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Populous, BAM tapped for new OVG Manchester arena design, construction

Proposed Manchester Arena rendering

International architecture firm Populous and European construction firm Royal BAM Group have been tapped by Oak View Group to design and build a new Manchester arena billed as the largest of its kind in the UK.

According to a press release, the venue will be the largest-capacity indoor arena in the UK, but also the most sustainable and energy-efficient. The Manchester arena design and construction from Populous and Royal BAM Group will stress sustainability and specifically designed to support Manchester’s Zero Carbon 2038 commitments. It will incorporate a suite of cutting-edge sustainability features to create an inclusive, low carbon and low waste venue, with a target of sending zero operational waste to landfill.

The arena would target large concerts that OVG officials believe are currently passing over Manchester, though it would also be positioned to draw a wide range of sporting events that could include basketball, hockey, MMA, and more. The transformer-like bowl will bring fans closer to the stage than at any comparable venue in Europe, as well as incorporating bespoke standing spaces throughout the venue, rather than only on the arena floor. The arena can also be reconfigured for a range of events and opportunities to support a year-round event program.

“I’m thrilled that we have put together a project team of such calibre, and with such strong links to the beating heart of the North West – Manchester,” said Tim Leiweke, co-founder and Chief Executive of Oak View Group, said via press statement. “While we are living in uncertain times, we know that Manchester and its people are resilient. And we look forward to being intrinsic to the redevelopment of the east of the City, working in close partnership with local people who are the most important part of this project. Manchester is a thriving and vibrant city – and along with BAM, Populous, and our other incredible partners, we are excited about a new addition to its entertainment scene in the coming months.”

Under the vision from OVG, a new £350-million arena (over $448 million in American dollars) with a capacity of up to 23,500 would be built on Manchester’s Etihad Campus, which currently includes Etihad Stadium—the home of Premier League’s Manchester City F.C.

Currently, OVG is playing a role in several major arena projects in the United States, including those taking place in Seattle, at Belmont Park (in partnership with the New York Islanders and Sterling Project Development), and Austin, where the firm is building a venue as part of a partnership that includes the University of Texas for college basketball and other events. Last March, the firm announced the launch of London-based OVG International, an entity designed to explore opportunities in U.K., Europe, Asia and Middle East markets. 

Rendering courtesy Oak View Group.

RELATED STORIES: Oak View Group Pitching New Manchester Arena

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