The European Arenas Association (EAA) has added Poland’s Arena Gliwice and the ASM Global-operated AO Arena (cap. 21,000) in Manchester to its membership, which now consists of 36 arenas across 20 European countries.

The announcement was made after the Association’s first general meeting held under the new president Olivier Toth, which took place virtually on 8 October.

Since opening in 1995, ASM Global’s AO Arena Manchester has been one of the UK’s busiest arenas with live entertainment. It has the highest seating capacity of any indoor venue in the United Kingdom, and the second largest in Europe.

AO Arena Manchester GM James Allen said, “The long period of separation during the global pandemic has highlighted the necessity of collaboration in a supportive manner across Europe, which the EAA champions. Our new headline sponsor, AO has strong links with mainland Europe so it is only right that their arena does too. It is a privilege to have our membership application accepted and we look forward to being active members.”

Toth said, “As the UK’s largest Arena, the AO Arena will bring extensive know-how and experience to the association, and we are looking forward to following their progress as they transform into one of Europe’s most sustainable venues as a result of their current development plans.”

ASM Global has submitted development plans for the AO Arena to Manchester City Council that include its capacity being expanded to 24,000 and it becoming one of the most environmentally sustainable venues in Europe.