West Conshohocken, PA (June 16, 2014) The first direct arena in Leeds, operated by SMG Europe has been voted ‘New Venue of the Year’ at the Stadium Business Awards in London.
The 13,000 capacity entertainment venue beat off stiff global competition at the prestigious event at the RAF museum in London on Wednesday night. The new Leeds Arena opened in the summer of 2013 and has already welcomed some of the world’s biggest acts with opening performances by Bruce Springsteen and Sir Elton John followed by a host of top artists. Leeds beat a high quality list of nominees including the new Olympic Stadium in Sochi, the SSE Hydro in Glasgow and the Allianz Riviera stadium in Nice.
The award is assessed by a panel of industry experts worldwide including judges Australia, the USA and Europe.
Speaking on the success, John Knight, Senior Vice President UK Operations said “Opening the first direct arena has been the result of over five years work where we have pooled all of the SMG group’s experiences to deliver a world class venue.
This award is the culmination of an amazing 12 months for SMG’s newest venue. From Bruce Springsteen’s barnstorming test run to 8 million viewers of BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year, the venue has shown its versatility and Leeds is now firmly on the map for the biggest events in entertainment and sport. We look forward to welcoming the world’s media to the venue for the opening ceremony of the Tour de France in a month’s time.
The award sits alongside the excellent feedback we’re already getting from ticket holders, promoters and artists alike that tells us, the first direct arena is a special place to be.”
Leader of Leeds City Council, Councillor Keith Wakefield said:
“When the council chose to pursue our vision of providing a world-class entertainment venue for the city we were sure we could deliver that. I’m delighted world experts agree that the SMG Europe operated first direct arena means Leeds has a venue people in this city can be proud of.”
The award winning First Direct arena joins SMG Europe’s portfolio of major arena in four key cities offering 55,000 seats and forecasting over 3 million ticket sales in 2014.