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Former Bristol Mayor says out-of-town arena location “crazy”

The inaugural Mayor of Bristol has described as “crazy” the idea of building a new arena for the city on the outskirts instead of in the centre.

The Bristol Post reports that George Fergusson has criticised his successor Marvin Rees, saying he cannot “morally” or “legally” make a decision on the future of the planned Bristol Arena at Temple Island after accepting flights, hotels and meals from rival developer YTL, says former mayor George Ferguson.

It says he believes that Mr Rees has fallen “hook, line and sinker” for what he describes as a “barmy” offer from Malaysian investment firm YTL to build the arena in the Brabazon hangar on Filton Airfield, rather than the plot he picked out in the city centre in 2012.

It quotes a letter in which Mr Fergusson writes, “I realise I am burning some bridges here, but have bitten my tongue on most matters since Marvin succeeded me as I genuinely wish him all success for Bristol. However my patience only goes so far when Bristol’s future is threatened by a lunatic proposal promoted by those with self-interest to a person who seems to have little understanding of how a city ticks.”