The plans for the new indoor arena were approved by Manchester City Council on September 24, 2020.
The facility will be constructed in Manchester and will accommodate 23,500 people. When completed, it will outreach the existing O2 arena in London and the Manchester Arena in terms of capacity (20,000 and 21,000 respectively). The construction procedures will employ new, low carbon emission technology so that the environmental footprint of the construction will be reduced.
Entertainment exhibitions including concerts and sports games (including boxing, tennis and e-sports) will be hosted. The total cost of the facility is expected to reach $446 million and construction works are expected to begin in November. The schedule for the stadium is to be opened by 2023.
According to the developers of the project, Oak View Group (OVG), the city of Manchester was selected for the establishment of such a facility because of its "iconic music, entertainment and sporting culture". Construction works will create 3,350 job opportunities and 1,000 more once the arena is operational. Moreover, the OVG suggests that the arena will bring $1.91 billion to Manchester's economy over the next 2 decades.
In February 2020, when the designs of the arena were revealed but the project had not been approved yet, ASM Global, the owners of the existing Manchester Arena raised concerns over the new facility as they believed that it would "push it out of business". Nevertheless, Tim Leiweke, the co-founder and chief executive of Oak View Group, insisted on realizing the company's project. "Building the best and most expensive arena to date in the UK or Europe is a fantastic testament to Manchester and the vibrancy of Manchester. I believe the marketplace deserves it, I believe the marketplace has earned it...I think Manchester deserves a new arena and it is certainly not built to eliminate the current arena but to compliment the demand in the area," Leiweke, stated back then.
ASM Global expressed their disappointment to the approval and suggested that current data show there is "simply no market for a second major arena in Manchester".
The arena will be established next to Etihad Stadium, the home of Manchester City, a football team in Manchester. Officials suggest that events at the arena should be scheduled to avoid football games of Manchester City so that traffic and overcrowding will be avoided. However, Leiweke suggested that, on some occasions, both spectacles can be hosted at the same time with the coordination of the city council and the police.