Manchester City

Etihad Stadium

Capacity: 55,097 (all seated)
Address: Rowsley St, Manchester M11 3FF
Telephone: 0161 444 1894
Fax: 0161 438 7999
Ticket Office: 0161 444 1894
Stadium Tours: 0161 444 1894 (Option 4)
Pitch Size: 116 x 77 yards
Pitch Type: Grass
Club Nickname: The Blues or Citizens
Year Ground Opened: 2002*
Undersoil Heating: Yes
Shirt Sponsors: Etihad Airways
Kit Manufacturer: Nike
Home Kit: Sky Blue and White
Away Kit: Navy and Sky Blue
Third Kit: Green With Black Trim

Main Entrance
Main Entrance
East Stand
East Stand
South Stand
South Stand
Colin Bell Stand
Colin Bell Stand
North Stand
North Stand
South and East Stands
South and East Stands
South Stand on Matchday
South Stand on Matchday
Manchester City FC
The Etihad Stadium Lit Up
The Etihad Stadium Lit Up

The Etihad stadium has a bowl design and is totally enclosed. Now expanded to a capacity of over 55,000 it has become one of the best stadiums in the country, not only in terms of size but also in its fantastic facilities. Both stands on either side of the pitch are virtually identical, being semi circular in shape, three tiered, with a row of executive boxes running across the stands, located in-between the second and third tiers. Both ends were originally smaller in size, being two tiers high, but during the 2014/15 season a large third tier was added to the South Stand, adding another 6,250 seats. It is intended to also expand in a similar way the North Stand but in the meantime it will remain two-tiered with a row of executive boxes, running across the back of the stand just below the roof. Both these ends are of the more traditional rectangular design. The second tier around the stadium slightly overhangs the lower. The roof runs continuously around the stadium stretching up over the stands and down to the North end, creating a spectacular effect. There is a perspex strip just below the roof and the spectator areas, allowing light to reach the pitch. The upper tiers are steeper than the lower, ensuring that spectators are kept close to the playing action. Iain Macintosh adds; 'An interesting feature of the stadium is the openable louvres in each of the four corners. These are located at either end of the level three seating in the East and Colin Bell stands. These are closed when in use, however, when the stadium is unoccupied, they are opened to allow the wind to blow through the enclosed bowl, helping keep the grass pristine'. The stadium also has two large video screens in opposite corners of the ground. Outside the ground near the main club entrance is a memorial garden, which includes a tribute to former city player Marc-Vivien Foe.

In July 2011, the Club announced a ten year sponsorship deal with Etihad Airways to rename the stadium, to the Etihad stadium. Although many fans (and some commentators no doubt) will still call it Eastlands. Also of interest is that the playing surface is the largest in the League.

Man City get my vote for the weirdest looking mascots in the league. Whilst most clubs have elected to re-create some furry creature, Man City have as their mascots a pair of aliens called 'Moonchester' and 'Moonbeam'.

The building of a third tier at the South End of the Etihad Stadium was completed for the start of the 2015/16 season; three new rows of seats have also been added at pitch side level around most of the stadium where feasible; and 2 small sections of extra seats have been constructed at the far end of the West and East Stands closest to the South Stand. The full capacity has not yet been reached due some works being in the final stages of completion but is thought to be in the region of 55,000.

The club have planning permission to extend The North Stand by constructing a new third tier. This could add approx. 6,250 seats. A timescale for this work has not been announced. Once these developments are finished the overall capacity will rise to around 61,000 making it the second largest football stadium in the country. 

Away fans are located in one side of the South Stand at one end of the ground, spread across the upper, middle, and lower tiers, where up to 3,000 fans can be accommodated (4,500 for cup games). The view of the action is pretty impressive although the atmosphere within the stadium is a bit 'hit and miss' at times. I did hear though on my last visit one very good rendition of the Man City fans anthem 'Blue Moon'. My only real complaint was the lack of distance between the home and away supporters. Only a few seats and a row of stewards stood in-between the two sets of fans, which led to a lot of unpleasant baiting between the two. And of course it was always the away fans who were adjudged to be causing the problems by the stewards (although I'm sure that if I visited on another occasion I probably would have seen the same Man City fans baiting in the same manner) and this led a number of away fans on my visit being escorted out of the stadium. 

The facilities are also pretty good with spacious concourses and large plasma flat television screens showing the game. There is also the usual selection of food on offer; including Hot Dogs (£4.50) and a range of pies; Peppered Steak, Chicken Balti, Potato and Meat, plus Cheese & Onion (all £4 each).

After the game has finished fans are kept apart immediately outside via a large fence which is erected by the Police, which seems to lead to a lot of exchanges of unpleasant abuse. Some away fans have suggested that it may be best to keep colours covered on making your way back to your transport. It is also worth noting that entrance to the stadium is gained by placing your ticket into an electronic reader, which normally causes confusion to some fans. Please note that you are also likely to be searched by stewards at the turnstile entrance.

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There are not a great deal of pubs around the stadium, and the few available, including the FanZone at the ground, are predominantly for home support. However, 'The Stanley' (aka Sports Bar) pub does let in away fans in small numbers. It is about a ten minute walk away from the stadium, just set back from the main A6010 (Pottery Lane), going towards Ashburys train station. The easiest way to find it is to locate the large Asda store behind one side of the stadium (there is also a McDonalds outlet next door to the store, plus there is a cafe located inside it) and on facing the superstore turn right and proceed down the main road, you will come to the pub on the left. It does cost £1 for adults to enter the pub, (they even stamp your hand as if you were entering a night club) but children are at least admitted free. Inside there is a large screen showing SKY Sports, good service and a good mix of home and away support.

Alan Finneran informs me; 'I would recommend the Townley on Albert Street, which is only a five minute walk away from the stadium. The pub has a good atmosphere and as long as away fans arrive early and are discrete (i.e. no colours) then they should be okay. Also the Manchester City Supporters Club have their own City Social bar opposite the North Stand. I have seen opposition supporters in there now and again, so if you are a member of your own team's supporters club, then your branch secretary may be able to arrange a visit to the Social bar in advance'. 

Dave Clinton adds; 'If you want a pint beforehand then it is probably best to drink in the city centre. My tip, would be to head to the Printworks in Manchester, near Victoria station. There is a connecting tram service from Piccadilly. There are loads of pubs at the Printworks, with plenty of choice of food. The pubs around Piccadilly itself are not too clever. However Deansgate or around the Town Hall, would be a good place to head for if you are taking in the City centre. This is about a 30 minute walk away from the stadium'.  

