The Manchester City Council approved Oak View Group’s plan for a 23,500-capacity arena at the Etihad Campus, despite Manchester Arena opposition to the plan.
The plan calls for a new £350-million arena (over $448 million in American dollars) at Manchester’s Etihad Campus, which currently includes Etihad Stadium, home of Premier League’s Manchester City F.C. 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.
Following final confirmation from national planning authorities, OVG plans to begin work as early as November, generating 3,350 jobs during a three-year construction phase. The arena will create a further 1,000 jobs when the arena opens in 2023. OVG has committed to pay all employees at least the Manchester Living Wage and will prioritize hiring local people.
The issue raised by Manchester Arena: they argued the market did not need another large arena, with Manchester Arena capable of hosting 21,000 attendees. In the end, the city council agreed that the new arena would expand the market. As part of the planning application, OVG commissioned independent research that indicated the arena will drive up to £1.5bn extra activity in the city’s economy. Further research showed that Manchester’s live entertainment market has the potential for an extra 2.05 million visitors by 2035.
“We’re delighted that Manchester City Council has given our proposals the go-ahead, and we can’t wait to get started, bringing a £350-million private investment, creating thousands of jobs, and delivering one of the world’s best arenas to this amazing city,” said Tim Leiweke, OVG’s co-founder and Chief Executive, via press release. “I want to say a huge thank you to the community for taking the time to listen to what we had to say and providing feedback that ensured this arena is of Manchester, for Manchester and by Manchester.”
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.
Renderingscourtesy Oak View Group.