Strolling through this English city, you have surely wondered which Manchester stadium is worth visiting first: Old Trafford or Etihad? Manchester is synonymous with football and its two teams, United and City, are among the most important in the world. In this article, you will find an overview of Manchester stadiums.
Old Trafford, Manchester’s historic stadium
This stadium is one of the most famous in England and one of the largest in the world. It is the home of Manchester United and was nicknamed The Theater of Dreams by Sir Bobby Charlton.
With a capacity of 76,000 spectators, Old Trafford celebrated its 100th anniversary in 1910 and has been refurbished several times. One of these renovations took place due to a bombing that took place during the Second World War.
Between the 1950s and 1970s, Manchester’s Old Trafford saw its capacity increase, but only until it was decided, in the 1990s, that all spectators at stadiums in Europe should be seated. The last expansion of the stadium took place in 2006.
To celebrate a century of life, Old Trafford threw a mega party that included art competition from local schools and a rerun of the first match played on the pitch, between Manchester United and Fulham.
Old Trafford can be visited via online booking, to avoid the queue. The tour lasts two hours and the guide, in English, takes tourists around the stadium, showing the stands, benches, the pitch, the tunnel, the changing rooms, the press room and, of course, the museum.
At the museum you can fully appreciate the history and successes of Manchester United : the cups, titles and trophies, as well as all the gadgets of the Red Devils .
Etihad Stadium, Manchester’s most modern stadium
It is known as the Manchester City Stadium, although its official name – for sponsorship reasons – is Etihad Stadium. With only 17 years of life (it opened in 2002) and a capacity of just over 55,000 spectators, it is the home of Manchester City, a team that has left its old Maine Road pitch and rents the premises to the city council… for 250 years!
The Etihad Stadium is oval in shape and in its short history has hosted various sporting events, such as the matches of the England national football team, the rugby team and the women’s football team. It has also been used for concerts by artists such as Red Hot Chili Peppers, Oasis, U2, Bon Jovi, Coldplay, and Robbie Williams.
The tour to visit Manchester’s Etihad Stadium takes 90 minutes and is in English. The visit will take you to different points of the enclosure – the same as Manchester United – and to the museum, where you will find some very interesting gadgets, including football boots and the shirts of the players’ official uniforms.
The tough choice between Manchester stadiums: Old Trafford or Etihad?
If you have little free time in Manchester and are a fan of the Red Devils , without a doubt the best option is to go to Old Trafford. However, if you don’t like United very much and prefer to go see your opponents, then Etihad could be a great idea.
The trophy room of Old Trafford is much more crowded than that of Etihad, there is no doubt about that. But maybe you like the idea of visiting one of the most modern stadiums in England, built at the beginning of this century and not in the past.
If you are a Premier League fan then we recommend that you book a full day to visit both Manchester stadiums – we assure you it will be worth it.
And to truly celebrate your passion for football, you can take a tour of the Manchester Football Museum, housed in a six-story building, each dedicated to the history of this city. You will even find the ball used in the 1930 World Cup final and the original 1863 text with the rules of football! What are you waiting for? Admission is free.