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Here Is Manchester's Part In Oak View's $3.9B U.S. Stadium Plans

Here Is Manchester's Part In Oak View's $3.9B U.S. Stadium Plans
Manchester Arena in action

When it emerged that Los Angeles-based entertainment and sports-facilities specialist Oak View Group was mulling a new Manchester arena it led to some puzzlement.

Why build another arena when Manchester already has one? How could it possibly make sense?

Now we have an answer, just days after Oak View, the company backed by private-equity giant Silver Lake, revealed its Manchester plans in more detail.

Last year, private-equity firm Silver Lake invested more than $100M in Oak View, The Wall Street Journal reported. Today Oak View Group is leading projects in New York, Milan, Seattle, Austin, Texas, and Palm Springs, California, with Manchester slated as its UK debut.

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.

Oak View will develop eight new  U.S. arenas over the next three years, six of which will not have major-league teams as resident tenants. Instead the $3.9B investment will see the 10,000- to 18,000-seat venues keep their calendars clear for live music.

The change in arena strategy has been inspired by the live-streaming culture which allows newcomers to generate a mass following rapidly. This translates into stadium events with high ticket prices.

Oak View’s Manchester plans are for a £300M development next to East Manchester’s Etihad Campus at Alan Turing Way.

The project has attracted considerable disquiet, not least from the operators of the existing Manchester Arena at Victoria, and from hotel and leisure businesses which depend upon it. They feared the loss of trade to the existing arena would make a number of city centre hotels and restaurants unviable.