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Drivers of Atmosphere at the Etihad Stadium

Millington, Steven and Medway, Dominic and Steadman, Chloe and Roberts, Gareth (2017) Drivers of Atmosphere at the Etihad Stadium. UNSPECIFIED. Institute of Place Management, Manchester.

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Abstract

This executive report details the results of a research study exploring drivers of atmosphere at Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium on match days. The work was commissioned by Manchester City Football Group, and undertaken by the Institute of Place Management (IPM) at Manchester Metropolitan University between February and June 2017. The research involved a ‘netnography’ of Manchester City fans drawing upon three online forums, the social media platforms Twitter and Facebook, and audience discussions relating to online news articles. In addition, three focus groups were undertaken with Manchester City fans at the Etihad Stadium. The findings indicated that whilst fans can recall examples of memorable and fantastic match day atmospheres at the venue, they are also able to recall many incidences in which the atmosphere has been poor or disappointing. The report contends that poor or problematic atmosphere can be more easily understood from the perspective of a timeline, moving from pre-match build-up to during the match itself. Within this timeline, a series of potential atmospheric disruptions are identified. These disruptions are placed on a matrix, indicating their overall potential influence on match day atmosphere and the degree of control the football club has over them. On the basis of this matrix, recommendations and interventions for improving the atmosphere at the Etihad Stadium on match days are recommended.

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