With the 2014-15 season well under way now, fans from across the UK and beyond are getting ready to celebrate the beautiful game at a major global event. The 2014 Soccerex Football Festival will be taking place on 6th – 7th September in Manchester, and it promises to be a mouth-watering occasion for anyone who has even a passing interest in the sport.

The festival has been held in Brazil, the UAE and South Africa in the past, but this year it is being held in a city that is rightly regarded as a hotbed for the game. Manchester’s global profile in the footballing world has always been high, thanks to the achievements of both United and City, and this spectacular occasion promises to make it even more prominent. Some of the greatest players of recent times are scheduled to appear at the event, including some who have close links with the city.

Bryan Robson, former England and Manchester United skipper, is one of many famous names set to make an appearance. Others include Ruud Gullit, Carlos Valderrama, Romario, John Barnes, Marcel Desailly and Cafu. Another United legend, Eric Cantona, is also expected to grace the occasion. To add to the good news, the two-day festival is completely free for spectators.

The Timetable

The Soccerex Football Festival takes place over two full days, beginning on the 6th September. It is held at BT City Square, right next door to Manchester City’s superb Etihad Stadium. Events include coaching sessions for youngsters, a youth football tournament, freestyle workshops and competitions and, perhaps the most mouth-watering highlight of them all, the famous Soccerex Legends Tournament.

Soccerex 2014 is a major international business convention, of which the Football Festival is a part. While many prestigious corporations from the world of commerce and media will be present, it is reassuring to know there is plenty of fun to be had for visiting fans. The fact that Manchester is in many ways the spiritual home of English football merely adds to the anticipation.

The Venue – City Square

Manchester City’s recent successes on the pitch have been accompanied by plenty of advances off it and their superb Etihad Stadium is the envy of a great many clubs around the world. BT City Square is adjacent to the stadium and it is the perfect venue for the festival. Easy to get to and offering the most up-to-the-minute facilities, event organisers know this year’s event will be held in a wonderfully iconic location.


Getting There

Public transport

Visitors to BT City Square have a number of travel options open to them. The venue is a 20-minute walk from Manchester’s main Piccadilly Station, which offers extensive rail links to every major UK city. Several buses pass the stadium and there is a dedicated Metrolink station called Etihad Campus, which is just ten minutes from Piccadilly.


There are a limited number of car parking spaces at the stadium itself, but there are also several satellite car parks located nearby. The stadium is accessed via Alan Turing Way. As the event starts at 09:30 on the Saturday and 10:00 on the Sunday, visitors are advised to get there early.


Manchester is a major international centre for business and tourism, and as such you will find an extensive choice of accommodation options throughout the city. Everything from small, family-run guesthouses to prestigious international hotels can be found here, so those who are looking to stay in the city will be able to shop around for the ideal choice with ease.

One of the best hotels in the city is less than 30 minutes away and it is a popular place for visitors from across the globe. The Crowne Plaza Manchester Airport has everything you need for a luxurious stay, including an excellent restaurant and a state of the art gym. The stadium is just 10 miles or so north of the hotel.

What Else To See?

There are so many things to see and do in Manchester, a city which is buzzing with excitement. For sports fans, however, the number one attraction surely has to be the National Football Museum, which is located in Todd Street in the city centre. A huge collection of fascinating exhibits is to be found here, so be sure to set aside enough time to see everything.

The rivalry between Manchester’s two clubs has always been intense, and while City are currently Premier League champions most people will tell you that United are still the biggest club in the country. Their Old Trafford stadium is a major tourist destination in its own right and is well worth a visit. Guided tours are available throughout the year, but be sure to book one in advance to avoid disappointment.

Lovers of retail therapy will have a great time in this city, thanks to the proliferation of top of the line stores. The Lowry Outlet Mall, the Trafford Centre and the Arndale Centre are all rightly famous for their big name shops, but it is worth noting you will also find a wonderful selection of independent stores throughout the city. Whatever you are looking for, you can be sure of finding it in Manchester.

If you prefer to relax somewhere a little more peaceful, a trip to Heaton Park is just what you need. There is plenty of tranquillity to be found here as you stroll amongst the greenery. The perfect place for a family day out, you will also be able to take a boat out on the lake, visit the Tram Museum and maybe even have a go at horse-riding.

In the evenings, the city lights up and gets ready to party. And this is particularly evident when you visit Chinatown. Teeming with superb restaurants and captivating stores, it is a must-try experience for all visitors to Manchester. Just walking through the streets and savouring the sights, sounds and smells of this neighbourhood is enough to make you want to return again and again.