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Manchester Arena becomes AO Arena

By | Published on Friday 4 September 2020

AO Arena

The Manchester Arena is no longer known as the Manchester Arena, it’s now called the AO Arena, after the electronics retailer. I bought a fridge from them once and now they’ve got a five year naming rights deal with what was the Manchester Arena. I feel like I also own that arena’s name, in a way.

Anyway, the deal is good for AO, because brands like believing that people use the names they give venues instead of whatever they were called before. And it’s good for the (former) Manchester Arena, because AO has given it a load of money that will help it through this whole COVID-19 thing.

The plan isn’t just to keep things ticking over until the pandemic plays out, though. The arena has applied for planning permission to redevelop the building, including improving its environmental credentials to make it one of Europe’s lowest carbon venues.

“We are THRILLED to have secured this partnership and we look forward to a dynamic relationship with this exciting brand”, says the arena’s General Manager James Allen. “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”.

AO Chief Executive John Roberts adds: “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”, he goes on.

As well as the venue becoming all eco-friendly, initial redevelopment plans unveiled by the arena’s owner ASM Global earlier this year also stated an intent to increase its capacity to 24,000.

That would make it able to hold ever so slightly more people than the proposed new arena up the road, which has been going around telling everyone it’ll be the biggest in Europe. Plans for both arenas are yet to be approved.