City assessing Etihad Stadium expansion

English Premier League football club Manchester City has restarted work on the potential further expansion of its Etihad Stadium.

The news, first reported by City Xtra, has seen exploratory work commence on expanding the North Stand, TheStadiumBusiness.com understands. The North Stand is currently the only remaining stand with two tiers at the Etihad Stadium following the addition of 6,000 extra seats and a third tier to the South Stand ahead of the 2015-16 season.

This took stadium capacity to 53,400, with planning permission to expand the North Stand having been secured as part of this project. In August 2020, City said it would consider the long-term impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on venues and live events before resuming plans to enhance and expand Etihad Stadium, with chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak stating that it would be unwise to commit to new projects at that time.

However, City is now understood to believe that conditions are now right to explore expansion again. Initial exploratory work is now underway, although there is no timeline on when this will be concluded.

City Xtra said plans have been drawn up to extend the North Stand’s current second tier, with a new concourse and an additional level of hospitality boxes. Any potential expansion would also reportedly see changes to the Etihad Stadium roof.

City has played at the Etihad Stadium since 2003, with the facility having been built initially for Manchester’s staging of the 2002 Commonwealth Games. The latest news comes with Manchester United also currently exploring its options for Old Trafford.

United in April appointed Legends International and Populous to lead a team that will be tasked with creating a masterplan for the redevelopment of Old Trafford. The club said work would begin “immediately” on developing options for the stadium and studying their feasibility, with the aim of significantly enhancing the fan experience at the 74,000-capacity venue.

United announced plans to upgrade Old Trafford at the end of last year, although so far no details on the scope or budget of the plans have been confirmed.