Away Guide: Manchester City

Some people tend to criticise Manchester City’s Etihad stadium, humorously labelling it the ‘Emptihad’, but we’d like to stick up for the blue side of Manchester with this away guide.

Manchester City’s City of Manchester Stadium, known as the Etihad for commercial reasons, stands out as one of the most picturesque in the UK. The all-seater stadium built in 2002, has a lot of unique features, which is arguably quite rare compared to most bowl-shaped stadia.

As you’d expect, the facilities are top notch. We can’t fault them!

Things you may not know:

The roof of the stadium is particularly impressive and has been described as “ground-breaking” by New Steel Construction magazine. We’re rather inclined to agree here at The Groundhopping Hub!

Impressive. // George Sanders

Other notable features include:

-The large supporting masts

-Themed food booths outside the ground (as expected, they’re rather expensive.)

-A fan zone with a stage for pre-match events

With the expansion of the South Stand in 2015 to accommodate another tier of seating, the original south end roof was dismantled and re-built, but it does in no way look out of place in the stadium unlike some other stadium extensions in the country.

Away fans are housed in the South Stand of the ground where normally around 3,000 fans are permitted. However on our latest trip there with Rotherham United fans in City’s FA Cup fixture, the travelling Millers fans sold out 6,000 seats and were given the full upper, and most of the second tier of the South Stand, rather than a section as is normal.

The view from the upper tier of the South Stand // George Sanders

Now people have criticised the atmosphere here, but from our visits here we’d say that was in some ways unwarranted. We’ve always bought tickets in the away stand and the City fans are clearly heard from this area and have generally made a lot of noise. Even when we were with Rotherham fans, City got behind their heavily fancied team quite well against the much smaller outfit from Yorkshire.

Manchester City 2-1 Swansea, 2016. // George Sanders

We also like the close proximity that the home fans are next to visiting supporters, with a relatively small gap and a row of stewards separating the fans (see above.) This arguably enables a better atmosphere to be created, though sometimes it has led to trouble between the opposing fans.

Pubs for away fans:

There’s not much choice for away fans who want a pint that is in close proximity of the ground for. The Stanley is known to admit away supporters, but it is still ten minutes walk from the ground. You must also note that they tend to admit limited numbers.

There is of course a huge variety of pubs in the bustling city centre.

Travelling by train:

You can get a regular-running tram service from either Manchester Piccadilly or Manchester Victoria train station to the ground. For those wanting to walk from Manchester Piccadilly station, which is the closet major station to The Etihad, this will take you around half an hour.

Facts:

Capacity of stadium: 55,097

Club nickname: The Citizens / Sky Blues

Programme cost: £3

Cost of a pie: £4

Blue moon, you saw me standing alone… // George Sanders

The Etihad stadium is one of the most unique new-builds in the UK, with a football team in it that currently plays dazzling, entertaining football. We’d highly recommend a visit to this stadium, and with relatively value-for-money tickets available, it’s a worth it venture!

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