Michael Bublé officially launches Birmingham’s ‘Barclaycard Arena’
(Press release NEC Group / Barclaycard Arena:) Birmingham, 2 December 2014 - Today Birmingham’s iconic National Indoor Arena (NIA) made entertainment history as it was officially launched as the Barclaycard Arena by global music sensation Michael Bublé, following a £26 million redevelopment.
- National Indoor Arena in Birmingham officially launched today as the Barclaycard Arena following a substantial eighteen month redevelopment
- Sensational new customer experience resulting from a £26 million investment, with state-of-the-art facilities, increased capacity, brand new retail and merchant spaces and the latest contactless payments technology to create a best-in-class customer experience
- Celebrity guests included TOWIE’s Jessica Wright, this year’s X Factor Contestants Jay James, Paul Akister and Lola Saunders as well as Olympic Gold medallist Greg Rutherford and Rugby World Cup legend Austin Healy.
- Thousands attended the launch, with a sell-out show from multi-platinum Grammy award winner Michael Bublé, as he kicked off the latest leg of his world tour
The venue’s substantial redevelopment, as part of a partnership with Barclaycard, the UK’s leading payments business, and the NEC Group, has seen all areas upgraded to create a world class music and entertainment venue that provides a best-in-class customer experience.
To mark the historic evening, global superstar Michael Bublé opened the Arena with a sell-out performance in front of a crowd of almost 14,000 fans and celebrity guests including TOWIE’s Jessica Wright, this year’s X Factor Contestants Jay James, Paul Akister and Lola Saunders as well as Olympic Gold medallist Greg Rutherford and Rugby World Cup legend Austin Healy.
The lucky guests who attended the show were the first to experience the Arena’s brand new state-of-the-art facilities including comfier seating, a much-increased capacity, nearly 6,000 m²of new pre/post show space, excellent hospitality choices - including The Vista Rooms, an exclusive, free lounge for Barclaycard customers - and brand new retail and merchant outlets.
The most dramatic element of the refurbishment is a brand new glass façade overlooking the Brindleyplace canal side development, which includes an LCD ‘wonderwall’, distinctive copper fins, iconic Sky Needles and a boardwalk that will be home to the quality retail units - creating a dynamic scene on arrival for visitors and a focal point in the centre of Birmingham.
In addition to the Vista Rooms, Barclaycard customers will get extended benefits at the venue, including fast track entry; pre-sale tickets to events and shows; and ‘Fee-Free Friday’ where tickets brought through Barclaycard on a Friday have no admin fees.
This extends opportunities already opened up by the partnership, across the wider Barclays group, such as access for Premier customers to an exclusive Barclays Premier lounge inside the venue.
The revamped venue will also offer the latest contactless payment technology throughout to provide fast and efficient service to enhance the overall experience. Contactless was introduced into the UK by Barclaycard and has recently seen very strong growth in the West Midlands.
Barclaycard’s involvement builds on its wider involvement in the music and entertainment industry, which includes current partnerships with British Summer Time Hyde Park and previously, the Wireless Festival.
Michael Bublé will play an additional show tomorrow night (3 December) to another full house.
Phil Mead, Managing Director of NEC Group Arenas’ business, says: ‘The launch of the Barclaycard Arena is a momentous occasion for the arena, the city of Birmingham and the wider area. The redevelopment has ensured that the venue continues to be world class and provide an ultimate live event experience for visitors. The arena has a rich heritage of attracting the very best global entertainment and we look forward to continuing to do so in what we see as a venue which has been innovatively designed to deliver an outstanding experience for our visitors, performers and promoters.’
Katherine Whitton, Chief Marketing Officer at Barclaycard, says: ‘Our sponsorship of the Arena continues the strong connection we have as a brand with music and entertainment and has given us the opportunity to create a best-in-class customer experience. The Arena has been entirely redeveloped with customers at its heart. It offers state of the art facilities including top of the range seating and an unrivalled new food offering, alongside a host of added extras for Barclaycard customers such as access to an exclusive lounge, pre-sale tickets and fast-track entry. We’re very proud to put our name to the Barclaycard Arena and we’d like to thank the people of Birmingham for welcoming us to their city.’
About the Barclaycard Arena
The Barclaycard Arena, formerly the NIA, was officially launched on Tuesday 2nd December 2014 following a £26 million redevelopment.
All areas of the Arena have been upgraded in the redevelopment – from front of house through to backstage adding 5,926 m² of pre/post show space into the 13,437 m² of redevelopment. The architects for the redevelopment are Broadway Malyan, with BAM Construction Ltd appointed as contractor.
The arena is one of the busiest, large scale indoor sporting and entertainment venues in the World and its capacity can range from a maximum of 15,892 to 2,466 for more intimate events. The redevelopment has introduced improved facilities for all visitors to the venue, including improved dressing room facilities for artists, giving a ‘five star hotel feel’. The outside has been transformed to give a real sense of anticipation to an unforgettable event, and the customer experience has been improved throughout, from hospitality, to food and drink and improved toilet facilities. The increased capacity will ensure that more people will be able to see the world class events that will be hosted at the Barclaycard Arena.
Barclaycard, part of Barclays Bank PLC, is a leading global payment business that helps consumers, retailers and businesses to make and take payments flexibly, and to access short-term credit and point of sale finance.
The company is a pioneer of new forms of payments and is at the forefront of developing viable contactless and mobile payment schemes for today and cutting edge forms of payment for the future. Barclaycard also partners with a wide range of organisations across the globe to offer their customers or members payment options and credit.
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