Co-op Live, a new 23,500-capacity arena scheduled to open in Manchester later this year, has appointed former Ticketmaster UK executive Gary Roden as its executive director and general manager.
Roden will oversee operation of Co-op Live and spearhead the future vision and strategy of the venue, which will be the UK’s largest live entertainment arena.
He joins Co-op Live after eight years at Ticketmaster UK, most recently serving as senior vice-president of client development and commercial. Roden will assume control of the strategic and operational delivery of Co-op Live, leading the arena’s eight-strong executive team.
Co-op Live is a joint venture between Oak View Group and City Football Group and will form part of Manchester’s Etihad Campus. The arena is scheduled to host over 120 shows annually.
Roden said: “I am delighted to be joining Co-op Live, leading the team in Manchester to launch and operate a game-changing arena experience for both fans and artists. I can’t wait to get started, working with Oak View Group, City Football Group, key stakeholders and partners to launch what is not only set to be a groundbreaking arena for the UK, but one that will see Manchester firmly leading the way globally.”
Jessica Koravos, co-chair of Oak View Group International, added: “Gary Roden’s experience speaks for itself, and we’re thrilled to have him join an already phenomenal team of exceptional industry leaders and to continue to drive Oak View Group and City Football Group’s joint vision to deliver world-leading, planet-friendly entertainment.”
Prior to joining Ticketmaster, Roden worked as managing director of Parkwood Theatres and previously spent time as general manager at the Edinburgh Playhouse and the Bristol Hippodrome.
Co-op Live recently revealed details of The Bentley Record Room, an exclusive members’ club that will be limited to 100 people and include tickets to every publicly ticketed event at the arena.
In October, OVG revealed further details of the innovative ‘smart bowl’ that will be at the heart of Co-op Live. The bowl takes inspiration from Harry Styles, a private investor in the project who has been instrumental in the design, offering personal insight having performed at major venues and arenas worldwide.
Construction work commenced in May 2021, with UK consumer co-operative Co-op acquiring naming rights to the arena in September 2020.
Co-op Live has committed to becoming the most sustainable and socially responsible arena in the UK. It has pledged to support Manchester City Council’s target of becoming net zero carbon by 2038 and will donate at least £1m (€1.1m/$1.2m) annually to the Co-op Foundation to support local and national initiatives focused on young people, food security, education and sustainability.