Motorpoint Arena Nottingham
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|Former names||Nottingham Arena (2000–08)
Trent FM Arena Nottingham (2008–11)
Capital FM Arena Nottingham (2011–15)
|Location||National Ice Centre
The Lace Market
Nottingham NG1 1LA
|Owner||Nottingham City Council|
|Operator||Nottingham Ice Centre Ltd|
|Opened||1 April 2000|
Motorpoint Arena Nottingham (originally the Nottingham Arena, formerly the Capital FM Arena Nottingham) is a multi-use indoor arena located within the National Ice Centre in the Lace Market district of Nottingham, England. The National Ice Centre and Nottingham Arena were opened by Olympic gold medalist Jayne Torvill on 1 April 2000. Since its opening, the arena has hosted over a thousand concerts, comedy acts, family shows and sporting events. The arena is the UK’s first twin ice pad facility and centre of excellence for ice sports in the UK.
Background and construction
The arena is part of the National Ice Centre which was constructed on the site of the former Nottingham Ice Stadium. The ice stadium opened in 1939 and was showing its age, so, in September 1995, plans were announced to replace the Ice Stadium. Plans for the new ice rink, supported by the British Olympic Association, were unveiled in October 1996. In mid-1997 Nottingham City Council voted to adapt the plans of the new centre to incorporate a sport arena.
Several buildings were demolished to make way for the new ice centre; This included an Art Deco warehouse and "The Old Cricket Players" pub, which was initially planned to be spared. The former Ice Stadium closed in March 2000, and by May 2000 was described as "nearly demolished", with four skip loads of demolition rubble being removed from the site every day.
During excavation for the new building in July 1998 a rare 1,100-year-old Saxon jug was found, which is on display at the Nottingham Castle Museum. A 19th-century graveyard was also found under the car park, from which the bodies were then exhumed.
On 1 April 2000, the National Ice Centre was officially opened by Olympic gold medalist Jayne Torvill. The second phase of the project — the family rink — was scheduled to be completed by May–June 2001, but opened early on 7 April 2001. The National Ice Centre was the first twin Olympic-sized ice rink in the UK. The final cost of the project was £43million. The arena was inaugurated by English band, Simply Red on 29 April 2000.
By 2002, the arena was not as popular as planned. The venue posted an operating loss of £1 million in its first year. Concert promoters would often have acts skip Nottingham in favour of Sheffield and Birmingham. In July, the arena booked Rod Stewart and the concert helped place Nottingham on the map. The arena was able to book many big name artists such as: Elton John, Kylie Minogue, Barry Manilow, Usher, Green Day, Iron Maiden, Kasabian, Metallica, Muse and The Killers.
In 2007, former radio station, Trent FM purchased naming rights for four years, becoming the Trent FM Arena Nottingham. When Trent FM was bought by Global Radio, the naming rights were assigned to Capital FM, and the Arena now became known as Capital FM Arena Nottingham.
In 2011, the arena installed a draping system, reducing the capacity to 4,000 for intimate shows. The arena's overall capacity was also expanded from 9,000 to 10,000.
Despite the average event ticket price rising almost £5 from the year before (to £37.22), in the 2012–13 season the arena made a £200,000 "operating deficit", with a 9% drop in attendance at the Arena, and a 6% fall in the number events held.
The arena is multi-use. Metallica holds the record for the largest concert at the arena, with an audience of 10,337. The Killers' 2009 concert was the fastest selling show, selling 9,661 tickets in one hour. Westlife has performed the most at the arena, with 20 shows between 2001–2012. As of 2014 the arena has hosted artists and events including Whitney Houston, Katy Perry, Elton John, The X Factor Tour and We Will Rock You, as well as conferences, galas and balls, including Nottingham Trent University’s Graduation Ball. Kylie Minogue performed here as part of her Kiss Me Once Tour in October 2014, as did The Who in December of that year and Iron Maiden have performed here three times (in 2003, 2011 and 2017). In 2014 it was announced that Kasabian would be playing at the arena in November 2014, with an extra date added at the arena due to the first date nearly selling out in under an hour.
On 29 September 2012, it played host to UFC on Fuel TV: Struve vs. Miocic, the first ever UFC event to be held there. On 17 November 2012 the arena hosted the fight between Nottingham boxer Carl Froch and Yusaf Mack, with Froch retaining his world title as IBF super-middleweight. On Saturday 10 December 2011, it played host to BAMMA 8.
- "Nottingham's Arena turns ten years old". Nottingham Post. Local World. 26 March 2010. Archived from the original on 9 June 2013. Retrieved 9 June 2013.
- Motorpoint Arena Nottingham: About Us
- Brunton, John (29 March 2000). "Centre Stage: Torvill to open ice complex". Nottingham Evening Post. Retrieved 22 December 2013.(subscription required)
- Brunton, John (15 May 2000). "It's gone but not forgotten". Nottingham Evening Post. Retrieved 22 December 2013.(subscription required)
- "Venue Information: Capital FM Arena Nottingham". The Gig Cartel. Archived from the original on 9 June 2013. Retrieved 9 June 2013.
- "About the NIC". Retrieved 14 August 2013.
- Brunton, John (28 March 2000). "PROMOTERS HOPE TO ATTRACT A GALAXY OF TOP STAR NAMES TO PULL IN THE CROWDS AT THE CITY'S NEW ICE STADIUM". Nottingham Evening Post. Retrieved 22 December 2013.(subscription required)
- Brunton, John (30 March 2000). "The heat is on at centre". Nottingham Evening Post. Retrieved 22 December 2013.(subscription required)
- Sillis, Ben (11 April 2008). "Trent FM arena sponsorship deal". MediaWeek. Haymarket Media Group. Archived from the original on 9 June 2013. Retrieved 9 June 2013.
- "Arena to get new name as part of radio station launch". Nottingham Post. Local World. 24 December 2010. Archived from the original on 9 June 2013. Retrieved 9 June 2013.
- Annual Review 2012/13
- Second arena date for Kasabian, Hucknall Dispatch, 4 July 2014.
- "Unbelievable" home crowd witness Carl Froch masterclass at Nottingham's Capital Arena[dead link], 19 November 2012
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