ASM Global, operator of Manchester Arena, has today (Friday) lodged a formal objection to the planning application submitted by Oak View Group (OVG) for a new arena in the English city, highlighting the “astounding nature” of the market projections for the rival project.
Today’s news marks the latest development in an escalating war of words between ASM Global and OVG, with the latter having submitted a planning application to Manchester City Council back in April.
ASM Global’s protest is being supported by a group of entertainment, retail, hotel, property and hospitality businesses, who have stated their concern over the new project’s impact to city centre trade, at a time of challenge for many businesses amid COVID-19.
The group includes shopping centre Manchester Arndale, Aviva Investors, DTZ Investors, Living Ventures, Manchester Hospitality Network and Prestbury Investments. ASM Global states that while the initial plans for a second arena emphasised that the venue would benefit leisure offerings within the city centre, the planning application incorporated 181,000-plus square feet of out-of-town Class A food & beverage and retail space.
ASM states independent analysis from global consultants Charles River Associates (CRA) details “significant flaws” in the evidence supporting the planning application. ASM claims this raises legitimate concerns around the impact a second major venue, for which it has consistently maintained there is no market need, would have on Manchester Arena, its redevelopment and the vibrancy of the city centre economy.