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Sheffield Arena boosted by Utilita naming rights deal

Sheffield Arena is to be renamed Utilita Arena Sheffield as part of a five-year deal with the energy supplier which has been reported to be worth more than £1m.

The 13,000-capacity multi-purpose arena, which hosts concerts, comedians and ice hockey team Sheffield Steelers, becomes the third Utilita Energy venue in the UK to following Birmingham and Newcastle.

The Sheffield arena, which opened in 1991, is to stage its first gig since March 2020 when rock band Bring Me The Horizon play the venue on September 24.

The venue’s future had been the subject of some concern with cash-strapped operator Sheffield City Trust recently announcing that the pool at Ponds Forge sports centre will stay closed until January because of repairs costing £500,000.

Dom Stokes, head of live events and venues for Sheffield City Trust, said the timing of the Utilita deal was “phenomenal”.

He added: “To be able to agree a deal for this length of time and value is always fantastic news – to do so after the 18 months that the world has just gone through is simply phenomenal!

“Over the past year we’ve been proud to be at the heart of Sheffield’s response to COVID and supported the NHS in saving lives. However now we are ready to do what we have done for 30 years – put smiles on faces and put on some of the biggest shows and events.

“We are most definitely ready to open our doors and entertain our audience – and I couldn’t be more excited to do that alongside Utilita.”

Jem Maidment, Utilita’s chief marketing officer, said: “The UK live events industry has been particularly hard hit during the pandemic, so we’re thrilled to become headline partner of this fantastic arena as it celebrates its 30th birthday.

“We’re not just going to have our name above the door. We’ve an outstanding relationship with the Trust, who share our vision around what we want to deliver in the wider community, from energy efficiency campaigns such as Energy High 5 and sustainability lessons in schools, to support for local charities and staff volunteering programmes.

“We have exciting plans and a huge desire to play an active role as the arena enters is fourth decade. It’s been an horrendous past 18 months or so and I’m sure nobody will ever take live entertainment for granted again – now we are ready to party!”