Dedicated to the Business of Contemporary Live Music

OVG makes second play for a UK arena

27 August 2019

A US company involved in a unsuccessful bid to build an arena in Bristol (see issue 225) is revealed to be making a concerted effort to create a rival venue to the 21,000-capacity Manchester Arena.

Los Angeles-based Oak View Group (OVG), which also owns US live industry publication Pollstar, is hoping to build a 20,000-capacity arena in the Eithad Campus, the site of Manchester City football club’s Eithad Stadium (cap. 63,000) in Eastlands.

Feasibility studies are already underway, In partnership with Manchester City FC owner City Football Group. If successful, it would be OVG’s fist venue in the UK.

“Over the last two decades, Manchester has consistently ranked in the top five global cities for arena events,” says OVG chief executive Tim Leiweke.“A new world-class arena would create thousands of skilled jobs, apprenticeship and training programmes, and generate significant additional revenue for businesses in the city.

However, John Sharkey, executive vice-president of operations at SMG Europe, which manages Manchester Arena, believes the city is unable to sustain two major arenas (see LIVE UK issue 233).

“We are extremely surprised that the council has even considered this direction,” he told LIVE UK in June. “We are absolutely not scared of competition and are happy to support other developments that are going on in Manchester, where there is a gap in the market.

“We just don’t see how there is a market for another 20,000-capacity arena in the city.”

Artistes playing Manchester Arena include Eagles, Westlife, Carrie Underwood, KISS, Alice Cooper, Little Mix and The Chemical Brothers.

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