Plans have recently been released for phase one of the Manchester Arena redevelopment, which will be renamed the AO Arena.
The Bolton-based online electrical retailer has signed a five-year deal with venue operators, to become the new headline sponsor. This is the first time a sponsor has had naming rights to the arena since 2014.
The redevelopment plans aim to transform the venue’s visitor experience, make it one of the lowest carbon venues in Europe, and improve its access to onsite transport links. The space, which previously allowed 21,000 guests, will now accommodate 24,000, and will have a canopy design inspired by the Manchester worker bee.
With a ‘dramatic increase’ in standing room, designers say the venue would become the ‘biggest indoor arena in Europe’.
AO founder and chief executive, John Roberts, said: “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 the 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.”
Live events are set to resume once Covid-19 restrictions on venues are lifted. Show announcements and ticket sales will be going live on the AO Arena site soon.