Since joining the League in 1892 the Blues have played at three major venues. Each of these has accommodated crowds in excess of forty thousand; each has staged representative matches; two have staged semi-finals; two have staged major pop concerts; one holds a variety of national records; and City are proud that all three homes have been within the boundaries of the city of Manchester.
hyde road (1887 – 1923)
During its first three decades this ground developed at a similar rate to the Club, and it became recognised as a major venue. It staged inter-league games between England and Ireland and significant domestic games such as the 1905 FA Cup semi-final. In March 1920 it became the first provincial ground to be visited by a reigning monarch when King George V attended City’s victory over Liverpool.
By the end of World War One, despite significant ground improvements in 1910 which meant that all four sides had cover (no other Manchester football venue could match this until the 1970s) the venue’s 40,000 capacity was too small and the close proximity of railway lines, factories, and housing, prevented expansion. The Club searched for a new site frequently but their search was hastened when in 1920 fire destroyed the Main Stand. The rest of the stadium survived, but a move became absolutely vital if the Blues were to capitalise on their popularity.
hyde road progressive capacity
maine road (1923 – 2003)
Regarded by many as the spiritual home of City, Maine Road opened in 1923 as the leading League ground in the Country. During its first season it demonstrated its worth as a crowd of 76,166 witnessed a FA Cup tie with Cardiff – at the time this was the largest football crowd ever to gather in Manchester – and a decade later further attendance records were set.
Originally only one side was roofed – the 10,000 seater Main Stand – but in 1931 the first stage of the Club’s development plan saw additional seating and a roof built in the Platt Lane/Main Stand corner. Four years later the second phase of the plan saw the roof extended over the rest of the Platt Lane Stand, however the outbreak of war in 1939 meant phase three (the roofing of the Scoreboard End) was put on hold.
In 1957 the Popular Side was extended slightly, roofed, and renamed the Kippax Street Stand. In the sixties and seventies this became the home of City’s more vocal fans. Unlike most other grounds, this area of passionate support occupied a full side rather than an end.
Seating of the Platt Lane Stand (1963); re-roofing of the Main Stand (1967); and other general improvements occurred prior to the major development in 1971 of the North Stand.
In 1982 the Main Stand roof was replaced again, this time with a distinctive cream coloured barrel affair, and then 11 years later the old Platt Lane Stand was replaced with a smaller construction which included two rows of executive boxes.
In 1994 an emotional day saw the end of terracing at Maine Road with the redevelopment of the Kippax Stand. A year later a 3 tier 10,000 seater replacement was officially opened by Bert Trautmann.
A mere 8 years after the official opening of the new Kippax, Maine Road staged its last game. During 2003-04 the stadium was demolished and is now in the process of being developed for housing.
It’s worth noting that throughout the Stadium’s history the venue hosted international matches (including the first World Cup qualifying match held in England); FA Cup Semi-finals; a League Cup Final; concerts by the likes of Queen, Rolling Stones, and Oasis; religious festivals; Rugby finals; and even an international tennis tournament.
maine road progressive capacity
city of manchester stadium (2003 - )
The stadium was created for the Commonwealth Games held in 2002. Immediately after the Games the stadium was radically redeveloped with the pitch level lowered by approximately 10 metres; a lower tier of seats constructed; and the entire North Stand was constructed.
The Stadium staged its first City game in August 2003 and its first full season saw the Blues achieve their highest average attendance of all time.
Already the stadium has staged international football; a UEFA Women’s Championship game; a Rugby League international; and concerts by the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, U2, & Oasis. It has also won various architectural awards.
city of manchester stadium progressive capacity
earlier venuesClowes Street/Thomas Street (1880-81); Kirkmanshulme Cricket Club (1881-82); Queen’s Road (1882-84); Pink Bank Lane (1884-85); & Bull’s Head Hotel (1885-87)
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