05th December 2014

SMG and Live Nation named as preferred bidders to operate Bristol Arena

SMG, the UK's largest operator of sports and entertainment venues, and Live Nation, an international live entertainment company, have been named as the preferred bidders to operate Bristol Arena.

SMG, the UK's largest operator of sports and entertainment venues, and Live Nation, an international live entertainment company, have been named as the preferred bidders to operate Bristol Arena.

Mayor of Bristol, George Ferguson, announced the decision at a meeting of the council's cabinet. According to Mr Ferguson, "Interest from bidders in operating the 12,000 capacity Bristol Arena has been highly competitive. SMG and Live Nation will bring the combined expertise of two global businesses experienced in running arenas worldwide and delivering exciting programmes of concerts and events.

"Their bid represents a good deal for the city and gives yet further confidence of a firm footing on which to move forward towards a 2017 arena opening when we can look forward to welcoming world-class performers to the region."

SMG President & CEO Wes Westley added: "Both SMG and Live Nation are delighted to be named the preferred bidder for Bristol Arena. We think the Arena will be a fantastic venue for future entertainment and community events. This unique partnering of global giants Live Nation and SMG will ensure that the Arena is operated at a world-class level with top events for Bristolians and the South West."

The winning bidders will be involved in the design of the arena and in charge of operating, maintaining and managing it for the duration of the 25-year lease.

The 12,000 capacity arena will be located close to Bristol Temple Meads station, on the former diesel depot site. The arena is part of a plan to attract millions of pounds of investment to the city region. Work is due to start on site early in 2016 and the arena is set to open in 2017.