A guide to the brand-new Co-op Live Arena: drinks prices, how to get there, capacity and more

It's a big opening and there's a lot to take in - luckily, we can help with that.

Danny Jones Danny Jones - 24th April 2024

The brand spanking new Co-op Live Arena finally opens this week and while it might be a touch later than expected, it’s still a huge deal for Manchester and the region as a whole.

While the inaugural pair of shows by British comedy legend Peter Kay might have been postponed (twice), along with The Black Keys, due to unexpected power supply problems, Co-op Live is due to open its doors to the public on Wednesday 1 May.

Boasting a jam-packed and ambitious programme already, with shows lined up well into 2025, there’s a lot to take in and as always with new venues, it can be helpful to know all the important details before your first visit – and we’re all in that boat in this case.

There’s been a lot of talk about Co-op Live drinks prices, and about how to get there with it being a little way out of Manchester city centre.

But don’t worry, we’ve got you sorted with a whirlwind guide to the Co-op Live.


Everything you need to know about Co-op Live Manchester

Let’s start with why everyone’s getting so excited. Well not only is it going to become the UK’s biggest indoor entertainment venue and one of the biggest in Europe full stop, boasting a maximum capacity of 23,500 people but, like the newly opened Aviva Studios, it’s also set to bring huge revenue into the city.

All told, the total cost of the venue has clocked at approximately £365 million, making it one of the most expensive buildings to ever be erected in the region.


With the arena promising to rival not only the biggest and best venues in Manchester but the UK in general, they are looking to “change the way business is done within the music, sports and live entertainment industry“.

Attracting not only huge artists, comedians and other live acts but now even the likes of the UFC later this year, it really is poised to be an all-purpose entertainment space.

Who is Co-op Live backed by?

So who exactly is behind this huge new addition to the city? Well, there are a few big names involved, first and foremost the City Football Group (yes that one – they are neighbours after all).


Man City owner and UAE royal Sheikh Mansour has put forward the lion’s share along with the Oakview Music Group, co-founded by American music mogul and ex-Ticketmaster CEO, Irving Azoff.

Thirdly, another key investor who has played a big role in the marketing for Co-op Live, in case you haven’t already seen him in the promos, is Harry Styles.

Putting in an undisclosed amount into the building as a minority equity shareholder along with Emma Spring, co-director of his record label Erskine Records, Emma Spring, his brand alone is set to help rake in big sums for the venue.

The former One Direction star speaks ahead of Co-op Live opening to the public.

Those Co-op Live drinks prices…

Yep, a lot of you will have surely heard about them already and if you haven’t seen the drinks prices at Co-op Live yet, you might want to sit down for this one.

As confirmed by many accounts on social media, the cheapest pints available at the flashy new arena are £8.35 for a Grolsch, with Guinness, Asahi and Salfordian brewers Seven Brothers‘ IPA all setting you back £8.95. Double pints are priced at £16.35 and £17.45.


If you’re looking to save money with bottles or cans, you’ll still be paying around seven quid and wine will cost you £8.95 or £9.25 for 187ml or 200ml servings, respectively. A bottle of vino clocks in at £35 and sprits range anywhere between £9.50 and a whopping £17.40 for a tequila. Yikes.

You’re better off sticking to a soft drink at £4.80 for a pint and that way you can still save money in case you need a bite to eat, as pies are £8.25 and you’ll have to cough up £11.50 if you want a burger. We’ll let you draw your own conclusions on this front, though we’re sure we could make an educated guess.

Seating chart and venue map

You’ll find the typical arrangement for seated events and standing gigs above but, like most modern event spaces like this, the ‘top-in-class’ venue will likely be able to shuffle into different configurations where needed.

As you can see, there a three main tiers – the ground floor standing area in the lower bowl, level one seating and the upper tier – and there are a total of 32 bars, restaurants and various lounges wrapped into the entire complex.

When it comes to how you get into the arena itself, guests are encouraged to consult their gate (A-G) allocation through their tickets on the dedicated Co-op Live app, which also includes all info regarding shows and the latest announcements from the venue.


