Gladiators 2023 Sheffield: Fans left gutted as many are turned away from filming for BBC show at Utilita Arena

Many Gladiators fans have been left disappointed after they were turned away from filming for the new BBC series at Utilita Arena Sheffield today.
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

Numerous people have told how they turned up for the first day of filming today, Thursday, June 1, having applied successfully for free tickets, only to be denied admission as the venue had reached capacity. One person described the scenes at the arena, where filming was scheduled to begin from 1pm today, as ‘absolute chaos’. Another told The Star there were ‘lots of unhappy people and upset children’.

What are the terms and conditions for free tickets Gladiators filming at Utilita Arena Sheffield?

Ticketing for the show was organised by Applause Store and promoted via the Utilita Arena Sheffield website, which stated that people could get free entry with pre-booked tickets. The Applause Store website states that tickets for TV and radio shows are ‘distributed in excess of studio capacity to compensate for “no shows”.

The line up for BBC's Gladiators 2023. Top row, left to right: Legend, Fire, Bionic, Diamond, Nitro. 2nd row, left to right: Electro, Giant, Steel, Apollo, Comet. 3rd row, left to right:  Viper, Athena, Fury, Phantom. Bottom row, left to right: Sabre, Dynamite.The line up for BBC's Gladiators 2023. Top row, left to right: Legend, Fire, Bionic, Diamond, Nitro. 2nd row, left to right: Electro, Giant, Steel, Apollo, Comet. 3rd row, left to right:  Viper, Athena, Fury, Phantom. Bottom row, left to right: Sabre, Dynamite.
The line up for BBC's Gladiators 2023. Top row, left to right: Legend, Fire, Bionic, Diamond, Nitro. 2nd row, left to right: Electro, Giant, Steel, Apollo, Comet. 3rd row, left to right: Viper, Athena, Fury, Phantom. Bottom row, left to right: Sabre, Dynamite.
Hide Ad
Hide Ad

It continues: “Seats are limited and ticket holders will be admitted on a first-come, first-served basis, based on the capacity of the studio. Admission is not guaranteed for any show/production.”

The Applause Store website says there is no exact time it can give audience members to arrive at the studio. It states: “All entrance is served on a first come first served basis so we can only advise you to arrive as early as you can before the 'arrive by' time on your ticket.”

But numerous people have complained that they turned up hours before the stated 1pm start time and were still denied entry, despite some of them travelling for many miles and paying £5 to park.

When do you need to arrive at Utilita Arena Sheffield to get in to see new TV series being filmed?

Fans queueing to watch Gladiators being filmed at Utilita Arena Sheffield on Thursday, June 1. Many people who had applied successfully for free tickets to watch the new BBC series being filmed have told how they were turned away as it reached capacity.Fans queueing to watch Gladiators being filmed at Utilita Arena Sheffield on Thursday, June 1. Many people who had applied successfully for free tickets to watch the new BBC series being filmed have told how they were turned away as it reached capacity.
Fans queueing to watch Gladiators being filmed at Utilita Arena Sheffield on Thursday, June 1. Many people who had applied successfully for free tickets to watch the new BBC series being filmed have told how they were turned away as it reached capacity.

Emma Jane told The Star: “Thousands of people turned away from the arena this morning. Got tickets from Applause Store only to need to queue for tickets then be turned away as they were full. Apparently they send out 9,500 invites for 3,000 seats. Lots of unhappy people and upset children.”

Richard Allen told The Star how he had arrived at 9.30am, wanting to get a good seat, and was initially sent to the wrong entrance. He said he and the other people still queueing were eventually told at around 12.30pm that no one else would be getting in. He estimates there were more than 10,000 people there, yet only 3,000 people were allowed in, and he said there was only one person there in a red shirt who was constantly on his phone and failed to answer people’s questions.

“I grew up watching the original series of Gladiators and this is the one chance I had to see it live so I’m gutted,” he said. “It’s been made worse for me seeing all the kids crying when they found out they weren’t getting in. I live in Sheffield so didn’t have far to travel but the people behind us had driven four hours to get there and stayed in a hotel overnight.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Another person, who asked not to be named, said ‘it’s absolute chaos at Sheffield Arena at the moment’. They added: “Apparently they have sent out 12k e-tickets, when they are only letting in 3k. Just turned up with printed tickets, had an email reminder yesterday, to be turned away at the gate as it’s full. Not at any point did they say it was first come first serve, which is what they are now saying!

Fans queueing to watch Gladiators being filmed at Utilita Arena Sheffield on Thursday, June 1. Many people who had applied successfully for free tickets to watch the new BBC series being filmed have told how they were turned away as it reached capacity.Fans queueing to watch Gladiators being filmed at Utilita Arena Sheffield on Thursday, June 1. Many people who had applied successfully for free tickets to watch the new BBC series being filmed have told how they were turned away as it reached capacity.
Fans queueing to watch Gladiators being filmed at Utilita Arena Sheffield on Thursday, June 1. Many people who had applied successfully for free tickets to watch the new BBC series being filmed have told how they were turned away as it reached capacity.

“The e-tickets imply you have a ticket and that you will be allocated a ticket / seat number on arrival. (It’s been) poor, poor management and organisation. Like many, myself and husband have taken time off of work, which being self employed costs money, not to mention a very upset child!”

There are numerous complaints on the Utilita Arena Sheffield Facebook page from people who were turned away today. One person wrote: “Really disappointed to have been in the queue all that time, about five mins away from the entrance and got turned away. I came all the way from Cleckheaton. I spoke to someone who had come down from Dorset and booked a hotel.”

Another person commented: “Two unhappy children not able to go. (We) got turned away as we were not made aware that you have to print the tickets. And not made aware it was limited to only 3,000 people.”

A third person wrote: “STRONG ADVICE!! We arrived in the queue at 11.30am, paid to park and haven't got in. Production team said only 3,000 seats being used. I would estimate there were at least 3,000 turned away. Massive overallocation of tickets and, with it being aimed largely at kids, there's going to be thousands of upset little ones! QUEUE EARLY or prepare to be disappointed!”

Tourism potential: Sheffield City Region Mayor Dan Jarvis wants to target music venues to generate more tourismTourism potential: Sheffield City Region Mayor Dan Jarvis wants to target music venues to generate more tourism
Tourism potential: Sheffield City Region Mayor Dan Jarvis wants to target music venues to generate more tourism

One person who did get in advised people to arrive early for future shows. They said: “We were here at 10.30 to collect our tickets and we were stood in the queue 50 mins.”

Another person who got in said they queued from 10am and ‘got our tickets with no issues’.

The latest reboot of the hit 90s TV show, in which contenders take on the team of ‘superhuman’ Gladiators before going head-to-head in the Eliminator obstacle course, was announced to great excitement last year. It is being presented by Bradley Walsh and his son Barney. Filming for the 11-part series, which will be screened on the BBC at a later date, is taking place at Utilita Arena Sheffield each day until Sunday, June 11.

A spokesperson for Applause Store said: “We apologise for any disappointment caused yesterday morning. Due to an unprecedented demand for tickets for the recording of Gladiators at Utilita Arena Sheffield, we reached full capacity sooner than anticipated, which meant we sadly couldn’t accommodate everyone that turned up for the recording of the show.

“As clearly stated on all our free tickets and on our website, entrance is on a first-come, first-served basis, subject to venue capacity and entrance is not guaranteed. All scanned tickets will receive priority tickets to a different show in the future.”

Related topics: