Co op Live interior Bowl p Oak View Group

July 27 will see the bowl filled with fight fans. Credit: via Oak View Group

Co-op Live developer unveils ‘smart bowl’ design

New images have been released showing the proposed interior of the £365m entertainment venue in Eastlands, Manchester.

The 23,500-capacity venue is a joint venture between developer Oak View Group and City Football Group, alongside private investor and popstar Harry Styles, who has helped advise on the design.

The new CGI shows an “innovative smart bowl” design, according to the developers, and takes inspiration from conversations with Styles and musician Bruce Springsteen.

The aim is to create an “intimate” atmosphere, with no corporate branding, “ensuring both the fan and artist can fully immerse themselves in the show”.

The arena will have a significantly lower-than-average ceiling, and tiered seating to bring fans closer to the performers. The suites lining the edges of the second seating level will use soundproof black curtains to maximise the impact of the shows’ sound and lighting, the developers added.

“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,” said Jessica Koravos, president of OVG International. “Innovative technology and design will bring a unique live entertainment experience to the UK.”

Set to open in December 2023, the venue is currently under construction on Manchester’s Etihad Campus. Main contractor BAM is more than halfway through the project, which is on track to complete on time and on budget, OVG chief executive Tim Leiweke told Place North West and other assembled media at a briefing in in June.

Co-op live plans to host 120 events in its first year and 80% of these will be music-focussed. As well as hosting concerts, Co-op Live will have 32 bars and restaurants and 12 lounges and club spaces. The first gigs are due to be announced in the coming weeks.

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They should take inspiration from the arena in Leeds. Sound is excellent there with all the seats facing towards the stage

By Levelling Up Manager

Does not matter what sound quality is if you have virtually zero public transport to arena and hardly any hotel accommodation a walkable distance from it.

By Anonymous

Good news then. Wonder what’s happening with the other arena then. Redeveloped or removed?

By Anonymous

Hopefully the developers have thought about the access needs of older people and the disabled. Oh, and also a fairer ticketing system which takes into account the needs of those who don’t have a masters degree in computer technology. Tickets will surely cost an arm and a leg anyway, and the cost of living crisis may well get worse before it gets better.

By Francis

@October 20, 2022 at 2:52 pmBy Anonymous

I trust you man except the trams which can run very regularly and the many buses which run around the area? I presume you’re also excepting the many additional buses which Stagecoach put onto the 216 for Etihad games and likely would put on for events at the arena?

Yes, if you exclude both of those, there is virtually zero public transport.
Hotels, people would travel into the centre. Same as for all of the other events which go on in the area.

By Anonymous

Sarah,Thanks for the link to the re development of the AO Arena. More good news for the City of Manchester.
Build it and they will come.

By Peter Chapman

Re anonymous. Totally agree about public transport. It’s the same when Manchester City play at the Etihad stadium with crowds double the amount of people the Co op arena will hold. A starting point would be upgrading Ashburys station. I believe there are plans in hand for a hotel though.
I’m also hoping several of the food outlets will be open on none concert days. One can but hope.

By Peter Chapman

This venue is beginning to look like the ugliest ‘black box warehouse’ building imaginable in the daytime, no wonder all the images are of it illuminated after dark

By Anonymous

Fantastic when it’s finished, that’s a big Arena. Ongoing and very much needed work on the existing AO arena is only going to be an added bonus. How they are going to fill such huge places when all of that work is completed is someone else’s problem but they seem to have done the numbers.

By Tom

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