Utilita Arena Birmingham (previously known as Arena Birmingham, The Barclaycard Arena and originally as the National Indoor Arena) is an indoor arena and sporting venue in central Birmingham, United Kingdom. It is owned by parent company the NEC Group. When it was opened in 1991, it was the largest indoor arena in the UK. On 16 January 2020, it was announced that the arena will be renamed Utilita Arena Birmingham from 15 April 2020.
|Former names||National Indoor Arena (1991–2014)|
Barclaycard Arena (2014–2017)
Arena Birmingham (2017–2020)
|Address||King Edwards Road|
Birmingham B1 2AA England
|Opened||4 October 1991|
|All England Open Badminton Championships|
Sainsbury's Indoor Grand Prix
|Renovation cost||£26 million|
|Structural engineer||Rodgers Leaske|
|Services engineer||Hulley & Kirkwood|
|Main contractor||Royal BAM Group|
The arena is located alongside the Birmingham Canal Navigations Main Line's Old Turn Junction and opposite the National Sea Life Centre in Brindleyplace. The building straddles the main Birmingham to Wolverhampton Intercity railway line (originally the Stour Valley Line), but does not have a station of its own. There are three adjoining car parks with a total of 2156 spaces. Close to the arena is The ICC which is also owned by the NEC Group.
It is currently the third-largest indoor arena in the United Kingdom by capacity. In 2019, the arena had ticket sales of 530,597, which was the 4th highest in the United Kingdom.
The arena was officially opened, as the National Indoor Arena, on 4 October 1991 by the athlete Linford Christie. When it was opened, the arena was intended to be an indoor sporting venue. However, the venue began to host entertainment events shortly after opening.
The arena was renamed after it underwent an extensive renovation which was completed at the end of 2014. Michael Bublé opened the renovated arena on 2 December 2014.
- National Indoor Arena (4 October 1991 – 1 December 2014)
- Barclaycard Arena (2 December 2014 – 31 August 2017)
- Arena Birmingham (1 September 2017 – 14 April 2020)
In 2012 plans to refurbish and renovate the NIA were approved by Birmingham City Council. The plans included creating a showpiece entrance from the canal-side, three "sky needle" light sculptures, a new glazed facade fronting the canal and new pre-show hospitality elements. The design was by the architecture firm Broadway Malyan and the building contract was awarded to Royal BAM Group in 2013 with an projected finishing date of Winter 2014.
The £26 million redevelopment began in June 2013. The redeveloped arena was officially opened with a performance by singer Michael Bublé on 2 December 2014. It was renamed the "Barclaycard Arena" in November 2014 after Barclaycard won the naming rights for five years, but in May 2016 it was announced that the naming deal would end early, and from September 2017 it would be named Arena Birmingham.
The arena has been used for several major events in the past, including counting no less than eight constituencies in the hall for the 1992 general election.
- Gladiators was recorded at the arena from 1992 to 1999.
- 1993 IBF World Championships
- 1995 Netball World Championships
- Eurovision Song Contest 1998
- 1999 World Judo Championships
- WWF Rebellion 1999
- 2003 IAAF World Indoor Championships.
- Great Britain Davis Cup tennis matches (vs. United States in 1999, vs. Sweden and Thailand in 2002, and vs. Japan in 2016)
- BBL Cup and BBL Finals Weekend matches
- 2003 IBF World Championships
- 2007 European Athletics Indoor Championships.
- The Premier League Darts every year since 2007
- 2010 European Men's Artistic Gymnastics Championships
- 2010 European Women's Artistic Gymnastics Championships
- BAMMA events in 2010, 2011 and 2012
- 2010 Wheelchair Basketball World Championship
- 2011 Trampoline World Championships
- Linkin Park performed here as part of the One More Light Tour on 6 July 2017. This was the band's last performance of the European leg, as the remaining show in Manchester were cancelled due to a bombing at the Manchester Arena, where the band was supposed to perform. It was also the final performance of lead singer Chester Bennington before his death on 20 July 2017.
- 2018 IAAF World Indoor Championships
- 2022 Commonwealth Games
|Year||Name||Ticket sales||Gross sales (USD)||Worldwide rank||UK rank|
Parent company The NEC Group also owns and operates the ICC Birmingham in central Birmingham, and the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) and Resorts World Arena (previously The NEC Arena, LG Arena and Genting Arena), based on The NEC site in nearby Solihull.
- "Our Brands | Utilita Arena Birmingham". www.necgroup.co.uk. Retrieved 15 April 2020.
- "Our brands". NEC Group. Retrieved 24 January 2015.
- "2019 Worldwide Ticket Sales Top 200 Arena Venues" (PDF). Pollstar. 16 December 2019. Retrieved 2 January 2020.
- "Birmingham NIA". ActivBirmingham. Archived from the original on 18 October 2015. Retrieved 24 January 2015.
- "Birmingham celebrates 25 years of city centre arena | News |NEC Group". www.necgroup.co.uk. Retrieved 14 June 2019.
- Council, Birmingham City. "Arena Birmingham". www.birmingham.gov.uk. Retrieved 14 June 2019.
- "About us | Arena Birmingham". www.arenabham.co.uk. Retrieved 14 June 2019.
- "Venue Information". Barclaycard Arena. Retrieved 24 January 2015.
- "Michael Bublé officially launches Birmingham's 'Barclaycard Arena' | Koninklijke BAM Groep / Royal BAM Group". www.bam.eu. Retrieved 11 December 2016.
- "2018 YEAR END Worldwide Ticket Sales TOP 200 ARENA VENUES" (PDF). Pollstar. Retrieved 21 May 2019.
- "Birmingham's revamped National Indoor Arena (NIA) to become the 'Barclaycard Arena'". PanStadia & Arena Management Magazine. 3 October 2014. Archived from the original on 28 November 2019. Retrieved 28 November 2019.
- Rawlins, Kristen (14 April 2017). "Birmingham's Barclaycard Arena to be renamed". Express & Star. MNA Media. Archived from the original on 28 November 2019. Retrieved 28 November 2019.
- "International firm awarded £24m contract to refurbish Birmingham NIA". Birmingham Post. Birmingham. 16 May 2013. Retrieved 14 March 2014.
- Brown, Graeme (29 September 2014). "Michael Bublé to perform as NIA renamed the Barclaycard Arena". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved 24 January 2015.
- Archived 30 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine
- "Barclaycard scraps sponsorship of Birmingham Arena". BBC News. 5 May 2016. Retrieved 12 July 2016.
- "Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham changes its name again". Birmingham Mail. 11 September 2017. Retrieved 20 September 2017.
- "Arena Birmingham to change name again - and everyone says same thing". 16 January 2020.
- Election 92, BBC, 9 April 1992
- "Eurovision Song Contest 1998". eurovision.tv. European Broadcasting Union. 9 May 1998. Retrieved 21 October 2014.
- "Watch Linkin Park Perform With Chester Bennington for the Last Time". Billboard. Retrieved 21 July 2017
- "2018 YEAR END Worldwide Ticket Sales TOP 200 ARENA VENUES" (PDF). Pollstar. Retrieved 2 January 2020.
- "2017 YEAR END Worldwide Ticket Sales TOP 200 ARENA VENUES" (PDF). Pollstar. Retrieved 2 January 2020.
- "2016 YEAR END Worldwide Ticket Sales TOP 200 ARENA VENUES" (PDF). Pollstar. Retrieved 2 January 2020.
- "2015 YEAR END Worldwide Ticket Sales TOP 200 ARENA VENUES" (PDF). Pollstar. Retrieved 2 January 2020.