The Etihad Stadium was being upgraded over the past year, and with that work now seemingly complete, Manchester City will boast the third largest stadium in the league.
Newcastle United’s St.James’ Park will no longer be in the top three largest stadiums in the English top-flight, with the Magpies’ home dropping a place thanks to the renovated Etihad Stadium, which will now reportedly boast a capacity in excess of 55,000.
The investment into the stadium is bad news for rivals, not just because of the additional commercial revenue, but also because it signals the long-term commitment of the Manchester City owners to the club.
Manchester City will have the third largest stadium in the league
Although city rivals Manchester United still have the largest stadium in the league – with Arsenal FC a distant second – Manchester City have improved the capacity of the Etihad to make it the third largest stadium in the country.
According to ESPN FC, the new capacity – the consequence of an expansion to the South Stand of the Etihad – is expected to be 55,097 in comparison to Old Trafford’s 75,653 maximum capacity and the Emirates’ 60,272.
a Manchester City FC (@MCFC) August 12, 2015
City reportedly hosted an open training session on Wednesday evening – with stars such as Sergio AgA?ero, David Silva, Yaya Tour and Raheem Sterling present – which served as a ‘test event’ for ahead of the high-profile clash against Chelsea FC on Sunday.
Premier League’s nouveaux riches here to stay
Manchester City have followed up the opening of their new A?200 million training complex with an upgrade to the Etihad’s South Stand, increasing the ground’s capacity by 6,000 seats. If it was not clear enough before, it is now. Manchester City are here to stay.
Chelsea FC have reached new heights over the course of the past decade under Russian billionaire owner Roman Abramovich, and are themselves planning a major redevelopment of Stamford Bridge aimed at increasing the capacity to around 60,000.
The Premier League’s nouveaux riches – if they can be called that any more – are not going to go away any time soon. The sort of committed development of the club the respective owners are overseeing is undoubtedly contributing to the heightened excitement and allure of the English Premier League.
The next step for Manchester City, now, is to produce results on the biggest stage in club football – the UEFA Champions League. The Etihad has never witnessed a quarter-final or a semi-final clash, and the club should be working towards achieving that goal in the very near future.