A rendering of the Backstage Bar area at Co-op Live. (Courtesy OVG)

Firm will sell premium seating at new Manchester arena

Oak View Group, the developer of Manchester, England’s new 23,500-capacity arena, Co-op Live, has entered into a partnership with sports and entertainment consulting firm Elevate Sports Ventures to sell premium seating at the venue.

Elevate will support OVG on strategy, marketing, sales and service for the venue’s hospitality offerings. The arena, which is projected to host some 120 events and bring in 1.3 million visitors annually, is set to open in 2023. (OVG is VenuesNow’s parent company.)

The partnership complements the announcement of a 15-year naming rights partnership with the Co-operative Group. It marks the first U.K. venue project for Elevate, which has been developing its hospitality model in U.S. professional sports, including the NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, MLS, motorsports and more.

Among the premium seating Elevate Sports Ventures will market at Co-op Live will be 27 suites. (Courtesy OVG)

“We’ve had great success working with Elevate on our other developments in the U.S.,” said Francesca Bodie, OVG president of business development, said in a statement.

Elevate will be responsible for selling all 27 suites, nine lounges and club spaces, comprising 2,500 premium seats, VIP spaces and facilities, and will deliver its best practices in analytics and business intelligence in the areas of direct-to-consumer, digital marketing, ticket and premium pricing, sales and services, according to the announcement.

To drive interest in Co-op Live’s premium opportunities, Elevate will help open the Co-op Live Sales Suite, a custom designed studio showcasing premium amenities, in the Northern Quarter of Manchester and staff it with Co-op Live premium executives.

The sales suite is scheduled to open in April 2021, and Elevate will lead the search and manage the executive hires to support the endeavor.

Sam Piccione III, president of OVG International, said in a statement, “We are putting fans and artists first in everything we do at Co-op Live, and the venue will have a premium fan offering for everyone unmatched by any other arena in Europe.”

Al Guido, Elevate Sports Ventures Chairman and CEO, said the arena “holds great significance and opportunity for Manchester, and has the ability to impact the entire European entertainment ecosystem.”

“Beyond the immense size and scope of the Co-op Live, are equally impressive premium offerings that Elevate is proud to bring to market with our best-in-class business intelligence, marketing and sales insights,” he said in a statement.