City Football Group make presence felt



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Co-op live arena gets new investor Man City owner Image: Co-op live

The group behind the newly-crowned Premier League champions Manchester City has followed the footsteps of the former One Direction singer Harry Styles by putting in money in the City’s new Co-op Live arena.

‘Business Live’ stated that the American global advisory, development and investment company Oak View Group (OVG) has confirmed that the City Football Group (CFG) has become its equal joint venture partner and investor in Co-op Live, alongside Harry Styles, who has a minority stake in the arena.

Manchester (UK)-headquartered the City Football Group (CFG) is a holding company that administers association football clubs. The group is owned by three organizations, of which 78 percent is majority owned by the Abu Dhabi United Group, 10 percent by the American firm Silver Lake and 12 percent by Chinese firms China Media Capital and CITIC Capital.

Manchester City Football Club is an English football club based in Manchester (UK) that competes in the Premier League, the top flight of English football. Founded in 1880 as St. Mark’s, it became Ardwick Association Football Club in 1887 and Manchester City in 1894.

The City of Manchester Stadium in Manchester, England, also known as the Etihad Stadium for sponsorship reasons, is the home of Manchester City F.C., with a domestic football capacity of 55,017, making it the fifth-largest in the Premier League and 10th-largest in the United Kingdom.

The above news comes close on the heels of Co-op Live arena announcing it is set to create 1,000 more jobs once fully operational – as construction started on the 23,500-seater venue earlier this month.

‘Business Live’ further stated that the new joint venture builds on the 2019 pre-planning collaboration that saw CFG, as lead developer of the Etihad Campus, back OVG’s feasibility studies and community consultations in advance of September 2020 planning nod.

The new £350m site, set to be UK’s biggest entertainment arena, is expected to “kickstart” a wave of economic activity and job creation across the region.

The project is being built by Salford-based BAM, which has revealed that almost £150m of the construction orders have already been placed with local firms.

OVG, the developer, informed that at its peak, Co-op Live’s construction site will see 400 workers working on it daily.

BAM estimated that more than 2,000 people will work on the site over its three-year construction phase, comprising majority of the 3,350 total jobs the project will generate from now to 2023.

Tim Leiweke, Co-Founder and CEO of OVG, exulted, “We are thrilled that CFG has chosen to invest in Co-op Live, and we can’t think of a better partner for this project. We are creating one of the world’s best arenas in Manchester. This venue will push the boundaries of live entertainment and be a significant source of opportunity for the City.”

Added Leiweke, “We also know that this is precisely the right time to make such a substantial financial investment in Manchester, helping it build back from the terrible impact of COVID-19. The Etihad Campus was always a clear choice due to its proximity to the City centre and the opportunity to be part of a growing visitor destination with excellent existing transport links. With CFG as a JV partner, we can push the boundaries on how Co-op Live delivers for artistes, every single fan, the UK’s music industry, and the City by creating a magical intersection of sports, community and entertainment that will be the envy of the world.”

Marty Edelman, Board Director, City Football Group, added, “Co-op Live unlocks the potential for the Etihad Campus to grow as an entertainment destination that creates more reasons for the nation and world to visit Manchester. The Chairman and the board’s priority have always been to ensure Co-op Live seamlessly integrates with the campus and compliments Manchester’s City centre offer.”

Added Edelman, “As a joint venture partner and investor, we will ensure that Co-op Live becomes part of the fabric of East Manchester and delivers the fullest community and economic impact as Manchester, and the wider region builds back from COVID.”

‘FanNation’ stated that designed by famous architectural design firm Populous, the arena is to be sponsored by Co-op under a 15-year naming rights deal worth £100 million and plans to attract big ticket entertainment events from all over the globe when it is eventually ready for use.

The City Football Group has developed different parts of the City ever since their arrival in Manchester, developing the area around the Etihad campus extensively and they continue to do so with this latest project which will also encourage business opportunities for the local people of Manchester.

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