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Features

Swansea Arena officially opens

Swansea’s new 3,500-capacity Digital Arena has officially opened ahead of its first event next week.

The new £135m (€161m/$177m) arena forms part of the £1.3bn Swansea Bay City Deal in which the UK Government is a partner. The opening ceremony was attended by UK Government Minister David TC Davies.

The arena hosts its first show on March 15 with a performance from stand-up comedian John Bishop. Rock band Royal Blood will then become the first major music act to perform at the venue on March 19.

The Digital Arena will be operated by Ambassador Theatre Group and will host music, comedy, esports and conference events. The venue is set to attract an estimated 230,000 visitors per year and will include a 175-capacity VIP lounge, nine food and drink outlets and an LED façade.

Davies said: “Copr Bay is a wonderful addition to Swansea and I’m absolutely delighted that the UK Government has contributed £13.7m to the project.

“It will attract visitors and provide a great leisure destination to Swansea’s residents. And it will support jobs and opportunities, as we build back better after the COVID pandemic. Projects like this one demonstrate what the UK Government means when we talk about Levelling Up and means that Swansea has a great future. I’d like to thank all our partners for the hard work that has gone into this fantastic project.”

Mark Drakeford, First Minister of Wales, added: “This is a very exciting time for the regeneration of Swansea and I’m delighted that we’ve been able to invest in these projects which will increase the connectivity between the city centre and the waterfront and provide Swansea with a state-of-the-art facility that will increase its ability to host major cultural and business events. I’d like to congratulate all partners on delivering this project in such difficult circumstances.”

There had been plans for three rooms at the arena to be named after local Labour councillors but this is being reconsidered following complaints from members of the opposition.

Image: Swansea Arena