Man City's role in troubled £365million Co-op Live amid venue chaos

As Manchester City chase Premier League glory they hope will be crowned with an Etihad Stadium celebration later this month, the neighbouring concert venue Co-op Live continues to make headlines for all the wrong reasons.

The troubled venue has been hit by delays, cancellations and issues and is still yet to open its doors. The £365million venue is the latest addition to the Etihad campus and is intrinsically linked to City both in geography and behind the scenes.

City's owners the City Football Group have invested in the project as part of their aims to continue to redevelop the area, while the two sites are a matter of metres apart. Here's the lowdown on City's involvement in Co-op Live.

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What is City's role in Co-op live?

City's owners the City Football Group (CFG), are a partner in the venue. They joined forces with Oak View Group (OVG) as equal joint venture partners and investors in Co-op Live, along with pop superstar Harry Styles as a minority investor.

CFG view the arena as playing a pivotal role in their ambitions to develop the Etihad Campus as a global sport and entertainment destination that is a source of community, employment and economic opportunity for Manchester.

How much have CFG spent?

CFG, in which City owner and Emirati politician Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan has a controlling stake, has invested heavily in the arena. The figure involved has not been disclosed but CFG are an an equal partner in the £365m project with OVG.

Since 2008, City Football Group has overseen over £700m of investment into the Etihad Campus and East Manchester, including the development of the City Football Academy, the Connell Co-op College, the Manchester Institute of Health & Performance and now Co-op Live.

What do Man City get out of it?

Directly, nothing. Any earnings from ticket sales, merchandising and everything else will not benefit directly Manchester City’s first team budget according to a report in the Telegraph. But CFG hope the project will contribute significantly to the group’s value.

What have CFG said about the project?

Marty Edelman, board director at CFG, said: "Co-op Live unlocks the potential for the Etihad Campus to grow as an entertainment destination that creates more reasons for the nation and world to visit Manchester. Co-op Live seamlessly integrates wit the Etihad Campus and complements Manchester's city centre offer."

Ferran Soriano, Chief Executive Officer at City Football Group, said: "Co-op Live will play a pivotal role in City Football Group’s plans to develop the Etihad Campus into a year-round entertainment destination, but it will also bring with it a significant source of community, employment and economic opportunity for the city of Manchester and its people.”

“We are incredibly proud to have partnered with OVG on this project and look forward to welcoming fans from across the world to the arena next year.”

What's happened at Co-op live?

Several shows have been cancelled at the troubled arena. The opening night was postponed for a third time on Wednesday.

A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie's show at the troubled arena was cancelled at the last minute as hundreds of people queued outside The decision came just ten minutes before the opening support act was due on stage. The MEN later revealed the gig was axed after part of an air conditioning unit fell from the gantry inside the venue prior to the start of the concert.

Olivia Rodrigo's two shows at the arena, due to take place on Friday and Saturday, have also been postponed. The latest embarrassment comes after weeks of turmoil at the £365m Eastlands venue, which saw capacity at a test gig slashed and several shows rescheduled amid emergency services concerns over the safety of the venue. There are questions as to whether scheduled shows such as Keane on Sunday (May 5) and Take That next week will go ahead.

The venue's general manager, Gary Roden, spectacularly quit after 12 months in the job. It follows comments Mr Roden made to the BBC about grassroots music venues sparked fury among fans in Manchester and beyond.

The Co-op Group - the venue's naming rights holder - said it was 'shocked' and would be seeking 'full explanation' over the cancellations.