Manchester City is one of the most storied clubs in the country. Even before the recent years of success, football fans across the UK and in Europe knew the sky blue colours of City. However, the club was kicked up another gear in 2008, when Sheikh Mansour bought the club for roughly £210 million.
Since then, the owner has pumped in £200 million for facility upgrades, and even more into the team and surrounding area. With Sheikh Mansour at the helm, Manchester City has gone from strength-to-strength both on the field and as an experience for the fans.
New innovative projects have helped to completely change what it means to go to the Etihad, with even more on the way.
Changing the way that we watch the football
Continually exploring new ways in which the City-watching experience can be made even better for each match day, the club has become very creative. Most recently, and perhaps most impressively, City has brought a pub into the stands. Having opened earlier this season, The Ardwick has delivered a classic pub area to matchday fans.
Speaking on the opening of the Ardwick, a club spokesperson said that they are “always looking to develop innovative ways for our fans to watch football.” Now, fans in attendance can enjoy the modernity of the Eithad, the live game, and the feel of pub all in one.
City’s pursuit of delivering the best experience to the fans may also see them further expand the offering around the stadium. To expand what it means to go to the Etihad on match day, the club could expand into other regions of entertainment, introducing a casino gaming room, which is what developers of the new Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas are gearing towards.
Betting and gaming have become popular activities alongside football, but it does seem unlikely that City would follow in the footsteps of the grandiose Allegiant Stadium. This is mainly because the high-density Wi-Fi, which was introduced in 2013, allows fans to try no deposit bonuses at online casinos for free while at the stadium if they so choose. While a classy casino and a classic-style pub both being in the Etihad would raise the prestige of the stadium further, it seems unlikely that the club would explore this entertainment avenue with what’s going on next door.
Building a new arena next door
Next to the Etihad Stadium stands a derelict plot of land that’s also owned by the City Football Group. Seen on the way towards City’s home ground, there are now plans in motion to transform the plot into a 23,000-seat arena to become the focal point of the Etihad campus.
Following the desire to innovate and continue to offer new experiences to visitors, there’s no doubt that this new arena next to the stadium will have plenty to offer anyone who’s going to the Etihad for the day. Early designs laid out space for non-sporting set-ups within the arena, including the possibility of shops and restaurants.
The City Football Group strives to deliver the best matchday experience and want the Etihad Campus to grow into a thriving community for both sports and leisure. When constructed the new arena and Etihad Stadium could combine to forge a mighty entertainment hub in Manchester.