MANCHESTER (CelebrityAccess) — Manchester Arena, the largest indoor arena in Europe, announced it has welcomed more than 30 million visitors since it first opened in 1995.
The milestone comes as the 21,000-capacity venue is gearing up for a 2019 season that will see the arena stage more than 140 live event nights for the third year running – making it one of the top-billed live venues in the world.
In 2019 alone, the arena, which is operated on behalf of the city by SMG-Europe, expects to be patronized by more than 1.2 million guests.
Over the years, the arena has hosted performances by a who’s who of touring artists, including U2, The Rolling Stones, Madonna, and Pavarotti. Shows on the calendar for 2019 include Andrea Bocelli, Hugh Jackman, Little Mix, George Ezra, Michael Bublé and Take That, who will be returning for the 44th time.
The arena has also been a scene of tragedy. In May 2017, fans exiting the venue after a concert by Ariana Grande were targeted by a radical Islamist, who detonated a shrapnel-laden homemade bomb outside of the arena, killing 23 people and leaving 139 wounded.
“The arena’s impact on Manchester and its economy cannot be underestimated. Global acts have driven visitor numbers from far and wide, in turn utilizing the city’s hotels, visiting its restaurants, shops, and other central leisure and tourist destinations. Vital to this has been the arena’s location in the heart of the city – served by unrivaled transport links – which truly sets us apart from other arenas of this size in the UK,” said John Sharkey, Executive Vice President at SMG Europe.
“There’s no doubt that we are in the midst of a hugely significant period in the arena’s history. We are fast-approaching our 25th anniversary in 2020, and we recently welcomed new landlords with an ambitious mindset that is aligned with our own. Look out for further announcements in the coming months that should prove really exciting for the city,” he added.