Britain’s oldest basketball team, the Leicester Riders, have unveiled plans to expand their arena.
The Morningside Arena is set to undergo a 1,200m2 extension, to increase the flexible use of the arena.
The arena is the largest indoor venue in Leicester, with a capacity for up to 3,000, and stages many national and international events, both in sport and culture, as well as acting as a community sports arena.
The extension will see a further two basketball courts built to bring the number to five – making it the largest basketball venue in England.
The extension went through a pre-application planning review process earlier in the year and the planning application was submitted last month.
Riders Chairman Kevin Routledge, a director of Morningside Arena, was excited to announce the plans. He said:
The arena along with many other businesses in the sector has come through some very difficult times due to Covid, but we are very positive about the opportunities going forward.
Our community sport usage pre-Covid was growing every year, so much so, that our Foundation has had to look for additional external facilities, to support its programme.
Meanwhile the arena’s reputation for staging major events has been growing, and we have already invested significantly to make the arena Covid-secure and more flexible.
We are attracting bookings for major TV events across a range of sports which have never been staged in Leicester and we need the extra space to maintain our dual purpose, including the further growth of Riders basketball pathway and community engagement.
This addition will also improve the customer experience for the largest events. Thus, we felt the time was right to get on with this development, which has the support of all our partners, including the City Council and Leicester College.