A new opening date for Manchester’s huge £365m indoor arena Co-op Live, which features a ‘smart bowl’ design, has been announced. The project which is being built by Manchester’s Etihad Stadium and is backed by pop singer Harry Styles, has been confirmed to open its doors to fans in April 2024.
Originally set to open in December 2023, the Co-op Live arena is currently under construction, with work being carried out by BAM Construct UK and is a joint venture between Oak View Group (OVG) and City Football Group, alongside Harry Styles who has privately invested in the development. Boasting itself as the UK’s only music-first arena, the 23,500-capacity venue has taken inspiration from conversations with Bruce Springsteen and venue investor, Harry Styles.
A spokesperson for the Co-Op Live Arena said: “It’s a huge kudos to BAM, and the dozens of local subcontractors working on the project, that we are well within our original timeframe and on-budget given the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic, supply chain shortages, and an energy crisis. We’re proud to be on the home stretch to delivering Co-op Live and we can’t wait to invite fans in to experience the biggest and most sustainable arena in the UK.”
The bowl, designed with an intimate atmosphere in mind, will feature no corporate branding, ensuring both the fan and artist can fully immerse themselves in the show. The suites lining the edges of level 2 will also utilise soundproof black curtains to maximise the impact of the shows sound and lighting.
The Co-op Live arena will boast the largest floor space of any indoor venue, a significantly lower ceiling and tiered seating that brings fans closer to the artist. Unlike venues designed primarily for sporting tournaments or public exhibitions, Co-op Live is the first of its kind to be built around concert acoustics.
President of OVG International, Jessica Koravos, said: “Co-op Live is about the fan and the artist, it is specially designed to deliver the best sound, atmosphere and experience for everyone who walks through our doors. Innovative technology and design will bring a unique live entertainment experience to the UK.”
The fan experience will be further heightened by 32 bars, restaurants, and lounges, including a locally sourced and sustainable food and drink offering. The Co-op Live arena also revealed plans for the UK’s most luxurious live music member’s club, known as The Bentley Record Room, which aims to offer the “best tickets to live shows”, with high-end dining options, a private host and waiter service, designated parking, and a VIP entrance to the venue.
In 2020, Harry Styles said: “I am incredibly happy to be partnering with OVG on their plans for Co-op Live. Manchester is an incredible city filled with incredible people and I couldn’t be happier to be involved in this project. It very much feels like coming home.”