Oak View Group (OVG) has published plans for a new ‘rival’ Manchester arena on the Etihad Campus.
The maximum capacity of the proposed arena is 23,500, larger than the regular operating capacity of the existing Manchester Arena which operated at under 15,000-capacity for 90% of events 2014-18.
However, the plans faced criticism in an independent study conducted by financial advisor Grant Thornton UK LLP, in association with Oxford Economics, that said the arena could have a ‘devastating impact’ on Manchester Arena and other businesses in the city.
Other small business owners told the study that they are concerned that the arena will take trade away from the city centre.
OVG insists that they want to ‘work alongside’ the existing arena.
Tim Leiweke, co-founder and chief executive of OVG, said: ‘Manchester is a thriving city with an iconic history of world-leading music, sport and live entertainment. We live in unprecedented times and we stand in solidarity with everyone affected by this disease.
‘We obviously have a particular concern for those who work in the live entertainment industry, which is hugely impacted by the current situation. But I know Manchester, and this city has always come back stronger from whatever has hit it. We are 100% committed for the long-haul.
‘We knew that to be a success, our proposals for a new venue needed to work alongside the existing arena, ensure a demonstrable socio-economic uplift for the city, and support the ongoing regeneration efforts underway in East Manchester.
‘We are pleased that in-depth studies, with industry trends, economic data and growth forecasts all interrogated, indicate that Manchester could support two successful arenas, even under the most conservative growth projections.
‘We’re also incredibly grateful for the guidance and feedback from local people and the city’s business community over the last seven months. We are confident the plans we are presenting today are extremely beneficial for the city and will put Manchester on the global entertainment map for decades.’