The operator procurement process for Bristol Arena has begun after a bidders day for interested parties was held on 15th May. Bidders have until 6th June to submit a pre-qualification questionnaire (PQQ) to Bristol City Council before those who meet the initial requirements will be invited to tender for the 25-year contract.

The successful operator will be expected to:

  • Input into the design of the arena
  • Operate and programme the arena
  • Maintain and manage the facility for the duration of the lease
  • Work in partnership with the council, community and stakeholders.

George Ferguson, Mayor of Bristol said: “We have had tremendous interest in the Bristol Arena project from potential operators. Bristol is the 7th largest city in England and it is considered as having the largest untapped market for an arena in the UK. Operators were interested to hear about the council’s vision for Arena Island and its place in the Bristol Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone. This is a vital project for Bristol’s cultural offer and regional economy.”

It is anticipated that the successful operator will be selected in the Autumn. Work will then move onto choosing a design team in the early stages of 2015, who will work together with the operator and Bristol City Council to take the £91m development forward to the construction stage throughout 2016 and 2017. The arena is currently scheduled to open in the summer of 2017.

The news arrives shortly before detailed plans for the new £11m access bridge to the Arena Island site are set to be unveiled by the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), who currently own the land. Construction company SISK have already begun preliminary work around the site to prepare for the construction of the bridge, which is due to be completed mid-2015.