Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium is set to become the fourth largest stadium in the Premier League with the current new expansion plans.
The Premier League giants are reportedly planning to expand the stadium’s capacity from the current 53,400-capacity turf to 61,000.
The Etihad Stadium is currently the fifth-largest stadium in the Premier League behind the stadia of other top clubs in England.
Manchester United’s Old Trafford is the largest stadium in the Premier League with a capacity of 74,310. Tottenham Hotspur Stadium has a capacity of 62,850 and is second on the list of biggest stadia in the Premier League.
Third, on the chart is London Stadium which is currently the home ground of West Ham United with a capacity of 62,500. Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium comes fourth with a capacity of 60,000 before the current Etihad Stadium with a capacity of 53,400 which is set to be expanded.
Since the takeover of the club by the Abu Dhabi-based Abu Dhabi United Group, an investment company for the Abu Dhabi royal family, owned by Sheikh Mansour, in 2018, Manchester City have witnessed immense growth in players depth, and competitiveness in domestic and European football.
However, the Etihad turf has not been tampered with and now the club’s hierarchy are planning an expansion and increase that will see the stadium’s capacity kick from 53,400 to 61000, representing a 14% increase in the stadium capacity.
According to Daily Mail, Manchester City have already unveiled concept designs, particularly targeting the extended fan park and the north end of the club.
Details of the planned renewal and increase of the club’s capacity revealed that an additional 7,700 seats will be erected on the North Stand.
This means, the Etihad Stadium will now be matching the capacity of big Premier League clubs such as West Ham United, Tottenham’s Stadium, and Arsenal, but will still be miles below the Theater of Dreams which is the biggest stadium in the Premier League.
In an attempt to carry along millions of City fans in the renewal and expansion process, there are reports the club have made provisions to consult with the fans through online polls and suggestions in the next four weeks before commencing the expansion process.
While City fans will definitely be enthusiastic to see the Etihad expanded to a 61,000-capacity stadium, there are reports the expansion plan may take the club as much as three years before coming to fruition.
An expanded Etihad will boost Manchester City’s revenue and also provide enough space for a larger fan base during games.
Amid the stadium expansion plan, it is no news Manchester City are currently at loggerheads with the Premier League after the latter accused the club of breaching FFP rules with potentially heavy penalties earmarked if found guilty.
One of the potential penalties facing City is relegation to the Lower Division of English football. This means a 61000-capacity for the club may just turn a cosmetic gloss if the club fails to maintain their spot in the English top flight, and fails to constantly feature in the European top flight.