As the centrepiece of Manchester’s successful bid to stage the Commonwealth Games, Machester City Stadium (also known as Man City Stadium) came to life in the summer of 2002. The stadium had rugby at its heart early on and in the Sevens final at the Games, New Zealand defeated Fiji to claim gold. Manchester City Football Club moved in the following year and has been there ever since.
The stadium's foundation stone was laid by Prime Minister Tony Blair in December 1999 and construction began in January 2000. The first public event at the stadium was the opening ceremony of the 2002 Commonwealth Games on 25 July 2002.
Outside the football season the stadium hosts occasional concerts and is one of the UK's largest music venues, having a maximum capacity of 60,000 for performances. Boxing has also taken centre stage at the stadium when in 2008 Ricky Hatton defeated Juan Lazcano in a contest billed as "Hatton's Homecoming".
There aren’t many places to drink around the ground in Manchester, and most fans prefer to have pre- and post-match drinks in the city centre. However, The Townley on Albert Street and The Stanley (a sports bar) on Pottery Lane are respectively 5 and 10-minute walks from the stadium and are both popular on match days.
If you’re after a guaranteed spot at the bar, it’s probably best to stay in the city centre. The Printworks near Victoria station has some great pubs and eateries and The Jolly Angler on Ducie Street serves local Hydes Original Bitter.
Manchester is England’s northern capital of cool. Once an industrial metropolis, the city has transformed into a thriving and fascinating tourist-spot; home to countless independent fashion stores, record shop, cafes and restaurants.
The famous Trafford Centre, just 5 miles outside the city centre, is 3 miles of retail heaven. The shopping mall has a range of fashion stores, including the first Selfridges outside of London as well as high fashion favourites. The equally famous Afflecks Palace in the Northern Quarter provides affordable outlets for independent designers and traders.
For art and culture head to the iconic Lowry gallery, home to the largest collection of works by LS Lowry.The Royal Exchange Theatre is always buzzing with top-class theatre, live music events and exhibitions.
Manchester has the UK’s newest Sea Life aquarium, which will transport you to a mesmerising underwater world. Journey through the underwater tunnel and catch close ups of sharks and rays.