AO Arena’s £50 million redevelopment to see capacity increase to 23,000 ahead of Co-op Live opening

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 The capacity increase is part of a huge redevelopment at the city centre venue.

The AO Arena has been a feature of the Manchester events scene for nearly 30 years, hosting bands, dance shows and sporting events involving professionals from all over the world. In 2024, it will be able to welcome even more people through its doors. 

This comes as the venue announces details of a huge £50 million redevelopment set to take the arena to the next level. One new boost through the redevelopment is new technology on entrances and exits. The arena has said that once installed, the arena will be the quickest to get in and out of in Europe. 

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Another aspect of the upgrade will see new bars opened and the highly anticipated opening of The Mezz restaurant, which will include some dishes created by Michelin-star chef Simon Rogan and chef Tom Barnes of Skof. The range of food and drink options will be on the rise across the arena.

Perhaps the biggest take from the redevelopment is the increase in the capacity of the AO Arena. Much has been said in recent months over the planned opening of Co-op Live in April, a venue that will have a total capacity of 23,500. 

The confirmed increase of capacity at the AO Arena will take it up to 23,000, just 500 under that of the new venue in the city. The increased AO Arena numbers will see more than 6,500 people be able to fit on the floor of the venue, something that will be particularly important when the big bands come to town. 

The AO Arena in Manchester (Photo: Getty) The AO Arena in Manchester (Photo: Getty)
The AO Arena in Manchester (Photo: Getty)

Chris Bray, President of ASM Global Europe said: “As part of AO Arena’s redevelopment we have dramatically expanded the standing floor space which means it will compete with any other venue in the UK. Its unique bowl configuration means that AO Arena proudly remains the biggest sporting indoor arena, and we are excited to continue to host the world’s biggest and most exciting events here in the heart of Manchester.” 

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The fully redeveloped AO Arena will be open and ready in March. When Co-op Live opens, Manchester will be able to boast over 46,000 capacity in large venue space, and the new and improved AO Arena will, if its bosses get their wish, increase its stock as a premier establishment. 

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