Construction of the Etihad expansion was completed as scheduled in August 2016 after an intensive 18-month build that took place around 34 home games, three One Direction concerts and the Rugby League Magic Weekend, and was carefully designed to minimise disruption for fans over this period.
A test event, required for the stadium to obtain its safety certificate, was held for 7,000 fans. This successful event had the dual benefit of raising more than £15,000 for City in the Community’s disability football programme. This money was used to purchase new powerchairs for weekly use by City in the Community participants at the City Football Academy.
City’s commitment to sustainability was ever present, with the stadium forecast to achieve a BREEAM Very Good rating, and a new modal plan was implemented, designed to improve travel behaviour. This included a new walking route, a larger bus station, a wider cycle route and more bus parking.
The Club consistently emphasised its commitment to local people and businesses over the course of the stadium expansion project, from consultation through to delivery. As with all previous infrastructure projects, strict targets for local employment and local procurement were met, apprenticeships were created for local people and members of the local community were the first to receive a tour of the newly expanded stadium. Community use of the stadium has also increased in line with the larger capacity. Throughout the build, the Club held regular meetings with local residents and business groups, and these have continued since the new seating areas were opened.