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New year 2012 and my family and I had nothing planned. It was decided that we couldn't do nothing. If we weren't going to get out for new years eve night, we might as well do something during the day. This is when we decided to book ourselves onto the Manchester City Stadium tour.
Being a Manchester City supporter this trip for me was a no brainer but my girlfriend doesn't really like football so I was surprised when she went along with my suggestion.
I booked it through Manchester Citys official website, www.mcfc.co.uk. If you click on the club section, then halfway down the next page is the sub heading stadium and club tours. Then you just click on the purchase tickets online button and away you go.
Once you click the purchase tickets button you are met by four options. The VIP matchday tour, the stadium and club tour, the matchday stadium and club tour or the legends stadium and club tour. I chose the basic tour because it is the cheapest but mainly because it was the only one available for that day.
The only problem with buying tickets through the official City website is that you have to register as a supporter. I already have a season ticket but it isn't a problem to me. It actually isn't a problem to anybody but it might be just as easy to buy tickets elsewhere.
I booked my tickets and paid £12 each for a tour of the stadium at 10.30am on the 31st December 2012. As my son is under four years of age his place on the tour was free.
The Etihad stadium is situated quite close to Manchester City Centre. If you were from out of town and hadn't been there before it is very easy to find. Sometimes on matchdays I have walked back into Manchester so I doubt it would cost much to get there by taxi or by public transport. Once there you are greeted by a state of the art all seater stadium, you can't help but be impressed.
Obviously the Etihad Stadium is home to Manchester City Football club, the Premier League champions 2011-12. It was also the stadium for the Commonwealth Games that were held in Manchester in 2002, although it has seen a huge transformation since then.
On arrival at the stadium it was a typical Manchester day so I'm glad we chose to do something that was indoors, for the most part anyway. You can park right next to the stadium and you have to meet your guide inside the reception area of the stadium. It is advised you get the at least 15 minutes before your tour is due to start. I was late, just in case you was wondering. The reception area itself is hard to miss. It is a part of the stadium that stands out because of its glass exterior.
Once inside reception our guide came out to meet us. As a season ticket holder and having been to the stadium hundreds of times it was an odd feeling going into the tour. The feeling of being a tourist in your own City, in a place where I've been so much. That was the good thing though. The places I will go on the tour I had never been and I was actually getting quite excited.
We were greeted by our tour guide presented with a Manchester City lanyard with an I.D on it to say that we were members of a tour and we were told to keep it around our necks at all times. Our tour guide introduced himself and unbelievably was a City fan like myself, who'd have thought it. He then took us through to meet the rest of the group.
At first we were greeted by a room containing images of Manchester and story boards about City's work in the community regenerating the areas surrounding the stadium. There was also a huge model of the new one hundred million pound training complex that City are in the process of building. The Etihad Campus. Interesting stuff, especially to a City supporter.
There were around fifteen people on the tour and we were all asked to city in a room in front of a big screen. We all watched a video that explained the community work at home and abroad and I found it quite interesting that some players give up their time to travel to places like Africa and some of the poorest places in the world. Some cynics would say that the club are trying to promote themselves abroad for financial gain but it came across as genuine, that the club really cared about what it was promoting.
Once the video stopped we moved on. It is worth pointing out that there a quite a few stairs to climb on the tour but as we had a pram and a baby with us there is also an elevator provided.
First stop was the corporate section overlooking the pitch. The expensive seats where club directors and sponsors would sit on a matchday. We were shown the seat where the Queen sat during the Commonwealth Games and where Sheikh Mansour , the owner of Manchester City would sit if he ever bothered turning up to a game. He has only ever attended one game, I'm guessing he didn't make all his money sat about at football games though so I guess he's probably a busy man. The seats are definitely different to mine where I sit in the stadium but nobody should be that comfortable watching football it is a man's game after all.
