15-year naming rights deal agreed for Manchester’s second arena

The Co-op is to put its name to Manchester’s planned second arena in a 15-year deal.

Oak View Group has agreed the naming rights deal for its £350m venue that will be built next to the Etihad Stadium.

The arena, which will be known as Co-op Live, received planning permission last week and will become the UK’s largest indoor arena. The 23,500-capacity venue is scheduled to open in 2023.

The development promises to create 3,350 construction jobs, starting from November, and 1,000 jobs at the arena when it is open.

Tim Leiweke, chief executive of Oak View Group, said: “Our partnership goes way beyond a normal naming rights agreement. The shared values will help define the ethos of the venue, including bold commitments on sustainability and community.

“I’ve said from the beginning of this project that this arena will be of Manchester, for Manchester and by Manchester, and this partnership with one of the city’s most iconic brands is a critical part of that. We can’t wait to work together to bring amazing live event experiences, in one of the world’s best arenas, to Manchester.”

The partnership is designed to create a number of wider benefits, promoting the Co-op values.

Around £1m a year will go to good causes across the UK – distributed by the Co-op Foundation – and the arena will be one of the most sustainable and socially responsible buildings of its type in Europe.

It plans to be at the forefront of Manchester’s zero carbon agenda and to help to tackle food poverty via a zero-food waste initiative.

The arena will have an apprenticeship programme and provide direct employment opportunities for the Co-op’s six secondary and college academies across Greater Manchester.

Co-op’s group chief executive Steve Murrells said: “Co-op is set up with a clear goal to serve the interests of its members and invest for the long-term.

“The entertainment arena brings to life the co-operative difference and our vision to co-operate for a fairer world, from its sustainable construction, support for communities, zero food waste and member only exclusive benefits.”