Take your seat – literally – for an amazing giveaway today as we celebrate the multi-million pound revamp of Sheffield’s Motorpoint Arena, writes Graham Walker.
We are giving you the chance to own some of the venue’s original chairs signed by the biggest acts on the planet.
Stevie Wonder, Luciano Pavarotti, Elton John, Neil Diamond, Bruce Springsteen, Whitney Houston, Take That, Diana Ross, Oasis, David Bowie, Paul McCartney, Beyonce, Lady GaGa, One Direction and Michael Buble, the list goes on.
They are just some of the legendary superstars who have graced the stage over the past 22 years.
Then there’s been the sporting greats, from trophy-winning Sheffield Steelers to Masters Football icons and darts heroes like Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor.
Everybody has a favourite show or sporting event and we want you to tell us the greatest night – or day – you’ve ever had at the Arena in Sheffield.
It may be a show that lives in your memory as the greatest ever, or a life-changing night, where you met and fell in love. As the venue prepares to reopen next month as the biggest capacity arena in Yorkshire, with room for 13,600 people, we want your stories.
And our panel of judges, including Arena and Star staff, will pick the best to feature in paper or online. The very best will get an amazing keepsake, a genuine bit of Sheffield entertainment history.
The Star has teamed up with the Arena to give away around 40 of the original floor chairs – now being replaced in a multi-million pound makeover. Many are signed by some of the names who have played there.
They come with an official certificate on the back of the chair, signed by the likes of Girls Aloud, The Script, Harlem Globetrotters, Justin & Friends from CBeebies, Alfie Boe, Olly Murs, Steelers’ 2012-13 team, Premier League Darts, Il Divo, Katherine Jenkins, Big Reunion Tour stars B*Witched, Five, Atomic Kitten, Liberty X, 911 & Honeyz, The Who and most recently, big band pop superstar Michael Buble.
If you saw any of these acts at the Arena we definitely want to hear from you.
And if it was one of the hundreds of other concerts or events over the years, let’s also have your stories. We have unsigned chairs also to be won, so you can keep your own little bit of entertainment history.
Full details how to enter are below.
VIDEO: Press the play button to watch our video for more details about this amazing competition and see exclusive footage of how the new look Arena is taking shape.
Simon Bailey, marketing manager at the venue for most of the time it’s been open, has been looking into the archives for some memorable moments, facts and figures.
He tells us the Arena has seen more than 14.5 million people pass through its doors and hosted over 2,700 events, averaging 122 performances each year, bringing over 650,000 customers through the doors annually.
Paul Simon was the first artiste to perform at the venue on May 30, 1991.
The last performance, before the revamp, was Michael Buble, who opened the doors to his dress rehearsal and gave the proceeds to Sheffield Children’s Hospital and Hallam FM’s Cash For Kids, on Friday, June 28, 2013.
The queue for U2 tickets in June 1992 ran twice around the building and took all day to serve.
Status Quo made the record books with four city concerts in a day, starting at the Arena in Sheffield at 3pm.
Bryan Adams recorded the video to his hit single There Will Never Be Another Tonight at the Arena.
In 1992 Eric Cantona made his only appearance in a Wednesday shirt when he played in a six-a-side fixture against Baltimore Blast. Wednesday lost 8-3.
The building’s longest running show was Les Miserables at 35 performances over four weeks in May/June 1999. Disney On Ice hold the record for most performances and customers of any tour – more than 260 performances seen by over 1.3 million customers.
The Arena is home to Sheffield Steelers, whose first fixture at the venue was September 26, 1991. More than 350 hockey fixtures have since been seen by more than 3.3 million ice hockey fans. The biggest ice hockey crowd was in 1995 when more than 10,100 fans saw Steelers beat Nottingham in the Benson & Hedges Cup Final.
Paul McCartney cancelled the second night of two concerts – the first time he had ever postponed a show due to his illness. Tina Turner played her final gig there in May 2009.
Oasis played their first arena gig at the Arena in April 1995. They debuted What’s The Story, Morning Glory?, which Noel Gallagher started writing the night before and finished in his dressing room then played on stage at the Arena for the first time.
The biggest TV audience was in June 2007 when the IIFA Awards Ceremony, the so-called Bollywood Oscars, were seen by 500 million people in more than 110 different countries.
In December 2009 the BBC Sports Personality of The Year Awards came to the venue and Sheffield’s own Jessica Ennis-Hill won third place, behind Jenson Button and Ryan Giggs.
Simon’s own best memory was a REM concert in February 2005, postponed when guitarist Mike Mills got an infection. Frontman Michael Stipe and guitarist Peter Buck went on stage to tell fans the show would be rescheduled but then, by way of an apology, played four acoustic songs – The One I Love, Leaving New York, I’ve Been High and Losing My Religion.
He says of the future: “Work on the refurbishment is well under way with improvements to seating, catering stands, menus and toilet facilities. Further plans to increase car parking capacity and the pre-payment of the car park, are being finalised.
“Miranda Hart will be the first woman to headline a comedy show, with two nights, Jack Whitehall will be the first comedian here to play an in the round comedy show.
“We have sell-out Arctic Monkeys, Bruno Mars, Jessie J and Black Sabbath gigs with six Mrs Brown Shows, two nights of Micky Flanagan, JLS, Diversity, Russell Howard, The Final Tour of Torvill & Dean’s Dancing On Ice, two nights of Lee Evans and 11 Disney On Ice performances.”
* Full details of all forthcoming Sheffield Motorpoint Arena shows at www.motorpointarenasheffield.co.uk.
For your chance to win am Arena seat, tell us the most memorable night out you’ve had there and why, in no more than 100 words.
We’ll publish the best and they will win a chair, which could be signed by the artiste you saw.
Post your entry, including your full name, address and contact details, to Sheffield Motorpoint Arena Seat Competition, Graham Walker, Digital Editor, Editorial, The Star, York Street, Sheffield, South Yorkshire S1 1PU.
Or email, with details, to Sheffield Motorpoint Arena Seat Competition in the subject, to email@example.com
Deadline September 30, 2013, 10am. Usual SNL terms and conditions apply. See below.
Terms and conditions: These apply to all competitions in SNL titles and online, unless otherwise stated or as amended in association with specific promotions. Usual SNL rules apply - copies or requests, to SNL Promotions Manager, The Star, York Street, Sheffield. The Editor’s decision is final. No cash alternatives available. No correspondence will be entered into. Transport not included, unless specified. The winner(s), who must agree to publicity, will be the first correct entry drawn at random after deadline, or as indicated. A parent or guardian must enter or endorse entries on behalf of children aged under 18. A responsible adult must accompany any child winner or guest. SNL is not liable for failure to attend or for cancellations of any event. No photocopied entry forms or tokens allowed. Where applicable, unless otherwise stated, one web entry form, token or other web entry per person only. Individual entry forms and tokens by detailed request, with a stamped self addressed envelope, to the competition address. No purchase necessary. Failure to agree to terms and conditions makes winning entries void. Winners will usually be notified within seven working days after deadline, or as specified.
* Zippo’s Circus add the organisers’ decision is final. It is a condition of entry that competitors permit the circus to hold their contact details. Those details will not be passed on to any third party, but Zippo’s Circus may send entrants promotional material.
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