Harry Styles says his participation in the project “feels like coming home.” (Getty Images)
Pop star to be involved in development of new arena in his hometown
Singer Harry Styles has invested in Co-op Live, a 23,500-capacity arena scheduled to open in 2023 in Manchester, England, project developer Oak View Group announced Monday.
The amount of Styles’ investment was not disclosed, but it’s a significant figure that makes him a minority equity shareholder in the arena, sources said.
The arena, which will be the U.K.’s largest, was given planning approval in September.
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 which sources say is worth $125 million over 15 years. (OVG also owns VenuesNow and Pollstar.)
Styles will work with OVG’s U.K. and international team in areas at Co-op Live such as the fan experience, unique premium and hospitality areas, and artist spaces.
Harry Styles said in a statement in the press release: “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.”
Francesca Bodie, OVG’s president of business development, said in the release that 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 pound ($456 million) private investment in Manchester and is projected to generate 3,500 jobs during construction. The additional events that the building will attract to the city will support an additional 1,000 jobs, OVG said.
The arena is planned for the Etihad Campus, home to Premier League soccer club Manchester United’s Etihad Stadium.
This story originally appeared on Pollstar.com.