Typical City: B of the Bang
Footy talk with an artistic twist. My team, Manchester City, used to play at a ground on the fringes of Moss Side, called Maine Road. Like the team, it was a funny old place, with a rather odd juxtaposition of stands. The Kippax was a massive three tier structure, modern and impressive, which completely failed to mesh with the other three sides of the ground. Then there were the temporary corner stands, designed to fill in the gaps and increase capacity. It was a stadium suited to the team.
Then a few years back we moved to The City of Manchester Stadium. Remarkably, City seemed to have made a shrewd move. A brand new stadium at the expense of the council, built for the Commonwealth games in 2002, and then retrofitted out as a state-of-the-art football venue.
But things are never straightforward with the world's most interesting football club. A remarkable 60 metre sculpture was commissioned for the entrance to the stadium. 'B of the Bang' is a dramatic metal construction featuring large, lethal-looking shards of metal (pictured, rather unflatteringly, from the stadium itself on a cold February day). These shards began to fall off, rather perilously. So the studio responsible has just settled with Manchester City Council for £1.7 million (see BBC news story). It's just so city.