Manchester’s new controversial arena: What you need to know about Co-op Live

Inside Manchester’s newest, biggest but delayed arena - everything you need to know about getting to Co-op Live.

The Co-op Live Arena in Manchester has been planning to open its door for quite some time, but unfortunately fans were disappointed again this week when the opening was delayed just hours before its first planned show was set to begin. 

The highly anticipated new indoor arena boasts the title of largest in the UK, with a maximum capacity of 23,500 including standing areas, making it a new hotspot for touring musicians. The lineup of performers currently planning to make a stop at Co-op Live include:

  • Eric Clapton
  • Nicki Manaj
  • Liam Gallagher
  • The Killers
  • Jonas Brothers
  • Billie Eilish
  • Take That

The arena won’t just be a musical venue however, as Co-op Live is also hosting UFC 304, its first sporting event, as well as comedy gigs; giving the event space more diversity in what it can offer. 

Here’s the key information you’ll want to know before visiting Co-op Live:

Location and Accessibility 

Co-op Live is located on the Etihad Campus in East Manchester, near to the Etihad Stadium, home of football club Manchester City, the ownership of which was heavily involved in creating the arena, along with Harry Styles, Oak View Group, and Co-op. The venue is in close proximity to Central Manchester, with a multitude of public transport options available (more on that below). 

The arena takes a focus on being for everyone, teaming up with Attitude is Everything to make sure that it is completely accessible. Co-op Live has a dedicated accessible entrance, as well as step-free access to all floors once inside, lowered counters, and support for assistance dogs. Accessible tickets can be booked through Ticketmaster, with different options available, as well as tickets for carers. Wheelchairs are available for movement within the arena, and there are further facilities such as the respite room, and accessible toilets with changing facilities, to ensure everyone has a smooth experience. 

How to get to Co-op Live by public transport

Being just a few miles away from the city centre of Manchester, the Etihad Campus is well connected via Manchester’s Metrolink trams, buses and walking routes. For the arena’s opening season, until June 30 (or possibly later now — more to come from the venue), all Metrolink and shuttle bus travel costs will be included in the event ticket. 

The Metrolink Trams go across Greater Manchester, with four zones surrounding the city centre. The Etihad Campus has its own stop on the tram, with services increasing in frequency to every six minutes between Monday and Saturday, and at peak times for the arena, there will be added shuttle buses to the city centre to support the tram service. Trams run until 1:00 on Fridays and Saturdays.

There are frequent local bus routes, alongside the newly introduced shuttle bus, that will take you within walking distance of the arena, the 53 takes you along Alan Turing Way, a two minute walk to the venue, and services including the 216, 230, and 231 stops along New Ashton Road, a 10 minute walk away. 

The CityLink walking route is a step-free walk through Ancoats, New Islington, and Holt Town, connecting the Etihad Campus to Picadilly Station in around 25 minutes. The walking route is fully lit, has CCTV, and assistants on event days to help guide you on your way, as well as visual light and art shows to make the walk more entertaining.

If you’re travelling from outside of Manchester, there are train services provided by Avanti West Coast, Transpennine Express, Northern and CrossCountry that arrive into the main stations in Manchester: Piccadilly, Victoria, Oxford Road, and Deansgate. These stations can all use the tram services to access Co-op Live in under 20 minutes, and booking train tickets in advance ensures lowest price.

Parking at the Arena

If you prefer the comfort of driving your own vehicle, use the postcode M11 3DU for directions, although it is important to consider parking in advance before you travel, as the area will be extremely busy on event days. 

Co-op Live offers event parking for £25, however this sells out quickly as lots of parking nearby is reserved for residents, and can feel expensive. JustPark has spaces on offer in everyone’s budget, all within walking distance, and can be booked for a longer period of time if you plan to explore Manchester beyond Co-op Live. There are also options to filter for accessible parking, large vehicle access and CCTV, meaning you don’t have to stress about parking while you’re at the arena.

Live locally? List your drive for some extra income

For people who live within walking distance of Co-op Live, renting out your parking space with JustPark can be a simple and convenient source of extra income, especially on those busy event days. You can choose the availability you want to offer, and let people book your space, benefitting both of you. Simply enter your postcode in the calculator linked above to see how much you could earn.

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Parking sorted in seconds.

Journeys are simpler with a dedicated space, just for you.

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