Design & Development

Co-op Live opening date pushed back to April 2024

Featured image credit: Oak View Group

The opening date for Co-op Live, a new 23,500-capacity arena under construction in Manchester, has been pushed back to April 2024.

The venue, which will be the UK’s largest live entertainment arena, had previously been expected to open by the end of this year, but it has emerged today (Monday) that the first events will not be held until next spring.

Co-op Live is a joint venture between Oak View Group and City Football Group and will form part of Manchester’s Etihad Campus. It is being built at a cost of £365m (€423m/$452m) and is scheduled to host over 120 shows annually.

The Manchester Evening News has reported that test events will be held at the arena in April, with an exact date for the opening act to be revealed in the coming months.

A Co-op Live spokesman told the newspaper: “Co-op Live will be opening our doors to fans in April 2024. It’s huge kudos to (construction partner) BAM, and the dozens of local subcontractors working on the project, that we are well within our original timeframe and on budget given the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic, supply chain shortages, and an energy crisis.

“We’re proud to be on the home stretch to delivering Co-op Live and we can’t wait to invite fans in to experience the biggest and most sustainable arena in the UK.”

In April, Co-op Live named former Ticketmaster UK executive Gary Roden as its executive director and general manager. Roden will oversee the operation of Co-op Live and spearhead the future vision and strategy of the venue.

In October, OVG revealed further details of the innovative ‘smart bowl’ that will be at the heart of Co-op Live. The bowl takes inspiration from Harry Styles, a private investor in the project who has been instrumental in the design, offering personal insights based on his experience of performing at major venues and arenas worldwide.

Construction work commenced in May 2021, with UK consumer co-operative Co-op acquiring naming rights to the arena in September 2020.

Co-op Live has committed to becoming the most sustainable and socially responsible arena in the UK. It has pledged to support Manchester City Council’s target of becoming net zero carbon by 2038 and will donate at least £1m annually to the Co-op Foundation to support local and national initiatives focused on young people, food security, education and sustainability.