Business

Harry Styles Invests In OVG-Managed Arena in Manchester, U.K.

harry styles
Richard Young/Shutterstock

Harry Styles attends the Brit Awards Sony Music After Party at The Standard in London on February 18, 2020.

Harry Styles is investing in his hometown, supporting the development of Co-op Live, a new arena in Manchester, U.K. being developed by the Oak View Group. The new venue, which will be the U.K.'s largest arena, was given planning approval in September and is set to open in 2023.

"It is a huge coup for OVG to have him on board and investing in their arena while at the peak of his artistic career," a press release from Oak View Group reads."The investment in Co-op Live also closes a particular loop for Harry, whose first job was delivering newspapers for a Co-op store as a teenager."

Styles will receive an unspecified capital interest in the project, according to the release, and will reportedly take on a development role with the project, which is lead by Oak View Group chief executive Tim Leiweke.

Leiweke's company — which also has financial interests in venue management, touring, live entertainment sales and marketing and trade media publishing — has held steady during the COVID-19 pandemic and been able to avoid layoffs, despite the disruption to the live entertainment business caused by the pandemic. Leiweke's partner in Oak View Group Irving Azoff is the father of Jeffrey Azoff, who manages Styles and other a-list artists with partner Brandon Creed.

"I'm incredibly proud and excited to be partnering with OVG on their plans for Co-op Live. Manchester is an incredible city, filled with incredible people, and I couldn’t be happier being involved in this project. It very much feels like coming home," Styles said in a statement to Billboard.  "I was drawn to this project on every level, from the opportunities it brings to the contribution it will make to the city, and most importantly, that it will allow even more live music to thrive in Manchester. It's just another sign that this amazing city continues to grow."

Francesca Bodie, OVG's president of business development adds, "At OVG our vision is driven by a unique view that puts fans and artists first in every decision we make. There’s no artist in the world right now better placed than Harry to advise us on delivering a first-class experience for visitors and artists at Co-op Live," adding, "Harry’s advice and consultation is going to be invaluable as we work to deliver that."