The new £365m Manchester arena with spaces for flying taxis that's aiming to become one of the world's best venues
Co-op Live is expected to open in December 2023
The fact that the bosses at Manchester's soon-to-be-completed Co-op Live arena are keeping land aside to accommodate flying taxis in the future goes to show just how far ahead their plans stretch.And she does not shy away from stating winning Wimbledon as her aim, rather than the clichés about taking “one match at a time” or there being “so many good players out there”.An international boxing competition in Glasgow was cancelled after reports of a firearm found in the building..
It was that same forward thinking that helped keep its £365m budget on track, a cost that could have ballooned up to £500m.With just 18 months until the expected launch of the 23,500-seat venue, which is being built in the shadow of Manchester City's Etihad Stadium, the Manchester Evening News was invited to an exclusive event where Co-op Live's long-term vision was set out.“I got to No 3, now No 5.The venue, which was given the go-ahead in 2020 and has a 15-year naming rights deal with the Co-op, is still on track to open next December with pop superstar Harry Styles a firm favourite to take part in the first event in some form.READ MORE: Tributes pour in for Lanarkshire mum who died after taking unwell at bus stop Despite that being the case, the decision was taken to call off the three-day event, which had been touted as a prestigious amateur tournament attracting fighters from across the globe.READ MORE: Boss of Co-op Live build opens up on Covid and Brexit battles as project prepares for critical phase The former One Direction star is an investor in the project which is being spearheaded by US giant Oak View Group and City Football Group, the company that owns Manchester City.But the year is so long.Styles has also been heavily involved in how the new venue will look including a move to ban all advertising within the stadium 'bowl' to that fans' attention won't be pulled away from the act on stage.
Speaking at the event at Co-op Live's Manchester city centre offices on Tuesday, OVG chief executive Tim Leiweke remained tight lipped about whether Styles would be headlining the much anticipated first event but that the singer was keen to take part in some form.” Sakkari has packed her schedule with three tournaments on grass ahead of Wimbledon, reaching the semi-finals of a stacked draw in Berlin before losing a close match to Belinda Bencic.“Following discussion with event organisers and security, police monitored the cancellation of the event from a distance.Co-op Live is expected to start announcing the first shows in September, with tickets going on take in the autumn.Mr Leiweke, who helped transform the O2 into what it is today, also revealed that Co-op Live would cost £500m if it was being priced today, higher than the current £365m budget.“Wimbledon means a lot to everyone because it’s not all about points,” Sakkari adds.He told the MEN that the financing had been set aside at the start of the project and a 28-year debt deal already agreed.READ NEXT * Glasgow flat block evacuated after fire breaks out in east end home * Celtic Convention chiefs speak out as Glasgow mum dies after falling ill in Las Vegas * Glasgow's 'oldest' nurse still going strong at 78 after 40 years of looking after patients * Glasgow councillor apologises to Lord Provost over 'inappropriate' comment * Glasgow council launches £50 million bid to build garden covering M8.That, and decisions such as sourcing as many materials and labour from the local area has possible, has also helped the target opening date of December 2023 remain a constant throughout the build process.If you do well, this year, you’re gonna get awarded with points [at other tournaments] and doesn’t really matter if that one tournament doesn’t have points.
As well as the potential for accommodating flying taxis in the future, the bosses at Co-op Live and OVG are certainly keen to emphasis the project's green credentials.It has a target to be net carbon neutral by 2038, be a 100% electric building, have almost 9,000 sqm of solar panels and produce no food waste.That’s my goal.It also aims to have no single use plastic on site, send no waste to landfill and use all the rainwater it collects.The impact on the environment is a major plus point of the whole project and one that bosses will be hoping will help entice the largest acts from across the world to choose Co-op Live other other rival venues.” Follow for more tennis news, interviews and features ,.They will be hoping that most environmentally-conscious acts such as Coldplay will pick the venue because of its green credentials instead of looking at other choices in the city.
When it opens, Manchester will get its second indoor arena but the marketplace is already a crowded one as gigs can be staged at the likes of Emirates Old Trafford and Manchester United's Old Trafford Stadium.But the biggest competitor is sure to be the AO Arena which will be almost 30 years old by the time Co-op Live opens its doors.In an attempt to respond to its new competition, the arena announced a £50m revamp from this summer that will see the venue undergo a complete 're-imagination'.But Mr Leiweke, who used to work for the company that owned the AO Arena, said Co-op Live's success was not dependent on its nearest rival's failure."I would not want to compete against us and if I were them I would lose sleep over us but I do not wish them anything else but the best," he said.
"Co-op Live will be one of the top five arenas in the world for music." Mr Leiweke also hailed Co-op Live as an "economic catalyst", not just for the areas around the arena but for the city as a whole.Bosses have said the venue will generate £1.5bn for the local economy, create 3,500 construction jobs during the build and a further 1,000 jobs and apprenticeships when it opens.As part of its pledge to give £1m to national and local good causes every year, a portion will be reserved to help Manchester's music scene.
Those figures will be supported by an expected 120 events a year at the start which could be raised up to 200 in the following years.About 80% of the events will be music but bosses hinted that bids could be submitted to host NBA, tennis or boxing matches as well as a range of family-friendly acts.While no tickets have yet gone on sale to the general public, those with the financial muscle have been able to secure some of the 28 suites Co-op Live will have to offer.After the likes of Betfred, Bruntwood and Mark Stott's Vita Group invested, only five remain which could be priced between £200,000 and £250,000.They come with a minimum term of three years but some have signed up for between five and seven years already.
Speaking at the event in Manchester, Mr Leiweke also revealed that Co-op Live could have had a completely different home entirely.Instead of being built by the Etihad, the original plan was for the Mayfield depot site next to Manchester Piccadilly.It's unknown exactly why that deal didn't work out in the end but the involvement of City Football Group becoming OVG's joint venture partner is probably a good indicator.READ NEXT :.
Er, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen advertising in a concert venue? Anyone else ever seen this? Meanwhile... regular folk are struggling to pay for food, fuel and energy bills.
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