MANCHESTER (CelebrityAccess) – Oak View Group (OVG), the venue development, advisory and investment company co-founded by former AEG CEO Tim Leiweke and ex-Live Nation chairman Irving Azoff, has confirmed its interest in building a new major concert venue in Manchester.
The project will reportedly be a partnership between OVG and Manchester City FC owner City Football Group.
The company says feasibility studies are reportedly already underway for the new arena, whose preferred location would be the Etihad Campus – the site of the club’s ground, Etihad Stadium – in Eastlands, in the east of Manchester, Britain’s second-most populous city.
Commenting on the project, Leiweke, OVG’s chief executive, said: “Manchester is an amazing city with a proud music and sporting history, and one that we believe would see substantial benefits from a new arena. East Manchester, in particular, has a strong track record in entertainment and hosting major events.
“Over the last two decades, Manchester has consistently ranked in the top five global cities for arena events. A new world-class arena would create thousands of skilled jobs, apprenticeship and training programmes, and generate significant additional revenue for businesses in the city.”
OVG’s confirmation of its interest in Manchester comes amid controversy over plans for a second arena in the city, with SMG Europe, operator of the 21,000-capacity Manchester Arena, warning that a new venue could put its property out of business.
Added Leiweke: “Understanding the priorities of the community will be a critical part of any proposal, and we are delighted to be working closely with City Football Group as we begin this initial phase of consultation.”
OVG launched its London-based overseas division, OVG International, at ILMC in March. The first OVG International project, Santa Giulia Arena in Milan, was announced in June. In addition to Milan, OVG is currently leading arena projects at the Key Arena in Seattle, Belmont in New York, the University of Texas in Austin and in Palm Springs in California.