History

We are the Nottingham Arena, now known as the Motorpoint Arena Nottingham, a world-class entertainment venue located in the heart of Nottingham city centre. Built between 1998 and 2000, as part of the National Ice Centre complex, we’ve become a cultural landmark and a hub for live entertainment in the East Midlands, attracting visitors from across the region and even internationally.

Showcasing the biggest names in music, comedy, and sport and with a capacity of 10,000+, we are one of the most versatile and vibrant entertainment venues in the UK. 

Opening in 2000 as Nottingham Arena, in 2007 the venue became Trent FM Arena as a result of a partnership with Trent FM. In 2011, Trent FM was bought by Global Radio and the venue became known as the Capital FM Arena. In January 2016, following a change in naming partner, the venue became the Motorpoint Arena Nottingham.

The Build

The construction of the Nottingham Arena began in 1998, with the vision of creating a state-of-the-art venue that could accommodate a wide range of events, from sporting events to music concerts, theatrical performances, and more. The arena was designed by internationally acclaimed architects FaulknerBrowns who drew inspiration from the rich industrial heritage of the city to create a striking, contemporary building that would serve as a focal point for the city’s cultural scene.

The build was a massive undertaking, creating thousands of jobs with a team of over 3,000 workers involved in the construction process across two years.

When workmen began digging foundations, a rare 1,100-year-old Saxon jug was found and later put on display at the Nottingham Castle Museum. A 19th-century graveyard was also found under the car park, from which bodies were then exhumed and sensitively moved elsewhere.

The arena was completed on schedule, and we opened our doors to the public in April 2000.

The First Year

As an Olympic gold medallist who learned to skate in the old ice rink on the site, Jayne Torvill opened the arena at an official ceremony on 1 April 2000.

On 29 April 2000, soul and pop band Simply Red became the first ever band to play the venue.

The arena proved an instant success. In the first year Tom Jones, Green Day, Shirley Bassey, Westlife, Texas, Steps and the Lipizzaner Stallions were among the artists that performed here.

Contributing to Nottingham’s Economic Growth

We have been a significant driver of economic growth in the region since our doors opened in 2000. As the largest entertainment venue in the East Midlands, we play a crucial role in attracting visitors, creating hundreds of jobs for Nottingham residents, and generating revenue for the region.

Proudly developed and owned by Nottingham City Council, their initial investment of £16m now generates over £40m per year for the local and regional economy, benefiting hotels, bars, restaurants and local transport amongst other businesses. By 2025, the arena will have generated in excess of £1bn towards the city’s economy.

Event Highlights

Queen Elizabeth II and HRH the Duke of Edinburgh visited the arena on 31 July 2002 to give us the royal seal of approval. They were our guests at a Gala involving the greatest array of ice-skating talent ever assembled in this country, with 10 World, and 9 Olympic Champions.

In 2008, His Holiness the Dalai Lama visited us for a five-day teachings seminar which was attended by over 37,000 people of all nationalities and faiths.

In 2012 we had the honour of the Olympic Torch Relay passing through the arena. In a world first, Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean performed an ice dance with the Olympic Flame.

Over the years we’ve proudly hosted international musical superstars including Beyoncé, Lady GaGa, Justin Bieber, Oasis, Elton John, One Direction, Rihanna, The Killers, Rod Stewart, Phil Collins, Metallica, Pink, Coldplay and The Who to name but a few, along with comedy greats Peter Kay, Lee Evans, Michael McIntyre, Micky Flanagan, Ricky Gervais, John Bishop and Russell Howard.

We were the first arena that global superstar Ed Sheeran ever played, in October 2012.

Our sporting highlights include World Championship boxing, UFC, WWE, Olympic qualifying ice hockey, Netball internationals, Premier League Darts, the annual Elite Ice Hockey League Play-Off Finals and World Junior Synchronized Skating Championships.

Our family entertainment has ranged from West End shows such as Jesus Christ Superstar and We Will Rock You, to magic from Dynamo, Cirque du Soleil and Strictly Come Dancing, while our younger audiences have been captivated by the likes of Barney, The Bear in the Big Blue House, Bob the Builder, the Tweenies and a plethora of Disney characters in Disney on Ice.

Share