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Arena Birmingham

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Utilita Arena Birmingham
Arena Birmingham from the Secret Garden (23626942848).jpg
Arena Birmingham in October 2017
Former namesNational Indoor Arena (1991–2014)
Barclaycard Arena (2014–2017)
Arena Birmingham (2017–2020)
AddressKing Edwards Road
Birmingham B1 2AA England
Coordinates52°28′47″N 01°54′54″W / 52.47972°N 1.91500°W / 52.47972; -1.91500
OwnerNEC Group
Capacity15,800 (arena)[1]
6,825 (B1)
Opened4 October 1991
All England Open Badminton Championships
Sainsbury's Indoor Grand Prix
Venue website
Building details
General information
Renovation cost£26 million
Renovating team
ArchitectBroadway Malyan
Structural engineerRodgers Leaske
Services engineerHulley & Kirkwood
Other designers
  • Novus
  • Inox Equip Ltd
  • Time Sec
  • Architainment Lighting, Ltd
Main contractorRoyal BAM Group

Utilita Arena Birmingham (previously known as Arena Birmingham, The Barclaycard Arena and originally as the National Indoor Arena) is an indoor arena and sporting venue in central Birmingham, United Kingdom. It is owned by parent company the NEC Group. When it was opened in 1991, it was the largest indoor arena in the UK.[2] On 16 January 2020, it was announced that the arena will be renamed Utilita Arena Birmingham from 15 April 2020.

The arena is located alongside the Birmingham Canal Navigations Main Line's Old Turn Junction and opposite the National Sea Life Centre in Brindleyplace. The building straddles the main Birmingham to Wolverhampton Intercity railway line (originally the Stour Valley Line), but does not have a station of its own. There are three adjoining car parks with a total of 2156 spaces. Close to the arena is The ICC which is also owned by the NEC Group.

It is currently the third-largest indoor arena in the United Kingdom by capacity. In 2019, the arena had ticket sales of 530,597, which was the 4th highest in the United Kingdom.[3]


Exterior of the arena in April 2005
Exterior of the arena in April 2005

The arena was officially opened, as the National Indoor Arena, on 4 October 1991 by the athlete Linford Christie.[4] When it was opened, the arena was intended to be an indoor sporting venue.[5] However, the venue began to host entertainment events shortly after opening.[6]

The arena currently hosts a variety of events including concerts, sporting events and conferences.[7] It has a capacity of up to 15,800 using both permanent seating and temporary seating configurations.[8]

The arena was renamed after it underwent an extensive renovation which was completed at the end of 2014. Michael Bublé opened the renovated arena on 2 December 2014.[9]

In 2018 the arena had ticket sales of 497,443, which was the 4th highest in the United Kingdom.[10]

Naming history

  • National Indoor Arena (4 October 1991 – 1 December 2014)[11]
  • Barclaycard Arena (2 December 2014 – 31 August 2017)[12]
  • Arena Birmingham (1 September 2017 – 14 April 2020)


The arena's new glazed facade in June 2015
The arena's new glazed facade in June 2015

In 2012 plans to refurbish and renovate the NIA were approved by Birmingham City Council. The plans included creating a showpiece entrance from the canal-side, three "sky needle" light sculptures, a new glazed facade fronting the canal and new pre-show hospitality elements. The design was by the architecture firm Broadway Malyan and the building contract was awarded to Royal BAM Group in 2013 with an projected finishing date of Winter 2014.[13]

The £26 million redevelopment began in June 2013. The redeveloped arena was officially opened with a performance by singer Michael Bublé on 2 December 2014.[14] It was renamed the "Barclaycard Arena" in November 2014 after Barclaycard won the naming rights for five years,[15] but in May 2016 it was announced that the naming deal would end early,[16] and from September 2017 it would be named Arena Birmingham.[17]

On 16 January 2020, it was announced that the arena will be renamed Utilita Arena Birmingham from 15 April 2020.[18]

Notable events

Original logo
Original logo

The arena has been used for several major events in the past, including counting no less than eight constituencies in the hall for the 1992 general election.[19]

