Manchester Arena celebrates 20th anniversary year

Posted on 15 Jul 2015

On 15 July 2015, Manchester Arena celebrated the 20th anniversary of its first ever event. Torvill and Dean opened what was then the NYNEX arena and 15,000 people came to watch the show – a record breaking figure for an ice event. 

Since then, the Arena has staged some of the biggest and most successful events around, from massive gigs to monumental sporting events, family shows, comedy and more. Highlights have included Peter Kay’s record-breaking 39 night residency, the 2008 World Swimming Championships, Versus Cancer collaborations and Ricky “The Hitman” Hatton’s world title win.
Over its twenty year history, the venue has had three naming rights partners, NYNEX, the Manchester Evening News and Phones 4u, but in January 2015 it was renamed Manchester Arena to reaffirm the venue’s standing in the city during this momentous year.

The renaming of the venue was part of a wider campaign titled We Are Manchester. The Arena has partnered with local charities Forever Manchester and The Booth centre and worked alongside Mancunian artists to celebrate the 20th anniversary year. Local poet, Tony Walsh (aka) Longfella, penned a tribute to the arena, which can be watched here

Manchester Arena has grown from strength to strength as one of the busiest arenas in the world, bringing major acts and artists into the city.  As Sir Howard Bernstein, chief executive of Manchester City Council, said at an event at the Arena organised by the Institute of Directors' North West branch, "Manchester is the cultural hub of the North. The arena performs a hugely important role in terms of the cultural diversity it offers visitors." It also plays a vital part in Manchester’s economy, helping to drive demand for hotel rooms, bars and restaurants.

The Arena has had an incredible start to its twentieth anniversary year, with a record number of ticket sales in the first quarter and a ranking of second busiest venue in the world in Pollstar’s mid-year figures. The venue will undergo refurbishment over the summer as seats in the Arena bowl are replaced and improvements are made to the suites. Manchester Arena will re-open in September with an exciting final quarter that includes the annual Disney On Ice spectacular production, a special hometown show by Simply Red and Madonna’s only show in the North of England as part of her Rebel Heart Tour.

For more information about Manchester Arena visit