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Manchester City unveil plans to expand Etihad Stadium to 60,000

Jul 12, 2013, 3:34 PM EDT

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Manchester City’s fans are usually known for being some of the loudest and proudest in the land.

And now plenty more of them will be crammed into the Etihad stadium if new plans get the thumbs up.

Today City revealed how they want to redevelop their home stadium, with the main aim to increase the capacity from 47,500 to 60,000.

That could see extensions to both the South and North Stands but another option is to only increase the capacity to 54,000. In that case only the South Stand would be redeveloped.

A huge blueprint was released for public viewing today at the Etihad Stadium, with the public consultation set to last until August. Then City will take the plans to the next stage in the fall and apply for planning permission depending on what the public consultation.

Now all this may seem slightly monotonous. But here comes the kicker.

Most clubs would hike up ticket prices for their fans to watch the team in a newly developed stadium. But not City, oh no. They plan to sell season tickets for less than $500.

That is quite remarkable in the modern era, as Arsenal and other EPL clubs charge up to four teams that amount and more.

A huge pat on the back to their owners and staff for coming up with that. So there is going to be huge overwhelming support to expand the stadium and reduce ticket prices for everyone. Also UEFA’s new Financial Fair Play laws come into effect and the amount of income clubs need to generate from gameday purposes will need to be on the up.

So smart stuff all round from Manchester City and spokesperson Pete Bradshaw had this to say.

“Manchester City Football Club strives to provide its supporters and visiting fans with one of the best possible matchday experiences in the Premier League and European football. Games are selling out frequently prior to going on open sale and there is rising demand from supporters for more season tickets, matchday tickets and premium seating. This is why we are considering these expansion proposals.”

And he is right. City’s average attendance the last three seasons were as follows:

  • 2010-11: 45,880
  • 2011-12: 47,044
  • 2012-13: 46,974

That means they have been running at over 96 percent capacity for several seasons. The number are there for City to have the second largest stadium in the EPL behind bitter rivals Manchester United.

Will it happen? Time will tell. But they can definitely sustain it.

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