Concerns over a second Manchester arena

Plans have been released to build second Manchester Arena with 23,500-person capacity. The plans include for 181,000+ square foot of out of town ‘best in class’ arena with retail space to rival Manchester Arena.

The proposed arena will join with the Etihad Stadium and the owners – OVG- plan to inject £350 million directly into the city.

However, after Manchester Arena commissioned Grant Thornton LLP to conduct an independent study into the proposed plans it was found that the current market will not support the additional arena with such a large capacity, the new arena will pull visitors and the spending away from the city and that there a potential £114 million loss per year at risk if the scheme goes ahead.

The report shows that the Manchester area would need a growth of 300%-700% on 2018’s attendance at the Manchester Arena for both arenas to operate profitability.

If the plans for the arena outside the city centre went ahead, the report found that over half the people would be less likely to travel into the City Centre, around 45% said they’d spend less in the City Centre if the event was outside this area, demonstrating the negative economic impact the arena outside of the City Centre would have.

Rob Turner, director at Grant Thornton UK LLP, said: “The Manchester Arena currently makes a significant contribution to the city centre, providing over 2,200 jobs and helping to stimulate the local economy. Our analysis shows that a new out-of-town arena would put this at risk and have a knock-on effect to the success of the city centre as visitors are pulled away and spending levels decrease.”

Despite their concerns, Manchester Arena owners ASM Global still plan to go ahead with their revamp of the arena to celebrate their 25th anniversary. Plan include a completely new exterior, a remodelled entrance, increased capacity to 24,000 people and a new VIP experience among other ideas.

To find out more about the plans for a second Manchester arena see www.planningportal.co.uk