The Etihad Stadium, also known as Eastlands, was built for the 2002 Commonwealth Games. After the Games, it was converted for use as a football ground and a further 10,000 seats were added to turn it into a very impressive stadium. The stadium is bowl-shaped, with two tiers all the way around the ground and a third tier along the two side stands whilst offering unobstructed views from every seat. In 2015 an extra tier was added to the South Stand behind one of the goals increasing capacity to over 55,000.
Up to 3,000 away fans are allocated one side of the upper, middle and lower tiers of the South Stand behind one of the goals. This can be increased for cup games if there's enough demand. As you would expect for such a new stadium, the view from all stands is unobstructed but be aware that leg room is a little less friendly for people over 6'0. Facilities are excellent and there's a fair range of food and drink available.
Etihad Stadium seating plan:
There aren't too many places to drink around the ground, most fans preferring to drink in the centre of Manchester before making the short walk to the stadium. Of the pubs within the vicinity, the Stanley sports bar which is about 10 minutes walk away from the stadium does allow a small number of away fans in. It is just set back from the main A6010, going towards Ashburys train station. Children are also allowed.
There is a small amount of parking available at the stadium which costs £5 per car. The East Car Park is nearest to the away entrance. Street parking is possible but be aware that there is a residents only parking scheme in place in the immediate roads around the ground, and this extends to approximately a mile out from the stadium. Therefore, it means parking further away and then walking to the stadium. Some 'football' car parks have emerged in the local areas charging between £4 and £6 per car.
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The nearest / closest train stations to Manchester City's Etihad Stadium are Manchester Piccadilly and Manchester Victoria. Both are approximately a 20 to 30 minute walk away.
Ashburys is a smaller station situated to the south on Alan Turing Way and is a 15 minute walk to the stadium.
Rivals - Man Utd
Travel: We stayed at a McDonald Hotel in the city centre, near Manchester Picadilly Railway Station. Nice place and a good gym but virtually impossible to find the hotel car park and that cost £20 a day! We thought of getting a tram to the ground but as it was a nice day, we walked from there along the canal path to the Etihad. A really nice walk and no problems with the Man City fans.
Refreshments: The home fans really friendly - one even gave me a Knockaert Match Attax card! We ate in a Wetherspoons in the city centre beforehand.
Impressions: The Etihad is a truly impressive stadium with loads of activities in the many forecourts. As we approached the away fans area they made us walk a long way round to be searched - totally unnecessary as we had been mingling and drinking with home fans on the forecourt! The stand is really steep so however high you get a good view of the pitch - we were Block 314, Row FF Seat 359. Quite high up in the top third tier.
Atmosphere: The facilities inside were surprisingly poor. One guy serving in a tiny area so absolutely no chance of getting food or drink inside the stadium - get it outside. The female loos were fine but gents crammed! Difficult to see the scoreboard screens as we were so far away. We could see over the stadium roof of the other end into Manchester.
Exit: There was a 30 minute queue for the tram so we were pleased not to have bought tickets and just walked back down the canal path. It seemed like walking was a better option as the queues for all public transport were long.
Enjoy: We lost 2-0 and we told the staff on the way out that we would see them next year - they laughed at the time! We shall see.
Ground Name: Etihad Stadium
Capacity: 55,097 (all seated)
Address: Sportcity, Rowsley St, Manchester M11 3FF
Main Tel No.: 0870 062 1894
Team Nickname: The Blues or Citizens
Year Ground Opened: 2002