We were then taken back down into the stand and into the press room. If you watch Sky Sports News you will be familiar with this room as it is where all the press conferences happen. Where Mr Mancini will be either in one of his good natured banter moods or he is abrasive towards the press corp. The press room offered some good photo oppurtunities with some people pretending to be Roberto and osme pretending to be new signings meeting the press for the first time.
After the press room we were taken through a lounge that is for players families and friends. They are taken their before the game for a drink and a chat and after that were some rooms set up like gyms. These were areas indoors so players could warm up. Whilst in this room the children on the tour were asked if they'd like to recreate Sergio Aqueros winning goal against QPR. A good photo opportunity for any parents.
The next room was an unexpected surpise for me. I had no idea it was on the tour. A small room with photos on the wall covering the Championship winning season and most importantly there stood the Premier League trophy. I couldn't believe it. A chance for my son and I to have our photos taken with the trophy. It was at this point when posing for a photo that my girlfriend announced that she had put the wrong memory card in the camera and it was full already. Panic set in. In the end I managed to explain to her how to use my phone so did get a few pictures, panic over. Unfortunately the Premier League trophy is no longer with us but hopefully the FA Cup will soon be on show instead.
Up to now I was very impressed but it was next onto the changing rooms and things only got better, these changing rooms were definitely better than the ones I used to use on the park. The changing rooms are huge and we were given plenty of time to have a look around and take pictures before being asked to pick a seat. Each seat had a shirt with a players name on so I picked David Silva, midfield maestro, my favourite player. Whilst seating in the big comfy seats that these pampered players sit in every week, we were greeted on a huge monitor by Vincent Kompany the Manchester City captain. The video would go on to explain who would be in the changing rooms on a match day. Coaches, physios, sports science and kit men. All were introduced and explained what they did and how they helped prepare the players for the game. Again all interesting stuff to see just how much goes into preparing a professional athlete to perform at their best.
Next was the tunnel leading onto the pitch. Our guide made us split into two groups. City fans on one side and other supporters on the other so we were lined up like two teams ready to go out and do battle. There was around ten City fans on one side and three Japanese, an Italian and a Brazilian on the other side of the tunnel. Once separated our guide played a CD of supporters singing and chanting. He told us it was recorded before the Manchester derby on the 30th April 2012, a game that shaped the destiny of the Premier League Trophy. Although not as authentic as waiting to go out before a crowd baying for blood, it did give some idea as to what the players hear whilst in the tunnel and it did give me goosebumps imagining the nerves and adrenaline kicking in.
We were allowed to walk out of the tunnel and go pitch side. We would have been allowed to sit in the dugouts but it had been raining all morning so covers on the seats had gathered water on them but I was just happy to be able to stand and take the whole stadium in. It also made me realise that when Roberto Mancini leaves City I'm going apply for the managers job because it was a pretty cool place to watch the game from.
That was the penultimate stop on the tour. The tour ended as most good tours do in the club gift store. I'm sure the ulterior motive is to get tourists buying City merchandise but you do also get a free digital photo upstairs in the store that you can download when you get home to remember the day by.
The tour lasts around ninety minutes and at £12 is great value for money. All the way through the tour their was plenty of time to get pictures and take everything in. You get your digital photo at the end and if you do want to buy merchandise you also get a 10% discount for anything bought in the club store.
Obviously as a City supporter myself I am very biased and this tour would probably appeal to me more than others but I would recommend it to anybody visiting Manchester if you need to fill part of your day. The stadium tour is a visit England quality assured visitor attraction. I'm sure anybody, not just football fans that visit the stadium and takes the tour will not be disappointed. I definitely recommend it to everybody of all ages it is well worth an hour and a half of your day.
We have season tickets to the City of Manchester stadium and it's one of the most impressive and welcoming stadiums in the Premier League.
I've had the pleasure of watching football games at Old Trafford, Craven Cottage, Anfield, Upton Park and Goodison Park and City of Manchester is definitely my favourite (along with Old Trafford).
The stadium itself is amazing and looks extremely impressive from any angle, it holds around 48,000 people and season tickets are actually very well priced.
