Manchester Arena to glow as AO Arena



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Manchester Arena renamed Image: AO Arena

The historic 21,000-capacity Manchester Arena in England has been renamed the AO Arena.

Bolton (UK)-based online electricals retailer AO announced on Wednesday that it is the new headline sponsor of Manchester’s iconic Arena as operators ASM Global submit a planning application for phase one of its ambitious rehabilitation.

It is a five-year deal and the renaming took place on Wednesday ahead of live events resuming once current COVID-19 related restrictions on venues are lifted.

The Manchester Arena, now the AO Arena, is an indoor arena in Manchester, England, immediately north of the City centre and partly above Manchester Victoria Station in air rights space.

With new show announcements and tickets going on sale imminently, audiences can look forward to enjoying the best in entertainment at the renamed AO Arena. AO will support the venue to bring live music and entertainment back to the people of Manchester, as quickly and in the safest possible manner.

Commented AO Founder and CEO, John Roberts on the announcement, “The Arena holds a special place in the hearts of so many people in Manchester so we’re hugely proud to add the AO smile, especially after such an emotional and difficult period. Our home is firmly in the North West, something we’ve never forgotten while building the business into a global destination for electricals.”

“We hope today’s redevelopment plans for the AO Arena which, combined with soon-to-be-announced good news about the events coming in 2021, will create hope and excitement about the future of entertainment in our great City. Through this sponsorship, we can deliver our famous AO smile to millions of visitors every year and we can’t wait to welcome them to the AO Arena. Thousands of our customers will also be able to enjoy amazing events with tickets, exclusive access and money-can’t-buy experiences,” Roberts added.

James Allen, General Manager of the AO Arena, stated, “We are thrilled to have secured this partnership and we look forward to a dynamic relationship with this exciting brand. Marking our 25th anniversary with redevelopment plans and our new partnership with AO highlights our commitment to the future of this venue in the heart of Manchester. And after such a long period of pause, we look forward to being able to press play and welcome fans back to the AO Arena.”

The venue’s reconfiguration plans, submitted to the Manchester City Council by operators ASM Global, aim to deliver a transformed visitor experience, improve the sustainability of the existing venue to become one of the lowest carbon venues in Europe, enhance its existing access to onsite transport links, and act as hub for its communities. Over 6,800 people from across Greater Manchester provided feedback as part of an extensive consultation on the plans, with 94 percent voting positively on the proposals.

AO and ASM Global will be working together to turn the venue AO green and ready to safely reopen with a fresh new look and an enviable line-up of global talent, many of whom rescheduled 2020 tour dates to 2021.

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