The Etihad Stadium in Manchester is home to Manchester City Football Club.
With a capacity of over 50,000, it is the eighth-largest football stadium in the UK.
This article looks at whether the Etihad Stadium have a roof, including its roof design, engineering, and capacity.
Does The Etihad Have a Roof?
The Etihad Stadium has a partial roof covering, but it is not fully enclosed.
The cable-net roof structure provides cover for some seats, but other areas of the stadium are exposed.
Fans should be prepared for wet weather.
- The Etihad has a cable-net roof structure that partially covers the seats
- Front sections of the stadium are exposed to the elements
- Undersoil heating prevents the pitch from freezing over
While not completely enclosed, the Etihad’s roof provides great views and some cover from rain.
The open areas add to the atmosphere, but mean fans may get wet.
Hence, with excellent facilities, it remains a top venue to watch football.
Does Etihad Stadium Have a Roof?
Yes, the Etihad Stadium has a roof that covers all the seating areas. The roof has an unusual toroidal (doughnut) shape and is made of a lightweight tensile fabric held in place by a network of cables.
Here are some key facts about the Etihad Stadium’s roof:
- The cable-net roof structure runs continuously around the stadium, providing cover for all seats.
- It is a column-free design, ensuring unobstructed views of the pitch from every seat.
- The fabric roof is translucent, allowing natural light into the stands while protecting spectators from the elements.
- There is a retractable section at the North end to allow extra light when needed.
- The angled geometry of the roof was a unique engineering challenge.
- Marlon CS roof lights and sidelights brighten the stands during day games.
When the stadium was renovated in 2015, the old roof was removed to create a new open terrace behind the seats while respecting the original geometry. Thus, Etihad’s lightweight tensile fabric roof provides cover for spectators while allowing an open, airy feel inside the stadium.
What is the Roof Design and Engineering?
The Etihad Stadium’s roof has an innovative design that poses some unique engineering challenges.
Firstly, the cable-net roof comprises a network of steel cables that support the fabric roofing material. There are 48 main support cables connected to 36 masts around the stadium perimeter. Additionally, a complex cable net spreads across the stands, providing anchorage and support for the roof.
Then, the fabric roofing is a PVC-coated polyester material called Ferrari Precontraint 502. This strong, lightweight material can stretch to retain its shape. The geometric form of the roof was achieved by cutting diamond-shaped panels and stretching them into place on the cable network.
Another key aspect was supporting the fabric roof shape without columns blocking spectator views. The solution was angled compression rings at roof level, transmitting lateral forces down masts to the perimeter retaining wall. This allowed the creation of a column-free interior.
The project involved complex 3D modelling and analysis to understand the structural behaviour. The curved geometry and cable network made it a challenging roof structure to design and build.
Generally, the roof comprises a cable net structure with fabric roofing material stretched across it. Therefore, the elegant design provides cover while maximizing views of the pitch for a better spectator experience.
What is the Roof’s Capacity and Shape?
The Etihad Stadium’s distinctive roof covers all spectator seating, providing shelter for up to 55,000 spectators. Its elliptical shape mirrors the stadium bowl below.
The roof has a clear span of 240 metres and covers approximately 39,000 square metres. Structurally, it is an asymmetric cable net with tensioned fabric roofing. This means cables in a net formation carry the load, with the fabric roof stretched and anchored to the net.
The fabric roofing comprises diamond-shaped panels in different sizes. The largest panels near the centre of the roof measure 19.5 m x 15.3 m. Moving towards the edge, the panels get smaller to help form the curved ellipse shape.
An interesting fact is the roof has a 5 m gap at its southern end. This prevents the structure from forming a complete ring, which would complicate movement from thermal expansion and contraction.
The asymmetric cable net and elliptical geometry provide an iconic, modern look for the stadium. The roof’s graceful curves and lack of internal columns also enhance spectator views and experience.
To conclude, the Etihad’s elegant roof provides cover for 55,000 spectators. Its capacity, elliptical shape and cable-net structure create a distinctive architectural statement.
Which Seats are Covered by the Roof?
The Etihad’s roof covers all spectator seating in the stadium. This includes seats in the lower and middle tiers of the bowl.
On the lower tier, the roof covers seating in zones such as the Family Stand, South Stand and Colin Bell Stand. Moving up, the middle tier has covered seating in areas like the North Stand and the East Stand.
Moreover, the elliptical cable-net roof stretches across the stadium’s continuous lower and middle bowls. This provides cover for every spectator seat in these sections.
The roof does not cover the upper third tier. However, seats in this level only account for a small percentage of overall capacity. The majority of fans enjoy covered seating beneath the sweeping canopy.
So, Etihad’s distinctive roof shelters fans in the lower and middle tiers. All main spectator areas, including major stands, have covered seats. Only a small, upper portion of seating remains open beneath the open sky.
How Does the Roof Protect from Weather?
The Etihad’s roof plays a key role in shielding spectators from the elements. Its smooth elliptical shape allows rainwater to run off efficiently.
The roof’s cable net construction is also specially designed to deal with Manchester’s climate. The steel cables crisscross at multiple angles to create a durable, resilient structure.
This cable netting has some give and flexibility to withstand high winds. At the same time, the cables provide overall strength and support to prevent large-scale movement in storms.
Moreover, the steel frame is coated with a PVC material to handle weathering. This helps prevent rust and maintains the roof’s look over time.
Under the roof, fans stay dry in rain showers that are common in Manchester. The covered seats also provide shade and relief from the sun during warmer matches.
The roof’s ellipse shape and sloped angles allow it to deflect wind up and over the stadium. This reduces the wind chill effect making things more comfortable for spectators.
Hence, in rain or shine, Etihad’s architectural roof design provides welcome protection from the elements. Fans can focus on the match knowing they have covered seats keeping them dry and comfortable.
Does the Etihad Stadium have a closed roof?
The Etihad Stadium does not have a fully closed roof. Parts of the stadium are covered by a cable-net roof structure, but it is open to the elements in some areas.
Do you get wet at the Etihad Stadium?
You may get wet at the Etihad Stadium as the roof does not cover all of the seats. So, the seats at the front are more exposed to the rain.
What are the best seats at the Etihad Stadium?
The best seats at the Etihad Stadium are considered the lower tier seats in the middle areas of the stands, as these provide cover from the weather and close views of the pitch.
Does the Etihad have a heated pitch?
Yes, the Etihad Stadium has undersoil heating installed beneath the pitch to prevent it from freezing over during cold weather.
The Etihad Stadium is an impressive venue with a partly open cable-net roof structure. While fantastic for views, the roof does not cover all seats so spectators may get wet in parts of the stadium. The Etihad has excellent facilities like under soil pitch heating. In general, it provides a great experience for fans, especially those in the lower-tier middle seats.