The atmosphere inside the stadium is electric and Manchester City fans are amongst the funniest and loudest supporters i've ever come across.
Just last week i attended a Manchester derby and the atmosphere was unbelievable; the fans didn't stop singing for the entire game and the view all around the stadium is completely unrestricted. I doubt there's a bad seat anywhere in the ground.
The football club itself works extremely hard to make each game as much of an event as possible for the fans; at night time games all the lights are turned off before kick off and a huge blue moon is projected onto the crowd as they sing the City anthem 'Blue Moon'. It's an amazing thing to be part of and not something i've seen replicated at any other club. Even at the 12.00 kick off against Manchester United, which took place in baking sunshine, the ground provided people with bags full of blue and white strips of paper which were then thrown into the air, creating an amazing looking sea of blue and white, the Manchester City colours.
The ground is extremely easy to get to by either car or public transport and there's an abundance of secure and easy to get to parking facilities all around the ground. Parking is just £5, which might seem expensive for a couple of hours but it isn't considering your car will be secure and will still be in the place you parked it!
If there is a down side to the stadium it's the price of the food and drinks, and the wait to get served. All food and drink is expensive, but this is something i've come across at every Premier League ground i've been to.
Overall, the City of Manchester stadium is an excellent day out and suitable for all the family. Thoroughly enjoyable.
The City of Manchester (also known as Eastlands) is the home stadium of Premier League big boys Manchester City. It is located east of Manchester city centre (hence the name 'Eastlands'!) and its maximum capacity is 47,726.
Eastlands is an absolutely fantastic stadium in so many different ways. Although I am a Liverpool fan and not a Manchester City fan (my Dad is however - the reason why I have been to the stadium on numerous occasions!) I have been to see at least four games - two vs Liverpool and two or three other games where I was a neutral. Each time I go to watch a match I have an thoroughly good day out.
First of all, the stadium is so easily accessible by car mainly due to the excellent car parking facilities. This makes your day out so much easier as you can leave at a decent time and get there comfortably knowing you can park right next to the stadium for a mere £5. There is one drawback however...you do end up waiting quite a while to get out after the game but that is to be expected in my opinion.
When you get inside the gates, there is so much space around the ground....its not tight and you don't find yourself squashed up next to people as you try to find your terrace or as you try to find the merchandise store! The stadium also employs the genius 'credit card' system for tickets.....you purchase your ticket online and the ticket is activated onto your 'City Card' as they call it. Then all you do is hold your card into the turnstile, the machine goes green and in you go. Simple. The tickets are generally great value too. The ticket for Man City vs Liverpool was a huge £45 which was expensive, but worth it in my opinion as it was a big game. It is not uncommon for City to do deals i.e. £10 tickets for midweek games and tickets for 4 matches = £130, that sort of thing, which is great value. Also, they do kids tickets for £5 a match under certain circumstances so all in all, a thumbs up for value.
Once you get inside, again there isn't a shortage of space or amenities.....plenty of toilets, bars and food stands (I personally go for the old hot dog and chips!) and they also throw in the old Ladbrokes kiosk...a nice touch as I like an old flutter at a footy match especially when Liverpool aren't playing as I prefer to bet as a neutral!
The stadium itself is very impressive and when its full it seems that the capacity would be well over its maximum 47,726. You always get a great atmosphere too.
I would definitely recommenda visit to the City of Manchester Stadium if you have never been before.........whether you are a die-hard city fan or a neutral like me that just loves a good footy match...its a must. You will have a great day out!!
One of the more attractive football stadiums in the country, the City of Manchester Stadium was originally built for the 2002 Commonwealth Games and is now the home to Manchester City Football Club.
With a maximum capacity of 47,726, it's one of the biggest stadiums in the country.
The exterior of the stadium is pretty and pleasing on the eyes. From its bowl like shape to the spiral paths that lead to the upper tear, CoMS is a modern looking piece of architecture. The spirals were made to look better when they were painted blue.
There are a number of food stands available outside of the stadium so you're never short of choice.
