Etihad Arena Sketch October 2019

Oak View showcases ‘world-class’ £300m Etihad arena

Charlie Schouten

The first early-stage designs for the proposed arena at Manchester’s Etihad Campus have been revealed as Oak View Group looks to gauge public opinion on its potential £300m investment, which has already proved to be controversial.

The group has kicked off the first round of consultation on the arena at the Etihad, which is to be built on a vacant site owned by City Football Group on the approach to the Etihad Stadium, off Alan Turing Way.

The £300m investment has already moved at pace, with the first rumblings emerging in the summer. Populous been engaged as architect and preliminary designs have now been revealed for the first time.

The opening round of consultation is looking to gauge public views on how the arena will impact the local area, particularly in terms of traffic, one of the main sticking points already raised by local residents. More details are expected to follow at a second round of consultation later in the year.

The proposals have proved controversial with Manchester Arena and city centre businesses, who objected to the masterplan consultation due to fears a competitor arena would draw visitors away from the city centre.

The operator of Manchester Arena spoke out against the proposals, with executive vice-president of SMG John Sharkey telling Place North West “it is just not possible” for the city to support two arenas, “and if it’s not ours then the city will lose 1.2 million people coming through it, and could turn to tumbleweed.”

Sharkey added the proposals were “absolutely crazy” and “purely opportunistic”.

Etihad Arena Site Location October 2019

Responding to the criticism, representatives from Oak View at the event pointed out other cities in the UK – Birmingham and London – which support more than one arena; a similar approach in Manchester would help the city become more competitive on both a European and global scale.

Oak View argued the arena would be able to cater for a “wide range of event types” with the “large, enclosed venue” using “cutting-edge design and technology, as well as first class customer service to provide a truly outstanding event experience for a multitude of events”.

Oak View Group is currently leading projects in New York, Milan, Seattle, Austin, and Palm Springs, but the Manchester arena will be its first foray into the UK.

The group said funding would “move quickly” once a feasibility study is completed and planning permission is secured, with the arena to be 100% privately funded, through a mix of Oak View’s own funding along with debt and equity backing.

Manchester City Council has also supported the development of an arena through its Eastlands masterplan, which went out to consultation earlier this year.

Under the group’s timeline, a second round of consultation will take place before Christmas, with a planning application coming forward subject to feasibility studies and consultation feedback in early 2020. A contractor is yet to be appointed.

Three further consultation events are taking place this week. These are:

  • Tuesday 15 October, 2.30pm to 7pm – Bridge 5 Mill, 22A Beswick Street, M4 7HR
  • Wednesday 16 October, 10.30am to 1pm – Miles Platting Community Library, Victoria Mill Community Centre, Lower Vickers Street, M40 7LJ
  • Thursday 17 October, 2.30pm to 7pm – Beswick Library, 60 Grey Mare Lane, M11 3D

Your Comments

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People in the area don’t want this, they didn’t want the Stadium for the Commonwealth games, it’s made life hell.

By East Manchester

East Manchester would you rather there was no investment in what is the most deprived part of Manchester?

By Elephant

The stadium has made life hell ?…it hosts one game every other week.

By Anon

Get it built!!

By Dg

@Eastmanchester…I assume the people in the local area want jobs though? Any employment opportunity should be welcomed (within reason) if it brings other employers to the area as well, no?

By Anon

East Manchester, have you seen how your area has changed since all this investment was pumped in? We can’t stop.progress just because you get stuck in traffic coming to and from your ex council house that you bought for £30 grand that’s now worth £120 grand as a result of said investment

By Progress

I think East Manchester is making that up! Eastlands used to be a wasteland.; a poisoned industrial relic of a bygone era. Now the knotweed’s hold has been loosened and the City breathes again.

By Naz

The area is more deprived than ever, there’s more trouble now, there has been no investment other than the stadium which is an eyesore and hardly used, no locals have been given jobs as it doesn’t bring employers to the area, house prices have increased everywhere, not just here..

By East Manchester

The more regeneration in East Manchester the better, it is currently very run down. Get this thing built! Investment and jobs.

