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Arena Birmingham (previously known as The Barclaycard Arena and the National Indoor Arena) is an indoor entertainment and sporting venue in Birmingham, United Kingdom. The Arena, which is owned by parent company, the NEC Group, is situated in central Birmingham. When it was opened in 1991, it was the largest indoor arena in the UK.[2]

Arena Birmingham
Arena Birmingham Logo.jpg
Arena Birmingham from the Secret Garden (23626942848).jpg
Former namesNational Indoor Arena (1991–2014)
Barclaycard Arena (2014–17)
AddressKing Edwards Road
B1 2AA
Coordinates52°28′47″N 01°54′54″W / 52.47972°N 1.91500°W / 52.47972; -1.91500Coordinates: 52°28′47″N 01°54′54″W / 52.47972°N 1.91500°W / 52.47972; -1.91500
OwnerNEC Group
OperatorNEC Group
Opened4 October 1991 (as National Indoor Arena)
Reopened2 December 2014 (as Barclaycard Arena)
1 September 2017 (as Arena Birmingham)
Construction cost£26 million (renovation)
ArchitectBroadway Malyan (renovation)
Project managerNovus
Structural engineerRodgers Leaske
Main contractorsRoyal BAM Group (renovation)
All England Open Badminton Championships
Sainsbury's Indoor Grand Prix

The arena is located alongside the Birmingham Canal Navigations Main Line's Old Turn Junction and opposite the National Sea Life Centre in Brindleyplace. Close to the arena is The ICC which is also owned by the NEC Group. It is currently the third-largest indoor arena in the United Kingdom.


The National Indoor Arena in 2005

The arena was officially opened, as the National Indoor Arena, on 4 October 1991 by the athlete Linford Christie.[3] When it was opened, the arena was intended to be an indoor sporting venue.[4] However, the venue began to host entertainment events shortly after opening.[5]

The arena currently hosts a variety of events including concerts, sporting events and conferences.[6] It has a capacity of up to 15,800 using both permanent seating and temporary seating configurations.[7]

The arena was renamed after it underwent an extensive renovation which was completed at the end of 2014. Michael Bublé opened the renovated arena on 2 December 2014.[8]

In 2018 the arena had ticket sales of 497,443, which was the 4th highest in the United Kingdom.[9]


The arena's new glazed facade after renovation (June 2015)

In 2012 plans to refurbish and renovate the NIA were approved by Birmingham City Council. The plans included creating a showpiece entrance from the canal-side, three "sky needle" light sculptures, a new glazed facade fronting the canal and new pre-show hospitality elements. The design was by the architecture firm Broadway Malyan and the building contract was awarded to Royal BAM Group in 2013 with an projected finishing date of Winter 2014.[10]

The £26 million redevelopment began in June 2013. The redeveloped arena was officially opened with a performance by singer Michael Bublé on 2 December 2014.[11] It was renamed the "Barclaycard Arena" in November 2014 after Barclaycard won the naming rights for five years,[12] but in May 2016 it was announced that the naming deal would end early,[13] and from September 2017 it would be named Arena Birmingham.[14]

Notable eventsEdit

Former and original logo

The arena has been used for several major events in the past, including counting no less than eight constituencies in the hall for the 1992 general election.[15]

NEC GroupEdit

Parent company The NEC Group also owns and operates the ICC Birmingham in central Birmingham, and the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) and Resorts World Arena (previously The NEC Arena, LG Arena and Genting Arena), based on The NEC site in nearby Solihull.


  1. ^ "Our Brands | Arena Birmingham". Retrieved 21 May 2019.
  2. ^ "Our brands". NEC Group. Retrieved 24 January 2015.
  3. ^ "Birmingham NIA". ActivBirmingham. Archived from the original on 18 October 2015. Retrieved 24 January 2015.
  4. ^ "Birmingham celebrates 25 years of city centre arena | News |NEC Group". Retrieved 14 June 2019.
  5. ^ Council, Birmingham City. "Arena Birmingham". Retrieved 14 June 2019.
  6. ^ "About us | Arena Birmingham". Retrieved 14 June 2019.
  7. ^ "Venue Information". Barclaycard Arena. Retrieved 24 January 2015.
  8. ^ "Michael Bublé officially launches Birmingham's 'Barclaycard Arena' | Koninklijke BAM Groep / Royal BAM Group". Retrieved 11 December 2016.
  9. ^ "2018 YEAR END Worldwide Ticket Sales TOP 200 ARENA VENUES" (PDF). Pollstar. Retrieved 21 May 2019.
  10. ^ "International firm awarded £24m contract to refurbish Birmingham NIA". Birmingham Post. Birmingham. 16 May 2013. Retrieved 14 March 2014.
  11. ^ Brown, Graeme (29 September 2014). "Michael Bublé to perform as NIA renamed the Barclaycard Arena". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved 24 January 2015.
  12. ^ [1] Archived 30 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ "Barclaycard scraps sponsorship of Birmingham Arena". BBC News. 5 May 2016. Retrieved 12 July 2016.
  14. ^ "Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham changes its name again". Birmingham Mail. 11 September 2017. Retrieved 20 September 2017.
  15. ^ Election 92, BBC, 9 April 1992
  16. ^ "Eurovision Song Contest 1998". European Broadcasting Union. 9 May 1998. Retrieved 21 October 2014.
  17. ^ "Watch Linkin Park Perform With Chester Bennington for the Last Time". Billboard. Retrieved 21 July 2017

External linksEdit