The interior of the stadium is just as nice, especially when filled with the Manchester City faithful on match days.
CoMS has three tiers of seats at either side and two tires at each end with twin scoreboards diagonally across from each other at either end.
Although the atmosphere is quiet at times (mainly due to the club being still relatively new to the stadium), on most match days, the chants of the City fans can be heard from a good distance away and at big matches the atmosphere is amazing.
I've had the pleasure of visiting CoMS hundreds of times as a Man City season ticket holder and also to see a variety of bands play. The stadium sits close the the centre of Manchester and is easy to get to. There are also an excellent amount of parking spaces at the stadium.
The pitch is one of the best in the country and maintains it's high standard for the duration of the footballing season.
The City of Manchester Stadium, home of Manchester City FC and often known as Eastlands, was originally built for the Commonwealth Games and has been adapted for the football club. On my 2 visits to the stadium it was difficult to imagine where an athletics track would have gone, such is the great job they did in converting it and having the seats near to the pitch.
I have been to the stadium for both a football match, England vs Iceland and an Oasis concert and have to say, the ground hosted both of these impeccably and I wouldn't hesitate going to this venue for either again should the opportunity arise.
The atmosphere generated both inside and outside the ground for both events was fantastic and this has to be down to the towering bowl design and the ample cover keeping the sound in and the acoustics strong.
The journey into the stadium area is easy to negotiate and well sign posted from a good 15 mile away. The car park facilities are second to none in my experience and everything you would expect from a new stadium of this size and demand. From the car park, there is a wonderful walkway that takes you right up to the impressive structure and the first thing that hits you is the sheer size of the stands and the brilliantly designed turnstile pods. These are a great design feature and actually make entering the ground particularly easy. The anticipation builds as you then walk up the spiral staircase in these pods and get off at whichever tier your ticket states.
Once actually in the ground itself, you are greeted by an excellent concourse area with lots of the necessary toilet, food and drink amenities and these are all to a really high standard. The entrance to the actual arena area itself is hair on the back of the neck stuff and the vast sea of blue is enthralling to see. The leg room afforded in all seats is good and the depth of the stands means there is little chance of not being able to see due to a massive person in front of you.
The pitch is in fantastic condition and the PA system is really loud and clear. The arched structure is far more obvious from inside than outside and really looks the part.
Manchester and England have a stadium to be proud of here.
As I cast my mind back to the heady days of Premiership football three seasons ago I'm reminded of the many premiership grounds I visited watching Norwich lose, gain a point but never win. Great times compared to the dark days of recent memory.
But still out of all the Premiership grounds that season, Manchester City's home stuck in the mind as the best of the lot.
Built to house an impressive 48,000, the whole ground and its surroundings are certainly geared for a modern day sports event. The ground from the outside looks new, modern and actually has style. Of course when you're building from scratch you can afford such luxuries when many other teams have simply expanded or built on what they already had from decades past.
We arrived quite early on a Monday night so the gates were yet to open. But outside there is plently of space to walk around in, as the ground is not right on top of main roads. Lining the outside were a good selection of food stalls where you could grab a burger but from what I remember it was not exactly cheap for what you got.
The turnstiles also adopted a modern system where you scanned you ticket before the turnstile opened. It's the future but I'm not sure some football supporters will be able to grasp such a simple concept.
Once inside it was great to see that the stands provided a large amount of room in the concourses. Having been to places like Upton Park where you're squeezed like sardines around one TV, City was a breath of fresh air literally with loads of room to stretch out and watch a bit of sport news on the many TV screens dotted around. The catering facilities were also quite modern. However like any stadium in the UK, you'll find that price of food etc is a bit of a rip off. My friend bought a pizza which looked pretty decent on it's picture for £3.00 odd, however what he received was something remarkably similar to a McCain's microwave pizza, small in size and pretty bland in taste. Beer as well is the usual £2.80 upwards a pint, delightfully served in plastic cups.