By Bob

Proper good! Get it built.


Luckily philistines have never triumphed. Onwards and upwards for our great City. Soon to be officially 2nd city in England if we continue to support progress.

By Gez

Definately not needed. It would be a massive white elephant. The arena would not attract bars and restaurants for the sake of the possibility of 120 events s year. The city centre is able to attract bars and restaurants because of the are other attractions and the fact that there are thousands of people work in the centre. Yes other cities have 2 arenas but there are 3 other large arenas within 40 miles(liverpool Leeds and Sheffield). I am a season card holder at city and public transport links are pathetic. New railway stations would have to be opened at Phillips park and close to the Mercedes garages serving both Piccadilly and Victoria. Instead of having one profitable arena there will be 2 loss making ones.

By Another anon

I take issue with their view of a ‘world class design’. Early stage or not, that is appalling.

By Norbert Dentressangle

@eastmanchester be as negative as you the area is going to change, the new rd and the old rd will be unrecognisable in 5 years . There’s always people who resist change coz there dear old nan lived in a sh*Ty terraced in beswick for a hundred years and thre grandad work down the mines and this shi*thole Barron, contaminated land is like an oasis to them. While you get left behind the world will move on

By Progress

I fundamentally disagree with East Manchester. However almost everyone WOULD turn up by car. For the existing arena a large proportion can use public transport or walk. The proposed arena has Metrolink which is great, but can’t cope with big crowds and is otherwise poorly located for public transport, walking or cycling. Investment in E Manc, yes. But any arena needs a fundamentally better public transport infrastructure. In Germany they would have a proper metro or S Bahn as well as a tram.

By Peter Black

No investment other than the stadium? What about VeloPark, BMX Centre, East Manchester Academy and Library, Asda Superstore, new Metrolink infrastucture, highway improvements, Beswick Community Hub including Connels Sixth Form College, Bridge College. Not to mention the world renowned City Football Academy built on probably the most contaminated land in Manchester. Probably more investment in this area than anywhere else outside the city centre. Might not fix all manner of anti- social issues but surely it will help to improve things over time.

By Mancman

Investment into one of Europe’s most deprived & polluted areas must continue from Mayfield,along the canal corridor and beyond the stadium.

It’s madness not too !!

By Hugh Andrews

This will be the final nail in the coffin for Corn Exchange which is already seeing closures and relies on trade from arena events

By Col

Great get it built. A lot of investment in eastlands but walk maybe 300 yards up the road and you come to Clayton. Money needs investing in this area.

By Mark schofield

Fantastic – it can only benefit the area. But let’s continue the development further to bring further footfall into the area. A new hotel is an absolute must, a shopping hub, and let’s make the Bank of England and Mitchell Arms pubs operational again as its a very cold and bleak desolate place up and around the Etihad, and it shouldn’t be!!! We’re the Champions!!!

By Chris

The developments in East Manchester have brought huge improvements to the area and brought footballing success to Manchester from a club that pays U.K. taxes and supports the national economy too (unlike a team from Trafford that has moved it’s business to the Camden islands to deliberately avoid it’s responsibility to the U.K.).

By Local lad

Get it built pronto some people moan for the sake of it great for the City world class facilities roll on .

By Richard Towers

I get your point East Manchester. “Modern mankind unintentionally destroys more when constructing, then when intentionally destroying.” Nicolas Gomez Davila said that.
“A building is not a place and a place is not necessarily a community. Human beings can be in a building, but can only live in human community.” I said that.

By James Yates

Get it built pronto some people moan for the sake of it great for the City world class facilities roll on

By Richard Towers

Any money invested in Clayton would be a complete waste, the people will be the same

By Lee

Manchester needs an arena of around 5,000 seats to support sports teams such as Manchester Giants basketball team, Manchester Thunder Netball team and Manchester Storm ice hockey team they have little chance of filling a 20,000 seat arena but still need a decent venue.

By Anonymous

@East Manchester: You do NOT speak for the people of Beswick.

By Real East Manc

I live there and I think it would be a brilliant idea. East Manchester needs more investment. The area has so much potential.

By Joe