Manchester Arena has taken on a new name after electrical retailer AO stepped up to become the latest headline sponsor of the venue.
The agreement comes soon after plans were announced for a revamp of the arena and the surrounding area.
The AO Arena, managed and operated by ASM Global, is one of the busiest venues in the world and the largest indoor arena in Europe.
Since opening in 1995, the Arena has hosted the biggest names in live entertainment including U2, The Rolling Stones, Madonna, Lady Gaga, Pavarotti and the record-breaking 2010/2011 residency by local comedian Peter Kay.
In addition to live music, the venue has also staged some of the biggest events in the UK sporting calendar including several 2002 Commonwealth Games’ events, the 2012 Olympic basketball warm-up match between team USA and GB, the 2008 FINA World Swimming Championships and international boxing bouts by Mike Tyson, David Haye, Joe Calzaghe and local champions Ricky Hatton, Amir Khan and Anthony Crolla.
The arena has also played a key part in the city’s rich musical heritage with historic shows by local bands Take That, Oasis, Elbow, New Order, James, Happy Mondays, The Charlatans, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, M People, Doves, Inspiral Carpets, The Verve, Simply Red and The Courteeners.
Attracting over one million visitors each year, the 21,000 capacity Arena is a former winner of the industry’s prestigious International Venue of the Year award.
AO founder and CEO, 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 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.
James Allen, the general manager of the AO Arena added:
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.