Bam to be appointed to controversial Eastlands arena
The company is understood to be the frontrunner to win a £150m construction contract on the £300m scheme, which is being brought forward by American entertainment developer Oak View Group.
Bam is expected to be awarded the contract later this week.
Oak View confirmed that it would be working with City Football Group, which owns the site off Alan Turing Way close to Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium, in August 2019 before releasing initial designs in October.
The designs, drawn up by architect Populous, propose a 24,000-seat arena that will form part of the wider Eastlands masterplan.
There has been pushback on the scheme from various stakeholders including John Sharkey, executive vice-president of SMG Europe, operator of the 21,000 capacity Manchester Arena in the city centre.
Speaking last year, Sharkey said of the project: “There is no market research to suggest there is the appetite for another arena – with the proposals there has been no market assessment, no environmental assessment, and no traffic impact assessment.”
However, a report from Manchester City Council claimed that Manchester is one of a handful of cities in Europe that has “the ability to successfully host more than one arena.”
Oak View, which was founded by sports executive Tim Leiweke and former Ticketmaster chairman Irving Azoff in 2015, developed a 10,000-capacity sports arena at the University of Texas and led on the $44m revamp of KeyArena in Seattle, but the new Manchester arena is its first UK project.
Bam, which was also lead contractor on Manchester City’s £200m training ground, declined to comment.