Chris Fogarty warns; 'away fans should avoid the Queen Victoria pub at the bottom of Grey Mare Lane'. Also Mary D's on Grey Mare Lane is also not recommended for away supporters as well as pubs on Ashton New Road (both these roads are in the area behind the away end of the stadium). Otherwise alcohol is available inside the stadium; Fosters Lager, Strongbow Cider, John Smith's Bitter (all £4 pint, £2.50 half pint), plus White, Red or Rose wine (all £5.50 for a small bottle).

The stadium is located in the North East of Manchester.

From the South M6

Leave the M6 at Junction 19 and follow the A556 towards Stockport and then join the M56 going towards Stockport. Continue onto the M60 passing Stockport and heading on towards Ashton Under Lyne. Leave the M60 at Junction 23 and take the A635 towards Manchester. Branch off onto the A662 (Ashton New Road) towards Droylsden and Manchester. Stay on the A662 for around three miles and you will reach the Stadium on your right.

From The M62

Leave the M62 at Junction 18 and then join the M60 Ashton Under Lyne.  Leave the M60 at Junction 23 and take the A635 towards Manchester. Branch off onto the A662 (Ashton New Road) towards Droylsden/Manchester. Stay on the A662 for around three miles and you will reach the Stadium on your right. 

Whilst Iain Macintosh informs me; 'I find this an easier route to the ground; Leave the M60 at Junction 24 and take the A57 (Hyde Road) towards Manchester. Turn right onto the A6010 (Pottery Lane). There are quite a number of unofficial car parks on both sides of Pottery Lane, costing around £5 per car. Pottery Lane becomes the Alan Turing Way and goes right past the stadium on your left'.

Car Parking

There is some parking available at the stadium itself which costs £10 per car, £20 per minibus, whilst motorcycles are free. The East Car Park is nearest to the away entrance. Please be aware that there is a residents only parking scheme in place in the streets near to the ground, which extends about a mile out from the stadium. So if you want to street park, it means parking further away and then walking to the stadium. Some unofficial car parks have sprung up mostly charging around £5 per car. Terry Ireland a visiting Chelsea fan adds; 'Plenty of car parking spaces were available when we arrived at the stadium around two hours before kick off. However, getting out after the game was a joke.  It’s a little like a free for all and took us nearly an hour to exit the car park and be on our way. Meanwhile the unofficial car parks, all but 400 yards away, had cleared, been locked-up and were long gone by the time we passed them on our way home. And they cost the same to park!' 

Brian Lawes a visiting AFC Bournemouth fan tells me; 'We managed to park at St Brigid's Church on Grey Mare Lane (off the Ashton New Road behind the South Stand where the away fans are housed) which cost £6. It was very handy for the stadium, but being so close it did take quite a long time to get back out onto the main road after the match had ended.' There is also the option of renting a private driveway near the Etihad Stadium via

Peter Llewellyn informs me; 'The road links are busy even on non-match days so make sure you allow plenty of time. The stadium is part of Sportcity so car users should follow the brown Sportcity signs until near the stadium'. 

Post Code for SAT NAV: M11 3FF

Zeelo logo Zeelo are running direct coach services for home fans travelling to the Etihad. With the long and crowded train or tiring drive, Zeelo offer a hassle free service straight to the stadium. Travel in a comfortable coach, with a guaranteed seat and soak in the atmosphere with other fans. This family friendly service has special rates for seniors and children with prices starting from as little as £9 return. Check the Zeelo website for more details.

Manchester Airport is located South of the City and is around ten miles away from the Etihad Stadium. A taxi from the Airport to the stadium should cost around £35. You can also take a Metrolink tram from the Airport into the City Centre and change at Cornbrook for a tram going towards Aston Under Lyne. However the total journey time is around 90 minutes. If you buy a one day (off peak weakens and after 9.30am on weekdays) Adult travelcard, which gives you unlimited tram journeys for that day, then this will cost £5.

As per an agreement with all Premier League Clubs, away fans will be charged a maximum price of those shown below for all League games:

South Stand (all tiers)
Adults £30
Over 65's £20
Under 22's £20
Under 16's £15

Official Hotel and Premier League Ticket packages from Thomas Cook Sport

Thomas Cook Sport are the Official Travel Partner of Manchester City FC. They offer match ticket and hotel packages for most Manchester City games at the Etihad Stadium. Check out what they have to offer by clicking on the link below: They also offer gift cards too, including other sports such as F1 Racing, Darts and Golf.

Official 2017/18 Manchester City Ticket and Hotel Breaks

Thomas Cook Sport

Please note that tickets purchased through Thomas Cook Sport are for the home/corporate areas of the Etihad Stadium and not the away section.

Official Programme: £3
King Of The Kippax Fanzine: £3

Manchester City FC fixture list (takes you to the BBC Sports Website).

Manchester United.

For details of disabled facilities and club contact at the ground please visit the relevant page on the Level Playing Field website


After playing at Maine Road for 80 years, the Club moved three and a half miles to the then called City Of Manchester Stadium in August 2003. The stadium was originally built for the Commonwealth Games, which were held in 2002 and cost in the region of £90m to construct. It  was designed by Arup Sport, who were also involved with the Allianz Arena in Munich and the Olympic 'Birds Nest' Stadium in Beijing, it was built by Laing Construction. It was officially opened by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on 25th July 2002. The stadium was constructed on the site of the former Bradford Coal Mine, in an area of Manchester known as Eastlands. The stadium had an initial seated capacity of 41,000 (including 3,000 temporary seats). The Etihad Stadium is still owned by Manchester City Council.

After that event it was agreed that Manchester City Football Club would become the new tenants, thus incurring the envy of clubs who would also relish the chance to gain such a wonderful stadium. £42m was spent in refitting costs, £20m of which was funded by the Club. The works included the removal of the running track and extending the stands further downwards, so that the spectator areas are closer to the playing action. This increased the capacity to 48,000. A roof was also added to one end of the stadium. In 2015 an additional third tier was added to the South Stand, as well as three further rows of seating in front of some of the existing stands, taking the capacity to 55,097.

Apart from hosting football matches, the Etihad Stadium has also hosted other sports such as Rugby and Boxing, as well as serving as a concert venue, for such bands as U2 and Oasis.

