The newly-expanded Etihad Stadium was officially revealed at City’s first home game against Chelsea in August 2015, with the Club recording its highest ever football attendance at the stadium to that point. The opening of the new South Stand third tier was marked with a 3-0 victory against the title holders, with 7,500 additional spectators accommodated in the new stand and three additional rows of pitchside seats.
The increased capacity at the Etihad Stadium proved an immediate success. A record 40,500 Seasoncards were sold for the 2015-16 season. Attendance records were repeatedly broken, reaching a new high of 54,693 for the Premier League match against Leicester City, with home attendance averaging 54,041 across the season. Remarkably, City maintained the same occupancy rate of 99% as last season in the expanded stadium, with over 120,000 visitors coming from more than 80 different countries.
Fan groups played a pivotal part in making the expansion a success, working with the Club to relocate groups of fans, create a dedicated singing section, and develop new initiatives and activities together.
The Club’s commitment to affordable pricing has been unwavering. City offered the second-cheapest adult season ticket in the Premier League. Several new initiatives were introduced to improve customer experience, including an in-house ticket trader system and print-at-home tickets.
According to the Premier League’s annual match attender survey, 99% of respondents felt positively towards the Club, an increase of 6 percentage points from the previous year, and higher than the Premier League average of 82%.
City fans also ranked the Club in first place for the welcome they received at the stadium, food and drink quality, facilities for children, toilets, cleanliness, wi-fi connectivity and mobile phone signal. Ratings for ticket office staff have been at the highest in five years. 98% of match attenders agreed that City performs well in its investment in facilities.
Manchester City Women broke the historical league record for match attendance with a high of 3,180 against Notts County at the Academy Stadium, while a record season average of 1,500 marked a 55% growth on the 2014 season. The strength of support for the team was not only visible at home, but also away as opponents across the league reported higher attendance figures when playing Manchester City Women.