Football Trade Directory

Manchester City look at new music venue at Etihad Campus

Manchester City are partnering with Oak View Group (OVG) to explore the possibility of building a 20,000-seater music and events venue close to the club’s Etihad Stadium.

City Football Group, the Premier League giants’ ownership group, and the US arena operator will now conduct a feasibility study into the project, which OVG has stressed would be entirely privately-financed and would not seek any public subsidy.

If the project is pushed through, the indoor venue would become part of the Etihad Campus, which as well as City’s 55,000-capacity home includes their City Football Academy (CFA) training facility and club headquarters, along with large areas of land also owned by the club.

City are already one of the richest teams in world soccer, but the Financial Times (FT) says the club see a music and events venue as another way to boost revenues and support their on-pitch ambitions.

“Over the last two decades, Manchester has consistently ranked in the top five global cities for arena events,” said OVG Co-Founder and 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.

“Under­standing the priorities of the community will be a critical part of any proposal, and we are delighted to be working closely with City Football Group as we begin this initial phase of consultation.­”

Manchester Evening News first reported in December that a US investor had approached the city’s council with a view to building a new music and events venue, which would rival the existing 21,000-seater Manchester Arena operated by property management firm SMG.

Speaking to the FT, John Sharkey, SMG’s Vice President of European Operations, warned that  a new venue would put the future of Manchester Arena at risk. 

“The market won’t support two 20,000-capacity venues,” he said. “One is going to fail.”

JC

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