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    Making the football stadium homely: Manchester City’s relocation from Maine Road to the Etihad

    Edensor, Tim ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4715-6024, Millington, Steve ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5143-3074 and Steadman, Chloe ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1132-3502 (2023) Making the football stadium homely: Manchester City’s relocation from Maine Road to the Etihad. Emotion, Space and Society, 49. p. 100971. ISSN 1755-4586

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    Much geographical literature concerning home focuses on its emotional potency. This paper explores how football supporters consider their club’s stadium as a ‘home’. However, this sense of homeliness can evaporate when clubs relocate to new stadia, rupturing matchday routines and feelings of belonging. This is exemplified by the relocation of Manchester City Football Club from their former home ground Maine Road to the Etihad Stadium in 2003, leaving many longstanding supporters disoriented and bereft. We explore how in response, the club have sought to make the Etihad feel more homely through three key approaches: foregrounding continuities through generating nostalgia and heritage, acknowledging fan cultures, and promoting interactivity. More broadly, the paper contributes to expansive and relational understandings of home, demonstrating how feelings of homeliness can extend beyond a single site as football fans move through the spaces surrounding a football stadium.

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