Among Premier League clubs, Manchester City has some surprisingly affordable hospitality packages at Etihad Stadium — especially when you compare them to Manchester United, and when you consider that City are currently a good bit better on the pitch than United.
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So let’s take a look at the two packages Groundhopper Soccer Guides offer at City, the 93:20 Lounge and the ritzier Citizens Lounge.
People often ask if being in a “hospitality package” or a “lounge” means you’re not out with the real fans in the seating area. None of the packages we offer involve actually sitting in a box like in the US; it’s all about having a seat with some other benefit like lounge access (here), a meal before or after, free bar, stadium or museum tour, etc.
First, here’s a seating chart for The Etihad:
The Manchester City 93:20 Suite
This is a common sort of hospitality package in the Premier League; it’s basically just good seats with access to a lounge. The lounge is a sports bar that the general public can’t get into, and while this package doesn’t include food or drinks, you’ll find better options and shorter lines than out on the concourse — which is just steps away in any case. It’s easy to pop out for a bite out there, then duck back into the more comfy lounge.
With this package, you get seats in either blocks 209-10 or 220-21. These views are from 209-10. Sections 220-21 are the same seats on the opposite side.
As you can see, they are excellent seats, padded and everything. And with the away fans just in the end just to your left, the atmosphere can be quite good.
Here’s a view of the 93:20 Lounge itself:
The food in these lounges isn’t necessarily anything special. Here’s some of the fare when Groundhopper Paul was there:
But it’s a comfortable place to hang out, with TVs and a good beer selection. And one of the best things about these lounges is simply getting to relax after the game while the crowds outside, and at the train station, clear out.
One last thing on this 93:20 suite. What is 93:20? That’s the time of the winning goal on the last day of the 2012-13 season, by Sergio Aguero. It snatched the title away from rivals Manchester United in the last 30 seconds of the season. City hadn’t won the title for 40-something years, and it was quite a famous moment.
Manchester City Citizens Lounge
The Citizens is the same concept, but with better seats in block 205, a nicer lounge area, and a full meal before the game. The seats are right on the halfway line, in the lower part of the stadium’s middle tier, and they are padded with extra leg room.
You have access to the lounge 2.5 hours before the game and 1 hour after — the latter being nice to have another cookie and beverage while the crowds clear out on the streets and at the tram stop. We suggest you get there at least an hour before the game to have a nice relaxed meal.
Here are a couple shots of the lounge:
You’ll be assigned seats at a particular table, which is a nice way to meet other folks. We sat next to some Danish groundhoppers and some local City fans taking advantage of the cheaper prices at a Champions League group-stage game.
Here’s a menu that was on our table:
It’s not just food, by the way: amazingly to Americans like us, you can place a bet right here at your table:
The food is served buffet style, with a meat carving station, salad options, a few different sides, and quite a selection of desserts. Drinks are included as well, and you can pre-order your halftime drink to have it waiting at your table.
The seats are pretty extraordinary, both in comfort and location:
(And yes, they were half empty at the game we saw. City fans don’t care much about the Champions League, especially the group-stage games against lesser opponents.)
Here’s a video we shot from block 205, row B.
When Groundhopper Paul went to this game against Dinamo Zagreb in the Champions League, these seats were selling for around $200 US per person; for a Premier League game, much less a Champions League knockout game, this will be more like $500-600.
If you can afford Man City’s Citizens package, it’s a pretty amazing experience. The 93:20 tends to be considerably cheaper and is quite a bargain compared to some of the other “big six” Premier League clubs.
Looking to see a game at Manchester City? Fill out this form, and we’ll get back to you shortly. We often have other tickets available than what is shown above.