Handout/Helene Marie Pambrun via Getty Images – When touring was still possible.
Harry Styles during his 2018 European Tour at AccorHotels Arena, Paris.
Oak View Group (OVG) has announced an undisclosed investment from Harry Styles in Co-op Live, the new 23,500-capacity arena in Manchester, scheduled to open in 2023.
Oak View Group is the parent company of Pollstar and VenuesNow.
Styles’ involvement in the $445 million planned project in Manchester, England, marks the singer-songwriter’s first foray into the business world.
While the exact amount of Styles’ investment hasn’t been disclosed, it’s said to be a significant figure that makes him a minority equity shareholder in the arena, according to Pollstar’s sources.
The arena, which will be the UK’s largest, was given planning approval in September and is set to open in 2023.
OVG describes having Styles onboard at the peak of his career as “a huge coup.” The superstar calls Manchester his hometown. His first job as a teenager was delivering newspapers for Co-op, the company that has signed a naming rights deal with OVG worth $125 million, according to VenuesNow
“Harry Styles will work alongside OVG’s UK and international team, led by global live entertainment industry leader Tim Leiweke, on delivering world-leading experiences at Co-op Live, with a particular focus on fans, unique premium and hospitality areas and artist spaces,” the announcement reads.
Harry Styles commented: “I’m incredibly proud and excited to be partnering with OVG on their plans for Co-op Live. Manchester is an incredible city, filled with incredible people, and I couldn’t be happier being involved in this project. It very much feels like coming home.
“I was drawn to this project on every level, from the opportunities it brings, to the contribution it will make to the city, and most importantly, that it will allow even more live music to thrive in Manchester. It’s just another sign that this amazing city continues to grow.”
Courtesy OVG – Co-op Live
Co-op Live will have a capacity of 23,500. The $445 million arena is projected to open in 2023.
Francesca Bodie, OVG’s President of Business Development, said, there was “no artist in the world right now better placed than Harry to advise us on delivering a first-class experience for visitors and artists at Co-op Live.
“We’re focused on building one of the world’s best arenas in Manchester and Harry’s advice and consultation is going to be invaluable as we work to deliver that.”
Co-op Live represents a £350 million ($456 million) private investment in Manchester and is projected to generate 3,500 jobs during construction, “providing a much-needed boost to the city’s economy. The fact that the building, located on the Etihad Campus, will attract more events to the city will support a further 1,000 jobs, according to OVG.
OVG’s description of the new venue continues: “Co-op Live will be purpose-built for music, with an interior bowl that elevates both the artist and fan experience.
“Co-op Live is also the first arena to be built with an equal focus on artists and fans by offering the best experiences and sound. From the largest standing floor capacity in the UK, to a range of premium tickets, the arena will be designed to provide fair financial opportunities for artists while offering fans access to tickets at a wide, and accessible, range of prices.”