Premier League football club Manchester City has announced today (Monday) that it is undertaking feasibility studies to expand the capacity of the Etihad Stadium to over 60,000.
City said that the studies will focus on developing a “best-in-class” fan experience and a year-round entertainment and leisure destination at the stadium, which has a current capacity of 53,400.
The studies consider several connected elements, with the club viewing an expanded North Stand as central to the plans. An expanded and covered ‘City Square’ fan zone with food and drinks outlets, a new club shop and museum, workspace and an on-site hotel are also under consideration.
The club said that the studies are aligned with the Eastlands Regeneration Framework and an ambition to develop East Manchester into a world-leading sport, leisure and entertainment destination. Ensuring that Etihad Campus facilities are a source of community, employment and economic opportunity is viewed as a core principle of this vision.
Fans and the local community will be invited to share their priorities and feedback on concepts in early 2023. Opportunities to introduce new entertainment experiences on match days and non-match days will form a key part of the study.
The North Stand is currently the only remaining Etihad Stadium stand with two tiers, following the addition of 6,000 extra seats and a third tier to the South Stand ahead of the 2015-16 season.
TheStadiumBusiness.com reported in August that City had commenced exploratory work on expanding the North Stand. 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 the stadium, with chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak stating that it would be unwise to commit to new projects at that time.
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. Next year, the 23,000-capacity Co-op Live arena will open near the stadium.