Manchester City are looking to expand the Etihad Stadium and make a new entertainment destination behind the North Stand.
Manchester City (External Development)
Manchester Evening News
The first concept sketches for Manchester City's proposed North Stand expansion and new fan zone at the Etihad Stadium have been revealed today.
In December, City announced plans to begin feasibility studies into increasing the Etihad's capacity to over 60,000 and making the stadium an entertainment destination all year round. Fans and members of the public were invited to give their thoughts on the adding of thousands more seats in the North Stand, as well as the building of a new City Square fan zone, a museum and a hotel within the development.
Now, the club have unveiled concept designs for how the expanded North Stand could look, as well as the covered fan zone and other facilities, with a new phase of fan and community consultation now beginning.
When City added 7,000 seats to the South Stand in 2015, a third tier was added, similar to the three-tiered stands running along both sides of the pitch. However, the North Stand sketches show an expanded second tier above the existing first tier, giving that end of the ground a unique design.
As well as the increased capacity, the North Stand expansion would be fully integrated with an expansion into the current City Square area, with a covered fan zone for 3,000 before and after games. The new City Square would have a variety of food and drink outlets, a new club shop, a museum and a hotel. Some workspace for start-up and medium-sized businesses would also be incorporated into the plans.
If a planning application was submitted and approved, the construction programme would take place over a three-year period, with works staged to minimise disruption during the football season, meaning the proposed works wouldn't be fully completed until 2026 at the earliest.
City say matchday travel measures are currently being explored with a view to enhancing existing services, and the club are developing alternative methods for fans to travel to and from the stadium. The club add that training, recruitment and employment opportunities would be prioritised for local people.
The proposals come as construction continues on the Co-op Live arena directly behind the North Stand, which is set to open in December 2023 and is backed by City's owners the City Football Group. Coupled with the plans for the stadium, City want to make the Etihad Campus a year-round entertainment and leisure destination.
The Etihad currently holds 53,400, and City say the new designs would take the capacity to over 60,000. Manchester United's Old Trafford holds 75,000, with the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium seating 62,000 spectators. Liverpool's latest expansion of Anfield will take their capacity to 61,000, with Arsenal and West Ham both having capacities of around 60,000.
Fans and members of the local community will be able to offer feedback and comments on the plans, and a temporary exhibition space will be open in City Square from March 4 to March 26. In addition, there will be three consultation events in East Manchester in the coming weeks:
- Beswick Library - March 9, 3-6.30pm
- The Foyer at the National Cycling Centre - March 13, 3-7pm
- Church of the Apostles, Miles Platting - March 15 - 3.30-6.30pm.
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