Watching Man City Live - FAQs
Going To Your First Game? Things To Know Before You Go
What are the two strangest things about going to a game in England?
Cover your colors when not at the match - Some bars and restaurants in Manchester don't allow people wearing City colors on match days. So have something to cover up if you want to go out before or after and the place you're going has a bouncer.
No alcohol in the stands - Alcohol is not allowed in sight of the pitch. You're allowed booze down in the concourse inside the stadium but you can't take it back to your seat. However, can take non-alcoholic drinks and food back. I recommend a Bovril and a Balti pie.
What is there to do before the game?
City Square - The area just to the north of the stadium has a large merch store and a stage. From two and a half hours before kick-off, they host interviews with pundits, minor local celebs and former players on they stage. They also showcase a local live band. There are concessions with food and drink available. See the City Square on Twitter for more details.
Mary D's - A massive pub just across Ashton New Road to the south of the stadium offers a pub experience if that's more your thing. I'm told they do karaoke after games. See Mary D's on Twitter for more details.
Player arrival - The player bus arrives around 90 minutes before kick off and pulls up to the Colin Bell Stand (west side of the stadium). There's usually a crowd by the blue carpet. Even if you get close, players won't stop for autographs but you can get some cheering in.
Kick off time - US sports treat start times as a vague suggestion. If you want to see the kick off, be in your seat before the time on your ticket.
What else should I know about?
Away fan section - All European football stadiums have separate sections in the ground for away fans. The areas next to the away fans are always the liveliest place in the stadium. Security staff and police will form a line between the two sets of fans inside the ground that you'll not be allowed to pass through. You may also find your access is limited immediately outside the stadium where away fans enter, so allow extra time to get past south east corner of the Etihad.
Bag policy - Check the stadium bag policy before you travel. Allow extra time for bag checks at entry.
Drink Bovril - You should definitely try the Bovril if it's a cold day. It's a beefy hot drink served like coffee - but it's a thin, salty, beef-flavored gravy.
Sports betting - Another big difference from US stadiums is that you'll find betting kiosks throughout the concourse. Pick up a betting slip and a tiny pencil, and bet a quid on something with ridiculous odds.
Walk back to town - After the game the whole stadium pours out. The police close down the streets around the stadium and loads of people walk back into town. Join the crowd and walk because the buses, taxis and trams all get jammed up. You'll get back quicker.
Support Man City Women - In town for a few days? Check out the women's team fixtures. They typically play in the stadium beside the Etihad, although derby fixtures take place in the main stadium.
What do I need to know before going to away games?
You are the weasel - Be cautious about showing colors when going to away games. Locals won't want to see Man City fans anywhere in town and may give you hassle. Any away town will treat you like Philly treats a Cowboys fan.
Read up on the town you're going to - Be sure to check online guides to find away-fan friendly pubs as well as stadium and travel information:
There are general sites that have information about each ground like footballgroundguide.com, awaygrounds.com and footballtripper.com
There will usually be a page on the home team's site, e.g. City's Visiting Fan's Guide.
Review Wiki Travel to see which parts of a town to avoid. Usually these areas are around the stadiums, but it's best to be informed as to where you should keep your head down and keep moving.
It's all a bit rowdy - Inside the ground, you'll be in a section with the loudest, most enthusiastic gang of City fans you'll ever meet. The atmosphere can be extra tense, you will hear extremely offensive language and you will be verbally abused by the home fans. So long as you're fine with that, you'll have a great time!
Pauly, do you recommend any pubs in Manchester?
Beer nerds - If you're a beer fan, you should go to Cloudwater Brew Co (or Track Brewing next door) on the way out to the ground or another day while staying in Manchester. Also, honorable mention to ABC and Wander Beyond, both have taprooms under the railway arches on the way out to the stadium.