Oak View Group CEO Tim Leiweke visits Co-op Live

01 July 2022

Tim Leiweke, CEO of Oak View Group (OVG), was this week joined by President of Business Development Francesca Leiweke, and President of OVG International Jessica Kovaros in Manchester, as Co-op Live prepares to open its doors.


Members of the executive group spoke to BBC North West on location adjacent to the Etihad Stadium. "This is £365m built specifically for music, and it's the best music arena built anywhere in the world," Tim Leiweke told reporter Ian Haslam. "That's what Manchester deserves."

Speaking of the 23,500 capacity venue, co-owned by OVG, City Football Group and Harry Styles, Jessica Kovaros added: "Everything about it is around creating the best acoustics and sightlines and experience for music that this country has ever had."

The visit to the arena's site on the Etihad Campus followed a morning speaking to members of Manchester and Cheshire's press, where Leiweke and Kovaros answered questions about the venue's commitments to the city. The project will create 3,350 construction jobs and 1,000 roles and apprenticeships on completion. In line with the ethos of naming rights partner Co-op, the venue will also give back over £1m to national and local good causes.

Inspired by Bruce Springsteen and Harry Styles, Co-op Live will feature a 'black box' design, created with the artist and fan in mind. The lower ceiling and large floor space will provide an intimate feel. Harry has also been instrumental in the backstage design alongside Tim Leiweke's business partner and music manager Irving Azoff, and global promoter Live Nation.

"The amount of expertise, knowledge and passion we have on this arena and this design, it’s the best design I have ever seen and the proudest I have ever been," Tim told Manchester Evening News in an exclusive interview.

When asked on site by BBC North West whether Harry would be involved in the venue's opening, Kovaros said: "That's is the dream. We hope so... He came and stood right here where I'm standing... and was very excited."

Co-op Live are set to announce artists and shows from this autumn. Fans can sign up to be one of the first to find out.

About Co-op Live

Oak View Group (OVG), City Football Group (CFG), Harry Styles, and Co-op are joining forces to create Co-op Live, the biggest and best arena in the UK. Based in Manchester, the project is injecting £365m of private investment into the North West. Co-op Live will be one of the world’s premier music and entertainment venues, rivalling New York’s Madison Square Garden, The Forum in LA and The O2 in London.  

World class, planet friendly and at the heart of the local community, Co-op Live will deliver one of the world’s most pioneering, sustainable, and socially responsible venues, delivering Co-op’s vision of a fairer world into the entertainment industry. The project will create 3,350 constructions jobs and 1,000 roles and apprenticeships on completion of the venue as well as giving over £1m back to national and local good causes.

Co-op Live will be located on the Etihad Campus, and will host live music, sport, comedy, award shows and family entertainment. Co-op Live’s smart ‘bowl’ design means it is big but intimate with cutting edge visual technology, incredible acoustics and 32 bars, restaurants, lounges and club spaces.

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. From locally sourced construction materials to zero waste to landfill, solar panels and rainwater harvesting, Co-op Live will be doing more to use less and leave better. 

About Oak View Group

Oak View Group (OVG) is a global sports and entertainment company founded by Tim Leiweke and Irving Azoff in 2015. OVG is focused on being a positive disruption to business as usual in the sports and live entertainment industry and currently has eight divisions across global offices (Los Angeles, New York, Seattle, Philadelphia, and London).

Press enquiries

Ben Tipple, Co-op Live - press@cooplive.com