City Football Group (CFG), the global operator of football and sports-related business including Manchester City F.C, has become Oak View Group’s (OVG) equal joint venture partner and investor in 23,500-capacity Manchester venue Co-op Live.
CFG and OVG will coordinate on jobs, sustainability and advancing the Etihad Campus in East Manchester as a global sport, leisure and entertainment destination.
OVG has also agreed a deal with musician Harry Styles, who has taken a minority stake in the venue.
The new joint venture follows the 2019 pre-planning collaboration that saw CFG, as lead developer of the Etihad Campus, support OVG’s feasibility studies and community consultations in advance of September 2020 planning approval.
OVG CEO and co-founder Tim Leiweke said the venue will “push the boundaries of live entertainment and be a significant source of opportunity for the city.”
He added, “We also know that this is precisely the right time to make such a substantial financial investment in Manchester, helping it build back from the terrible impact of Covid-19.
“The Etihad Campus was always a clear choice due to its proximity to the city centre and the opportunity to be part of a growing visitor destination with excellent existing transport links. With CFG as a JV partner, we can push the boundaries on how Co-op Live delivers for artists, every single fan, the UK’s music industry and the city by creating a magical intersection of sports, community and entertainment that will be the envy of the world.”
CFG board director Marty Edelman said, “Co-op Live unlocks the potential for the Etihad Campus to grow as an entertainment destination that creates more reasons for the nation and world to visit Manchester.
“The chairman and the board’s priority has always been to ensure Co-op Live seamlessly integrates with the campus and compliments Manchester’s city centre offer. As a joint venture partner and investor, we will ensure the Co-op Live becomes part of the fabric of East Manchester and delivers the fullest community and economic impact as Manchester, and the wider region builds back from Covid.”
Co-op Live is now in the main construction phase, with £150m of orders already placed with local firms. The project is supporting 3,350 jobs during construction and a further 1,000 once the venue opens.