Manchester City may be trailing Arsenal at the top of the Premier League table but the club plan to overtake them in the stadium stakes by increasing the capacity of the Etihad to 296 seats more than the Emirates.
Arsenal currently have the fourth largest stadium in the top-flight, with a capacity of 60,704. That sits behind Manchester United’s Old Trafford – 74,310 seats – the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium – 62,850 – and the 62,500-capacity London Stadium, used by West Ham.
But as part of a wider expansion of the Etihad Stadium, Manchester City want to add an extra tier to the North Stand that would increase the stadium capacity from 53,400 to around 61,000.
It would also jump the club — winner of four Premier League titles in the last five seasons — above the current capacity of Anfield, although Liverpool’s 54,074-seater stadium will increase to 61,000 by the start of next season under current development work.
Plans to develop the entirety of the Etihad’s North Stand include adding a covered fan zone, called City Square, that can hold 3,000 people, a new club shop, museum and hotel. People who live locally and Manchester City fans have been asked to give feedback on the proposals.
One of the ideas of the area development is to provide office space for start-ups and medium-sized businesses who collaborate with the club, the wider City Football Group or the Etihad Campus.
Manchester City said in a statement: “Manchester City is delighted to unveil concepts for a best-in-class fan experience and year- round entertainment and leisure destination at the Etihad Stadium, with fans and the local community invited to share their feedback until Sunday 26th March.
“This follows the club’s announcement in December last year that feasibility studies were underway to explore concepts that could form part of a future stadium development, consistent with the long-held vision to establish the Etihad Campus and the wider area as a globally relevant and competitive sport, leisure and entertainment destination.
“Several connected all-weather facilities, fully integrated into the stadium, are centred around an expanded North Stand with one larger, single upper tier above the existing lower tier, increasing stadium capacity to over 60,000.”
Since Sheikh Mansour, the billionaire deputy prime minister of the United Arab Emirates, purchased the club in 2008, the club’s owners have also invested heavily in staff, players and facilities that have transformed them into the most successful Premier League club of modern times.
However, in early February the Premier League charged Manchester City with breaching more than 100 of its financial regulations over a period of more than a decade. Manchester City said in a statement the club were “surprised” by the decision.
An independent commission will determine what, if any, punishment the club will face.