According to new reports in the business and building press, details of plans to redevelop the area surrounding the City of Manchester stadium should be released in the coming weeks. Discussions have been ongoing ever since the collapse of the super-casino plan.
Cains has an article describing how the site is set to be developed with a vast leisure scheme, capable of attracting 6 million visitors a year, with children and young adults a key target audience. For those without a Cains membership, the article can be viewed here in Google’s cache.
A second article appeared in Building.co.uk claiming a planning application has been made by Arup, who “could see its role extended to include the expansion of the 47,726-capacity stadium itself”.
City would not confirm or deny the rumours, with the club stating, “The project is yet to be finalised and we will give out more information in due course.”
More details should emerge in the coming months, while it could take 2-3 years for such a large scale project to come to fruition.
Expanding the stadium capacity, and filling it, could be crucial if the club are to match Sheikh Mansour’s ambitions once Uefa’s new rules limiting an owner’s financial input come into play.
Uefa aren’t due to announce details of the plans till the end of the season, but the latest speculation is that loss making clubs wouldn’t be allowed to compete in Uefa competitions, and owners wouldn’t be allowed to bankroll the signing of players or paying of wages. Additional investment would be limited to expanding stadia and youth academies.
There has been talk in the past that City’s owners would look at expanding the stadium once the current one is regularly sold out. This is in part due to the difficulties with the current stadium which wasn’t built with extending the capacity in mind.
Thus far matches have not been regularly sold out. If we can qualify for the Champions League and therefore attract a higher calibre of player, then hopefully this would change.
If we’re to fulfill the dream and be major players on the European stage, then getting the ground up to a 60,000 capacity (and filling it) would be a major step. It will be fascinating to see the plans when they’re announced.
- Does anyone know anything more?