Etihad Stadium Expansion and Tunnel Club
Architecture, Interior Design
CHALLENGE. Manchester City is a football club known for looking after its supporters’ best interests, as well as those of the wider community around their home ground in East Manchester. At £299, their season ticket is the cheapest in the Premier League, which ensures that top flight football remains affordable for fans of all backgrounds. However, this low cost has also attracted a lengthy waiting list. To keep their matches as accessible as possible it became necessary for the club to develop a strategy for expanding their home ground, Etihad Stadium. The club was also keen to optimise all of the spaces available to them within the ground. The Tunnel Club at Manchester City is the first of its kind in UK football and has been developed alongside enhanced player areas. The brief for the project was to redevelop the Colin Bell Stand at the Etihad Stadium to create modern new player facilities and new hospitality areas.
INNOVATION. Working closely with Manchester City, Populous conceived a phased development that would cause minimum disruption during the football season, allowing the team to continue playing at the Etihad throughout construction of the South Stand. The first phase of the project began in March 2014 and saw the South Stand expand by 6,000 seats in time for the start of the 2015/16 Premier League season. This initial phase included three extra rows of seats pitch side, adding a further 1,600 to the overall capacity. In addition to the increase in size, the expanded design includes improvements to the hospitality facilities, new corporate suites, and developments of the land surrounding the stadium taking inspiration from the tailgate parties seen in the NFL, bringing a new dimension to the English game which will heighten the spectator experience.
The Tunnel Club and Players’ Areas also required significant design innovation. By remodelling the underutilised space within the Colin Bell Stand, space was created for three floors delivering two levels of premium quality lounge space on the mezzanine floor as well as improved, contemporary player changing facilities, warm up areas and enhanced match day operations facilities. The new home team player facilities are designed to the highest standard, including a circular changing room and hydrotherapy pools.
"A most impressive response to tricky engineering challenges that resulted in a stadium expansion with minimal spectator disruption and a complementary architectural form. A clever and seamless intervention in a geometrically complex cable net structure."Judge / Structural Awards 2017
IMPACT. The Etihad Stadium South Stand expansion respects the identity of the original City of Manchester Stadium, utilising the same masts and tensioned cable net roof structure that make the building such a recognisable landmark, with additions to the external structure that complement the existing façade. The most noticeable difference is the use of internal stairs, rather than the original vertical circulation ramps, providing views out from the concourse and new hospitality spaces which would otherwise have been obscured.
From the stunning setting of the Tunnel Club, fans can enjoy panoramic views across the stadium, and feel the match day atmosphere begin to build ahead of the game. The new space adds multiple opportunities for the club’s hospitality team, with a full match day schedule, and a unique space to use for the rest of the year.
- Structural Awards, Award for Sport or Leisure Structures
- Structural Steel Design Awards