Manchester Arena changes name to AO Arena

It comes after the venue's operators submitted a planning application for the arena’s redevelopment

Manchester Arena has been renamed the AO Arena, after announcing a new five-year sponsorship deal with Bolton-based online electricals retailer AO.

It comes after ASM Global, the venue’s operators, submitted a planning application for the arena’s redevelopment. The aim of the overhaul is to improve visitor experience, transport access and sustainability.

“We are thrilled to have secured this partnership and we look forward to a dynamic relationship with this exciting brand,” James Allen, general manager of the AO Arena said.


“Marking our 25th anniversary with redevelopment plans and our new partnership with AO highlights our commitment to the future of this venue in the heart of Manchester. And after such a long period of pause, we look forward to being able to press play and welcome fans back to the AO Arena.”

AO founder and CEO, John Roberts said of the announcement: “The Arena holds a special place in the hearts of so many people in Manchester so we’re hugely proud to add the AO smile, especially after such an emotional and difficult period. Our home is firmly in the North West, something we’ve never forgotten while building the business into a global destination for electricals.”

The newly rebranded arena, which currently has a capacity of 21,000, was revealed yesterday (September 2), marking the arena’s first naming rights sponsor since 2014.

Back in July, the AO Arena celebrated its 25th anniversary online with a special virtual gig.

Taking place on Friday (July 17), the pre-recorded, streamed event presented “a show reel of entertainment honouring the acts and performers who have played a role in our 25-year history.”
The virtual gig included appearances by the likes of Alice Cooper, Badly Drawn Boy, Emeli Sandé, Everything Everything, Lionel Richie and Tim Burgess.