Leeds Arena: Inspired by an Insect’s Eyeball

The brand new state of the art arena in Leeds is set to attract big names making it a huge attraction in the tourism and leisure industries.

Leeds is Destination of the Month here at the moment and this weekend was the official open day of one of its most risky architectural additions and a sure-fire way to attract visitors.

Leeds Arena: the facts

Work on Leeds Arena, known as the First Direct Arena, started after Acme Architects won Leeds City Council’s design competition for the arena in 2010.

Why there is a new 13,500 capacity arena now in Leeds City Centre is quite obvious: to boast the city’s entertainment offerings, to increase the city’s prestige, to create jobs and to create revenue.

Why there is a new 13,500 capacity arena whose design is based on the diagram of an insect’s eyeball is not so apparent. But that’s what we have.

The result is this dynamic, colour changing, fan-shaped space-age beauty (or monstrosity) which is covered with hexagonal peep holes across the façade.

A Kaleidoscope of Colours

The kaleidoscope of colours across the exterior of honeycomb panels will come alive at night, changing colour and pattern to reflect the mood of whichever act is performing.

A Fan-Shape Design

The fan-shaped arena makes a better experience for many spectators as all the seats are facing the stage rather than facing the centre as would usually be the case at a traditional four-sided arena originally designed with sports in mind.

In fact, the designers are saying that as the layout is so practical, every seat will have a great view of the stage and every seat will be the best in the house.

And also due to this revolutionary shape, Leeds Arena will offer the best acoustic experience of any large venue in the country.

Size Matters

The new Leeds Arena boasts 13,500 seats, but any arena can be huge; but due to the unique design and layout of Leeds Arena we are assured that the furthest seats from centre stage are just 68 metres, whereas at conventional arenas you could find yourself as far away as 110 metres from the action.

15 rows of retractable seating can be removed to create standing room for hundreds of spectators.

The aluminium structured arena rises to 35 metres in height and is surrounded by the 1960’s Merion Centre, the Yorkshire Bank building and Grosvenor Casino.

Jobs and Revenue

Research and assessment studies conducted by Yorkshire Forward have shown that the arena will bring £25 million to the local economy every year and will bring 300 full-time jobs.

The total cost of the entire scheme including land comes to an estimated £80 million, part of which was raised by Leeds City Council with the sale of Leeds Bradford Airport.

Leeds Arena: the acts

The pre-opening act on 24th July will be the already sold out concert by Bruce Springsteen as he brings his Wrecking Ball Tour to the UK.

Leeds Arena then opens officially in September with an explosion of big-name acts: starting out on 4th September is Elton John, followed on 5th September by Leonard Cohen, then the Kaiser Chiefs on 13th September, followed later in September by Andrea Bocelli, Rod Stewart and Micky Flanigan.

Others to be gracing the fan-shaped stadium this year and next will be Pink Floyd, JLS, Status Quo, Boyzone, Stereophonics and Wet Wet Wet. There will also be more theatre-based spectaculars such as Jesus Christ Superstar and Cirque de Soleil, plus comedians like Lee Evans. From wrestling events to Dancing on Ice, Leeds Arena is going to offer just about everything.

For events and booking click here.

Or step into my shoes and discover what else this fabulous city has to offer…

Filed Under: featuredleeds

About the Author: Lisa, born and grew up in England, live in Mallorca, Spain... Have visited more than 20 countries, have twice as many to yet visit, love sharing experiences....

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