Walk out onto the stands and you're greeted with an impressive view, we found ourselves in the higher tier but still had an excellent view of the pitch with no restrictions. It looks the like the pitch is just below ground level, I may be wrong but that's the way it looked. The seating was good and gave a lot of legroom unlike the squashed surroundings of Anfield or what was Highbury.
As it was a Monday night and on Sky, turnout was not near capacity but we still experienced a great atmosphere as the ground seems to contain acoustics pretty well. The floodlights were on as well which created a very illuminating affair all round.
We ended up getting a draw, which was a decent result, and the whole experience was memorable and definitely worth a long journey back to Norwich, arriving in the early hours of the morning. Getting out the stadium wasn't a great deal of hassle either. I would advise knowing exactly where to turn off at the main motorway junction, as apparently one of them is a long way round.
My only regret is that we were a few years early and didn't have the pleasure of seeing Sven in the flesh but I'm not sure I could have handled he glare the floodlights would have given off his head.
The City Of Manchester Stadium is home to Manchester City Football Club and was built for the Commonwealth Games which were held in Manchester in 2002.
After the Games had finished one end of the ground was removed and the pitch was lowered and the running track removed. It became home to Manchester City and a football only stadium (The total cost of building and then altering the stadium was a little over £100 million - which compared to Wembley is a snip!!)
The stadium is referred to as Eastlands by the majority of Manchester City fans, as this was the temporary name given to the staium whilst construction was underway - Manchester City Council then game up with the unbelievably long name, but locals use Eastlands as it takes about 3 weeks less to say than The City Of Manchester Stadium.
The capacity is 48,000 and the stadium is oval shaped and has two tiers all the way around the ground and a third tier along the two side stands.
The stadium will be hosting the UEFA Cup Final in 2008 as UEFA recognise it as one of a few '5 star stadiums'.
Numerous concerts have been held there too, the most notable acts being:
Red Hot Chili Peppers
The stadium has 2000 parking spaces on-site and there are well over 8000 places to park in the area surrounding the ground (usually for a small fee)
There are numerous conference suites and centres within the complex and weddings and business conferences regularly take place there (they can be contacted on 0870 062 4141)
The City Of Manchester Stadium is situated in the heart of a major development know as SportCity, other items within walking distance are the Regional Tennis Centre, Regional Athletics Arena & North West Velodrome
All in all a fantastic stadium and well worth booking a trip on one of the daily tours that Manchester City FC run. Tours of the City of Manchester Stadium are available seven days a week (including match days) and are priced at £8.75 for adults and £4.75 for concessions. To check tour availability and to book tickets call 0870 062 1894 (option 8)
***by car from the south
Follow signs for city centre on the M56, which becomes the A5103 (Princess Road)
Continue to the city centre, turning right onto the elevated A57(M).
Follow this to the end, through two sets of lights and turn right onto Every Street.
At the end of Every Street turn right onto A662 (Ashton New Road)
The Stadium will be found on the left.
***by car from the east
Follow the M67 and join the M60 at junction 24
Follow the M60 north to junction 23
Exit left on to A662 (Ashton New Road)
The Stadium will be reached on the right after the junction with the A6010 (Alan Turing Way).
***by car from the west
Join the M60 at junction 12 (M62) or junction 15 (M61)
Follow M60 round the north of Manchester to junction 23
Exit right on to A662 (Ashton New Road)
The Stadium will be reached on the right after the junction with the A6010 (Alan Turing Way).
***by car from the north
Follow the M60 round to junction 23
Exit right on to A662 (Ashton New Road)
The Stadium will be reached on the right after the junction with the A6010 (Alan Turing Way)
The City of Manchester Stadium (also known as COMS or Eastlands) is a sports venue in Manchester, England. Originally designed as part of Manchester's failed bid for the 2000 Summer Olympics, the stadium was built for the 2002 Commonwealth Games at a cost of GB£110 million. After the Games, it was converted for use as a football ground, and became the home of Manchester City F.C. who moved there from Maine Road in 2003, signing a 250-year lease.