Genting Arena

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Genting Arena
Genting Arena logo.svg
Exterior of venue under former signage (c.2010)
Former names NEC Arena (1982–2009)
LG Arena (2009–14)
Location Genting Arena
National Exhibition Centre
B40 1NT
Owner The NEC Group
Operator Lloyds Group
Capacity 15,700
Field size 94.8m x 51.4m
Opened 1980
Renovated 2008–2009
Expanded October 2009
Construction cost £29,000,000 (Refurbishment)

The Genting Arena, host to large music concerts, is part of the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) complex located in Birmingham, England. The 16,000 capacity Genting Arena was the largest multi-purpose arena in the UK when opening in 1980 as "The NEC Arena" and is still a major popular venue for many large, international touring acts. Together, the NEC and the Genting Arena host over 3 million visitors each year.[citation needed]. The Ticket Factory is the official box office for the Genting Arena.[1]


LG Arena logo used from 2009 to 2014.

From 1 September 2008, the NEC Arena was officially renamed as the LG Arena, following a naming-rights sponsorship deal with global electronics company LG. The arena then underwent a £29 million overhaul of its facilities, paid for by loans from Birmingham City Council and regional development agency Advantage West Midlands.

Work on the LG Arena was finished mid October 2009 and the arena hosted its first concert with Tom Jones. Included in the installation were around 1,000 new seats, bringing the capacity to 16,000[2] to compete with venues such as the O2 Arena in London and the Manchester Arena in Manchester, which are amongst the busiest music venues in the world. Also constructed were new hospitality areas and a forum containing new bars, restaurants and other customer facilities. Prior to its first concert, the arena hosted the 2009 Horse of the Year show.

In 2011 the LG Arena became the 10th busiest arena in the world.[3]

World's Busiest Arenas – 2014[4]
Venue 2014 Ticket sales for concerts/shows
The O2, London, UK 1.82 million
The SSE Hydro, Glasgow, UK 1.05 million
Manchester Arena, Manchester, UK 1.01 million
Madison Square Garden, New York, USA 793,000
Monterrey Arena, Monterrey, Mexico 782,000
Barclays Center, Brooklyn NY, USA 724,000
Arena Ciudad Di Mexico, Mexico City, Mexico 714,000
Allstate Arena, Rosemont, Illinois, USA 653,000
Lanxess Arena, Cologne, Germany 642,000
Philips Arena, Atlanta 608,000
Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Canada 585,000
Ziggo Dome, Amsterdam, Netherlands 577,000
Genting Arena, Birmingham, UK 550,000
Staples Center, Los Angeles, 520,000
O2 World Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany 519,000
Allphones Arena, Sydney, Australia 512,000

It was announced in November 2014 that as part of a sponsorship deal with the casino group, the arena would be renamed the "Genting Arena" from January 2015.


Being able to host large and intimate shows the Arena does offer a wide range of comedians that are nationally and internationally known with acts such as Michael McIntyre, Milton Jones, Ricky Gervais, Al Murray and Peter Kay bringing their shows to the Arena.

In 2010 and 2011, it played host to the Birmingham audition stages of the ITV singer search programme The X Factor.

Series Date
7 Sunday 13 June and Monday 14 June 2010
8 Wednesday 1 June and Thursday 2 June 2011

On Wednesday 19 December 2010, it played host to the 2010 BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award. On Saturday 5 November 2011, it played host to UFC 138.

In 2010 and 2013, it played host to a BAMMA event.

Event Date
BAMMA 3 Saturday 15 May 2010
BAMMA 14 Saturday 14 December 2013

Major music events[edit]

Since the 1980s, The NEC has hosted performances by many international musicians and music groups, several of which have played at The NEC Arena on more than one occasion.

