Manchester Arena, managed and operated by SMG Europe, is one of the busiest venues in the world and the largest indoor arena in Europe.
Opened in 1995, the Manchester Arena has staged the biggest names in live entertainment including U2, The Rolling Stones, Madonna, Lady Gaga, Pavarotti and the record-breaking 2010 / 2011 residency by local comedian Peter Kay.In addition to live music, the Manchester Arena has also hosted 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 venue has also played a key part in Manchester's rich musical heritage with historic shows by local bands Take That, Oasis, Elbow, New Order, James, Happy Mondays, The Charlatans, Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, M People, Doves, The Inspiral Carpets, The Verve, Simply Red and The Courteeners.Attracting over one million visitors each year, the 21,000 capacity Arena was named 'International Venue of the Year' in 2002 by industry publication Pollstar and has been nominated an unrivalled ten consecutive times.
Manchester Arena Time Line
1995 - The venue is officially opened by Torvill & Dean who break the UK Box Office record for a single ice performance to over 15,000 fans
1998 - Ricky 'Hitman' Hatton beats Karl Taylor in his debut Arena bout - the first of 14 fights at his hometown venue
1999 - The Arena hosts the homecoming of Manchester United after they win 'The Treble'
2000 - Mike Tyson's UK debut fight at the Arena is watched by over 100 million people worldwide
2001 - Local band James perform their farewell show at the Arena - before returning with a sell-out concert in 2007!
2002 - The venue holds the 2002 Commonwealth Games' Boxing and Netball tournaments
2002 - U2 play to 19,384 fans, the biggest single audience of their European Elevation Tour. Bono declares the Arena "the best concert venue in the country"
2004 - Madonna returns to Manchester for the first time since her 1980's British debut at the infamous Hacienda to perform two sell-out shows
2005 - Comedian Lee Evans breaks the Guinness world record for a solo act performing to the biggest comedy audience
2005 - Comedian Peter Kay, who used to work as an Arena Steward, returns with his record-breaking "Mum Wants A Bungalow" Tour
2006 - Now an annual event, the first Versus Cancer charity concert is staged by Ex-Smith's member Andy Rourke
2007 - Kylie Minogue is crowned the biggest-selling solo artist in the history of the Arena after her January Showgirl Homecoming dates bring her total Arena performances to 17
2007 - Following their 11 shows in December, local band Take That become the biggest-selling act of all time with a total 27 Arena performances
2008 - The Arena becomes the UK's first music and entertainment venue to host competitive swimming after staging the 9th FINA World Short Course Swimming Championships in April
2008 - The Arena becomes Kylie Minogue's number one venue after official figures reveal the international pop star has performed more shows at the Arena - and to more people - than any other venue in the world
2009 - Peter Kay breaks box office records after all 20 nights for his 2010 spring residency sell out in an hour
2009 - Westlife announce they will return to the Arena with two 2010 shows making them the biggest selling group (29 performances) in the history of the venue - surpassing the joint record held with Take That
2009 - The Arena's summer family blockbuster Walking With Dinosaurs wins 'Best Family Show' at the Manchester Evening News Theatre Awards
2009 - The venue smashes attendance figures after welcoming over one and a half million ticketholders in 2009
2010 - The Arena celebrates its 15th anniversary with a star-studded Birthday Bash featuring Alexandra Burke, Scouting For Girls, Pixie Lott, The Script, Beverley Knight, The Saturdays, special guest Peter Kay and many more
2011 - This summer sees the Manchester venue stage the World Premiere of Batman Live (July) and the European Premiere of Glee (June)
2011 - Kylie cements her position as the biggest selling solo artist in the history of the venue after her four 'Aphrodite Les Folies' April shows brings her total Arena performances to 272011 - Peter Kay returns for a further 20 sold-out shows in autumn 2011 making The Tour That Doesn't Tour Tour - The Farewell Tour not only the fastest selling stand-up tour of all time but also the biggest in history
2011 - The venue hosts Children In Need Rocks Manchester in November, featuring a star-studded line-up including Gary Barlow, Coldplay, Lady Gaga, JLS and local favourites Elbow
2012 - Irish boy band Westlife perform their record-breaking 33rd and final show at the Arena in June
2012 - His Holiness the Dalai Lama visits the Manchester Arena for a series of public events over three days in June
2012 - The venue hosts the London 2012 Olympics basketball warm-up match between team USA and GB
2012 - Manchester music legend Morrissey plays to a sold-out hometown crowd - his only UK show of 20122012 - The Manchester Arena confirms its status as the home of live boxing following bouts by local sporting heroes Ricky Hatton and Freddie Flintoff over two consecutive weekends in November 2012
SMG was formed in 1988 in response to a market need for professionally managed public assembly facilities including arenas, stadiums, theatres and convention, exhibition and trade centres. The company now provides management expertise to large-scale venues, including the 76,000-seat Louisiana Superdome, the Tampa Ice Palace, the Hawaii Convention Centre, the San Francisco Civic Auditorium and the Manchester Arena.
The successful growth of SMG has been built on the many partnerships they have developed with their clients - both municipal and private. SMG's ownership and team of dedicated corporate support personnel make them unrivalled in the field of private facility management. SMG is an affiliate of American Capital Strategies Ltd. (NASDAQ: ACAS)
SMG in Europe
SMG Europe is the largest operator of sports and entertainment venues in the United Kingdom and Europe, controlling over 100,000 seats in 15 facilities.
The 20,000 seater Manchester Arena is the largest indoor concert arena in Europe and the flagship of the group which includes: The Bridgewater Hall, Manchester; Metro Radio Arena and The Journal Tyne Theatre, Newcastle; Playhouse, Whitley Bay; Odyssey Arena, Belfast; York Barbican, York; and The Baths Hall and The Plowright Theatre, Scunthorpe.
SMG Europe has been selected to operate Leeds Arena which will become Britain's most exciting new concert venue.
Expanding into mainland Europe the group also manages The König-Pilsener Arena, and Odysseum in Germany, and has a presence in Scandinavia at the Oslo Spektrum in Norway's capital.
The newly formed subsidiary SMG Polska has signed a 12 year contract for the management of the 42,000 capacity Wroclaw Stadium which opened in May 2011.
SMG Europe has also been appointed by Ora Istanbul to manage the Ora Arena, the first multi-purpose venue of its kind in the country, and the Ora Convention Centre.
*Based on concert ticket sales between January 2002 and June 2007, as calculated by Pollstar