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All posts tagged arena construction

Mayor Rahm Emanual joined CEO Lori Healey and Chairman Jack Greenberg of Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority, DePaul University President Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider, and Alderman Pat Dowell to break ground for the McCormick Place Event Center in Chicago. Senior Principal Fred Clarke, FAIA and Principal Mitch Hirsch, AIA participated in the event.

As a key component of the McCormick Place Entertainment District, Pelli Clarke Pelli’s new 300,000 square foot Event Center will host entertainment, large-scale conventions and trade shows, and be the new home for DePaul’s Blue Demons basketball games. It will be a world-class catalyst in the Mayor’s initiative to promote tourism and economic development.

“We are excited to break ground on this important project with DePaul University,” said CEO Lori Healey. “The Event Center will be a beautiful addition to Cermak Road with its contemporary architectural design.”

Located at the boundary of the city’s Prairie District, a pedestrian-scaled neighborhood and McCormick Place’s existing campus, PCPA’s design recalls grand gathering spaces of Chicago, exemplified by Adler and Sullivan’s Auditorium Theater and the Navy Pier Grand Ballroom.It occupies a full block with landscaped setbacks on the corner of Cermak and Indiana Streets and provides a spacious plaza for spectators to congregate before and after events. An arching roof with individual dramatic rising arcs establishes an instantly recognizable image in both the neighborhood and the city, especially when lit in the evening.

With lightweight glass walls, the fully transparent main entrance creates an architecture of experience: the energy and excitement of the arena is palpable outside on the street and inside the main concourse.

The Bristol Arena is one step closer after the council held a bidders’ day for contractors interested in building the venue. The five shortlisted firms attended a site visit on Monday (2 November) to find out more about Bristol City Council’s tender process.

The five shortlisted companies are BAM Construction, Bouygues, Sir Robert McAlpine, Laing O’Rourke and Buckingham Group Contracting, all of whom are now busy preparing to submit bids for the 12,000-seat, GBP£90m-plus Bristol Arena, which is due to be built next to Temple Meads railway station.

Bids will be submitted by 18 December with a decision about the winning contractor expected in February 2016.

George Ferguson, Mayor of Bristol, said:

This is the next key milestone in the arena programme and takes us one step closer to delivery.

Bristol has waited over 20 years for an arena which will at long last play a key part in the regeneration of the Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone and will make a vitally important contribution to the local economy. For the winning contractor it will be great opportunity to work with us to help shape the face of our increasingly vibrant city.

International arena design team Populous together with Bath-based architects Feilden Clegg Bradley and engineering firm BuroHappold have developed plans for the innovative and flexible arena. The Bristol Arena will be a world-class entertainment venue, with a capacity of 12,000 people.

The pre-planning public consultation process has recently closed and two planning applications are due to be submitted shortly.

One detailed application is for the arena venue and access, and the other is an outline application for the future development of housing, business and leisure uses adjacent to the venue.

The council aims to borrow GBP£53m against its City Deal and raise the remaining GBP£38m from the arena operator and car parking income.


Derby Arena completes two months ahead of schedule

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Contractor Bowmer & Kirkland officially handed over Derby Arena to Derby City Council on Thursday 23 October. The project was completed two months ahead of schedule. The handover marks the end of the construction phase.

The early handover ensures that preparations remain on track for the Arena to open in the new year. Throughout the autumn the Council will be busy recruiting and training staff and management for the state-of-the-art facility as well as completing the essential piloting and testing of the Arena – from running mock activities to test equipment to running fire and emergency evacuation drills.

Councillor Ranjit Banwait, Leader of Derby City Council, said:

Derby Arena is a very exciting development for Derby and we all watch its progress with excitement, this showcases our commitment to making Derby a city to be proud of and I want people to be proud of living here and for visitors to be excited about coming to Derby. The early handover of the building keeping us on track for opening in early 2015 is a great achievement and my congratulations go to all involved.

Bowmer & Kirkland Director, John Kirkland, said:

This truly has been a unique project for us all to be involved with and I am exceptionally proud of our staff who have delivered this iconic building for the people of Derby and the East Midlands in such a short space of time. We only started construction on the Arena in March 2013 and it has been a tremendous team effort by all concerned to get where we are today – handing over early and within budget.

