Manchester City (Maine Road)
Ground Opened: 1923
Ground Closed: 2003
Number of years at ground: 80
First Competitive Game Played: Man City 2-1 Sheffield United.
Last Competitive Game Played: Man City 0-1 Southampton.
Record Attendance: 84,569 vs Stoke City in the FA Cup, 3 March 1934.
Club moved to: Etihad Stadium in 2003.
Distance from Maine Road to new Etihad Stadium: 3 miles.
Maine Road was a classic English football stadium, situated in the middle of several housing estates in the middle of a working-class area in Manchester. The stadium was around two miles from Manchester City Centre which made it a great location for a football stadium.
The stadium was marginally closer to the city centre than Old Trafford which helped bring about the notion that Man City were/are the only true Manchester club.
When Maine Road was first built, it had a capacity of around 80,000 spectators which made it one of the largest stadiums in the country. In 1934, 84,569 fans crammed into Maine Road to watch City take on Stoke City in the FA Cup – this was an English football record for a club home match until Tottenham played their home games at Wembley in 2017/218..
Over the years, Maine Road underwent several expansions and renovations, including the addition of floodlights in 1953 and the construction of a new North Stand in 1995. However, by the 1990s, the stadium had become outdated and was in need of major redevelopment. In the end, the club moved to The City of Manchester Stadium which was built for the 2002 Commonwealth Games.
The Main Stand was the first stand at Maine Road to have seats with 10,000 seats installed while the rest of the stadium was standing only. It had a distinctive roof attached, although all four stands at Maine Road had unique roofs which added to the ground’s charm. The Main Stand ran along the side of the pitch and was on the same side as the dugout and tunnel.
The Kippax Stand was the most famous stand at Maine Road and at one point was the tallest stand in the country, spanning three tiers and housing 14,000 supporters. The Kippax was where City’s most passionate supporters would sit/stand and they have perhaps missed the atmosphere it used to generate since moving to the Etihad Stadium.
The North Stand was situated to the left of the Main Stand and the right of the Kippax Stand. It was behind one of the goals, and housed purely Man City fans while the stand opposite partly held away supporters. City typically kicked towards the North Stand in the second half of matches.
The Platt Lane Stand at Maine Road was demolished in 1992 due to health and safety concerns and replaced with an all-seater Umbro Stand. When City’s sponsorship with Umbro expired in the late 90s, the stand was renamed the Platt Lane Stand again. Away supporters were allocated seats in the corner of the Platt Lane Stand, next to the Kippax Stand.
Maine Road has since been turned into another housing estate in Moss Side, Manchester. Despite the stadium no longer being recognisable, the centre spot has retained its place and is situated in the middle of the housing estate in a communal area.
There is a housing estate where Maine Road stood and the centre circle has been retained pic.twitter.com/Bc4op0kKAH
— Dan Williamson (@winkveron) January 12, 2024
The Kippax Stand used to be packed to the rafters
— Al Perkins 🇪🇦 (@BigAl_1424) January 20, 2021
Now it’s just another housing estate
Maine Road, home to Manchester City from 1923 to 2003, now just another new build housing estate. Straight ahead of this photo would’ve been the North Stand, with the Kippax on the right #MCFC 😔🌓 @the92dotnet pic.twitter.com/3kcBK1IeVw
— Martin McNelis (@GTDT42) October 15, 2019
When Manchester City left Maine Road in 2003, the capacity of the stadium was 35,150 after several changes were made over the years. As already mentioned, the record attendance at the ground was 84,569 for a Man City game against Stoke City in the FA Cup.
The average attendance at Maine Road during the club’s final season at the ground was 34,565, however, in the 1990s it had dropped to as low as 22,725 when the club were struggling in the lower divisions of English football.
The last match at Maine Road was played in May 2023 between Man City and Southampton. The Blues had enjoyed a good season and were safe from any kind of relegation threat while Southampton also had nothing to play for which made the match secondary to City fans saying goodbye to Maine Road after 80 years.
The game was doubly emotional as it was Shaun Goater’s final game for the club. He led the team out as captain but could do nothing to stop Southampton from winning the match 1-0.
11th May 2003, our final match at Maine Road 💙
Check out @KCMANC‘s gallery from the emotional farewell 🖼
— Manchester City (@ManCity) May 11, 2023