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City Football Group named as joint venture partner for Co-op Live

Manchester City owner to invest in UK£350m project alongside Oak View Group.

24 May 2021 Ed Dixon
  • Pair will coordinate on jobs, sustainability and advancing the Etihad Campus as a global sport, leisure and entertainment destination
  • Venue looking to rival Madison Square Garden, The Forum and The O2 arena

City Football Group (CFG), owner of newly crowned Premier League champions Manchester City, has joined US-based venue development and management company Oak View Group as an equal joint venture partner and investor in the new Co-op Live venue.

The UK£350 million (US$495 million) indoor music and entertainment arena is being built on the campus next to City’s Etihad Stadium and the deal will see OVG and CFG work together with the goal of delivering ‘one of the world’s most advanced and sustainable venues’.

The collaboration will also aim to strengthen the Etihad Campus’ standing as an entertainment and leisure destination for visitors to Manchester from the UK and around the world.

The 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 the planning approval in September 2020. 

Musician Harry Styles, best known as a member of boyband One Direction, has also taken a minority stake in Co-op Live.

The venue is currently in the main construction phase, with UK£150 million (US$212 million) of orders already placed with local firms. The project is supporting 3,350 jobs during construction and a further 1,000 once the venue opens. Co-op Live is scheduled to open in December 2023 at the earliest.

“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,” said Tim Leiweke, co-founder and chief executive of OVG. “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.” 

CFG’s involvement represents its latest investment in the local area. The group says it has overseen more than UK£700 million (US$989 million) of public investment into the Etihad Campus and East Manchester since 2008.

Marty Edelman, board director at CFG, added: “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.” 

Co-op Live

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