Leeds, United Kingdom
Constructed by BAM for Leeds City Council, the first direct Arena is a unique, cutting edge, international, multi-event venue for Leeds. The 13,000 capacity building has the UK’s first purpose-built fan-shape arena configuration with a contemporary and flexible layout where all seats face the performance area.
The first direct Arena was road tested by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band on the 24 July 2013 as the only indoor show in the UK for his Wrecking Ball Tour. Hailed as one of the greatest rock ‘n’ roll concerts ever, Bruce left the stage after over three hours saying “Leeds, you’ve got a great venue. I’ve really enjoyed it. A lovely place to play”. Later that year the official opening season was launched with a virtuoso performance by Elton John and his band on 4 September. The launch season continued with local heroes the Kaiser Chiefs followed by Micky Flanagan, Rod Stewart, Jesus Christ Superstar and Cirque du Soleil.
On 15 December the venue looked amazing as Wimbledon Champion Andy Murray was crowned BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2013 in front of 11,000 people and millions more watching on BBC One. The show was followed by another significant sporting event in 2014 with the presentation of the Tour de France teams at the first direct Arena on 3 July. Recent performances include Celine Dion, Noel Gallagher, John Bishop, Kylie Minogue, Ed Sheeran and Florence + the Machine.
The first direct Arena has won numerous structural and design awards including the 2013 Pollstar Concert Industry Award for the Best New Major Concert Venue. In April 2018 first direct was the winner of the ‘Naming Rights Sponsorship’ award at the UK Sponsorship Awards.
first direct Arena,
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