Before restrictions began, we played a total of 20 home games at the Etihad Stadium (13 in the Premier League, three in the Champions League, two in the FA Cup and two in the League Cup).

In the Premier League, the average home attendance for the games played with fans was 54,219, the highest ever in the Etihad Stadium, while average home attendance for the cup games was 47,327, an increase of 2% year-on-year (this rise would be expected to have been higher had the post-lockdown cup games covering the later rounds been played with fans). Fans came from more than 77 different countries, although 70% still live within a 50-mile radius of the Etihad Stadium.

Kicking off in front of a record 31,213 fans against Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium back in September, Caroline Weir’s wonder goal set the tone for another exciting FA Women’s Super League (WSL) campaign. With a 1-0 victory, City earned the bragging rights in what was the first ever Manchester women’s derby, presented by new kit partners PUMA. In the period running up to the league’s premature conclusion in February, the average attendance at women’s games played at the Academy Stadium was up almost 40% year-on-year, from 1,509 in 2018-19 to 2,100 in 2019-20 (this excludes the derby played at the Etihad Stadium).

The Man City Kids Fanzone had a record attendance of more than 2,000 people, and average attendance was up by 30% across the 13 weekend matchdays of the shortened season.

The Etihad Stadium was voted first place in the Premier League (in its annual Fan Experience Survey) for our fan zone, City Square, and the second most child-friendly stadium. Overall, we were in the Premier League’s Top Five clubs in six different categories.

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SENSORY ROOM

For young people with sensory processing issues, the sights, sounds and crowds they encounter on a matchday can be overwhelming, making it difficult for them and their families to attend and enjoy matches. That has been an issue for City fans Mike and his son Charlie, who has autism, as well as Adele and her son Alfie, who has Down's Syndrome and autism.

In October 2019, we opened a sensory room in the Etihad Stadium as a dedicated space for fans like Charlie and Alfie. The specially-designed space provides a safe and controlled environment in which to watch the match while offering a full, unrestricted view of the pitch. Seating is also available in the stadium bowl for those who want to spend some time in the crowd.

The space is not only used for matchdays; City in the Community also invite local schools to see and learn from the sensory room. This includes both special educational needs schools, who use the space to give pupils a fun day at the Etihad Stadium, and mainstream schools who bring students to learn about sensory processing issues.

Alfie and Charlie were among the first children to trial the space during the first four home matches of the 2019-20 season, with Charlie meeting Rodri and being handed a signed shirt on his visit. We have since welcomed 36 more families, with a waiting list for the 2020-21 season, in addition to the 14 families who would have attended the postponed games.

Adele said: "It means the world. It's something I never thought would happen. We've just felt like a normal family coming to a match. It's a fabulous space with everything you need, and he’s been so well looked after. He’s had the best time.” “It's a wonderful facility. It just makes the whole matchday experience for me and Charlie really relaxing”, added Mike.