Manchester City want to be one of the world's biggest clubs. Soon, they'll have one of the world's biggest stadiums.
The Manchester City Council approved the Citizens' application to expand the ground by 14,500 seats to 62,170, which will make it the second largest in the Premier League behind Old Trafford. It would also be good enough for the fourth largest in the Bundesliga and the third largest in both La Liga and Serie A.
The expansion will be done by adding a third tier to both endline stands, as well as 2,000 seats throughout the stadium. Currently, the stadium has two tiers all around the stadium, with a third online along the sidelines. The roofline will have to be altered to accommodate the new seating, but the club plans to keep it consistent with the roofline over the two sideline stands, utilizing the masts and cables just like the current roof.
Manchester City did not release a timeline for the expansion, but the plan is to expand the south stand first then, when that is done, do the same to the north stand. Of course, as is the case with seemingly any modern expansion, the premium areas will also get work, with 5,000 seats in the work being allocated to premium seating.
The Citizens' plans for the Etihad come on the heels of their building a new £200 million training ground and while they have not released an estimated price tag for the expansion, it won't come cheap. Manchester City continue to splash the money around, on infrastructure as much as players.
City want to win more trophies, and add European ones to the domestic ones they have already captured. They also want to do it in front of more than 60,000 fans. Before long, they will be able to.
Photos via MCFC.co.uk