Bosses at Sheffield’s biggest concert venue say they are confident they will not lose business to Leeds when its arena opens.
VIDEO: Watch our video report including an exclusive look at the new seating inside the revamped arena.
With just days until a performance from music royalty Elton John marks the official opening of the West Yorkshire city’s facility, fears are mounting for the future of Sheffield’s Motorpoint.
There has been speculation over whether Sheffield’s 22-year-old arena can compete with the new £80 million venue for business and could lose out on big name acts.
A drop in concerts and audiences numbers could impact on the estimated £20 million the arena brings to Sheffield’s economy every year.
But the team at Motorpoint Arena believe a string of improvements and solid reputation will ensure it remains a major player in the national stakes.
Simon Bailey, marketing manager at Motorpoint Arena, said: “There is always a honeymoon period attached to the opening of a new venue as event promoters and audiences try out what is new in the market.
“Our arena has had been through this process before as arenas have opened in Manchester, Newcastle, Liverpool and Nottingham.”
Mr Bailey also pointed out that a number of shows - including boyband JLS, Dancing On Ice, and comics Russell Howard and Lee Evans - have both Leeds and Sheffield on upcoming tours, allaying fears acts may opt for Leeds as their only Yorkshire stop.
Work on the multi-million pound refurbishment of Motorpoint Arena is well under way and the building is set to re-open on September 8, boasting new seating, toilets and food and drink outlets with new menus and locally-sourced fresh food.
Capacity will stand at 13,600 - 100 more than Leeds Arena.
Motorpoint bosses also believe their location outside of the city centre, with links to the Supertram network, will be viewed as an advantage to visitors from out of the area.
Mr Bailey said: “We have all become used to the fact that all the world’s biggest entertainers come to our city and that’s not a bad thing.
“Following the refurbishment, we will be providing facilities that would be the pride of any of city.”
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