‘Challenge to win the Champions League at home?’ Manchester City to expand their home stadium
[Goal.com] Reporter Dong-ho Kim = Can we lift the first ever Champions League trophy from home?
Manchester City use the Etihad Stadium as their home ground. It can accommodate 55,000 people. Construction began in 1999 and was completed in 2002. Initially, it was a general stadium with an athletics track, but the track was removed and a spectator seat was added later to reach the present form.
Since Mansour took over the club in 2008, City have been on the rise. Various state-of-the-art facilities have entered the stadium and have transformed into a strong team that competes for the Premier League championship every season. Since the acquisition of Mansour, Manchester City have won 6 league titles, 2 FA Cups and 6 League Cups.
But there is only one trophy that hasn’t been won. That’s the Champions League. They reached the Champions League final in the 2020-21 season, but suffered a final defeat by losing to Chelsea. In addition, there were many cases where they stayed in the semifinals due to mistakes at the crucial moment. Winning the Champions League is Manchester City’s last dream.
Manchester City are painting the big picture. Etihad Stadium, which currently seats 55,000, is ranked 4th in UEFA category. Four-star stadiums can only host Europa League finals. To play the Champions League final, certain criteria must be met, and the first criterion is the capacity of more than 60,000 seats. They plan to expand the capacity to 60,000 seats by adding 5,000 seats.
The Daily Mail reported that “Man City want to qualify for the Champions League final in the future. A plan to add 5,000 seats by combining the floor behind the goal post is being considered.”
In addition, the stadium is in the process of adding commercial facilities such as corporate offices and hotels. City’s plan is that this will maximize profitability on off days. The extension work is expected to be completed in December 2023.
When the Champions League final is played at home, the desire to win is greater than ever. Bayern Munich, for example, played the 2011-12 season Champions League final at the Allianz Arena. Of course, they lost to Chelsea on penalty shootouts and stayed runners-up, but the outcome could be different for Manchester City. Currently, the host city has been selected until the Champions League final of the 2024-25 season.