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Manchester Stadium Battle Begins, But Very Quietly

Manchester Stadium Battle Begins, But Very Quietly
Oak View's proposed new Eastlands Arena, Manchester

Oak View, the U.S.-based leisure developer, might have expected a more hostile reaction to the announcement that it was to press ahead with plans for the UK’s largest indoor music and entertainment venue in Manchester.

The 23,500-seat capacity Eastlands Stadium is to be built on a site next to Alan Turing Way and Manchester City FC’s Etihad Stadium, owned by Manchester City Council, but subject to various leasehold interests.

Early controversy about the stadium’s impact on the existing Manchester Arena, next to Victoria Station, suggested the proposal may get a tough ride. But early reactions have been enthusiastic about Oak View’s plans, albeit with some hesitations about infrastructure and how stadium events will function alongside Manchester City home games.

The link between Oak View and the stadium site became firmer in November 2019 when Oak View backers Silver Lake bought a 10% stake in Manchester City’s parent company, the Financial Times reported. The site at Forge Lane, close to Alan Turing Way, is in part leased to entities associated with the club including City Football Group.

Oak View is diversifying away from sports-based arenas into entertainment-led venues, venues that can make twice as much money from live music than they can from indoor sports. And Manchester is a key example of an arena founded not on sport, but on live music.

Read more at: https://www.bisnow.com/manchester/news/economic-development/manchesters-part-in-oak-views-big-us-stadium-plans-101849?utm_source=CopyShare&utm_medium=Browser
  Oak View is diversifying away from sports-based arenas into entertainment-led venues, venues that can make twice as much money from live music than they can from indoor sports. And Manchester is a key example of an arena founded not on sport, but on live music.

Read more at: https://www.bisnow.com/manchester/news/economic-development/manchesters-part-in-oak-views-big-us-stadium-plans-101849?utm_source=CopyShare&utm_medium=Browser

Read more at: https://www.bisnow.com/manchester/news/economic-development/untangling-that-stadium-plan-99890?utm_source=CopyShare&utm_medium=Browser
The venue brings local economic and social value whilst playing its full part in helping the Council to deliver its ambitions to be zero carbon by 2038.
Interior view of Oak View's proposed Eastlands Arena, Manchester

Rental income from the deal will help boost Manchester City, who were recently banned from the Champions League for two seasons, pending an appeal.

The quiet initial reaction to Oak View's plan is unlikely to last. The deal is likely to spark further controversy about Manchester City Council’s relationship with Abu Dhabi United Group, the football club’s owner, and the council’s own partner in the Manchester First housing initiative.

Oak View said its plans will bring £350M investment to Manchester and would be entirely privately funded.

There is also likely to be a fight-back from SMG, which runs the existing 21,000-capacity Manchester Arena. When the Oak View plans emerged last year, SMG declared the proposal could put it out of business. The new out-of-town stadium would also have serious consequences for city centre hotels, restaurants and bars, it argued. SMG's publicists distributed publicity thatf the council branded "misleading". 

Oak View will be undaunted. The business is diversifying away from sports-based arenas into entertainment-led venues, venues that can make twice as much money from live music than they can from indoor sports. Manchester is a key example of an arena founded not on sport, but on live music.