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SBD Global/September 17, 2012/Facilities

Man City's New Training Complex To Be 'Best In The World'

Man City's $162M training facility, which sits on 80 acres, will open in 2014.
Manchester City has started work on a £100M ($162M) training complex that it hopes will "lead them to the top of the European game," according to Ian Ladyman of the London DAILY MAIL. Man City's "astonishing new complex" is being built on an 80-acre site across the road from the Etihad Stadium in East Manchester and will be ready for the '14-15 season. Believed to be "the most complete training ground in world football," it will comprise 17 football pitches, a 7,000 capacity stadium for reserve matches, a youth academy complete with classrooms and accommodation and even a community sixth-form college and leisure centre. The site will be linked to Man City's current home by a footbridge and will "enable all the club’s players, staff and officials to be housed on the one giant complex." Man City intends to plant 2,000 trees on the regenerated land that was once polluted and that "has been cleared and environmentally cleaned" over the last 12 months. The club has "already recruited some construction workers from the local community and -- where possible -- will use products sourced form the northwest as part of the build" (DAILY MAIL, 9/14).

ONE OF THE BEST: In London, Richard Jolly reported that Man City has also given 5.5 acres on the corner of the site to the local council, "where a sixth form college will be built," and have donated £3M ($4.9M) for local leisure facilities, "which is earmarked for a swimming pool." It is part of "a long-term plan for the club to become self-sufficient" and predates UEFA’s Financial Fair Play rules. However, Man City hopes it will "help them comply with the new regulations," which take effect from '14 (TELEGRAPH, 9/14). The MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS reported that Man City Football Development Exec Patrick Vieira called City's new training complex "one of the best projects in world sport." Vieira said: "What I find really exciting about the project is that before designing the facilities they've been to the football world, they've been to the basketball world and they've been to the NFL world. There's a lot of hard work gone into the project, and that's why I believe it's one of the best projects in the world of sport" (MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS, 9/14).

DUTCH TREAT: REUTERS reported that the training center will be built by Dutch-owned construction firm BAM. The club confirmed that BAM would begin work on the site in the coming weeks. Man City CEO Ferran Soriano said, "The development of young and home grown players is central to our strategy of creating both a winning team and a sustainable football club - an ambition outlined by Sheikh Mansour at the outset of his ownership in September 2008" (REUTERS, 9/14).
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