Plans to transform Resorts World Arena in Birmingham into the UK’s biggest indoor venue have received backing from the local authorities.
The arena, which forms part of the National Exhibition Centre and is owned by the NEC Group, has a current capacity of 15,600 but this is set to increase to 21,600.
The plans to renovate and expand the arena, located in the borough of Solihull, were first outlined in March. The expansion would be completed ahead of Birmingham’s 2022 Commonwealth Games, at which Resorts World Arena is scheduled to host badminton, boxing, netball, table tennis and weightlifting events.
Birmingham Live reports that the plans were backed by Solihull Borough Council members last night (Wednesday). The arena would undergo a significant design revamp as part of the plans, which would include a new roof, hospitality facilities and a new concourse.
According to Birmingham Live, the project will see up to £45m (€50m/$55m) invested in the arena complex.
Resorts World Arena opened in 1980 and it is hoped the work will improve its “dated” appearance. Almost 300 jobs are expected to be created through the project.
The proposed expansion could make Resorts World Arena the largest UK arena by capacity, but that title is set to be hotly contested over the coming years. Manchester Arena is currently the UK’s biggest arena with a capacity of 21,000, with The O2 seating 20,000. Last month, Oak View Group published plans for a new arena in Manchester that would have a maximum capacity of 23,500. However, an early-stage development was unveiled in March that would expand Manchester Arena’s overall capacity to 24,000, making it the largest indoor arena in Europe.
Other venues that will be used during the 2022 Commonwealth Games include Alexander Stadium, which itself will undergo extensive renovation work, Arena Birmingham, Coventry’s Ricoh Arena and Edgbaston.
Image: NEC Group