Scheme would take capaciity above 60,000

Manchester City has said it plans to award a construction contract to expand its Etihad stadium this September.

The club revealed the news in concept plans published yesterday detailing its proposals which will see the ground’s capacity taken from 54,500 to more than 60,000. Fans have until 26 March to comment on the designs before plans go in to the local council later this spring.

The proposals will see the North Stand expanded with a larger, single upper tier above the existing lower tier.

A covered City Square fan zone, with a capacity of 3,000 and food and drink outlets, new club shop, museum and hotel, are also planned as well as 4,000 sq m of workspace.

north stand

How the new North Stand would look

The club said: “It is anticipated that a main construction contract would be awarded in September 2023.

“The construction period would be carefully planned around the football season to minimise the potential for disruption as a result.

“As such, it is anticipated that main construction works would likely commence on-site in November 2023 so the North Stand itself would be complete and open for the beginning of the 2025/26 football season i.e. August 2025.

“The hotel, workspace and public realm works, including City Square, would subsequently complete by mid-late 2026.”

>> Also read: To refurb or rebuild: what next for Old Trafford?

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The proposals have been designed by Populous, the practice behind Arsenal’s Emirates stadium and more recently the new ground for Spurs which includes a single tier South Stand with a capacity of 17,500. Populous was also drafted in last year to work on plans to upgrade Old Trafford, the home of City’s neighbours Manchester United.

City’s current homes was designed by Arup and built by John Laing ahead of the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester. The club moved to the ground in time for the start of the 2003/4 season.

No figure has been put on the expansion but the cost of expanding Liverpool’s Anfield Road End, being carried out by Buckingham, and Fulham’s new Riverside stand, also built by Buckingham, have been put at around £80m.

etihad 2

Source: Shutterstock

The current ground was originally completed in 2002 by John Laing

Those likely to throw their hats into the ring for the City job could include Buckingham, McLaughlin & Harvey and McLaren although it is understood Sir Robert McAlpine, which has a strong presence in the North-west, is not tempted. Laing O’Rourke is currently building Everton’s new £500m ground at Bramley-Moore Dock and therefore a bid is considered unlikely.

Bam is currently on site building a £250m arena going up in the shadow of the Etihad.

Called Co-op Live, the 23,500-capacity venue is being built on a derelict plot, owned by City Football Group, the holding company of the reigning Premier League champions, on the approach to the Etihad. It is due to open at the end of this year.

Another Premier League club looking to expand its ground is Aston Villa, which wants to increase the capacity of its stadium from 42,785 to more than 50,000. This job has been designed by Grimshaw and Trivandi with work starting later this year for a 2025 finish. And Crystal Palace’s £100m plan to expand its Selhurst Park stadium was approved last autumn. The KSS-designed proposal will boost capacity from 26,000 to 34,000.