  • Progressive rock band Yes have performed at the arena on several occasions, and in various configurations: on July 14, 1984 on the 90125 Tour, then on October 24 & 25, 1989 as Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe. The two line-ups combined on the Union Tour, on June 25 & 26 in 1991, and then once more on the 35th Anniversary Tour on June 18, 2004.
  • The Spice Girls performed 5 shows at the venue during the Spiceworld Tour in 1998, on 29 April and 2, 3, 5 & 6 May. BBC Radio One recorded and broadcast the whole show.
  • Pet Shop Boys performed their 1991 tour over three nights at the NEC, their live DVD entitled Performance was filmed over all three nights at the NEC.
  • Erasure performed in 1988 on the innocents tour which was filmed for VHS/DVD and also in December 1989/January 1990 they played 7 nights on the wild tour and again on 6 April 1997 as part of the cowboy concerts.
  • Canadian rock band Rush filmed their VHS and DVD release entitled A Show of Hands at The NEC Arena in 1988. Some of this recording featured in the audio album of the same name.
  • Queen have performed at the Centre several times over the years while on tour, from their Crazy Tour in 1979, to The Game Tour in 1980 & to The Works Tour in 1984.
  • David Bowie performed, on two consecutive nights, at the centre during his Serious Moonlight Tour on 5–6 June 1983, began the first European leg of his Sound+Vision Tour, on two consecutive nights, on 19–20 March 1990, performed on two consecutive nights, during his Outside Tour on 20–21 November 1995 & performed on two consecutive nights during his A Reality Tour on 19–20 November 2003.
  • Status Quo recorded the Live at the N.E.C. album (CD) there.
  • The Genesis The Mama Tour video was filmed there.
  • Tina Turner recorded the VHS for her 1985 Private Dancer Tour there. She is also the female artist with the most shows at the N.E.C., with 18 shows.
  • Iron Maiden recorded Maiden England at the NEC, during their Seventh Tour Of A Seventh Tour in 1988.
  • The video for AC/DC song, That's the Way I Wanna Rock 'n' Roll was also recorded there, during their Blow up your video tour in 1988. They also performed here as part of their Black Ice World Tour on 23 April 2009.
  • The original Black Sabbath lineup performed at the NEC in 1997 which was recorded for their Reunion album.[5]
  • Cher performed at the venue with two dates on 14 and 15 May 2004 during the European leg of her Living Proof: The Farewell Tour.
  • Depeche Mode performed at the exhibition centre 12 times: the first and the second were on 9 and 10 April 1986 during their Black Celebration Tour. The third one was on 15 January 1988 during their Music for the Masses Tour. The fourth, the fifth and the sixth were on 22, 26 and 27 November 1990 during their World Violation Tour. The seventh one was on 14 December 1993 during their Devotional Tour. The eighth one was on 3 October 1998 during their Singles Tour. The ninth one was on 21 October 2001 during their Exciter Tour. The tenth one was on 31 March 2006 during their Touring the Angel. The eleventh one was on 13 December 2009 during their Tour of the Universe, in front of a sold out crowd of 13,014 people. The twelfth one was on 27 January 2014 during their Delta Machine Tour, in front of a sold out crowd of 11,780 people.
  • U2 performed at the exhibition centre seven times: the first one was on 12 November 1984 during their Unforgettable Fire Tour, in front of a crowd of 11,000 people. The second, the third and the fourth were on 3 June, and 3 and 4 August 1987 during their Joshua Tree Tour, in front of a total crowd of 33,000 people. The fifth one was on 1 June 1992 during their Zoo TV Tour, in front of a crowd of 11,000 people. The sixth and the seventh were on 14 and 15 August 2001 during their Elevation Tour, in front of a total sold out crowd of 23,022 people. The performance of "Bad" from the 1984 show was recorded for the group's EP Wide Awake in America.
  • Spandau Ballet recorded a concert film over two nights at the NEC in 1986, during their tour in support of the Through the Barricades album, for broadcast on a special episode of The Tube which featured the group. It was released on DVD as Live from the N.E.C. in 2005.
  • Girls Aloud performed at the venue as part of their 10th Anniversary Tour on the 26 & 27 February 2013.
  • Deep Purple MkII performed their last concert in England with guitarist Ritchie Blackmore at NEC. The concert was recorded and released on DVD titled Come Hell or High Water.
  • Beyonce performed at the venue on both her The Beyonce Experience world tour and also the Mrs Carter Show would tour in 2007 and 2013 respectively. She later returned to the venue to perform the Mrs Carter Show World Tour 2014 showcasting her newer album BEYONCE in February 2014.
  • Mötley Crüe performed at the venue on November 4, 2015, making it the band's final performance in the city and the band's second last UK show before their break-up.
  • Adele performed four sell-out nights at the arena on 29 & 30 March 2016 and 1 & 2 April 2016.
  • Little Mix performed at the arena on 16 May 2014 during the Salute Tour and on 18 March 2016 and 3 April 2016 during the Get Weird Tour.
  • 5 Seconds of Summer performed at the arena on 14 April 2016 during the Sounds Live Feels Live World Tour.
  • Busted are performing at the arena on 20 May 2016 during the Pigs Can Fly Tour. It is their first tour in twelve years.
  • Justin Bieber will be performing at the arena on 24 October 2016 during the Purpose World Tour.
  • Selena Gomez will be performing at the arena on 6 November 2016 during the Revival Tour.
  • Black Sabbath will perform the final shows of their career at the arena on February 2 and February 4, 2017 during The End Tour

NEC Group[edit]

Parent company The NEC Group also owns and operates the Barclaycard Arena (previously the National Indoor Arena) and International Convention Centre (ICC), both in central Birmingham, and the National Exhibition Centre.


  1. ^ "Sponsors". Genting Arena Birmingham. 
  2. ^ "Venue Information". Genting Arena Birmingham. 
  3. ^ "Manchester Arena Is Second Busiest Arena In The World". Manchester Confidential. Archived from the original on 7 June 2012. 
  4. ^ "Manchester Arena is third busiest in the world" (PDF). 13 January 2015. 
  5. ^ Keogh, Kat (11 November 2011). "Black Sabbath reunion: New album and world tour for original line-up". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved 15 February 2013. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 52°27′12″N 1°43′10″W / 52.45333°N 1.71944°W / 52.45333; -1.71944