual suspects such as Holiday Inn, Travelodge, Premier Inn, Ibis, a little closer to your train station and Manchester city centre.