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Sportcity: a guide to the venues in East Manchester

City of Manchester stadium
Manchester City want to build a 'world class' attraction at Eastlands

With world class facilities for football, athletics, tennis, squash and cycling, Sportcity certainly lives up to its name.

The construction of a host of sporting venues for the 2002 Commonwealth Games on a once derelict plot transformed one of the poorest areas of Manchester.

Sportcity is the biggest concentration of sporting venues in Europe

But after high rolling plans for the UK's only Las Vegas-style super-casino at Eastlands were scrapped, there is still no major visitor attraction on site.

Now, Manchester City has signed a £1 billion agreement with Manchester City Council to create a ''world class sports and leisure complex' of 'national significance.'

City's plans also include a new training ground and a look into expanding the stadium's current 48,000 capacity.

So what's at Sportcity now? And what can we expect?

City of Manchester Stadium

Built as the main 2002 Commonwealth Games stadium, the track was ripped up a year later to become the new home of Manchester City FC and the club's billionnaire owners after Maine Road was bulldozed for housing. One of a new generation of modern stadia, it's now seen fit to host major events such as the now infamous 2006 Uefa Cup final which saw Rangers fans running riot in the city centre. Has also staged major concerts such as local true Blue legends Oasis. Holds 48,000 spectators.

Manchester Velodrome

Victoria Pendleton
Olympic gold-medallist Victoria Pendleton at Manchester Velodrome

The home of British Cycling, the Velodrome is largely credited with the seven gold medals bagged by Team GB at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. It's also regarded as one of the finest track cycling venues on the planet with 15 world records and has hosted three World Championships.

Look out for the monthly Revolution events where Chris Hoy, Victoria Pendleton, Bradley Wiggins et al are frequently in competitive action. Also public sessions giving ordinary people the chance to ride the golden track. With other UK velodromes being counted on the fingers of two fingers, Manchester remains the first choice for the nation's track cyclists.

National Squash Centre

Another national venue and the home to England Squash. Facilities at the centre include six standard and one glass show-court. All courts are state-of-the-art, which can be configured for single or double play at the push of a button. Manchester City Council organise sessions for children and adults to develop their squash skills.

National BMX Centre

National BMX Centre
The National BMX Centre opens at Sportcity in April 2011

Riding on the foot pegs of the Velodrome next year will be the latest addition to the Sportcity portfolio - a £19m national indooor BMX centre. Construction is already under way on the 110,000 sq ft arena which will include seating for 2,000 spectators. Manchester's Olympic BMXer Shanaze Reade has already chosen it as her 2012 training venue. Should be completed by April 2011.

Manchester Regional Arena

Athletics stadium developed from the original 2002 Commonwealth Games warm-up track. Boasts an eight lane 400m track with covered seating for 6,500 spectators. The arena can host all track and field events and is the venue for the AAA's annual National Athletics Trials, the Paralympic World Cup and a number of regional athletics events. Also used for community events.

Regional Tennis Centre

Six indoor and six outdoor courts that are open to the public and can be booked out by local clubs. The outdoor courts are fully floodlit to LTA standards and the indoor courts are fitted with a plexicushion surface.

English Institute of Sport

Training venue for lottery funded athletics, world class performance athletes and potential athletes. Offers state-of-the-art medical assistance, rehabilitation, physiotherapy, performance analysis and the highest level of coaching.

City sign 1bn regeneration deal
12 Mar 10 |  Manchester

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