Oak View Group (OVG) has confirmed it is bringing forward a planning application for what will be the UK’s largest arena, maintaining that Manchester has the capacity for two major venues.

US global venue development, advisory and investment company OVG has been working in partnership with City Football Group (CFG), the parent company of English Premier League football club Manchester City, on the proposed project. In August, OVG confirmed it was working with CFG on the potential development of a new arena on land close to the Etihad Stadium.

In today’s (Friday’s) announcement, OVG said the £350m (€408.5m/$450.7m) project would be entirely privately funded and constructed on the Etihad Campus. It would make Manchester home to the largest arena in the UK and one of the largest in Europe, with a capacity of up to 23,500.

OVG said it plans to submit a planning application in the coming weeks. Subject to successful planning approval, it is envisaged the venue would take three years to build, with the first events planned to be held in 2023.

OVG, which is currently working on another significant arena project in the US city of Seattle, said the new Manchester arena would increase event numbers and attendances in the city and attract new and more diverse events owing to its location, flexible design and ability to utilise the broader Etihad Campus ecosystem. It added that jobs, skills, education and community initiatives, and a sustainable transport strategy will ensure the entire city benefits from a second arena.

The arena will have an interior bowl that aims to brings artists and fans closer together than ever before. Design features for audiences and performers with additional needs have been built in from the start, with the project aspiring for Attitude is Everything Gold Status1.

Whilst focused and designed for music, the venue will be a versatile entertainment space for different types of events with the potential to attract a wide range of live events to the city, such as ATP tennis, NBA and NHL international basketball and ice hockey games and major awards events.

Alongside the development of cutting-edge audio and visual technology, OVG said it will work with several world-leading content partners to bring unrivalled experiences and the world’s biggest and most exciting events to Manchester.

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