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City secure permission to expand Etihad

Manchester City have been given planning permission to make the Etihad Stadium the second biggest ground in the Premier League.

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Manchester City Council voted to approve plans that will allow the 2012 Premier League champions to increase their capacity from the current 47,726 to 62,170 for the start of the 2015-16 season.

Only Manchester United, whose Old Trafford ground can seat 75,811 spectators, can accommodate more fans.

City will add a third tier to both the North and the South Stands, including more than 6,000 extra seats to both, and plan another 2,000 pitchside seats.

The money City spend on extending the ground will not affect their attempts to comply with UEFA’s financial fair play regulations, as infrastructure projects are excluded.

Making the stadium bigger is part of City’s bigger strategy to improve their facilities. Next season, they will leave their Carrington training ground to move into the Etihad Campus, an 80-acre site next to the ground that they intend to turn into a world-class complex and which could cost them as much as 200 million pounds.

City announced plans to increase the capacity of the Etihad Stadium in July last year and formally submitted to the city council in December.

The stadium hosted the 2002 Commonwealth Games and was converted into a football ground the following year, when City moved in.

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