The One Direction singer-turned-solo star will work alongside the Oak View Group team on the development of the £350m arena
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The global sports operator becomes OVG's equal joint venture partner in Co-op Live, alongside Harry Styles who has taken a minority stake
By IQ on 25 May 2021
City Football Group (CFG), a global operator of football and sports-related business, has become Oak View Group’s (OVG) equal joint venture partner and investor in Co-op Live.
The Manchester venue has also attracted investment from pop star Harry Styles who acquired a minority stake in October 2020.
The arena, which at 23,500 capacity will be the UK’s largest, was given planning approval in September and is set to open on the Etihad Campus in 2023.
CFG, the lead developer of the Etihad Campus, will coordinate with OVG on jobs, sustainability and “advancing the campus as a global sport, leisure and entertainment destination”.
Tim Leiweke, co-founder and CEO at 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.
“With CFG as a JV partner, [we can create] a magical intersection of sports and entertainment that will be the envy of the world”
“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 CFG, 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.”
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