As Manchester gets ready to become a giant football party venue for the UEFA Cup Final on 14 May, the city is gearing up for one of its busiest days.
Fans of Rangers FC and FC Zenit St Petersburg will gather at fan zones in Albert Square, Piccadilly Gardens and Cathedral Gardens, where entertainment will be provided throughout the day and big outdoor screens will show the match in the evening. Thousands more will flock to pubs and clubs that will be screening the match.
With tens of thousands of additional visitors expected, City leaders are advising everyone to allow extra time for journeys and to make greater use of our excellent bus, train and tram services to minimise their journey times.
There will be additional demand for car parking throughout the city and in order to keep traffic flowing, parking restrictions will be strictly enforced, especially around the Stadium where residents-only zones will be in force. Some roads around Albert Square will be closed during the day, including parts of Princess Street and Mount Street.
Manchester City Council's city centre spokesman Councillor Pat Karney, said: "The UEFA Cup Final day will be a very busy one for the city and I'm sure that Manchester people will give a fantastic welcome to fans of the Scottish and Russian teams. "Our city is well used to friendly invasions of many thousands of visitors for major events including the Commonwealth Games in 2002.
"The fan zones, pubs and clubs will provide lots of opportunities for fans not lucky enough to have match tickets to see the match and soak up the party atmosphere."
Extra street cleaning and refuse collection teams will be working hard to keep the city clean and tidy. More than 300 additional toilets will be provided at fan zones and on walking routes between the city centre and the City of Manchester Stadium where the match will take place.
Detailed information about fan zones, travel and parking arrangements will be available on the Council's website www.manchester.gov.uk within the next few days.
Martin Hellewell, tel 0161 234 3729.