Co-op Live enters JV with Manchester City FC owners; Harry Styles also takes a stake

CGI of how how Co-op Live will look

Oak View Group, the American firm behind Co-op Live, Manchester’s newest 23,000 capacity arena, has agreed a new joint venture partnership with Manchester City FC owners City Football Group to deliver the new venue.

OVG has also agreed a deal with Harry Styles, who has taken a minority stake in the venue.

Together, OVG and CFG will deliver one of the world’s most sustainable venues next to the Etihad Campus.

The huge £350m project, one of the biggest to start nationally since the onset of Covid, will provide a much-needed boost for the local construction industry at a critical time for economic recovery after the pandemic.

Co-op Live will play “a pivotal role” in CFG’s ambitions to continue developing the Etihad Campus as a global sport, leisure and entertainment destination that is a significant source of community, employment and economic opportunity for Manchester.

The new joint venture builds on the 2019 pre-planning collaboration that saw CFG, as lead developer of the Etihad Campus, support OVG’s feasibility studies and community consultations in advance of September 2020 planning approval.

Tim Leiweke, co-founder and CEO, OVG, said: “We are thrilled that CFG has chosen to invest in Co-op Live, and we can’t think of a better partner for this project. We are creating one of the world’s best arenas in Manchester.

“This venue will push the boundaries of live entertainment and be a significant source of opportunity for the city. We also know that this is precisely the right time to make such a substantial financial investment in Manchester, helping it build back from the terrible impact of COVID-19.

“The Etihad Campus was always a clear choice due to its proximity to the city centre and the opportunity to be part of a growing visitor destination with excellent existing transport links.

“With CFG as a JV partner, we can push the boundaries on how Co-op Live delivers for artists, every single fan, the UK’s music industry and the city by creating a magical intersection of sports, community and entertainment that will be the envy of the world.”

Etihad campus

Marty Edelman, Board Director at City Football Group, commented: “Co-op Live unlocks the potential for the Etihad Campus to grow as an entertainment destination that creates more reasons for the nation and world to visit Manchester.

“The Chairman and the Board’s priority has always been to ensure Co-op Live seamlessly integrates with the Campus and compliments Manchester’s city centre offer. As a joint venture partner and investor, we will ensure the Co-op Live becomes part of the fabric of East Manchester and delivers the fullest community and economic impact as Manchester, and the wider region builds back from COVID.”