SMG Europe to run new Hull venue

SMG Europe to run new Hull venue

Manchester Arena operator SMG Europe has been awarded preferred bidder status to run Hull's new 3,500-capacity venue, set to open in 2018. 

Hull City Council is to award the company a 25-year contract to operate the music, events and conference centre, following a competitive tendering process. Hull is UK City Of Culture 2017. 

SMG also runs Odyssey Arena Belfast, Metro Radio Arena Newcastle and the nearby First Direct Arena in Leeds, along with York Barbican, and The Baths Hall & Plowright Theatre, both in Scunthorpe. In partnership with Live Nation, it is also set to manage the new Bristol Arena.

"We're delighted to be selected as the preferred bidder to operate the new Hull Venue and we look forward to working with council and the destination marketing team to bring a range of new events to the city, building on what looks like an exciting City Of Culture programme," said John Sharkey, SMG Europe's EVP, European operations.

BAM Construction, which previously worked on First Direct Arena Leeds, has already designed and started to build the Hull centre along with a new multi-storey car park.

Councillor Stephen Brady, leader of Hull City Council, said: "SMG and BAM both have fantastic reputations in their respective industries and I am delighted to have them both on board. 

"Hull Venue is a key landmark scheme, which is critical to the development of the city and our plans to make Hull a world-class visitor destination. 2017 is just the beginning for Hull and these legacy projects will ensure that Hull continues on the journey as a great cultural city after its year in the spotlight." 

The centre will include a 3,500-capacity concert auditorium, with the flexibility to reduce to a 2,500 all-seated event and a 2,000m2 exhibition space, plus an 800-capacity conference auditorium. 

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