Manchester City planning Etihad Stadium expansion

MANCHESTER City Football Club is set to expand the capacity of the Etihad Stadium from 48,000 to 60,000 in the next few years.

The club, already in the throes of major investment in its Etihad Campus on land next to the stadium, will initially add 6,000 seats with a third tier above the South Stand, with the second phase of the development to be carried out at the North Stand later.

The club is launching a consultation exercise with the local community, and aim to submit a planning application to Manchester City Council in August.

If this is obtained construction could start as early as January 2014 with a goal of completion in time for the 2015-16 season.

City sold out nearly all home games this season. Expanding the stadium capacity will boost matchday revenues and help the club comply with new financial fair play regulations.

The eventual expansion to 60,000 would make the Etihad Stadium the third-largest in England, behind Manchester United’s Old Trafford which can accommodate 76,000 people and Arsenal’s Emirates stadium which seats more than 60,400.