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.
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Stadium Guide by Football Tripper
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. Currently for domestic match days the stadium has a capacity of around 50,000.
Away fans Guide
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.
Best Pubs Near Ground
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.
Food - Places to Eat
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.
Visiting the Stadium - Travel
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.
Train - Public Transport
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.
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.
Hotels Near Stadium
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.