Club: Manchester City FC | Opening: 2002 | Capacity: 48,000 seats
History and description
Etihad Stadium, also known as Eastlands, was built for the 2002 Commonwealth Games.
After the games, the stadium was converted into a football stadium as to provide Manchester City with a modern replacement for Maine Road. The club moved into Etihad Stadium at the start of the 2003-04 season.
In 2008, Etihad Stadium hosted the UEFA Cup final between Zenit St Petersburg and Rangers FC (2-0).
The stadium was initially called City of Manchester Stadium, but was renamed Etihad Stadium in 2011 following a 10-year sponsorship deal with Etihad Airways.
In recent years, Manchester City have conducted feasibility studies on the ways to expand the stadium, either by adding a small extra tier on top of the stands behind the goal or by lifting the roof and adding a complete additional tier all around the stadium. For the moment, City are focusing on improving their training and academy facilities and in the medium term the more modest expansion seems more likely.
Etihad Stadium is located toward the east of Manchester at about 1.5 miles from Manchester’s city centre and slightly less from Manchester Piccadilly Station.
The walk from the city centre to the stadium takes about 30 minutes, and that from Manchester Piccadilly Station 20 minutes. Follow the City Link signs.
It is quicker though to catch the metrolink from either Piccadilly Station or – for example – Market Street in the city centre. Take a train in the direction of Droylsden and get off at stop Etihad Campus right next to Etihad Stadium. The journey takes 8 to 10 minutes.
Alternatively, there is a large number of buses that serve the stadium, e.g. line 53, 54, 185, 186, 216, 217, 230, 231, 232, 233, 234, 235, 236, 237, X36 and X37. After the match buses to the city centre will depart from Ashton New Road next to the South Stand.
If arriving by car, the stadium can be best reached from the M60 (running east from the city). Take either junction 22 or 24, and drive east towards the city centre. From there on, follow the signs for Sportcity.
Address: Etihad Stadium, SportCity, Manchester, M11 3FF
Eat, drink, and sleep
The area around the Etihad Stadium is not one of the best of Manchester, and apart from the odd pub there are few options for eating and drinking.
The city centre is at walking distance though, and one can therefore just as well eat and drink there and then walk or take the metrolink to the stadium. There are some bars around Piccadilly Station, closest to the stadium, but other nightlife areas such as the Northern Quarters, The Printworks (both north of the center), Deansgate Locks (south), or around the Town Hall are not too far away either.
There are no hotels directly near the Etihad Stadium, but there is an Ibis Budget at an approximate 10-minute walk towards the centre. Alternatively, there are plenty of options near Piccadilly Station, though most come in the high-end category. The Portland by Thistle, Premier Inn, Britannia Hotel, and Mercure are some of the cheaper options, but still pricey. Hotel International is quite a bit cheaper, as is The Merchants Hotel, though the latter does not get great reviews.
There is, however, no reason not to choose a hotel somewhere else in the centre as the stadium is easily reached by public transport. Click here for an overview of all hotels in Manchester and here for hotels near the Etihad Stadium.
Tickets for Manchester City games can be bought online, or by phone +44 (0) 161 444 1894.
The successes of the club have resulted in the Etihad Stadium regularly selling out, though tickets for most matches are rather easily available if booked in advance.
Expect to pay between £33.00 for a lower-tier seat behind the goal and £45.00 for a central seat at one of the sides. For more information call +44 (0) 161 444 1894 or email email@example.com.
Manchester City offer guided stadium tours around the Etihad Stadium, that include visits to the dressing room, players’ tunnel, directors’ box, press conference room, and the dug outs. The tour lasts approximately 90 minutes.
Tours run every day of the week, generally at 10:30 am, 11:30 am, 12:30 pm, 1:30 pm, 2:30 pm, and 3:30 pm. The schedule can be slightly different on Sundays, and a limited schedule applies on a matchday.
Tours can be booked online, by phone +44 (0) 161 444 1894, or at the Etihad Stadium. Booking is not required, but recommended and if not done one needs to arrive at least 40 minutes in advance.
The tour costs £14.00. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Relevant Internet links