By Andy Sambidge
Club owned by Sheikh Mansour announces second phase of development to take capacity to over 55,000
Abu Dhabi-owned Manchester City Football Club on Thursday announced phase two of the Etihad Stadium expansion, which will take total capacity to more than 55,000.
The phase will see see a further three rows of seats built pitchside and along with a plan to add 6,000 seats to the South Stand, both projects are due to be completed in time for the start of the 2015/16 Barclays Premier League season.
Demand has soared from fans hoping to secure a seat following the news of the South Stand expansion, and the waiting list for new seasoncards now stands at 7,500, said the club, which was bought by Abu Dhabi's Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahayan in 2008.
Planning permission has also been granted for a third phase which could see a further 6,000 seats and a total capacity of 61,000, making the Etihad the second largest stadium in the Premier League, it added in a statement
Tom Glick, chief commercial officer, said: "We have always been committed to bringing fans closer to Manchester City, to the players and to the pitch.
"Whether that's through digital innovation, community work, international tours, or as in this case, physically allowing fans to be right next to the action, it is our top priority.
"We are already looking forward to seeing the expanded stadium in action for the 15/16 season."
Approximately 160 people will be employed through the project at its peak and up to 110 match day jobs will be created in these first phases.
The work begins with immediate effect and will continue throughout the 2014/15 season.For all the latest construction news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.