Contractor, Laing O’Rourke has been assigned to the Etihad stadium project, home of Manchester City football club. Originally constructed by the company for the 2002 Commonwealth Games, the plans involve extending the seating capacity of the stadium from 48,000 to 60,000 on completion and it is estimated that 160 jobs will be created for local people. The first stage of the project will involve work on the south stand, increasing the seating capacity from 48,000 to 54,000, followed at a later stage by the north stand which will eventually enable the stadium to accommodate a capacity crowd of 60,000. Architect Populous has been responsible for the design of the whole venture, the plans of which were authorised in February. The stadium expansion includes increasing the facilities and hospitality amenities for fans and visitors and will also allow the club to offer its £299 season ticket to more of its fans. Ground engineering works are due to begin with immediate effect, bearing in mind that the intricate engineering works must continue, while taking into consideration and working around events that include the first Rugby World Cup match at the stadium in 2015.
According to Steve Colby, leader for Laing O’Rourke’s Construction UK business, the team at Laing O’Rourke are known for their expertise at delivering logistically complex engineering work, combined with their experience across the Laing O’Rourke Group and specialist businesses. In addition to this, the use of the latest digital engineering technologies helps towards an efficient delivery with minimal disruption during match days, concerts and other events that take place throughout the year. Project director at Populous group of architects and designers, Mike Trice, commented that it was appropriate that the club had partnered with a premium contractor such as Laing O’Rourke. The positive relationship that continues between the club and the contractor will be essential to the ongoing operation of the building while the construction of this landmark project progresses. Chief commercial officer for Manchester City FC, Tom Glick, said that the club strives to provide its supporters and visiting fans with one of the best possible matchday experiences in the Premier League and European football and with a waiting list that is already close to capacity, they look forward to the 54,000-seat stadium being sold out as the 2015 football season opens.
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