Posted on 15 Jan 2015

Manchester’s biggest live entertainment venue will celebrate its 20th anniversary this year.

As part of the celebrations the venue will draw on its standing within the city’s rich musical history and be renamed Manchester Arena.

Manchester Arena General Manager, James Allen, said: “We’ve been a big part of Manchester’s economic and cultural landscape for the last two decades and it’s now time to celebrate our position within the city. Although we are talking to potential new sponsors, we thought the start of our 20th year was the perfect opportunity to return to our traditional name and celebrate our Mancunian heritage.”

“Since 1995 we’ve sold over 20 million tickets, hosted the biggest names in live entertainment and won awards around the world. However, most importantly, we’ve made memories for millions of live music fans which we’ll be sharing throughout the year.”

From 15 January, the Arena will operate under its new name and will launch a new campaign marking 20 years in Manchester. The venue’s #WeAreManchester campaign will work alongside local artists and charities on a number of projects over the coming months.

Over the last 20 years Manchester Arena has staged the biggest names in live entertainment including The Rolling Stones, Madonna, U2, Beyonce, Lady Gaga and the record-breaking 2010/2011 residency by local comedian Peter Kay (set to return later this month for a 15 night sold-out run of Phoenix Nights Live).

The venue has also showcased events by local bands Oasis, Elbow, New Order, James, Happy Mondays, The Charlatans, M People, Doves, The Inspiral Carpets, The Verve and The Courteeners, plus Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, Simply Red and Take That, all of whom return to the venue in 2015.

In addition to live music, the 21,000 capacity venue has also staged some of the biggest events in the UK sporting calendar including several 2002 Commonwealth Games events, the 2012 Olympic basketball warm-up match between team USA and GB, the 2008 FINA World Swimming Championships and international boxing bouts by Mike Tyson, David Haye, Joe Calzaghe and local champions Ricky Hatton and Amir Khan. The Arena also supported professional basketball (Manchester Giants) and ice hockey (Manchester Storm and Manchester Phoenix) in the city.

Managed and operated by SMG Europe, Manchester Arena is one of the busiest venues in the world and one of the largest indoor arenas in Europe. Attracting over one million visitors each year, the venue is also a former winner of the industry's prestigious ‘International Venue of the Year’ award.

For more information on the venue’s 20th anniversary visit or follow on Twitter @mcrarena and Like on Facebook /manchesterarena