The arena at night with previous branding (2008)
|Former names||Echo Arena Liverpool (2008–2019)|
|Location||Arena and Convention Centre, King's Dock, Liverpool, England|
|Owner||Liverpool City Council|
1,350 (The Auditorium)
|Construction cost||£164 million|
|Project manager||Davis Langdon, An AECOM Company|
|Structural engineer||Buro Happold|
|Mersey Tigers (BBL) (2008–2010)|
British Gymnastics (2011–present)
The M&S Bank Arena (previously Echo Arena Liverpool) 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 half of ACC Liverpool complex located on the former King's Dock. The BT Convention Centre forms the other half of the complex.
Architecture and design
The ACC Liverpool complex as a whole was designed by Wilkinson Eyre architects and Sport Concepts. There are six dressing rooms, five team locker rooms and two promoter offices within the arena. Vehicles weighing up to 38 tonnes can gain access to the basement of the arena. The complex has a BREEAM rating of "very good".
M&S Bank Arena has a capacity of 11,000 and 22 hospitality boxes, making the venue the 11th largest in the United Kingdom in terms of 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. A nine-storey, 1,650-capacity car park facility is due to be constructed.
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. Since opening, the arena has attracted 6.6 million visitors to over 3,500 events, as well as generating £1.5 billion in economic benefit for the Liverpool City Region.
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.
UK Arena Tour 
Space by M&S Bank Arena
In September 2015, the opening of sister venue Exhibition Centre Liverpool resulted in the ACC complex being able to offer a broader offer for standing concerts and international sporting events. This venue features 'Space by M&S Bank Arena', a new 7,000-capacity arena that is sub-divisible into three interlinked halls.
2017 car park fire
|Wikinews has related news: England: Multi-storey carpark in Liverpool gutted by fire, 1,300 vehicles destroyed|
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. 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. Virtually all of the 1,400 cars there were destroyed, but no serious harm to people or horses was reported.
Death of Eric Bristow
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 via the city's underground Loop Line.
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.
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- "Space by M&S Bank Arena Liverpool". Exhibition Centre Liverpool. Retrieved 6 January 2019.
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- "Liverpool Echo Arena car park fire destroys 1,400 vehicles". BBC News. 1 January 2018.
- "Car park fire at Liverpool's Echo Arena has destroyed all vehicles". Sky News. 1 January 2018.
- Richards, Alex (2018-04-06). "Darts legend and five-time world champion Eric Bristow dies aged 60". mirror. Retrieved 2018-04-06.
- "Tram link bid for Liverpool airport". Liverpool Daily Post. 3 August 2009. Retrieved 20 August 2009.
Media related to Echo Arena Liverpool at Wikimedia Commons