Motorpoint Arena Cardiff
Motorpoint Arena Cardiff (formerly known as Cardiff International Arena and also as The CIA) is an indoor exhibition centre and events arena located in Cardiff, the capital of Wales, and was opened on 10 September 1993 by singer Shirley Bassey. Its current name is due to a five-year sponsorship agreement. It is Cardiff's largest purpose-built exhibition facility. The upstairs of the building is known as the World Trade Centre.
|Former names||Cardiff International Arena & Convention Centre (1993–2000)|
Cardiff International Arena (2000–2011)
|Address||Mary Ann Street|
|Owner||Live Nation UK|
|Operator||Live Nation UK|
|Opened||10 September 1993|
|Construction cost||£23 million|
The arena was opened on 10 September 1993, by Shirley Bassey, in front of 5,500 fans. The concert was later televised on BBC One on 30 July 1994. On 1 March 2011, the Cardiff International Arena was officially renamed Motorpoint Arena Cardiff, after the car sales company with a branch in Newport bought the naming rights to the Cardiff International Arena for five years in what was called "a seven-figure investment". Other names who have performed in the arena are among Westlife, Kylie Minogue, One Direction, Jessie J, Anastacia, JLS, Jason Derulo and Mariah Carey. The arena is owned by the US media giant Live Nation UK.
In March 2015, the venue's 3000th event was marked by a show headlined by singer Katherine Jenkins. In July 2016, Motorpoint extended its naming rights contract with the arena until at least 2021. This will include a complete re-branding of the building including installation of outdoor LED signage on the arena’s towers.
The Main Arena offers 4,500 square metres of exhibition space, and is very versatile, for the number of different events that take place at the Arena. Full capacity can reach 7,500, in a standing layout and 5,000, for a fully seated event.
There are over 30 additional areas, including a conference suite (groups of up to 460) and four executive boardrooms.
The arena contains a number of function areas, the largest being the Main Arena. Motorpoint Arena Cardiff has hosted many national and international events, such as concerts, sports and comedy performances.
Comedian Lee Evans has brought four tours XL Tour, Big, Roadrunner and Monsters to the arena, Lee played his last ever show before retiring from stand-up at the Motorpoint Arena from 24 to 30 November 2014.
The venue has hosted numerous concerts since it has opened. Artists who have played there include Bring Me The Horizon, Mariah Carey, Céline Dion, George Michael, Kylie Minogue, Beyoncé, Katy Perry, Metallica, The Script, New Kids on the Block, Take That, Paloma Faith, Gary Barlow. Avril Lavigne, Liam Gallagher, Iron Maiden, Alice Cooper, Dio, Meat Loaf, Pink, Gwen Stefani, Girls Aloud, Sugababes, Gabrielle, Jessie J, Steps, Little Mix, Anastacia, Fifth Harmony, Ellie Goulding, Olly Murs, Ella Eyre, John Newman, Westlife, Dua Lipa, Nicki Minaj, Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, The Killers, Biffy Clyro, The Prodigy, The Nolans, The Beach Boys and local favourites Catatonia and the Manic Street Preachers.
In 1999, the Cardiff International Arena hosted the (Nine-ball) World Professional Pool Championship. The official WPA World Nine-ball Championship was hosted at the Cardiff International Arena between 2000 and 2003.
Since 2007, the Motorpoint Arena Cardiff has been one of the Premier League Darts venues, including the semi finals and finals night of the 2008 Premier League Darts on 26 May 2008. The inaugural PDC Champions League of Darts was held in the arena from 24 to 25 September 2016.
In 2019, WWE's NXT UK brand announced the venue would host the second ever Takeover event for the brand, NXT UK Takeover: Cardiff. This is the first Takeover to take place in Wales.
- Opening of the Cardiff International Arena 1993 Archived 18 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine
- "49 landmark moments since Cardiff Motorpoint Arena opened its doors". Wales Online. 13 March 2015. Retrieved 31 March 2018.
- "The Shirley Bassey Concert". Radio Times. No. 3681. 28 July 1994. p. 44. Retrieved 21 June 2018 – via BBC Genome.
- Motorpoint takes Cardiff International Arena naming rights
- "Katherine Jenkins to headline 3000th show for Cardiff arena". ITV News. 14 March 2015. Retrieved 23 January 2016.
- "Motorpoint extends its naming rights for the 7,500 capacity Cardiff centre arena". Wales Online. 19 July 2016. Retrieved 12 August 2016.
- "Lee Evans: Fun facts about the funnyman ahead of his Cardiff Motorpoint Arena run". Wales Online. 19 November 2014. Retrieved 23 January 2016.
- "Lee Evans to retire from comedy circuit to spend more time with family". theguardian.com. 20 November 2014. Retrieved 23 January 2016.
- "BBC to show new Champions League of Darts from Cardiff". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 February 2016.
- "Snooker: Cardiff move will boost Welsh Open - Barry Hearn". BBC News. 26 June 2014. Retrieved 23 January 2016.