FAQs

This page provides answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about the Bristol Arena project. If you have any further questions, please contact btqez@bristol.gov.uk.

Benefits and Funding

Bristol is currently the only major UK city that does not have an arena. The creation of the arena will mean that residents living in and around Bristol will have a major performance venue on their doorstep and will no longer have to travel to other cities to see touring arena shows. The arena development will regenerate a derelict site and be a catalyst for further development, creating jobs and stimulating growth.

An arena will bring millions of pounds annually in additional spend to the region from business activity, increased hotel occupancy and other related spend.

Bristol City Council is investing over £90 million to build the arena, with around £42.5 million being funded by operator contribution and income and £53 million funded via the City Deal Economic Development Fund, managed by the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

The arena is currently scheduled to open in 2020. However, until a programme has been agreed with the contractor the exact date of opening will not be known.

Arena Design

The Populous Arena Teams brings together:

  • global entertainment and sports design firm Populous;
  • locally-based architects Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios;
  • international practice BuroHappold Engineering;
  • sound specialists Vanguardia, and
  • internationally renowned artist Jonas Dahlberg.

Creative, passionate and collaborative, the Populous Arena Team have established working relationships through past projects of similar complexity and national significance, including the London 2012 Olympic Stadium, The 02 Arena, Emirates Stadium and St Mary Magdalene Academy.

The Bristol Arena’s maximum capacity is 12,000, but its design is very flexible design and allows for seamless conversion to a smaller amphitheatre for theatre-style performances.
Bristol City Council and the arena design team are aiming for the arena to be the most sustainable arena in the UK. Work is being undertaken to understand how best to reduce energy demand, options for on-site energy generation are being explored and the arena will be linked in with the local heating network.
The arena will be operated by the world’s largest arena operator SMG, in partnership with the world’s largest international live entertainment company Live Nation. The operator will be responsible for the programme of events and it is likely to be a mix of music, comedy, family entertainment shows, sports exhibition events and some conferences.

New arenas of a similar size like Leeds (First Direct Arena) have been incredibly successful. Acts and events including Eric Clapton, Robbie Williams, Sir Elton John, Premier League Darts, and even the start of the Tour de France last year helped the First Direct Arena generate over £25 million for the local economy in 2014, its first full year of operation.

There will be approximately 100 events per year. Approximately 45 of these will be 10,000 capacity or more events, with the remaining events having an average audience of 4-6,000.

Keeping Informed

At the moment, the latest arena news will be posted on this website, through our Twitter feed @BTQEZ and in our monthly Enterprise Zone newsletter, which you can subscribe to through the footer of this website. As the project progresses, it is anticipated that the arena will have a dedicated website and social media pages.