Just to be very clear from the start…I’m a Manchester United fan but I’m also a football fan, so when Manchester City invited me down to to have nosey about at their stadium….I was never going to say no. Especially since they have completely revamped their player facilities and players tunnel. This might might sound dull to a non football fan and believe me, it took some convincing the OH to agree to a 4hr round trip to look at a football stadium. Nevertheless she agreed and off we trotted, me, Jo, Effy and one of my mates Lee.
It had all been arranged for us to arrive and meet in club shop at 12, shockingly we were on time, however true to our often shambolic style of parenting we had forgotten to feed Effy. A few bits of cucumber, peeper and a malf loaf and she was good to go (top diet i know).
The tour lasts about 90mins and your are taken around by a guide, ours was called Mike and basically knew everything about City there was to know. Your given access to pretty much every part of the ground, including the dressing rooms, pitch side, dugouts, warm up area, press conference room and fancy new tunnel. Full details can be found here. I’ll be completely honest, the facilities are unbelievable, the standard of everything is world class and if you’ve got the money, the level of hospitality you can enjoy at a game is genuine 5 star quality, with access to players and exclusive areas. I’ve been to a lot of football grounds and I’ve never sat on a heated seat with a USB charge point for your phone……..you get that in parts of the Etihad. I know some football fans criticise the development of fancy facilities and hospitality at football grounds. For me that’s just where football is at, as long as there are cheaper options to satisfy everyone’s budget then having different options is not a bad thing. Just because someone has paid £15,000 for their season ticket, its doesn’t mean they will sing less or be less of a fan than the person paying £400……just means their bum will be warmer.
Anyway less ranting about football fans and back to the tour…..i was actually pretty doubtful about whether Effy would enjoy been dragged around a football stadium….i mean its not exactly Peppa Pig world, but she absolutely loved it. She did spins in the dressing room, spins by the dugouts and spins in the press room…..she likes spinning round at the minute. She basically walked into every section saying “What’s this bit??” and “wow”. She also says “wow” waking round Aldi but in all seriousness, it was a great day out. She talked about it for days afterwards and has told everyone about the “goals” and “football pitch”.
I make no apologies for wanting Effy to play football, i love the sport and the elite level of the professional game is very special. However if the closest we ever get is stadium tours, then i don’t think we’ll find many better than City’s (obviously United is better but they haven’t invited me haha).
Manchester City’s Stadium & Club Tour is a 90 minute professionally guided tour of the Club and Etihad Stadium. Tickets for the Stadium and Club tour will cost £17.50 per adult, £11 per child aged 5-16.
We were given 4 free tickets for tour, all opinions expressed are my own and Effy did genuinely spin in most parts of the stadium.