Venue Focus: Manchester, England

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Several first class sporting facilities were built in Manchester for the 2002 Commonwealth Games, including the City of Manchester Stadium, the National Squash Centre and the Manchester Aquatics Centre. The Manchester Velodrome was built as a part of its failed bid for the 2000 Olympic Games. It hosted the UCI Track Cycling World Championships for the third time in 2008. Various sporting arenas around the city will be used as training facilities by athletes preparing for the 2012 Olympics in London. The MEN Arena hosted the FINA World Swimming Championships in 2008.

Manchester is well–known for being a city of sport. Two English Premier League football clubs bear the city's name, Manchester United and Manchester City. Manchester City's ground is at the City of Manchester Stadium (near 48, 000 capacity); Manchester United's Old Trafford ground, the largest club football ground in the UK, with a capacity of 76, 000, is just outside the city, in the borough of Trafford. It is the only club football ground in England to have hosted the UEFA Champions League Final, in 2003. It is also the venue of the Super League Grand Final in rugby league. Lancashire County Cricket Club's ground is also in Trafford. Manchester United has the widest football club fanbase in the world, while Manchester City is the richest football club in the world, thanks to its wealthy owners. As mentioned above, the City of Manchester Stadium was built for the 2002 Commonwealth Games. After the Games, a temporary stand at the northern end of the stadium was dismantled and a permanent structure matching the rest of the stadium was developed. In addition, the ground level was lowered by approximately 10m and the entire level one seating area was constructed. The capacity for the Games was approximately 38, 000. This increased in preparation for Manchester City's arrival in 2003, and the official capacity by April 2008 was recorded as 47, 726. The UK's first ever greyhound race around an oval track took place at Manchester's Belle Vue Stadium on 24 July 1926. The stadium now also hosts speedway and stock car racing. Manchester venues by capacityOld Trafford (Manchester United FC) – capacity 75, 797City Of Manchester Stadium (Manchester City FC) – capacity 48, 000City of Salford Stadium (Salford Reds RLFC) – capacity 20, 000Edgeley Park (Sale Sharks/Stockport County) – capacity 10, 800Lancashire County Cricket Club, Old Trafford – capacity 19, 000Belle Vue Stadium (speedway/greyhound) – capacity 4, 100Manchester Velodrome, National Cycling Centre – capacity 3, 500National BMX Centre – capacity 2, 000National Squash Centre – capacity 1, 200Manchester Regional Arena (athletics) – capacity 6, 000Manchester Indoor Arena – capacity 1, 800Manchester Tennis Centre – capacity 2, 000Manchester Regional Hockey Centre – capacity 4, 000 (temporary)Manchester Aquatics Centre – capacity 1, 000Manchester Evening News Arena (multi use indoor) – capacity 23, 000Manchester Central (multi use indoor) – capacity 14, 000Amaechi Basketball Centre – capacity 1, 200Wythenshawe Forum – capacity 1, 000Salford Quays (open water swimming / triathlon) – capacity 5, 000

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