Manchester City has announced their plans to expand the capacity of the Etihad Stadium to around 60,000 spectators.
By meeting UEFA’s stringent capacity targets, the Premier League champions aim to add at least 5,000 seats to become the third-largest stadium in the division and qualify to host the Champions League final in the future.
Manchester City’s stadium already holds more than 55,000 spectators, but the club had permission to plan to carry out the work after adding a tier to the South Stand in 2015. The project is now said to have skyrocketed the to-do list.
Man City has been accustomed to spending big money on players in recent years, but the job will be expensive, especially if they plan to add more hotels to the site.
No timeframe has been set for the work to be completed, with construction on the Co-op Live Arena next door underway, City hopes to wait until the culmination of that project, scheduled for December 2023.
Several options have been proposed to increase capacity, like connecting the two ends and combining tiers within the stadium to create space for around 5,000 additional spectators.
What Could Manchester City Possibly Gain by Expanding Etihad Stadium?
Another intention is to increase the number of corporate facilities within the stadium, and the club is said to be looking at ways to do so.
Despite City’s importance in English football, the Etihad Stadium’s capacity is lower than venues such as Anfield and Old Trafford, and Liverpool is also developing the ground to increase its capacity to around 60,000.
The stadium could become more of a venue with the addition of a new music arena and possibly a hotel nearby, as several clubs are looking to increase their revenue potential by opening their doors to non-football events.
Tottenham Hotspur is particularly active in this effort, hosting an NFL game every season. West Ham’s London Stadium also hosts MLB baseball games and concerts such as Red Hot’s Chili Peppers.
The reigning Premier League champions are regularly the subject of jokes by fellow fans about the many empty seats at the Etihad on match days.
However, the club has seen season ticket sales soar to 36,500 this season and the Etihad is looking to sell 99% next season after Pep Guardiola’s unprecedented success in winning four league titles in six years.