This building is a landmark for the city and we feel privileged to have been involved in its creation.

Councillor Alison Martin, Cabinet Member for Leisure and Culture (pictured at the front on the bike with the blue jacket) added:

I would like to thank Bowmer & Kirkland’s staff and contractors who have worked very hard with us to build and craft what is one of the most stunning sporting venues in the country, ahead of time and on budget. We are bringing our Olympic Legacy to life and providing Derby people with something that is quite special to Derby and unique in the region. 

The futuristic 14,500m2 (156,000 sq ft) Arena houses only the fifth national standards 250m indoor cycling track in the country. It will host other sports as well as being a 5,000-capacity events venue. The track infield – which is the size of 12 badminton courts – will host other sports including badminton, basketball, netball, wheelchair basketball, volleyball, martial arts, table tennis and trampolining. There will also be a 150-station gym, as well as group exercise studios, a cafe/bar and hospitality.

Bowmer & Kirkland will retain a presence at the Derby Arena for the next month, working with the Council to help with the training, testing and preparations for opening of the Arena in early 2015.

Photo: Handover celebrations at Derby Arena. The trolls are from the BFG – a production taking place in the arena next year.  Courtesy Derby City Council.

Detroit breaks ground on new arena

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Detroit celebrated the ground-breaking for its new $450 million arena and accompanying $200 million entertainment district on Thursday.

Governor Rick Snyder and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan joined developer Olympia Entertainment officials for the ceremony. Fans and locals are taking part in a block party into the weekend. Rodrick Miller, president and CEO of the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, said:

You’re talking about hundreds of millions of dollars of investment, you’re talking about thousands of jobs, you’re talking about true economic impact.

Kharkiv Arena construction begins with ceremony

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The team building Kharkiv Arena held a solemn ceremony and placed a symbolic capsule this week to mark the beginning of full-scale construction. The arena will complete to FIBA standards in December 2014 and help Ukraine host Eurobasket 2015.

The arena will be able to host basketball, handball, volleyball, hockey competitions, and martial arts – about 100 sports in total. It is also capable of hosting an ice rink. Maximum capacity of the complex is 7,086 people.

The ceremony was attended by the Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine Oleksandr Vilkul, the Chairman of Kharkiv Regional Administration Mykhailo Dobkin, the Chairman of Kharkiv Regional Council Sergiy Chernov, the mayor of Kharkiv city Genadiy Kernes and the Chairman of Supervisory Board for VETEK GC Sergiy Kurchenko, who said:

I am sure the Kharkiv Arena is to become a centre of gravity not only for city residents, but the entire country. Technical facilities make it possible to use it as a venue for various sports, concert, exhibition, and other events. It is especially important to note that the complex is designed with regard to the needs of disabled people.

East European Fuel-Energy Company GC is a general investor of UAH 350 million.

Rupp Arena design selection in progress

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Four architectural groups (Space Group, AECOM, Omni; HKS, JRS; NBBJ, EOP; Populous, Sherman Carter Barnhart) are vying to take the lead in designing a renovated Rupp Arena as part of a redevelopment plan that includes the convention centre and surrounding city blocks. Lexington Mayor Jim Gray said:

It’s a real tribute to Lexington and the quality of the project to get these kinds of firms. The four have demonstrated they have the imagination to reinvent Rupp Arena and ignite the surrounding blocks with a new level of excitement and activity.

Five other architectural firms responded to a proposal from the Lexington Center Corp. to bid on designing a new convention centre. Five construction management bids were received to build the projects. Most of the 14 firms teamed with Kentucky architectural and construction companies in making their bids.

Frank Butler, director of the Rupp District Project, said the firms have done the vast majority of arenas and convention centres in the United States. A selection committee appointed by the Lexington Center Corp. will interview the firms in the next few weeks and make their recommendations to the Lexington Center board of directors. Final selections are expected in July with a view to an immediate start.

Early design idea for Rupp Arena.