Etihad Stadium Tour Home Dressing RoomThe club offer daily tours of the Etihad Stadium. The tours cost; Adults £17, Over 65's £12, Under 16's £11. The tour lasts around 70 minutes and visitors are taken around by a knowledgeable tour guide. The tour includes a look behind the scenes, such as the media room, dressing rooms, corporate facilities, warm up training area and Club Museum. Visitors are also taken to pitch side. Tours should be booked in advance by calling: 0161 444 1894 (Option 4) or can be booked online.

Maine Road (1923 - 2003)

Maine Road Manchester City 

Hyde Road (1894 - 1923)

As Ardwick FC
Pink Bank Lane (1887 - 1894)

As St Marks Church Team
Queens Road (1884 -1887)
Kirkmanshulme Cricket Ground (1881 - 1884)
Clowes Street (1880 - 1881) 

Record Attendance

At The Etihad Stadium: 54,693 v Leicester City, Premier League, February 6th 2016.

At Maine Road: 84,569 v Stoke City, FA Cup 6th Round, March 3rd 1934.

Average Attendance
2016-2017: 54,019 (Premier League)
2015-2016: 54,041 (Premier League)
2014-2015: 45,365 (Premier League)

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Manchester City Academy StadiumEtihad Campus

Just across the road from the Etihad Stadium and connected by a large white walkway, is the impressive looking Etihad Campus. This features the Manchester City Academy, including the 7,000 capacity Academy Stadium, which is used by amongst others, the Manchester City Womens Team. The Campus covers a total of 80 acres and includes training facilities, featuring 15 outdoor pitches, as well as indoor gyms and swimming pools. It is truly on a monumental scale and is far ahead of any other Club's facilities in the league.

Athletics Stadium

Behind the Colin Bell Stand and main club entrance is a small athletics stadium. This was originally used as a warm up area, for athletes competing in the Commonwealth Games, which were held in 2002 at the then called City Of Manchester Stadium. Outside the Athletics Stadium is a bronze sculpture of an athlete.

National Football Museum

If arriving in Manchester City Centre before the game and you have a bit of time on your hands, then located near Manchester Victoria station is the National Football Museum. It is free to enter and has something of interest for every true football fan. National Football Museum Location Map.

If anything is incorrect or you have something to add, please e-mail me at: and I'll update the guide.

Special thanks to:

Owen Pavey for providing the ground layout diagram 

Haydn Gleed for providing the YouTube video of the Etihad Stadium

Mark Hulston for providing the photo of the newly expanded South Stand

Manchester City Stadium Tours for the photos of the Main Stand and the Etihad Stadium lit up at night.

Manchester City v Bristol City
League Cup Semi Final 1st Leg
Tuesday 9th January 2018, 7:45pm
Ryan Hunt (Bristol City fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Etihad Stadium?
After an unbelievable run-up to this match (beating four Premier League teams including city's neighbours) it was time for our first cup semi final in years and no bigger challenge than the Premier Champions elect, its fair to say this was a big away day!
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
Well with 7,700 city fans traveling up and at least 25 coaches, then I would say it was a bit of a challenge that's for sure, but we all made it in good time.
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
As we arrived a little later than planned and as there were so many fans trying to cram into three turnstiles I decided to head straight into the ground. The stewards were friendly enough but I can't comment on the home fans as we were kept separate.
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Etihad Stadium?
The Etihad Stadium is an unbelievable spectacle I must admit. It is one of those grounds that looks a lot bigger on the inside than the outside. But the concourse was cramped with barely any room to breathe and only two food outlets available, which let the place down.
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
It's hard to put into words just how fantastic the game was. We took the game to Manchester City and even went in at half time 1-0 up thanks to a Bobby Reid penalty, in the end, it took Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero to break us down with Aguero's goal coming deep into second-half stoppage time. The atmosphere in our end was unbelievable throughout. As for the home fans it was rather muted. Even when Aguero scored they didn't have a lot to offer.
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
As our coach was one of the first to ready up we were first to leave in the police escort which took us to the edge of Manchester by the Airport so no hassle really.
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
An absolutely magical day despite the loss, one that will live long in the memory that's for sure!

Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur
Premier League
Saturday 16th December 2017, 5.30pm
Dan Smith (Doing the 92)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Etihad Stadium?
Manchester City are playing some of the best football ever seen in this country or any other, and I was excited to get the chance to see two of the biggest clubs in the country go head to head. It was also a rare opportunity to go to one of the country's huge grounds for a reasonable price (£32 for an Under 18).
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
Very easy, I got the train from London Euston to Manchester Piccadilly and then there were frequent trains from there to Ashburys, which was about a ten-fifteen minute walk from the Etihad Stadium, which you can see from the station, so it's not too hard to find!
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
I arrived three hours early, so there wasn't much going on at the stadium when I first arrived, which gave me the chance to take a few photos of the exterior of the Etihad. I went to the Club Shop and bought a key ring and a programme, and also couldn't resist buying a light blue Man City Christmas hat as well. I watched a bit of the Man City TV presenters talking about the match and then went into the ground as soon as it opened at 4pm.
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Etihad Stadium?
I was absolutely blown away by it. I've been to Wembley Stadium a couple of times so I have seen huge grounds before, but the Etihad Stadium just looks very, very slick and has the added club-based touches that Wembley doesn't have that really give the ground a bit more character, something that I really wasn't expecting. I was right at the back of the home end lower tier, but still had a perfect view of the whole pitch.
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
I had a pie pre-match which was very nice, not quite as good as the Amex Stadium, but I was still pretty impressed! The view of the pitch, as mentioned, was great and the fans were very friendly. The atmosphere was also far better than I had thought it would be, I couldn't really hear the Spurs fans down the far end, and the City crowd seemed properly up for the game.The game was very, very high quality from the hosts; City completely blew away Spurs, and it was incredible to see first hand what Guardiola has done with the Manchester outfit. They demolished Spurs 4-1 and it could and should have been more, with Jesus missing a penalty and Sterling two absolute sitters. Kevin De Bruyne absolutely ran the show and scored City's second goal. It was also nice to see Phil Foden get his league debut, and he really does look like one for the future.
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
Getting away was fine, lots of people went to Ashburys station but most were on the other platform, going in the opposite direction to the City Centre. The train back to London was packed, with Spurs fans joined by West Ham fans on the way back from their win over Stoke City.
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
Overall it was a very enjoyable day, at a hugely impressive ground. I got to watch probably the best football team I'll ever watch for an affordable price surrounded by very welcoming fans!

