CFG joins Oak View Group as Joint Venture Partner in Co-op Live

Oak View Group (OVG) confirmed this week that City Football Group (CFG), the global operator of football and sports-related business, has become OVG’s equal joint venture partner and investor in Co-op Live, alongside Harry Styles, who has taken a minority stake in the pioneering venue.

Together, OVG and CFG will deliver one of the world’s most advanced and sustainable venues that pushes the boundaries of live entertainment experiences and advances the Etihad Campus as an entertainment and leisure destination that makes Manchester an even more attractive city for people from the UK and around the world to visit.

Co-op Live plays a pivotal role in CFG’s ambitions to continue developing the Etihad Campus as a global sport, leisure and entertainment destination that is a significant source of community, employment and economic opportunity for Manchester.

The new joint venture builds on 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.

Tim Leiweke, Co-Founder and CEO, OVG, commented:

We are thrilled that CFG has chosen to invest in Co-op Live, and we can’t think of a better partner for this project. We are creating one of the world’s best arenas in Manchester. This venue will push the boundaries of live entertainment and be a significant source of opportunity for the city. 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.

Marty Edelman, Board Director at City Football Group, commented:

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.

Since 2008, CFG has overseen over £700m of public investment into the Etihad Campus and East Manchester, supporting approximately 14,000 jobs.

Becci Thomson, Head of Premium at the Co-op Live and Shawn Doss, Executive Vice President at Elevate Sports Ventures are just two of the 50+ high-level expert speakers that will be sharing insights at this September’s ALSD International event. 

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.

Co-op Live has already made substantial commitments to the city and its residents through local opportunities, a commitment to the Manchester Living Wage and improvements in transport and local infrastructure. This includes a new controlled parking zone to protect resident parking, an additional 240 covered cycle spaces, improved walking routes into the city centre and green spaces to enhance the area on event and non-event days for locals, visitors and wildlife.

Premium hospitality

OVG has entered into a partnership with leading international sports and entertainment consulting firm Elevate Sports Ventures to support on strategy, marketing, sales and service for the venue’s premium hospitality offerings.

Elevate will be responsible for selling all 27 suites, nine lounges and club spaces, comprising 2,500 premium seats, VIP spaces and facilities, and delivers industry-leading best practices in analytics and business intelligence in the areas of direct-to-consumer, digital marketing, ticket and premium pricing, sales and services.

The world’s biggest artists will perform to crowds of up to 23,500 in the venue bowl and Co-op Live will redefine the arena experience with a range of intimate spaces such as the Atrium, The Record Room, Co-op Backstage Bar, the Hangouts, Night Market and others

Plans for the arena were given the green light by Manchester City Council on 24 September. The arena will be located on the Etihad Campus and continues the regeneration of the Eastlands area started by the 2002 Commonwealth Games.

The construction project, the single-largest in the city, will give the regional economy a much-needed boost following the devastating impacts of the Covid pandemic and will boost the local economy by over £1.5bn over the next 20 years.

Contractors BAM Construct UK estimate that more than 2,000 people will work on site at the Populous-designed venue over the course of its three-year construction.

Source: CFG

Imagery, courtesy: Co-op Live

ALSD International provides year-round insights and key learnings around increasing revenue through New Builds, Renovations, Service Expansions, Premium Seating, Hospitality, F&B, Technology and Reopening, Rebuilding & Recovery. For more information, click on the banner below…

The next edition of ALSD International is being hosted by Liverpool Football Club September 6-7 and will feature a high-level conference, exhibition and networking events, as well as technical tours of Anfield, Everton’s Goodison Park and M&S Bank Arena on the ACCL campus. 

#ALSDInternational – Europe’s leading event for the Premium Seat & Sports Hospitality sector

#ALSD – Leading the Premium Seat sector for the last 30 years


#sportsvenuebusiness – The leading platform for sector news, views & developments


Share This Article

This website uses cookies and asks your personal data to enhance your browsing experience.