Manchester City supporters will be able to pay to watch Pep Guardiola’s stars prepare for matches at the Etihad Stadium through a glass players’ tunnel thought to be the first of its kind in Europe.
City fans prepared to pay for the privilege will be able to eat and drink in a newly built executive lounge with a view as players from both teams emerge from the dressing rooms in front of them and walk down a staircase surrounded completely by glass on their way to the pitch.
The scheme may yet draw comment from opposition clubs who may not be thrilled by the idea of their players being visible after leaving the field at full and half-time while still full of adrenaline and emotion.
Neighbours Manchester United, for example, have previously complained at the use of a camera in the tunnel which shows footage of players coming off the pitch broadcast on the City website.
Ryan Giggs was shown on the ‘tunnel cam’ pursuing match referee Michael Oliver after United lost a derby 4-1 at the Etihad three years ago.
However, work has already started on the construction which is thought to be based on a concept currently in use at the Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium in American Football’s NFL.
By the start of next season City’s ever-evolving stadium will have new dressing rooms located on the first floor of the Main Stand with the new glass tunnel leading down to the ground floor and on to the pitch.
Fans paying for the privilege of getting up close and personal with Guardiola’s players will also be able to watch them arrive at the stadium through another glass partition.
They will then be offered premium padded seats close to the pitch behind the current dug-outs.
City have not yet drawn up a price structure for the new lounge but tickets are expected to be available on a one-off or season-ticket basis.