Liverpool Arena

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M&S Bank Arena
M&S Bank Arena logo.png
M&S Bank Arena 1.jpg
Exterior of the arena (c. 2019)
Full nameM&S Bank Arena Liverpool
Former namesLiverpool Arena (planning/construction)
Echo Arena (2008–19)
Address16 Monarchs Quay
Liverpool L3 4FP England
LocationKing's Dock
Coordinates53°23′48″N 2°59′27.45″W / 53.39667°N 2.9909583°W / 53.39667; -2.9909583Coordinates: 53°23′48″N 2°59′27.45″W / 53.39667°N 2.9909583°W / 53.39667; -2.9909583
OwnerLiverpool City Council
OperatorACC Liverpool Group Ltd
Broke ground15 May 2005 (2005-05-15)
Opened12 January 2008 (2008-01-12)
  • 2012
  • 2017
Construction cost£164 million
Project manager
Structural engineerBuroHappold Engineering
Services engineerFaber Maunsell
Main contractorsBovis Lend Lease
Venue Website

Liverpool Arena, known for sponsorship reasons as the M&S Bank Arena, and previously Echo Arena, is a multi-purpose indoor arena in the city centre of Liverpool, England. The venue hosts live music, comedy performances and sporting events, and forms part of Liverpool event campus ACC Liverpool – an interconnected arena, exhibition and convention centre. The venue serves a regional population of 2.5 million people and over 6.6 million across England's North West.

Architecture and design[edit]

The Echo Arena soon after completion (2008)

The arena was designed by Wilkinson Eyre architects[1] and Sport Concepts. M&S Bank Arena is a flexible space offering a variety of standard and bespoke layouts. Standard layouts range from just under 4,000 to over 11,000 capacity. There are six dressing rooms, five team locker rooms and two promoter offices within the arena.[1] Vehicles weighing up to 38 tonnes can gain access to the basement of the arena.[1] The complex has a BREEAM rating of "very good".[1]

In September 2015, the opening of sister venue Exhibition Centre Liverpool resulted in a broader offer for standing concerts and international sporting events. This venue features 'Space by M&S Bank Arena', a flexible entertainment space for up to 7,000 standing capacity.

The venue's 1,600-capacity car park has been closed since a major fire in 2017, but has been replaced temporarily by a 550-capacity car park.[2] A nine-storey, 1,650-capacity car park facility is due to be completed in summer 2020.


The venue opened its doors on 12 January 2008 as the Echo Arena Liverpool, with the official opening ceremony for the Capital of Culture. The ceremony launched a year-long celebration and signified the culmination of a decade of regeneration in the city. The show, named 'Liverpool the Musical', featured 700 performers and took 15,000 hours to organise.[3] Since opening, the arena has attracted more than 7 million visitors to over 3,800 events, as well as generating £1.6 billion in economic benefit for the Liverpool City Region.[4]

In November 2018, it was announced that the Echo Arena Liverpool would be renamed to its current title, as part of a sponsorship deal with M&S Bank. The name took effect from early 2019, with the Liverpool Echo continuing as a business partner of the arena.[5][6]

Naming history
  • Echo Arena (12 January 2008 – 6 January 2019)
  • M&S Bank Arena (7 January 2019 – present)

2017 car park fire[edit]

On the evening of 31 December 2017, a fire broke out in an adjacent multi-storey car park and as a consequence, the Liverpool International Horse Show, taking place at the arena, had to be cancelled.[7] Around 80 horses were safely evacuated from temporary stabling built on the ground floor level of the car park, and held on the arena floor and the land surrounding the building. The fire continued into the small hours of 1 January 2018.[8][9] Virtually all of the 1,400 cars there were destroyed, but no serious harm to people or horses was reported.[7]

Death of Eric Bristow[edit]

On 5 April 2018, after attending a Premier League Darts event, darts legend Eric Bristow collapsed in front of the venue due to a heart attack and later died.[10]

Transportation links[edit]

Direct public transport to the M&S Bank Arena is by bus. James Street railway station is a short walk away and is served by the Merseyrail Wirral Line. The station is two stops away from Liverpool Lime Street mainline station.

The arena is situated opposite the portal of the now disused Wapping Tunnel which runs from Edge Hill in the east of the city. There have been calls to reuse the 1.26 miles (2.03 km) tunnel with a station serving the arena and immediate docks on the site of the demolished Park Lane station which was at the end of the tunnel.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Liverpool Echo Arena". Emporis. Retrieved 14 June 2010.
  2. ^ Citation error. See inline comment how to fix.[verification needed]
  3. ^ "Echo Arena Liverpool Opening Extravaganza". ACC Liverpool. 14 January 2008. Retrieved 6 January 2019.
  4. ^ "Facts and Figures". Echo Arena. Retrieved 6 January 2019.
  5. ^ Breslin, Maria (27 November 2018). "Liverpool's waterfront arena to get a new naming partner". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 27 November 2018.
  6. ^ "Echo Arena will become the M&S Bank Arena in 2019". The Guide Liverpool. 27 November 2018. Retrieved 27 November 2018.
  7. ^ a b "'Ferocious' fire engulfed arena car park". BBC News. 2018. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  8. ^ "Liverpool Echo Arena car park fire destroys 1,400 vehicles". BBC News. 1 January 2018.
  9. ^ "Car park fire at Liverpool's Echo Arena has destroyed all vehicles". Sky News. 1 January 2018.
  10. ^ Richards, Alex (6 April 2018). "Darts legend and five-time world champion Eric Bristow dies aged 60". mirror.

External links[edit]

Media related to Echo Arena Liverpool at Wikimedia Commons