Manchester Prepares for Uefa Cup Fans

By: Karri Madelline

Manchester is bracing itself for the Uefa Cup Final on 14th May, which will see an estimated 100,000 football fans descend upon the city to see Glasgow Rangers play Zenit St Petersburg at the City of Manchester Stadium.

Manchester Council officials have urged fans of both teams not to travel to Manchester without a ticket for the match. However, a Manchester council spokesperson also said that they are expecting a number of fans to come to the city anyway, so they plan to put on a programme of entertainment for them. The spokesperson said: "Realistically, city chiefs know that thousands will want to be near their club during the crucial match."

It is thought that Uefa has allocated around 13,000 tickets for the 44,00-capacity game to fans of each team. Despite this, tens of thousands of Rangers fans are still expected to come down to Manchester from Glasgow for the game, which means that the host city can expect to receive anything up to 100,000 football fans. It is not yet known whether the council will erect giant TV screens in the city, which will enable ticketless fans to watch the important match in Manchester.

The council has confirmed that they will be providing entertainment, food, drink and travel to supporters of both teams in order to make their time in the city as comfortable as possible. It is thought that these facilities will be provided to supporters in a number of dedicated fan zones that will be scattered throughout the city in a variety of locations, including Albert Square and Piccadilly Gardens.
As well as providing entertainment, food and drink in these fan zones, a number of three-a-side football tournaments have also been planned to take place in the Castlefield area of the city. In addition to this, there will be shuttle buses to transport fans between the city centre to the stadium.

Manchester officials have high expectations for match day and are encouraging the community, as well as pubs and hotels in the city, to help them make the day as special as possible for both sets of fans. Gerry Donnellan of Greater Manchester Police said: "Everyone in Manchester has a part to play in creating an enjoyable and busy atmosphere. We want pubs and hotel to be open and to be properly staffed so that we can give visitors a proper welcome. We want to deliver a successful event for everyone who lives and works in Manchester and for our visitors."

Councillor Pat Karney has told fans that they will be representatives of their own teams and cities, so advised them to behave themselves while they are in Manchester. He said: "It's going to be a fantastic busy day and we are making plans so that everyone can enjoy themselves. Fans will be ambassadors for their clubs and their cities, so our message to them is, 'Please don't let down your home city'."

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