Manchester Arena, the largest indoor arena in Europe, has welcomed 30 million visitors through its doors since its opening in 1995. Following the acquisition by its new landlord in 2018, discussions are now underway to ensure the arena remains a focal point at the heart of the city for years to come.

This comes as the venue embarks on a packed 2019 show schedule that will see 140 live event nights for the third year running – making it one of the top billed live venues in the world.

The SMG Europe managed and operated arena is expected to welcome 1.2million visitors through its doors in 2019 – a number that has steadily increased since its first year of operation and places it right in the mix with the world’s leading indoor venues. Former Manchester City Council Chief Executive, Sir Howard Bernstein previously credited the arena as being a fundamental part of Manchester since its inception.

Commenting on the milestone, John Sharkey, Executive Vice President at SMG Europe, said: “Reaching 30 million visitors is a tremendous achievement, but not just for us. This represents every resident and business that make up this great city, as well as every artist that has graced our stage over the years.

“The arena’s impact on Manchester and its economy cannot be underestimated. Global acts have driven visitor numbers from far and wide, in turn utilising the city’s hotels, visiting its restaurants, shops and other central leisure and tourist destinations. Vital to this has been the arena’s location in the heart of the city – served by unrivalled transport links – which truly sets us apart from other arenas of this size in the UK.”

In its illustrious history, the 21,000-capacity venue has hosted some of the biggest names in live entertainment including U2, The Rolling Stones, Madonna and Pavarotti. In 2019, the arena will welcome fan-favourites Andrea Bocelli, Hugh Jackman, Little Mix, George Ezra, Michael Bublé and Take That, who will be returning for the 44th time.

John continued: “There’s no doubt that we are in the midst of a hugely significant period in the arena’s history. We are fast-approaching our 25th anniversary in 2020, and we recently welcomed new landlords with an ambitious mindset that is aligned with our own. Look out for further announcements in the coming months that should prove really exciting for the city.”