OAK VIEW Group (OVG), the US company formed in 2015 by former AEG CEO Tim Leiweke and legendary deal-maker and artiste manager Irving Azoff, the former chairman of Live Nation Entertainment, is making a concerted move into Europe.
Created to invest in the US and international arena sector, OVG has revealed plans to build and operate venues in Manchester (UK,)and Milan (Italy).
The company has confirmed its interest in building a 20,000-capacity venue in Manchester, its second attempt to secure an arena project in the country, in the Eithad Campus, an entertainment and retail development including the site of Manchester City Football Club’s Eithad Stadium (cap. 63,000).
“Manchester is an amazing city with a proud music and sporting history, and one that we believe would see substantial benefits from a new arena,” says OVG co-founder and chief executive Tim Leiweke.
“A new world-class arena would create thousands of skilled jobs, apprenticeship and training programmes, and generate significant additional revenue for businesses in the city.”
The plan has attracted criticism from Manchester Arena (21,000) operator SMG Europe (now merged with AEG Facilities), which questions whether the city can sustain another arena.
In Italy, OVG announced in June that it had signed a head of terms agreement with property companies Risanamento and Lendlease to construct and operate the new arena. Located in Milan’s new Santa Giulia district, the project is a partnership with Live Nation Entertainment (LNE).
As with Manchester, the new venue will be in competition with the exisint Mediolanum Forum (11,000), in what is Italy’s second-largest city.
Meanwhile in the US, OVG and the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians (a recognised Indian tribe) announced its partnership to build a $250 million, 10,000-capacity sports and entertainment arena on Agua Caliente-owned land in Palm Springs. Planned to open in late 2021, the project has LNE as a strategic partner and live entertainment provider.