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Volume 7 No. 149

Facilities

Man City is "considering introducing safe standing" at Etihad Stadium as "part of plans for a stadium expansion," according to Charlotte Duncker of the MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS. The club has planning permission to expand the North Stand, which would increase the capacity of the stadium from 55,000 to 63,000, and Man City has "begun consulting fans over the plans." An email sent to supporters "asked for their opinion on a number of options including introducing rail seating." The survey said, "As a club Manchester City is open to the option of safe standing, in the right circumstances that ensure the safety of everyone in the stadium" (MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS, 11/29). In London, Jack Gaughan reported the club also "asked for opinions on proposed changes to two stadium bars" -- called Joe's, after late former player Joe Mercer, and 93:20, the minutes on the clock when Sergio Agüero scored to win the '11-12 EPL title -- including "alterations to season-ticket and hospitality packages." A government review "may be completed in the near future" and Man City asked fans which areas of the stadium, and at what price, "would be most appealing." The club also suggested it will "cut prices of tickets in the North Stand" should it press ahead and add 8,000 seats. An expanded "singing section has also been mooted" (DAILY MAIL, 11/29).

EVERYTHING FOR A PRICE: The Scotland DAILY RECORD reported there are "five options given for safe-standing season tickets" ranging from £580 ($741) in levels one or two of the South Stand, where the club's "most vocal supporters and away fans are currently housed," to £280 ($358) for a safe-standing section at the top of the expanded North Stand. The other options for safe-standing sections are "at the front of the North Stand's second tier or pitchside in the South Stand." Elsewhere in the stadium, the club is "offering two classes of premium seats in the East and West Stands." The top price for these "premium padded" seats is £1,700 ($2,172) but there "could be seats available in the North Stand for as little" as £280 a season (DAILY RECORD, 11/29).

Mexico's men's national football team has played at AT&T seven times, averaging 82,000 fans.
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

AT&T Stadium will "become El Tri's official home" in the U.S. for the "next four years," as the Mexican men's national football team will play each year at the Arlington, Texas, venue "as part of its annual U.S. tour," according to Silvana Pagliuca of the DALLAS MORNING NEWS. The deal lasts through '22, when the next FIFA World Cup will be held in Qatar. The first date will be a "preparation match" for CONCACAF's 2019 Gold Cup on June 9, against a team "yet to be named." Major League Soccer side FC Dallas COO & CFO Jimmy Smith said that his club's facilities "will serve as training grounds for the Mexican team." The agreement between Mexico and AT&T Stadium also "includes a Fan Fest, which should take place in the days proceeding El Tri's games in North Texas." Mexican Football Federation (FMF) Secretary General Gilberto Hernández said that "even though there are other U.S. cities where El Tri frequently plays because of their large Mexican community" -- like Chicago and L.A. -- Dallas was "chosen for its showing of unified efforts." El Tri so far has had seven games at AT&T Stadium, "averaging 82,000 fans per game" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 11/29). BLOOMBERG NEWS' Eben Novy-Williams reported the agreement, brokered by MLS-owned Soccer United Marketing, "aims to build an annual Super Bowl of sorts" for Mexican football fans in North Texas. The NFL Dallas Cowboys will "promote the Mexican team" during their games. Additionally, El Tri will "participate in year-round community initiatives targeting the local Hispanic population," both on the football field and in classrooms. When El Tri is playing elsewhere, FC Dallas will "host watch parties aimed at maintaining the city as a hub for Mexico fans" (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 11/28).