Manchester City v Southampton
Premier League
Wednesday 29th November 2017, 8pm
Eric Spreng (Southampton fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Etihad Stadium?
Living in Scotland I do not get to many Southampton games and I had never been to the Etihad Stadium.
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
We stayed in Manchester for a couple of nights and on the evening of the match. We just walked out to the ground from Piccadilly Gardens, which took about half an hour. It was a lovely, if bitterly cold evening, and the Etihad Stadium cut quite a wonderful sight in the distance from about a mile away.
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
We had a bite to eat at Wetherspoons in the city centre before wandering out to the ground (and prior to that spent a couple of hours at the National Football Museum which was very interesting). We arrived at the Etihad about 90 minutes before kick-off and hung around the main entrance for a while. There was a crowd gathering there obviously waiting on the Man City team arriving and there was some entertainment, (music, interviews with fans, etc). I was surprised that the Man City team bus did not arrive until 7pm, only an hour before kick-off. Southampton must have been there from before 6.30pm as we did not see them.
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Etihad Stadium?
As I said the ground was spectacularly lit up from a distance and looked equally impressive from immediately outside. We were in the middle level of the three levels behind the goal at the away end and had a great view of the action. There are three levels down each side of the pitch, but only two levels behind the goal at the 'home' end (I think!).
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
I thought that it was a great game. Knowing how well Manchester City had been playing I went more in hope than expectation. However Southampton lined up in a very disciplined 5-4-1 formation and despite surrendering a fair proportion of the possession arguably had the better chances in the first half, including Hoedt hitting the crossbar with a header from a corner. Manchester City went ahead immediately after the break but Saints kept plugging away and equalised through Romeo with a quarter of an hour left. Southampton looked good for a well earned point until agonisingly Sterling scored a great winner for City in the sixth minute of injury time! I would say that the atmosphere from the home fans was relatively subdued (until the 96th minute!) and the 800 or so Southampton fans certainly held their own in the singing stakes.
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
We were going to walk back into town but just as we left the away end we saw some buses lined up at the side of the road heading back to Piccadilly and we jumped on one of them, paying £2 each for the privilege.
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
I thoroughly enjoyed my maiden trip to the Etihad, despite the cold (it is not normally that cold at a game in Scotland!). Another wonderful modern day stadium and everybody that we came across (City fans, stewards, etc) were pleas ant and welcoming. If only Saints had held on for a point, but that's football!

Manchester City v Wolverhampton Wanderers
League Cup Fourth Round
Tuesday 24th October 2017, 8pm
John Hague (Neutral fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Etihad Stadium?
I've been to Maine Road many times as a neutral and supporting Sheffield Wednesday (as well as various gigs including Prince, David Bowie, The Rolling Stones and Fleetwood Mac). One memorable game in 1985 saw Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur. City in their traditional pale blue and white with Spurs coming out in white shirts and pale blue shorts (their away kit was then all pale blue). The referee kicked off but soon blew and sent Spurs off to change. Having no other kit they reappeared. The ref sent off City who eventually reappeared in red and black stripes, black shorts and pale blue socks. Complete farce. Anyway, I digress, but until now I'd never bothered with the Etihad. A cheap ticket and a chance to see the potential Premier and Championship League Champions made my mind up... I was off.
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
I left Leicester just gone 4pm and made good time until I hit the M56. Nightmare traffic. I stuck to my plan to park at Ashton Moss and take a tram in but there was no chance at Ashton Moss so, very stressed I parked by Curzon Ashton's ground and ran to Ashton West Metrolink tram stop, where, sods law I just missed a tram. I eventually got into the ground 20 minutes after kick off.
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
No time for anything other than getting into the match. I had originally planned to get fish and chips and take some photos.
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Etihad Stadium?
I was very impressed with the Etihad Stadium. I am not generally a big fan of new builds but the Etihad stands out as a bit different.
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
The Wolves fans were particularly vocal and created a good atmosphere. Boy they needed to, their taunts of 'I thought this was a library' rang true. Not a lot of passion from the home fans. Stewards were helpful and the Corned Beef Pie was lovely. The game, well, pretty exciting but neither team could score inside 90 minutes or extra time, so we had penalties. City's class finally showed.
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
I got to the tram stop fine but you might reasonably expect Metrolink to at least strengthen the trams to four cars and put a few extras on... clearly not. Consequently wasn't in bed until 2am.
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
I don't think my stress levels did much for me enjoying the first half. I would, however, do another visit to the Etihad Stadium with hopefully less hassle next time.

Manchester City v Chelsea
Premier League
Saturday 3rd December 2016, 12.30pm
Will Donaghue (Chelsea fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Etihad Stadium?

I hadn't been to the Etihad Stadium since 2009 so I was looking forward to going back! And with Chelsea on a 7 game winning streak, I was quite confident we could get a win!

How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

We took a train to Manchester Piccadilly from our local train station which took about 20 minutes or so. After getting off the train, we walked to the Etihad Stadium which took about 25 minutes to walk to.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?

We picked up a programme and walked straight in to the stadium. The Manchester City fans seemed friendly.

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions o f away end then other sides of the Etihad Stadium?

Seeing the away end outside the stadium, it gave me a great impression as obviously Man City expanded this stand for last season. It looked a lot different from when I last saw it 7 years ago when it was just two tiers. We were located in the lower tier and had a good view of the pitch.

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

Well what can I say? Chelsea won the game 3-1 thanks to goals from Diego Costa, Willian and Eden Hazard! The atmosphere in the away end was mental! It felt like one big party once Chelsea got going in the second half. The Man City fans were quiet for most of the game apart from when they got their goal. The stewards were quite laid back as they al lowed us to stand through the whole game which was great.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Getting away after the game was quite simple. A 25 minute walk back to Manchester Piccadilly and back on the train.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

The Etihad Stadium is a great ground for an away game. I would like to go back there next season. Overall the day out was fantastic! A Chelsea win, three points and we're top of the league! What more could you want!? Off to the King Power Stadium next month! Come on Chelsea!

Manchester City v AFC Bournemouth
Premier League
Saturday 17th September 2016, 3pm
Paul Sheppard (AFC Bournemouth fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Etihad Stadium?

As an exiled Cherry living seven miles outside Manchester, then the Etihad Stadium is my second closest ground after Old Trafford.  so I was looking forward to a short trip to and f rom the ground as I wasn't expecting a win or even draw!

