Plans from Oak View Group (OVG) are published today for a new arena in East Manchester, which would be the largest privately financed venue in the UK, with £350 million direct investment going into the city.
This follows an announcement last month that OVG had chosen Manchester, a city world-famous for its music, entertainment, and sporting heritage, to be the home of its first major project outside of the United States.
The maximum capacity of the proposed arena is 23,500, significantly larger than the regular operating capacity of the existing Manchester Arena which operated at under 15,000-capacity for 90% of events 2014-18. In addition to its flexibility, the proposed arena will be compact and deliver an acoustically exceptional auditorium, providing an intimate as well as engaging fan experience for all.
Tim Leiweke, co-founder and Chief Executive of Oak View Group, said:
“Manchester is a thriving city with an iconic history of world-leading music, sport and live entertainment. We live in unprecedented times and we stand in solidarity with everyone affected by this disease. We obviously have a particular concern for those who work in the live entertainment industry, which is hugely impacted by the current situation. But I know Manchester, and this city has always come back stronger from whatever has hit it. We are 100% committed for the long-haul.
“The city has undergone transformational growth in recent years, but without a new state-of-the-art arena it will continue to lose out to other cities on some of the world’s best events.
“Our design brief for the new arena was three-fold. We want to deliver the best in class artist-fan experience for any arena in Europe; to have the flexibility to accommodate multiple event types so Manchester can host a broader range of music, sport and entertainment events; and to aim to build the most sustainable arena in the UK.
“We knew that to be a success, our proposals for a new venue needed to work alongside the existing arena, ensure a demonstrable socio-economic uplift for the city, and support the ongoing regeneration efforts underway in East Manchester. We are pleased that in-depth studies, with industry trends, economic data and growth forecasts all interrogated, indicate that Manchester could support two successful arenas, even under the most conservative growth projections.
“We’re also incredibly grateful for the guidance and feedback from local people and the city’s business community over the last seven months. We are confident the plans we are presenting today are extremely beneficial for the city and will put Manchester on the global entertainment map for decades.”