Co-op Live: First look inside Manchester’s new arena as work on roof is completed

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Here is an update on what’s happening with Manchester’s new Co-op Live arena.

The construction of Manchester’s Co-op Live Arena has reached a milestone this week as work on the roof was completed with a “topping out” ceremony.

The event on Wednesday 5 July was the first time guests have been invited to take a look inside the entertainment venue. Among them were partners, venue stakeholders, premium guests, as well as the construction and subcontractor team. Guests were also invited to sign the acoustic roof cassette before it was lifted into place.

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Once complete, the Co-op Live arena will be the largest entertainment venue in the UK. The opening date for the arena was originally scheduled for December 2023, however last month it was announced that it had been pushed back to April 2024. The line-up of the venue’s opening season of events is yet to be announced.

Coop Live arena Coop Live arena
Coop Live arena | Co-op Live

Aside from being the largest, organisers say this will also be the UK’s most socially responsible arena, with all-green electric power, zero waste to landfill and 100% rainwater collection. Co-op Live will also donate at least £1m a year to the Co-op Foundation as part of the new ‘Gigs that Give Back’ scheme.

The £365-million project is a joint venture between Oak View Group and the City Football Group, which owns Manchester City and the Etihad campus where the new arena is located. Singer Harry Styles is also one of the investors.

So far, the construction of the arena has created 3,350 jobs and the arena will create a further 2,000 in the run-up to its opening.

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Mayor Andy Burnham attends the “topping out” ceremony for the Co-op Live arena. Credit: Co-op LiveMayor Andy Burnham attends the “topping out” ceremony for the Co-op Live arena. Credit: Co-op Live
Mayor Andy Burnham attends the “topping out” ceremony for the Co-op Live arena. Credit: Co-op Live | Co-op Live

What do the organisers say?

Tim Leiweke, Oak View Group CEO says: “In the last decade, Manchester has slipped from a top three global concert market, and is now no longer even in the top ten. That is not a reflection of the music or audiences of Manchester, which are stronger than ever. It is a reflection on investment in cultural infrastructure. Co-op Live will put Manchester back where it deserves to be, as a global entertainment powerhouse.”

Gary Roden, Co-op Live Executive Director and General Manager, adds: “I have no doubt this venue is going to be one of the world’s best live entertainment experiences, and we can’t wait to announce the iconic artists who will play our stage very soon.”

Amanda Jennings, Director of Marketing Communications at Co-op, said: “This arena will embody Co-op’s principles, values and vision and we’re looking forward to seeing these brought to life through this unique partnership, which has been five years in the making.

Guests sign the roof cassette as part of the Co-op Live arena’s “topping out” ceremony on 5 July. Credit: Co-op LiveGuests sign the roof cassette as part of the Co-op Live arena’s “topping out” ceremony on 5 July. Credit: Co-op Live
Guests sign the roof cassette as part of the Co-op Live arena’s “topping out” ceremony on 5 July. Credit: Co-op Live | Co-op Live

“We’re excited to start sharing more detail on what we have in the pipeline for our Co-op members. As well as offering first in line access to tickets for every event, we’re developing a delicious new range of Co-op food that will be exclusively available at Co-op Live, as well as perks in the venue and access to money can’t buy experiences via the Co-op members app."

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Ferran Soriano, CEO at City Football Group, said: “Co-op Live will play a pivotal role in City Football Group’s plans to develop the Etihad Campus into a year-round entertainment destination, but it will also bring with it a significant source of community, employment, and economic opportunity for the city of Manchester and its people.

“We are incredibly proud to have partnered with OVG on this project and look forward to welcoming fans from across the world to the arena next year.”

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