How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

Travelling by car from Swinton it was an easy journey. I was advised to park off Old Mill Street, which is about a 10-15 minute walk from the Etihad Stadium. There was plenty of parking on and around Weybridge Road and the surrounding streets just over an hour before kick off.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?

My friend who I normally go with couldn't make the match, so I went straight into the ground. I had a chat with a few home fans outside the ground as I sat down to have a quick drink and they were friendly and knowledgeable, so much so they knew the entire Bournemouth line up for the match! Last season we had a drink in the Port Street Beer House in the 'Northern Quarter' and will probably so so if we play at the Etihad again next season.

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Etihad Stadium?

I had been to our match last season and as a neutral previously so knew what to expect but the ground is impressive inside and out. I have to say though the view from the second tier is better than from the third (where we were last season).

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

Let's just say City were very good and we weren't. Sterling and De Bruyne especially were sensational and the football City played was brilliant in parts. Wilshere made his full debut but was off the pace and disappointing but I think many sides will suffer heavy defeats at the Etihad this season. The atmosphere was okay and even though I was close to home fans did not feel intimidated. Didn't have anything to eat or drink but I was shown to my seat by one very helpful young female steward who even got one old fella his programme from the seller, but her equally young colleague was as miserable as sin and neither helpful nor friendly. Decent, spacious toilets as is the norm for modern stadia.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Pretty straight forward as I had parked facing away from the ground a good ten minutes away. I was driving round the outskirts of the city centre towards Salford and although the traffic was fairly heavy I was home about an hour after the match, although it helps when you know the area.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

I had been looking forward to our opening league away match at West Ham's new ground a few weeks earlier but even though we got hammered by City this was a better day out, helped by lovely summer weather and a lack of the tension that was palpable in and outside the Olympic Stadium. I wasn't expecting anything other than a defeat and it was interesting to see Guardiola's team in the flesh. I was just relieved Aguero was suspended or it might have been more than four. Great ground with great views of the action and the fans I encountered were sound.

Manchester City v West Bromwich Albion
Premiership League
Saturday 9th April 2016, 5.30pm
Steve Roper (West Bromwich Albion fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Etihad Stadium?

This was my first visit to the Etihad Stadium. I have been a committed groundhopper for ten years and most of my time had been taken up going to lower league grounds. I had been to Maine Road six times in the 70's and 80's so was looking forward to seeing the new stadium.

How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

I had taken the train from Wolverhampton and could see the stadium as the train approached Piccadilly station. It wasn't as far from the city centre as Maine Road was.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?

Before the match I went to the Crown and Kettle pub in Ancoats Street. It was one I used to frequent on my away days to Manchester many years ago. Clientele is mainly mature, this included home fans, but it was a relaxed atmosphere. The bus which runs from the city centre to the Etihad, the 216, passes the pub. The bus stop is fifty yards along Ancoats Street.

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Etihad Stadium?

I had a good walk around the ground taking photos. It really is a top notch stadium. Home and away fans mixed freely at the fan zone and I found it a lot less intimidating than Maine Road. Away fans are sandwiched in the enclosure between the home fans sections. There was a lot of banter between the two sets, but at the same time fans were chatting to each other over the fences. Unfortunately if you sit on the front rows of seats you are open to the elements, and on this day it never stopped raining.

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

The atmosphere was good and I thought it was fantastic stadium. The stewards were friendly enough, and they came round handing out free ponchos to help us stay dry. There was a good choice of food, hot drinks and alcohol. Pies were £4 each, though there was a vegetarian option for me. Hot drinks were an average price at £2.

Albion played well. City scored from a dubious penalty, and the referee failed to award one to us which left the pundits on Match of the Day gobsmacked. City won the game 2-1.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Fans are kept apart exiting the ground but then come together once out of the car park. It takes about half an hour to get back to the city centre but its possible to get one of the special buses which stop opposite the stadium near the chip shop. The fare is £1.90 but I would have walked if I had known how bad the traffic congestion was going to be.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

I really enjoyed the day out. Just like the old days, going away by train. The ground was great, but being a traditionalist I'd have Maine Road every time. Bit of advice to fans visiting the Etihad though, if you are seated on the front half dozen rows, if it rains, you will get wet!


Manchester City v Liverpool
Premier League
Saturday 28th November 2015, 5.30pm
Rob Lawler (Liverpool fan)

Why were you looking forward to visiting the Etihad Stadium?    

I had been to the Etihad Stadium for a look around when I visited Manchester in August. I asked my friend if he could get me a ticket for our game in November. It was a ground I wanted to visit as it seems a lot less hostile than Old Trafford, plus the new stand had been opened at the start of the season making the stadium even more impressive.

How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?    

I travelled on the 'Spirit of Shankly' coach which leaves from the Rocket pub at the start of the M62 in Liverpool. The journey was straightforward enough but the traffic was bad coming into Manchester as there were a lot of roadworks in the city centre. The good thing about the stadium is that there is a large car park behind the away end and you can literally walk off your coach and straight up to the turnstiles.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?    

I had a few drinks in the Rocket before getting on the coach. As we were going straight to the Etihad Stadium there was no opportunity to get off to go to any nearby pubs.

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Etihad Stadium?    

The Etihad Stadium looks very impressive, especially at night when it is lit up. Even the nearby training ground opposite the away end looks larger than some Championship clubs stadiums. The inside is very impressive too and the new additional tier to the South Stand which we were sitting in was very steep. I was right on the top row but still had a good view of the pitch.

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..    

The game was fantastic as Liverpool were 3-0 up inside twenty minutes and won 4-1. It is probably the best I've seen us play for a number of years. As you can imagine the home fans were very quiet and the away fans were loud and boisterous. The stewards were fine, it was shortly after the Paris terror attacks so the stewards were searching everyone but did it with the minimum of fuss and were friendly towards the away fans.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Most of the home fans left after Liverpool scored their fourth goal but it was still very difficult leaving Manchester due to the roadworks and the Police condoning off some roads. It took two hours to get back to the Rocket pub, normally this takes less than an hour.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

A brilliant day out and an impressive performance by Liverpool. The stadium is great albeit a little quiet but probably expected when you lose 4-1 at home. Only downside is the price of the ticket. I thought £58 is extortionate, maybe not as expensive as Arsenal but still a rip off to watch a game of footy. At least there wasn't much travel costs too.

Manchester City v AFC Bournemouth
Premier League
Saturday 17th October 2015, 3pm
Brian Lawes (AFC Bournemouth fan)

Why were you looking forward to visiting the Etihad Stadium?    

