CAA ICON top gun to manage Co-op Live project


CAA ICON takes on consultancy role with Co-op Live Image: Oak View Group

Denver (US)-based the strategic consulting firm CAA ICON is now project management consultancy for Co-op Live in Manchester (UK), as the American global advisory, development and investment company for the sports and live entertainment industries Oak View Group (OVG) brings the firm on to oversee contract, design and construction activities for the new arena, set to open in 2023.

With the above development, CAA ICON joins investors City Football Group and English singer-songwriter Harry Styles, eminent designers and architects Populous, the contractor BAM, and naming rights partner Co-op on the project.

Oak View Group (OVG) and the Co-op are joining forces to develop the UK’s biggest and most exciting new arena in Manchester – with the project injecting £350m of private investment into the local area. Co-op Live will be one of the world’s premier music and entertainment venues, rivaling New York’s 20,789-capacity Madison Square Garden, the 17,505-capacity The Forum in Los Angeles (US) and the 20,000-capacity The O2 in London (UK). The 23,500-seat entertainment arena price tag is £365,000,000 and is scheduled to be completed in 2023.

‘CAA ICON’ stated that CAA ICON’s Managing Director of European Operations Stephanie Bax will spearhead the firm’s project management team for Co-op Live, and will oversee the contract, design and construction activities for the arena. Bax has been representing OVG through the design process and has played a key role in the arena development activities leading up to construction. Now that construction has commenced, Bax will lead the CAA ICON team as it represents OVG and City Football Group interests in activities such as budget and program management, oversight of procurement and installation of furniture, fixtures and equipment, and oversight of sponsor-related procurement and integration into the venue.

Bax enjoys wealth of experience in successful major project development, including the 52,500-capacity Stadio della Roma (Serie A team A.S. Roma’s planned stadium in the Tor di Valle neighborhood of Rome, Italy) and the 15,000-capacity Moody Center (an upcoming multipurpose arena currently under construction on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin, US) and management of multiple high-profile projects in North American venues for Major League Soccer (MLS), the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the 2010 Vancouver (Canada) Winter Olympics.

Exulted Bax, “We are thrilled to be working once again with OVG, this time to deliver their first international venue. Co-op Live will be a groundbreaking project for the UK music industry and an important economic boost to the City of Manchester in the wake of the pandemic. This will be the first of many new projects in the UK and Europe for CAA ICON and we are committed to bringing our deep sports and entertainment expertise, alongside our tailored project management approach, to these complex projects.”

Stephanie Bax, CAA ICON’s Managing Director of European Operations, was one of the Speakers at the Coliseum Online Week EUROPE Worldwide held in March 2021.

Remarked Sam Piccione III, President International, OVG, “In Co-op Live, we’re planning to create music and entertainment experience like nothing the UK or Europe has ever seen before. We need a team of world-leading experts to deliver that, and Stephanie and the team at CAA ICON are truly second-to-none in their field.”

Go-to destination

The ‘CAA ICON’ further stated that Manchester’s newest arena, Co-op Live, will make the City a global entertainment destination and provide a shot in the arm to the City centre economy. Slated to be the largest indoor concert venue in the UK with a capacity of 23,500 seats, the arena will be located on the Etihad Campus, which includes the 55,097-capacity Etihad Stadium, home of Premier League team Manchester City F.C. Apart from attracting major musical acts to Manchester, the venue is also designed to host a wide range of other events including international sports tournaments, family shows and emerging formats such as esports.

‘Green’ goals

OVG, the developer and operator of the arena, partnered with Manchester-based Co-op Group for a 15-year deal, which includes naming rights of the venue and benefits for Co-op members.

Co-op Live will be uniquely committed to sustainable and social initiatives during construction and operation of the venue. The project is set to generate 3,350 construction jobs and 1,000 roles and apprenticeships on completion and is focused on Green solutions, such as targeting zero operational waste to landfills.

Services provided

CAA ICON is engaged as the Developer’s Representative for Oak View Group to oversee the Co-op Live project. The following Project Management services are being implemented:

  • Design;
  • Pre-construct;
  • Construct; and
  • Complete and Commission.

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