Manchester City will press ahead with plans to expand the Etihad Stadium for a second time, according to a report in The Sun.
Plans to expand the North Stand, making the entire stadium three tiers, have long been mapped out, with the only question being when. But, with 98% of tickets sold on average for Premier League games, plus 41,000 season ticket holders and 10,000 on a waiting list, City chiefs believe the demand is there for a second expansion.
Once the development is complete, City’s Etihad Stadium will be able to seat around 61,000 fans, making it the second largest club stadium in Britain behind neighbours Manchester United.
The Sun quote a ‘source’ as saying:
“The club feel the time is right to extend the stadium even further to mark the Pep Guardiola era.
“Planning permission was sought to extend both ends of the stadium when the expansion scheme was first started.
“Talks are now on-going to find the best possible time for contractors to start moving in to begin the work.”
City regularly sell out Premier League games, although a large number of season ticket holders frequently not turning up has led to a perception that this isn’t the case. The Etihad Stadium expansion saw the average attendance jump around 7,000 to 54,041 last season, making it a big success. Only Manchester United and Arsenal had larger average attendances.
In the long-term, City’s owners have a plan to expand the Colin Bell (West) and East Stands to take the Etihad beyond Old Trafford’s 76,000 capacity, the report claims.