Sportcity Manchester is a sports district in the City of Manchester, and was used to host the 2002 Commonwealth Games. It is located in east Manchester, less than a mile away from Manchester city centre and was developed on former industrial land including the site of Bradford Colliery.
Sportcity's largest structure, the City of Manchester Stadium which was built for the 2002 Commonwealth Games, is now home to Manchester City F.C. and one of the largest football stadiums in England. The Manchester Velodrome is the base for British Cycling and the National Indoor BMX Arena was completed in 2011. SportCity is home to the National Squash Centre and the Manchester Regional Arena for athletics. Future developments will include Manchester City's £50m training complex and a leisure complex.
Location and venues
The Sportcity complex is based in east Manchester, in Beswick and Bradford. A visitor centre provides information the site's history from a heavily industrialised area to its ongoing regeneration. The Etihad Campus Metrolink station on the Manchester Metrolink close to Joe Mercer Way became operational on 11 February 2013.
Sportcity was the proposed location for the U.K.'s first SuperCasino which, it was hoped, would spur re-generation in the area, but the plan was rejected by the House of Lords. It was also the proposed site of an 85-metre (279 ft) wind turbine in 2006. Designed by Norman Foster, the turbine was intended to provide power for the stadium and nearby homes, but safety concerns about ice on the blades led to the proposal being abandoned.
City of Manchester Stadium
The City of Manchester Stadium, CoMS was used for the 2002 Commonwealth Games and is the home of Manchester City Football Club. The stadium with twelve 70 metre high masts has become a landmark on the Manchester skyline. The stadium is leased to the football club and its owners are believed to want to buy it. The stadium lease was renegotiated in October 2010 and Manchester City will pay Manchester City Council £3 million a year rather than paying half the revenue over 35,000 ticket sales which amounted to approximately £2 million. The agreement signals the club is looking to develop the stadium. The agreement shows Manchester City's willingness to "consider potential development as part of a contribution to the regeneration of east Manchester". The club is considering increasing the stadium's capacity to 60,000 by adding a third tier to the north and south stands.
National Cycling Centre
The Manchester Velodrome was built for Manchester Olympic bids in the 1990s and used for the 2002 Commonwealth Games. The velodrome had a lasting legacy and in the Beijing Olympics in 2008, the British cycling team - based at the velodrome - dominated the cycling events. The track has garnered a reputation for speed and by 30 March 2008, more than 15 world records had been set there, including Chris Boardman's 1996 and 2000 hour records and the 4000 metre team pursuit record set by the Great Britain men's team at the 2008 World Championships.
National BMX Arena
British Cycling and Manchester City Council, in partnership with New East Manchester worked together to deliver the 110,000-square-foot (10,000 m2) National Indoor BMX Centre which opened in 2011. It was designed by Ellis Williams Architects, and built by contractors Sir Robert McAlpine. Alongside the velodrome, the £24 million complex will form the National Cycling Centre. It has 2,000 seats, a BMX area and offices for the headquarters of the British Cycling Federation.
Manchester Regional Arena
The Manchester Regional Arena is a multipurpose stadium at SportCity primarily used for athletics and association football. It was developed as the warm-up track for the 2002 Commonwealth Games held in the adjacent City of Manchester Stadium. It has hosted the AAA Championships and Paralympic World Cup, and was the reserve home ground of Manchester City reserves before the team moved to Ewen Fields in June 2010.
The National Squash Centre
The National Squash Centre is another part of the Sportcity complex which was constructed for the 2002 Commonwealth Games. Costing approximately £3.5m, the facilities include six courts and a glass-walled show court which cost £110,000. The show court is moveable: it floats on air like a hovercraft and can be positioned in the athletics hall for major tournaments. All the courts can be converted into singles or doubles courts at the touch of a button.
In March 2010, Manchester City signed an agreement with Manchester City Council and the New East Manchester Agency to explore alternative leisure proposals to replace the regional casino giving the club permission to expand its facilities. The club plans to move its academy from Carrington Training Centre to the site. The £50m million training facility will house all the playing staff when the youth academy moves from Platt Lane. Preparation began in April 2010 with remediation of the 17 acres (6.9 ha) site around the stadium.
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