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First Direct Arena named best new venue in the world

Posted on 05 Jun 2014

The first direct arena in Leeds, operated by SMG Europe has been awarded the prestigious title of new venue of the year at the Stadium Business Awards in London.

The 13,000 entertainment venue beat off stiff global competition at the high profile ceremony at the RAF museum in London on Wednesday Night.  The new Leeds Arena which opened last summer with performances by Bruce Springsteen and Sir Elton John beat other 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, Ben Williams, General Manager commented: “This is the culmination of an amazing 12 months.  This time last year the building was still coming out of the ground.  To win this accolade shows that the aspirations of all the partners involved in the construction and operation of the venue have been justified.  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.”