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Manchester Arena hits 30 million mark

Manchester Arena is celebrating hitting the milestone of 30 million visitors through its doors since opening in 1995.

In 2019, the venue is set to host 140 live event nights for the third year in a row, with a total of 1.2 million visitors expected.

Discussions are now underway to ensure that the venue, which is Europe’s largest indoor arena, continues to attract visitors at the same rate in the years to come.

The arena is managed and operated by SMG Europe, whose executive vice-president John Sharkey said: “Reaching 30 million visitors is a tremendous achievement, but not just for us. This represents every resident and business that make up this great city, as well as every artist that has graced our stage over the years.

“The arena’s impact on Manchester and its economy cannot be underestimated. Global acts have driven visitor numbers from far and wide, in turn utilising the city’s hotels, visiting its restaurants, shops and other central leisure and tourist destinations. Vital to this has been the arena’s location in the heart of the city – served by unrivalled transport links – which truly sets us apart from other arenas of this size in the UK.”

Sharkey added: “There’s no doubt that we are in the midst of a hugely significant period in the arena’s history. We are fast approaching our 25th anniversary in 2020, and we recently welcomed new landlords with an ambitious mindset that is aligned with our own. Look out for further announcements in the coming months that should prove really exciting for the city.”

The arena was bought by investment firm Secure Income Reit last March as part of a portfolio deal worth £436m (€497m/$567m). At the time, Secure Income chairman Nick Leslau praised the resilience of the city and Mancunians following the terrorist attack during an Ariana Grande concert at the arena which killed 22 people in May 2017.

The arena has a capacity of 21,000 and over the years has hosted high-profile acts such as U2, The Rolling Stones, Madonna and Pavarotti.

Image: Matthew Hartly