Fans heading to the first Co-op Live events will be able to enjoy an extra benefit free of charge.

Bosses have announced that ticket holders for its opening season will have tram or city centre shuttle bus travel included with the price of admission.

The buses will run from Joe Mercer Way, outside the new 23,500-seat venue, to Piccadilly Gardens.

There will be a maximum of 10 buses for each event, with the service being a sticking point in the recent licensing hearing that saw its main rivals — the AO Arena — object to Co-op Live’s late night opening.

Ultimately, Manchester councillors decided the venue should open as planned in April, judging it ‘will be a significant benefit to the local community’.

For those using the trams, their tickets will be valid in all zones of the network from four hours before doors open to four hours after the event finishes.

Metrolink services to the Etihad Campus stop nearby have recently been upgraded to every six minutes all-day from Monday to Saturday, and will run later trams on a Friday and Saturday.

The initiative, which runs from April 20 to June 30, ‘demonstrates a commitment to providing additional neighbour-friendly options’ for transport, according to Co-op Live’s general manager, Gary Roden.

The Mayor Andy Burnham said the move is ‘a big step to ensuring everyone can enjoy the city’s unrivalled nightlife’. He added: “As we build the Bee Network we want to make it easier for people to make all kinds of journeys and this pioneering partnership between TfGM and Co-op Live is showing that in action.”

Fans will have to present their tickets to Metrolink inspectors to get free travel, with TfGM having its own dedicated website page for travel to and from the arena.

Bolton comedian Peter Kay has announced he will be the first act to ever perform at the Co-op Live in Manchester when it opens this spring.

The 50-year-old has revealed the new date on his tour, Better Late Than Never, as he is set to open the arena for the first time on April 23, this year.