General manager, James Allen explained that while talks were ongoing with potential headline sponsors, it was a conscious decision to go without one for the start of 2015:
“We’ve been a big part of Manchester’s economic and cultural landscape for the last two decades and it’s now time to celebrate our position within the city. Although we are talking to potential new sponsors, we thought the start of our 20th year was the perfect opportunity to return to our traditional name and celebrate our Mancunian heritage.”
“Since 1995 we’ve sold over 20 million tickets, hosted the biggest names in live entertainment and won awards around the world. However, most importantly, we’ve made memories for millions of live music fans which we’ll be sharing throughout the year.”
The renaming will be marked with a #WeAreManchester campaign and working alongside local artists and charities.
Managed by SMG Europe, the 21,000 capacity venue is one of the largest indoor arenas in Europe, attracting more than 1m visitors to the city each year.