Early design idea for Rupp Arena.

National Indoor Arena begins refurb

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Work on the £26m redevelopment of Birmingham’s National Indoor Arena (NIA) will commence this month, following the appointment of contractor BAM Construction.

Phil Mead, Managing Director of Arenas, NEC Group, said:

This redevelopment is vital in ensuring we continue to attract world-class artists to Birmingham in a competitive global marketplace, giving promoters, visiting artists and our audience the best possible experience.

The redevelopment of the NIA is responding to the changing expectations from audiences on their pre and post show experience; as well as interaction at the venue before and after events, and the sharing of experiences on social media, they want great food and beverage offerings, comfort, the latest technology and a great sense of arrival as part of their visit.

Phase 1 in 2013 will centre on the redevelopment of key backstage areas of the NIA, including control room, medical and storage facilities, as well as production offices, crew catering facilities and dressing rooms – offering the latest in technology and first-class facilities for promoters and artists.

Phase 2 in 2014 will move into a further period of redevelopment work, including hospitality suites, concourse expansion, improved circulation areas and – most significantly – the new external façade of the NIA. The NIA redevelopment is due for completion in winter 2014.

With full backing by Birmingham City Council as part of their Big City Plan, the modernisation of the NIA will take advantage of its unique location on the city’s canal side.

The most dramatic element will be a new glass-fronted façade and Front of House Showcase straight from Brindleyplace into the arena, creating a dynamic arrival for visitors and adding 5,926 sqm of pre/post show space into the 13,437 sqm of redevelopment. Iconic ‘Sky Needles’ on top of the NIA will add to the skyline of Birmingham and light up at night.

Standing capacity for the NIA will increase to circa 15,000 and seating capacity to 12,500.

Enhanced hospitality/food and beverage offers and seven-days-a-week retail outlets will all add value to the visitor experience. The flow within the NIA will be made much easier, increasing the ease of access and comfort for promoters and visitors alike.

All areas of the NIA will be touched by the redevelopment – from front of house through to backstage. The dressing rooms will be completely transformed to provide a 5 star experience for visiting artists.

On the appointment of BAM, just coming off the Leeds Arena project, as contractor after two stages of tender, Mead said:

BAM Construction presented a most compelling case which resulted in them being awarded the main contract and we look forward to working in partnership with them to make the Future NIA a reality.

Artist’s impression of the redeveloped NIA, Birmingham.

Artist’s impression of the redeveloped NIA, Birmingham.


Leeds Arena hailed as civic success

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The Leeds Arena site has been handed over from Leeds City Council to the operators, SMG, to start the interior fit-out process, marking the end of the construction phase. Leeds City Council leader Councillor Keith Wakefield said:

We want Leeds to be the best city in the UK and delivering this hugely-imaginative and highly-ambitious project on time and on budget in an incredibly-challenging economy demonstrates without doubt that we mean business.

Our arena project is a superb example of the pivotal role a local authority can play in enabling a city’s transformation. It is bringing jobs, investment and visitors to our city and I cannot speak highly enough of the dedication, flair and sheer hard work that have been the hallmark of the Leeds Arena scheme, from inception right through to completion.

SMG will now manage the task of equipping Leeds Arena with bars, restaurants, staff and ticketing offices and star facilities, preparing the arena to welcome visitors, beginning with one Bruce Springsteen in July.

The design of Leeds Arena overcomes the challenges of a tight city centre location.

The design of Leeds Arena overcomes the challenges of a tight city centre location.


Companies involved in the project include BAM, Arup, Populous, IPW and Davis Langdon. Arup defined the acoustic envelope solution, a significant factor in the technical and commercial viability of the project. Leeds Arena is surrounded by sensitive residential accommodation, creating unusually tight constraints on environmental noise breakout for a venue of this type. Arup’s multi-disciplinary team developed a high performance yet cost-effective facade and roof system to minimise low-frequency noise breakout.

Arup also provided planning services direct to Leeds City Council along with a technical audit role to tender, and delivered full engineering services including: civil and structural, MEP, acoustics, fire, BREEAM and specialist lighting.