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Manchester Arena eyes expansion plans

Manchester Arena is eyeing plans to increase its capacity to 24,000 and make it the largest arena in Europe.

ASM Global, operators of the 25-year-old venue, has released initial artist impressions of the proposed makeover, created by global design practice HOK.

A new façade for the arena references Manchester’s symbolic worker bee, while an external redesign connects the venue to Manchester Victoria transport links.

New concourse levels would be introduced to enable better circulation throughout the venue, provide additional retail space and introduce a dedicated level for reimagined VIP boxes and lounges.

A redesign of the main arena would significantly increase standing capacity and provide new food and drink experiences on the event floor. It would take overall capacity to more than 24,000, making it the largest indoor arena in Europe.

John Sharkey, executive vice president European operations for ASM Global, said:

These plans have been made public earlier than intended, as we are still in the process of consulting with Manchester City Council, our neighbours and landlord on the design – their input and involvement in this journey will be crucial.

In particular, we’re working to ensure our final proposals fit with the council’s wider infrastructure planning. We are also in dialogue with the families of the May 2017 terrorist attack around a fitting memorial for the City Room.

Our ambition throughout this process is to embed sustainability into every corner of the Arena, with the goal of becoming one of the lowest carbon venues in Europe.