Here’s a wider look at the lay of the land:

A rough guide to getting around Co-op Live (Credit: Supplied)

How to get to Co-op Live in Manchester – parking and more


Now, as for how you’ll get to shows at Co-op Live, luckily it’s right next door to a rather famous big blue stadium and its integrated Metrolink stop.

Head along the light blue or orange lines directly to the Etihad Campus or Ashton-under-Lyne and you can get off the tram literally spitting distance from the arena. You can find the full map HERE.

Trams run frequently on the Ashton-Eccles line to the Etihad Campus stop, with services leaving every six minutes from the city centre and until 01:00 on Fridays and Saturdays.



If you want to take another new and improved arm of the Bee Network public transport system, not only is there a whole host of routes that drop you off close to the venue but there’ll also be a free shuttle bus from the city centre to and from events between 20 April-30 June 2024.

You can find the full list of bus routes HERE, with the one in closest proximity to the venue being the 53 bus which runs from Cheetham Hill through to Higher Crumpsall, Old Trafford and Pendleton, leaving just a two-minute walk to Co-op Live.

Better still, as part of Manchester City Council and TfGM embracing the new addition to the skyline, they’re also helping cover the costs of people’s journeys when using public transport.

Getting there by car and parking


If you’re driving, there is limited parking available at the venue but this must be pre-booked ahead of time. Parking will be released up to 4 weeks before the event and there are designated drop-off areas.

The postcode is M11 3DU and you can follow the signs towards the wider Etihad Campus as you get closer; directions to the adjacent drop-off points will also be signposted.

Keep in mind that congestion on the roads close to the Etihad Campus is expected to gather around two hours prior to any event, so if you are travelling on the road, these are the suggested times they provide come event day – though estimates will obviously vary:

  • Alan Turing Way (both directions): plan an additional 20 minutes into any journey by road.
  • Hyde Road (eastbound): expect an additional 15 minutes to be added to your journey.
  • Mancunian Way (westbound): plan for an extra 10 minutes of travel time.

There are also three park-and-ride facilities near Co-op Live but be advised that the Velopark and Holt Town stops will be closed post-event to help safely manage crowds:

  • Ashton Moss (Ashton line) – 183 spaces and 12 disabled spaces
  • Ashton West (Ashton line) – 184 spaces and 11 disabled spaces
  • Ladywell (Ashton-Eccles line) – 332 spaces and 22 disabled spaces



Lastly, it’s also just a half-hour stroll from Manchester Piccadilly, with Co-op Live working on some improvements to the footpaths between town and the arena.

Especially from Holt Town onwards you’ll spot these upgrades, like huge light installations and murals by local artists.

This is the recommended walking route (rather than along the canal).

Greater Manchester now also offers the option to hire bikes through the Beryl, with riders able to locate, unlock, get to their destination and then safely lock up the boke all through an easy-to-use app. There are hire points just near the south-west corner of the Etihad Stadium on Ashton New Road.

For more information on all travel options, you can check out the enhanced journey planner.


Co-op Live opening and closing times

While times will obviously change depending on the show, you can expect doors to open around the standard window between 6-7pm.

That being said, the venue is urging visitors to arrive at evening events in the main bowl no later than 9pm. As for curfew, Co-op Live gigs are due to finish by 11pm unless otherwise stated.

Accessibility info

One thing they’re taking very seriously at the Co-op Live is accessibility and after teaming up with disability charity Attitude Is Everything, you can find a full guide to access the arena HERE.

Having installed lowered service counters, step-free access to all floors, a designated respite room, support for assistance dogs, hearing loops for those with aids/implants, ambulant seating and plenty more, they’ve got it covered so all you have to do is come along and enjoy the show.

Read more:

And that just about wraps up everything we can think when it comes to what you need to know ahead of Co-op Live’s grand opening at the end of this month.


It’s set to be a world-leading venue and we can’t wait to see it lit up in its full glory when the first acts roll through the doors of big shiny black box this weekend.

Speaking of, once the action is underway, there’ll be a lot of acts coming thick and fast. It’s a new era for Manchester’s live music and entertainment scene.

Here’s your guide to everything happening at Co-op Live so far – and there’s a lot of it.

For all the latest news, events and goings on in Greater Manchester, subscribe to The Manc newsletter HERE.

Featured Images — The Manc Group/Co-op Live