By Gavin Gibbon
Contractor Laing O'Rourke to begin ground engineering works immediately
Abu Dhabi-owned Manchester City Football Club has appointed British contractor Laing O’Rourke to expand the Etihad Stadium.
The company, which originally constructed the stadium for the 2002 Commonwealth Games, will increase its capacity from 48,000 to 54,000 and expand the range of facilities for fans, corporate hospitality and visitors.
A second and later phase of construction, the development of the North Stand, will eventually take the stadium to a capacity of 60,000.
An integrated Laing O’Rourke Group team will deliver the expansion, beginning ground engineering works with immediate effect.
The complex engineering works must be seamlessly delivered around events including the stadium’s first Rugby World Cup match in 2015.
Tom Glick, chief commercial officer for Manchester City, said: “The expansion of the stadium is a hugely significant moment for City. We are delighted to announce Laing O’Rourke as a partner as we embark on this historic project.
“The waiting list for the expanded Etihad is already close to capacity and we look forward to seeing a sell-out 54,000 seat stadium as we open the 2015 season.
“Manchester City strives to provide its supporters and visiting fans with one of the best possible matchday experiences in the Premier League and European football. The success of this is demonstrated by games being sold out and ever rising demand from supporters for the waiting list, season tickets, matchday tickets and premium seating.
“Expanding the Etihad allows us to grow that offering as we constantly work towards excellence for every supporter that visits us in Manchester.”
Steve Coleby, leader for Laing O’Rourke’s Construction UK business, added: “Our team is known for delivering logistically complex engineering work, combining expertise from across the Laing O’Rourke Group and our specialist businesses.
“This, along with our use of the latest Digital Engineering technologies, will help us to deliver efficiently with minimal disruption during match days, concerts and other events hosted throughout the year.”
The English Premier League club, which was acquired by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al Nahayan's Abu Dhabi United Group in 2008, posted a loss of £51.6m ($85.4m) in its latest financial year.