Etihad Stadium expansion plans set to be approved

Manchester City are planning to expand their stadium with 14,500 more seats

Manchester City have plans afoot to develop their Etihad campus to include a new training complex, accommodation and much more. The first plans to develop the Etihad Stadium look set to be given the go-ahead though.

They are planning to expand the stadium's capacity by 14,500, which would allow just over 62,000 fans to be able to watch City on a matchday. They are planning to add 6,250 seats at each end of the ground as well 2,000 seats around the pitch.

The expansion would give Manchester City the second biggest ground in the Premier League, behind rivals Manchester United. It would be great for the city though to possess the two biggest club stadiums in the country.

The Manchester Evening News has said that the papers have been submitted to Manchester council's planning committee and a report released today recommends they are approved. A decision will be made at a meeting on February 13.

The planned expansion would create 160 temporary jobs in the area, and there would be a need for 110 extra staff for matchdays. The papers state, "The expansion of the stadium will provide enhanced facilities which will help to create a stadium of national and international profile and improve the visitor experience. The appearance of the south and north stands and create a more prominent landmark feature at the centre of the Etihad Campus and East Manchester."

As well as creating more jobs in the local area, hotels, restaurants and other businesses will benefit from more traffic in the nearby area. A potential of 14,500 extra people can come to see matches and will spend their money elsewhere too. Transport will be busier, but City have recently had a metro stop set up outside their ground, which helps the flow of people attending the game.

This will also help with the Financial Fair Play laws. City will hope it generates a lot more revenue for the club in the long-term which can be reinvested back into the club. They will have to rely on their revenue in order to spend big in the future and can only spend what they earn.

Extra match day income along with bigger sponsorship deal can help the club continue to flourish.

 Do they need to expand the stadium? Well their average attendance this season has been 47,107, with their capacity being 47,620 meaning on average 98.9% of the seats are filled. That would suggest that the expansion would be utilised and they can certainly attract more fans.

image: © alfonso jimenez

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