Ticket sales

Year Name Ticket sales Gross sales (USD) Worldwide rank UK rank
2019 Arena Birmingham 530,597[3] 40,489,480 36 4
2018 497,443[22] 29 4
2017 642,922[23] 17 5
2016 Barclaycard Arena 422,619[24] 31 4
2015 425,241[25] 36 9

NEC Group

Parent company The NEC Group also owns and operates the ICC Birmingham in central Birmingham, and the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) and Resorts World Arena (previously The NEC Arena, LG Arena and Genting Arena), based on The NEC site in nearby Solihull.


  1. ^ "Our Brands | Utilita Arena Birmingham". Retrieved 15 April 2020.
  2. ^ "Our brands". NEC Group. Retrieved 24 January 2015.
  3. ^ a b "2019 Worldwide Ticket Sales Top 200 Arena Venues" (PDF). Pollstar. 16 December 2019. Retrieved 2 January 2020.
  4. ^ "Birmingham NIA". ActivBirmingham. Archived from the original on 18 October 2015. Retrieved 24 January 2015.
  5. ^ "Birmingham celebrates 25 years of city centre arena | News |NEC Group". Retrieved 14 June 2019.
  6. ^ Council, Birmingham City. "Arena Birmingham". Retrieved 14 June 2019.
  7. ^ "About us | Arena Birmingham". Retrieved 14 June 2019.
  8. ^ "Venue Information". Barclaycard Arena. Retrieved 24 January 2015.
  9. ^ "Michael Bublé officially launches Birmingham's 'Barclaycard Arena' | Koninklijke BAM Groep / Royal BAM Group". Retrieved 11 December 2016.
  10. ^ "2018 YEAR END Worldwide Ticket Sales TOP 200 ARENA VENUES" (PDF). Pollstar. Retrieved 21 May 2019.
  11. ^ "Birmingham's revamped National Indoor Arena (NIA) to become the 'Barclaycard Arena'". PanStadia & Arena Management Magazine. 3 October 2014. Archived from the original on 28 November 2019. Retrieved 28 November 2019.
  12. ^ Rawlins, Kristen (14 April 2017). "Birmingham's Barclaycard Arena to be renamed". Express & Star. MNA Media. Archived from the original on 28 November 2019. Retrieved 28 November 2019.
  13. ^ "International firm awarded £24m contract to refurbish Birmingham NIA". Birmingham Post. Birmingham. 16 May 2013. Retrieved 14 March 2014.
  14. ^ Brown, Graeme (29 September 2014). "Michael Bublé to perform as NIA renamed the Barclaycard Arena". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved 24 January 2015.
  15. ^ [1] Archived 30 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ "Barclaycard scraps sponsorship of Birmingham Arena". BBC News. 5 May 2016. Retrieved 12 July 2016.
  17. ^ "Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham changes its name again". Birmingham Mail. 11 September 2017. Retrieved 20 September 2017.
  18. ^
  19. ^ Election 92, BBC, 9 April 1992
  20. ^ "Eurovision Song Contest 1998". European Broadcasting Union. 9 May 1998. Retrieved 21 October 2014.
  21. ^ "Watch Linkin Park Perform With Chester Bennington for the Last Time". Billboard. Retrieved 21 July 2017
  22. ^ "2018 YEAR END Worldwide Ticket Sales TOP 200 ARENA VENUES" (PDF). Pollstar. Retrieved 2 January 2020.
  23. ^ "2017 YEAR END Worldwide Ticket Sales TOP 200 ARENA VENUES" (PDF). Pollstar. Retrieved 2 January 2020.
  24. ^ "2016 YEAR END Worldwide Ticket Sales TOP 200 ARENA VENUES" (PDF). Pollstar. Retrieved 2 January 2020.
  25. ^ "2015 YEAR END Worldwide Ticket Sales TOP 200 ARENA VENUES" (PDF). Pollstar. Retrieved 2 January 2020.

External links

This page was last edited on 23 February 2021, at 18:45
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