The clash of the last 2 unbeaten sides in the Premier League sees Newcastle travel to Manchester City hoping to provide a victory for the football purists who see steady development as vastly preferable to the sudden influx of unearned riches.
The City of Manchester Stadium, also now known as the Etihad Stadium for sponsorship reasons, is located in Manchester and is the home ground of Manchester City. Also referred to by its abbreviated acronym CoMS, site name Eastlands, and location name SportCity, it is the fifth-largest stadium in the Premier League and the twelfth-largest in the United Kingdom with a maximum seating capacity of 47,805 and a reduced seating capacity of 45,500 for UEFA-licensed football matches due to UEFA sponsorship requirements.
The SportCity location, with a larger stadium configuration, was originally proposed for the main athletics stadium in Manchester's failed bid for the 2000 Summer Olympics. In the subsequent successful bid for the 2002 Commonwealth Games the proposed capacity of the post-games converted stadium was reduced from 80,000 to circa 50,000. This smaller stadium was built by Laing Construction for an initial cost of £112 million from an architectural design by Arup Associates.
After the Commonwealth Games, extensive work was carried out on the stadium to convert it for use as a football stadium. Following the success of athletics events at the Commonwealth Games, the decision to convert the stadium into a football venue received criticism from renowned athletics figures such as Jonathan Edwards and Sebastian Coe after their praise of the stadium. Manchester City Council wanted to avoid a white elephant and give the stadium long-term financial viability. At the same time, with the United Kingdom lacking a large athletics venue, the council were keen to keep the athletics track, so it was proposed to Manchester City that movable seating be installed after the Games.