The £50m redevelopments are scheduled for completion in March this year

Following last year’s announcements to launch member-exclusive area The Mezz in Q1 of 2024, the AO Arena has announced today that the ambitious £50m redevelopment will also see the venue increase its capacity to 23,000. 

This will also include a 100% increase to the standing floor capacity of the venue, allowing up to 6,200 fans at a time to ‘feel even closer to their favourite artists’.

This will be supported by the brand-new lower concourse, designed to enhance the venue for floor standing fans. Already one of the biggest arenas in the UK and Europe, this further growth solidifies AO Arena’s position amongst them. 

The AO has been pushing the music scene forward for over 27 years

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Artist interpretation of what the new bar areas will look like Image: AO Arena

By March 2024, AO Arena and ASM Global will have delivered a complete reconstruction of the venue, now in its third decade, whilst continuing to open its doors and provide entertainment to fans throughout the process. 

In addition to new entrances, state of the art technology will make getting in and out of the arena ‘the quickest in any venue in Europe’, allowing fans to relax into the show ahead of time. Digitalisation of the concourse spaces will make finding your way around the arena easy and there will also be a multitude of new bars and food offerings available, including members-only area The Mezz which will feature menus curated by Michelin-star Chef Simon Rogan and Chef Tom Barnes of Skof.

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Artist interpretations of the new food areas Image: AO Arena

What’s more, no arena improvement would be complete without enhanced acoustics, sounds and sightlines - after all, that’s what fans visit for isn’t it? Expect bigger, better visual and audio effects and performances, making each and every event goosebump-worthy.

Artists, too, will have their experience upgraded thanks to an all-new backstage artist compound complete with its own private kitchen. 

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The bowl at AO Arena Image: AO Arena

At the Topping Out Ceremony last week, Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnam described the AO Arena as “the beating heart of Manchester”, going on to share his own fond memories of personal experiences at the venue. 

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Mayor Andy Burnham with Charlie Salt and Myles Kellock from Stockport band Blossoms Image: AO Arena

Mancunian rapper Aitch was also in attendance as a very special surprise guest. He said: “When the AO Arena asked me to be part of tonight I thought, how can I say no? It’s always been a huge part of the culture here in Manchester and you know I’m all about anything that gives back to the community.” He continued, “The AO has been pushing the music scene forward for over 27 years and over one million people walk through these legendary doors every year, and we have them right on our doorstep.”

The redevelopment will be revealed in full in March 2024.

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Aitch at the Topping Out Ceremony Image: AO Arena

Watch our video from the Topping Out Ceremony below.

Read next: Stars in their Eyes: 40 years of Michelin-less Manchester

Read again: 'Forget the Rijksmuseum': Waku Waku, Portland Street, reviewed

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