As an AFC Bournemouth supporter it is still amazing that we are playing the likes of Manchester City in the Premier League and in these types of stadium. So I was looking forward to the experience more than the result - though of course always hopeful.

How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?    

It seems impossible, these days, to travel long distances on motorways without getting held up, so we left Blandford at 7.40am, duly got held up on the M42 and had to leave the M6 early to avoid another jam. However we got into the Etihad Stadium just before 2pm having found an unofficial car park opposite the away fan entrance. It was a church car park charging £6.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?    

Went straight into the ground and had the obligatory pie and a pint - though the queues moved very slowly. They did seem a tad under staffed, but those staff coped admirably and with good humour. The home fans outside the ground were absolutely fine, even with our colours showing.

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Etihad Stadium?    

The Etihad Stadium is simply huge and very impressive, it is what makes being in the Premiership such a great experience. However the spacing between the home and away fans was minimal, maybe 10 feet, with a metal Bannister and a few stewards as a barrier. It almost seems designed to encourage antagonism and sure enough 2 or 3 fans, from both sides, were escorted away after continually baiting each other, which inevitably got over heated. A strange set up and a little bit intimidating.

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..    

I really enjoyed the game, if not the result. Our fans were understandably a little subdued after conceding twice in the first 15 minutes, but rallied later, with the usual tooing and froing between the rival fans. The City fans were in good voice and produced good noise throughout. All the staff were friendly and seemed to be enjoying their work - always a plus. Food and drink was all good, if you were happy to wait for it.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Took an hour to get back to the M56, but from them on it was fine, returning to Blandford around 10.40pm - just in time for Match of the Day.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

It was a long day but worth the time just to say we had seen the Cherries play at the Etihad. Although we lost 5-1 we played some good football for sustained periods. As Eddie Howe said, these types of games are a learning experience for Bournemouth. Let's hope they are quick learners!

Manchester City v Southampton
Premier league
Sunday 24th May 2015, 3pm
Alex Squires (Southampton fan)

Why you were looking forward to going to the Etihad Stadium?

It was to be a new ground for me to see the Saints play at. Plus it was the last game of the season, so I wasn't going to miss it.

How easy was your journey/finding the Etihad Stadium/car parking?    

As we are exiled Saints fans living up north, we travelled through Bradford to reach the M62. We were in Manchester for 12:45. We parked in the official car park at a cost of £10.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?    

We went towards the club shop where there was a stage with live entertainment including a former live X factor contestant. I'm not a big fan of the show but I was very impressed with city for their work. It puts all the other clubs in the league to shame. We bought a decent burger from a van outside the ground. I didn't experience troubles with city fans.

What you thought on seeing the Etihad, first impressions of away end then other sides of the stadium?

The Etihad Stadium is certainly very impressive. There was building work going on in the away end and it looked a little precarious, not to mention the temporary removal of the roof. Thankfully it didn't rain! The rest of the ground is eye catching particular the side stands with their semi circular design.

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..    

The game itself was very disappointing from a Southampton point of view. We put in a strong performance but we didn't deserve to lose 2-0. It was Frank Lampard's last game in England and he scored. He got some applause from the Saints fans when he was substituted. We tried hard but some poor refereeing decisions and our lack of power up front meant Aguero killed the game off with nine minutes to go. Stewarding was over zealous with a police dog even performing a drugs check on us. Didn't have a pie as we'd already eaten but heard complaints that they were overpriced. Toilets were fine.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Surprisingly we were out of the car park very quickly. Within no time we were on our way home grateful we weren't going to face a 5 hour journey like mode saints fans.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

A fantastic day out despite the result. A world class stadium. The end of another fantastic season for Saints.

Manchester City v West Ham United
Premier League
Sunday 19th April 2015, 1.30pm
Les Middleton (West Ham United fan)

Why you were looking forward to going to the Etihad Stadium:    
This was to be my first visit to the Ethiad Stadium, so was very much looking forward to it.

How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
We drove up. The Etihad was very easy to find and also had plenty of parking close. This cost £8 which was not too bad.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
We parked up and asked the attendant for the nearest pub. He sent us to Mary Ds, which turned out to be home fans only, which I later found out! Lucky I had my wife, son and daughter with me. But to be fair no trouble or abuse from the City fans. We met a great bunch of city fans inside, who knew we were West Ham supporters, but still made us very welcome, with a bit of banter. One City fan wanted my crossed hammers badge, so I swapped it with him for a City one. Look after it Phil Walsh!!

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Etihad?
It looks very nice from the outside, although we could not get beer from the outside bars, as they were for home fans only. This was a shame, as it was a good atmosphere, with live bands etc...

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
Well West Ham were poor, we lost 2-0. The atmosphere was a bit flat, but that was probably because we had nothing to play for and City knew the title was gone. Stewards were fine, a bit of abuse from the home fans next to the away section, but nothing too bad. The beer on tap was good and the food was okay, the usual really

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
Leaving the ground was easy with no trouble. Lots of West Ham with claret and blue on walking along with City fans. It only took 5 minutes to walk back to the car. Once underway we found that the traffic was not too bad, unlike at West Ham which can be awful.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
Overall a great day apart from the result and West Ham performance. I would definitely go to the Etihad Stadium again.

Manchester City v Hull City
Premier League
2nd February 2015, 3pm
Jonny Walker (Hull City fan)

Why you were looking forward to visiting the Etihad Stadium?

I love Manchester and Manchester City is in my opinion, one of the best away days in the league (I have been there every time we've player them).

How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

The in-laws live in Blackburn so got a train direct to Piccadilly, then a taxi to the ground.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?

I visited Wetherspoons near Piccadilly station for breakfast and a few beers (plenty of Man City & Salford Reds fans in the pub, friendly banter throughout) Then headed to The Waldorf to watch a bit of the Spurs v Arsenal game on tv. Then jumped in a cab up to the stadium.

What you thought on seeing the Etihad, first impressions of away end then other sides of the stadium?

Always impressed with what Man City have done with the new stadium, including the football village outside.

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

Stewards were a bit petty outside the ground but once inside they were fine. Stood up throughout and the atmosphere from the Hull City faithful was awesome. Nearly nicked all three points too. Typical that an ex-Leeds player should get the equaliser in injury time!

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Walked back to the train station stopping at a few pubs on the way. Busy but no hassle. Adopted a few Man City fans who came for a few beers with us round Piccadilly. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out A near perfect away day!

Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur
Premier League
Sunday, November 24th 2013, 1.30pm
By Jonny Laybourn (Tottenham Hotspur fan)

After a fantastic visit to Manchester last season, featuring a long-awaited victory at Old Trafford, I thought it would be apt to visit the other club in Manchester with Spurs. As Manchester is such a fine city with a rich cultural heritage as well a plethora of excellent pubs, I wasn’t going to turn down the opportunity to visit a second time.

As the kick-off was fairly early on a Sunday and I wanted a bit of breathing space between my arrival in Manchester and kick-off, I caught the 8:10 train from Euston. The trip was fairly smooth, as you’d expect. After arriving at Piccadilly station two and a half hours later, I proceeded to pick a sandwich up as a snack, and then walked to the Grey Horse on Portland Street for a couple of pre-match pints. I was one of the first customers to arrive after the pub opened at 11am, which soon filled up with City fans, as well as a few Spurs fans. The barwoman handed out some warm homemade sausage rolls for free, which I gladly accepted as I was still a bit hungry. Note to City fans – how I wish you could, but don’t expect the same from London pubs when you come down here! The home fans at the pub were friendly too. The pub seemed like an oasis of ‘local’ in the heart of Manchester.

I then decided to take the long walk to the ground, back past Piccadilly station. It took around half an hour, and became easier once groups of City fans began to appear on the roads leading to the stadium. The ground came into view after passing the station, and it was very impressive. Some have derided the steel masts as ugly, but I think they offer a unique charm to what might have otherwise been a bland bowl. I took a lap walk of the ground and was pleased to see a makeshift stage and a band playing. I was a bit annoyed at the obligatory searching at the turnstiles, which alas happens more often than not these days. I was towards the back of the lower tier and had a good view of the pitch. The leg room was fine and the stewards allowed us to stand throughout. The Bovril was standard matchday fare; pleasing on such a cold day. 

Nothing to say about the match. We conceded after fourteen seconds and ended up losing six nil. Our fans were fine: sometimes when the going is so tough you might as well just accept your fate and enjoy the rest of the day out. I was rather annoyed that a fellow ‘fan’ had taken to stealing my programme as I was clapping the team off – maybe I deserved it after being so steadfast after such an awful display!

I again walked back into the city centre, back to the pub. I got chatting to a few City fans who offered me their condolences, before heading back to London on the train.  It was a pity I didn’t see much of Manchester as I did on my last visit, but the day was somewhat soured by the match and the programme incident. Hopefully our team will wake up and smell the coffee after this stern lesson. I’ll definitely be back to the Etihad in due course and will hope for a better display from my team.

Manchester City v Newcastle United
Premier League
Monday, August 19th 2013, 8pm
Michael Potter (Newcastle United fan)

I was really looking forward to visiting Manchester City - partly to see what looked like a magnificent ground and savour the atmosphere but also to see the moneybags Citizens playing on their home turf.

I was a bit anxious beforehand because I had read about problems such as extreme hostility from home fans and even coins being thrown but all these worries were misplaced - Man City fans were mainly friendly and even helpful, before and after the game, but then again we did get thrashed 4-0, they probably felt sorry for us! :-) However it's worth saying several Man City fans struck up conversations with me and other Newcastle fans and I did think there was a lot of goodwill towards us which was great and certainly needs to be reciprocated when Man City play at St James' Park.

I parked at the ground which cost £10, you pay the stewards as you drive in. It's a good set-up although you face a very long wait to get out after the game. I then got the tram into the city (All day ticket costs £4.90) because I arrived early in the day so I could go into town for something to eat etc.. That was easy for me to do because it was a night game but for normal 3pm kick offs you need to be aware there is very little in terms of places to get food or have a drink near the ground. However there are catering facilities provided by the club outside the stadium and these include bars.

Overall I was very impressed by the stadium, with wide, safe concourses and architectural features that make it a stunning place to watch a football game. The club deserve a lot of praise for their efforts to entertain fans before the game - there are two stages with live music outside the ground and a live Man City TV hype up with interviews of players etc. Many clubs including my own have a lot to learn here.

Security was strict but friendly getting into the ground and I found all the Man City staff approachable and helpful. The catering is okay but the range of beers is a bit grim, Fosters, Amstel, John Smiths and Heineken. I would have loved to see some real ale or even just Guinness.

I enjoyed reading the programme (£3) which was one of the best I've seen although I also recommend the excellent fanzine which is on sale outside the ground, it's called King of the Kippax (£3)

The atmosphere during the game was electric at the start as both sets of fans unleashed their excitement and enthusiasm pent up from a whole summer without football. There were some aggressive exchanges between some idiot Newcastle fans and some equally daft Man City fans but overall the two sets of fans showed each other a lot of respect, with Newcastle fans taking full part in the one minute applause to mark the recent death of Man City great Bert Trautmann.

Coming out of the ground was a bit full-on because the police were not letting anyone from the away end walk any direction but one - too bad if your car was parked in the other direction like mine, I just had to wait. Once I got to the car and out of the traffic clogged streets near the ground the drive out of the city and back to Geordieland was easy and straightforward.

Overall despite seeing the Mags play very badly and get a spanking from a far superior team on the night I did really enjoy the experience. I can't help reflect that not too long ago Man City were a passionately supported great underachiever just like Newcastle still are - hopefully next time I come back to Eastlands we will have undergone some kind of Man City-like transformation and it won't be a case of men and boys on the pitch like it was this time!

Manchester City v Reading
Premier League
Saturday, December 22nd 2012, 3pm
By Phil Rutter (Reading fan)

Despite being rock bottom in the league and half expecting a cricket score in favour of the home side, this was a fixture that I had been looking forward to for some time.  I had seen the impressive stadium from the train on several occasions, while travelling to other grounds, but I had never actually been there.  I even avoided the work’s Christmas drink, the night before, so that I didn’t feel awful for the trip.

I went by train, arriving at Manchester Piccadilly at around 11am.  The weather was grim, in fact it never stopped raining all day. The city was full of soaked Christmas shoppers. I’m sure that there are numerous pubs in the centre, but to the stranger, they weren’t really obvious. I headed through the shopping centre and found the Printworks. Here there were several bars and restaurants and I had a drink and some lunch in a Lloyds Bar/Wetherspoons pub.

