Co Op Live Arena
The arena is due to complete in 2023

CAA ICON drafted in to bolster Co-op Live build team 

Dan Whelan

The US–based strategic consultancy has been appointed to project manage Oak View Group’s £350m arena venture in East Manchester.

A division of entertainment and sports agency Creative Artists Agency, CAA ICON provides a range of consulting services for arena projects, including project management, strategic advisory, feasibility, and planning. 

Stephanie Bax, managing director of European operations for CAA ICON will oversee the construction of the arena through to its completion in 2023, supported by a team of six regional experts based in London and Milan. 

Bax will advise on the contract, design, and construction activities for the arena. CAA ICON will represent OVG and equal partner City Football Group’s interests in activities, such as budget and programme management, procurement, and the installation of furniture and equipment. 

Stephanie Bax

Bax will oversee the construction of the arena through to its completion

CAA ICON has worked with Oak View Group on several projects previously, including the Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle, and the Moody Center at the University of Texas in Austin, but Co-op Live will be the companies’ first European collaboration. 

“We are committed to bringing our deep sports and entertainment expertise, alongside our tailored project management approach, to complex projects,” Bax said. 

“We are thrilled to be working once again with OVG, to deliver their first international venue. Co-op Live will be a ground-breaking project for the UK music industry and an important economic boost to the city of Manchester in the wake of the pandemic.” 

Lead contractor Bam Construction is on site carrying out groundworks for the 23,500-capacity arena, located next to Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium. 

Co-op Live timeline 

  • August 2019 – OVG named as developer behind venue project 
  • October 2019 – OVG unveils initial designs for the arena 
  • April 2020 – OVG submits planning application for Eastlands arena venture 
  • June 2020 – Several firms, including AO Arena operator ASM Global, reiterate concerns over impact new arena could have on city centre 
  • September 2020 – Manchester City Council approves OVG’s plans 
  • September 2020 – Co-op agrees £100m naming rights deal 
  • October 2020 – Harry Styles takes minority stake in Co-op Live 
  • April 2021 – Bam starts on site after sealing £253m construction contract, its largest ever UK job in terms of value 
  • May 2021 – City Football Group becomes equal partner in the venture with OVG 
Co Op Live Bowl

Lead contractor Bam Construction is on site


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