Date: 14th September 2009 at 2:46pm
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Vital Manchester City newbie, claremont sent us the following:

Saturday’s attendance at Eastlands for the Arsenal game was a ground record of 47,339. That’s just eight more than at last year’s match versus Chelsea. The last time this figure was surpassed for a City home game was at the Manchester derby nearly a quarter of a century ago on 14 September 1985.

City have their strongest squad for years and the first two home games this season have sold out. It’s no surprise then that stories are circulating on the subject of ground expansion. Any such plans would have to overcome two significant hurdles. Firstly, City are only tenants at the council owned stadium. Additionally, the ground was not designed with expansion in mind.

The major challenge at the time of construction was to house the Commonwealth Games and then create a football stadium with atmosphere and without an athletics track. It was acknowledged by City at the time that the resulting steep three tiered design would prove costly to develop further. A capacity of 48,000 probably seemed adequate as there had not been a gate in excess of 50,000 at Maine Road since 1981.

Money, of course, is less of an object than it was then but there remains the trick of identifying the ideal capacity. This consideration would involve not just the level of expenditure but would also have to account for the likely support that the club could generate on a consistent basis. Despite the vastness of Maine Road the highest average league attendance there was 42,725 in the 1947-48 season.

Should our owners expand Eastlands capacity?

What do you think?

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