Getting to the ground was easy. I walked back towards the station and turned down Dulcie Street. From here, the ground was signposted as Sportcity all the way there. Unless you have a real aversion to walking, I would recommend getting there by foot. After the final whistle, I stayed back to applaud the Reading players and still made the half-five train. I passed two pubs on the way; one shut, the other up for sale with a ‘Home Fans Only’ sign at the door.  

Don’t expect to find much to do enroute to the Etihad. The stadium is in a residential area, consisting mostly of post-war housing. There is an athletics stadium, with covered seating, adjacent to the much larger football ground. Outside the ground are several outdoor bars selling both alcohol and food. I decided to go into the ground early and have a few beers on the concourse while watching the Wigan v Arsenal game on TV. Unfortunately, the match was not being shown.  The screens had only something called CityTV, where you could watch Tevez and Balotelli struggling to wrap up Christmas presents. Before getting through the turnstiles, away fans were given a full head to toe body search. Reading fans are hardly a notorious bunch and this seemed rather over the top.

The food was the usually overpriced stuff; for example £3.50 for a pie.  John Smiths was on offer at £3.40 a pint.  The loos were fine and coped even at half time, though admittedly we didn’t fill our allocated area.

I paid £40 for a ticket in the lower tier behind the goal. The stand was not steep enough for a really good view and if people stood, it could be difficult for kids and shorter fans to see properly. I reckon the upper tier would a better option if available to the visiting supporter. If you are in a seat in the first five rows or so and it is raining, you’ll probably get wet. I was on the end of a row, close to the City fans, to my left. Rows of three empty seats and a human fence of stewards, one on every step, separated us.  here were even more stewards stood next to the home fans and police on standby to the rear. It seemed a bit like a throwback to the hooligan days of the eighties.  

At kick-off, the Reading fans sat down to watch the game. This really riled the City fans, who presumably hoped we would remain standing, to be more easily baited. The stewards sat when we sat and stood, when we occasionally got excited and stood up. At times they displayed some strange manoeuvres and on 75 minutes, they all suddenly left their seats in unison, with military precision.  I was surprised by the venom hurled at us by some of the home fans.  It was neither a tense nor aggressive fixture and there is little rivalry between the two clubs. I got the impression that the stewards would not hesitate to throw out a visiting fan who responded and I avoided even glancing across to the baiting home fans. It should be said that they were in a small minority and most of them were fine.  hey struggled to get many songs going and the atmosphere was honestly, worse than Wigan. Rarely did any songs ripple around that ground as I had expected to happen.

The game was hardly a classic, which perhaps accounted for some of the lack of atmosphere. City were the best team, but Reading, with players behind the ball, nearly held out for a point.  An injury time header from Gareth Barry really ruined my day. The home fans that had not already left, finally had something to cheer. The wet weather and the score didn’t help matters, but the whole experience was a bit of a let down. It was a visit to supposedly one of Europe’s top clubs, but it just didn’t feel that way.

Manchester City v Southampton
Premier League
Sunday, August 19th 2012, 4pm
By James Dowling (Southampton fan)

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):

I was really looking forward to visiting as it was our first game since The Saints got relegated back in 2005. It was one of the grounds I wanted to go to as I have had great review from friends that have been before and said the atmosphere is amazing. 

2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

I travelled up by coach. We left St Mary's Stadium at 7.30am and arrived just after 1pm. It was a very quick journey and also there was not a lot of traffic on the motorway so it was much quicker than everyone thought we would. When we got into Manchester it was easy as the signage was perfect and as we were there early so we didn't have any problems.

3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?

I went into the City store and bought a souvenir keyring to add to my collection of away grounds that I have visited. I also got a programme which I have to say is a brilliant matchday programme. Probably one of the best I have read and it was in a sealed bag which helped as it was raining heavily. It cost £3. It is real value for money as I have never seen a 100 page programme on sale at that price and with not many advert pages in it so was a great programme to read.  I went behind the Main stand where I fans from both Southampton and Manchester City fans were mingling. The home fans were really friendly; they were congratulating us on promotion and we were congratulating them on winning the Premier League.

4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground?

When I saw the ground it was now a reality that we were back in the top flight of English Football and the excitement was beginning to build. But I was also feeling concerned that we would be battered 5 or 6-0 before the game. First impressions of the away end were fantastic. I was in the upper tier and I was guaranteed a good view of the game. I have a fear of heights and it wasn't as high as I'd expected. I was glad I wasn't in the top tier of the East or West Stand as I would of been suffering vertigo being very high up and looking down. It was a lot bigger inside then it looked outside the ground thats the other thing that made me think I'm glad to be there. The stadium on the whole is very impressive and I would recommend fans to visit.

5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

It was a game that I went home not disappointed despite losing 3-2 to the reigning champions. Our performance was exceptional and more than held our own against the likes of David Silva, Sergio Aguero, Carlos Tevez, Edin Dzeko and Vincent Kompany. Southampton to be honest got battered in the first half and  the game should  of been well gone before half time but we defended really well. Second half was the most entertaining half football I have experienced it was end to end and when we equalised it was party time because no one expected us to score and then take the lead was amazing and something I will never forget. 

But City woke up after conceding the 2 goals and scored twice in the last 20 minutes to win and was not disappointed. The performance from the lads was top class and I think it showed our clubs that you can cause City big problems at the back if you keep the ball. Stewards were very good with us, they were fair to the fans that couldn't see anything because of fans standing, they kindly asked people to sit down so everyone can enjoy the game. They were very helpful helping us to find our seats and always approachable if you had a question. The atmosphere was amazing both set of supporters were singing there hearts out and that is what I was expecting when we arrived so it was no real surprise that it was very buzzing atmosphere, Facilities were very good for an away end , nice bar and catering concourse. Chips were really nice even if expensive and they had hot dogs, burgers etc .

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Getting out of the ground was easy as we all got back on the coaches and started the trip back home. The police stopped traffic so we could get out of the area and that doesn't happen at many grounds so was easy to get away from the Etihad. 

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

It was an amazing day, it was worth the £51 I paid for my ticket and I would come back to the Etihad anytime as fans and staff at Manchester City Football Club were very approachable and very friendly. It was a day where I left with a big smile even if we lost because we played very well against a very good Manchester City team that I think will retain there title come May.

Why not write your own review of the Etihad Stadium and have it included in the Guide? Find out more about submitting a Fans Football Ground Review.

*Originally built for the 2002 Commonwealth Games, Manchester City took up residence a year later.

Updated 10th February 2018

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