Luzhniki2008 visited City of Manchester Stadium (Etihad) on 14/03/2004
Game watched: Manchester City 4-1 Manchester united
After the Commonwealth Games in Manchester in 2002, the stadium in Eastlands used to host this was available for use, so Man City decided to move there. At the time their Maine Road stadium held around 35,000 with plans made to increase capacity to 45,000. Had Manchester been awarded the 2000 Olympic Games, rather than the Commonwealth Games, the stadium in Eastlands would have been a much bigger 80,000 athletics stadium. The stadium held around 41,000 for the Commonwealth Games and after this ended Manchester City took over for the 2003-04 season. The athletics track was removed and the ground level was excavated, adding an extra lower tier of seats. The one open end of the stadium was enclosed too, giving it a 48,000 capacity, which was ideal for Man City at the time.
Maine Road was a historic stadium in the Moss Side area of Manchester, so it will take time for this Eastlands stadium to create the same sort of history. The new stadium is impressive to look at inside, especially when it is full, but I still prefered the old Maine Road Stadium. The stadium is also a popular venue for big concerts each summer.
Away fans are housed behind one of the goals in the upper and lower sections. The allocation is usually just under 2900 for Premier League teams, and more for Cup matches if required. By car, the stadium is a few miles drive out of Manchester City Centre or a few miles off the M60 Motorway. There are some pay cars near the ground or street parking if you don't mind a 15 minute walk to and from the stadium. It is quite a long walkto and from the City Centre so taxis or buses are the best plan if you can find one.