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Cardiff arena costs rise by more than 50%

The opening of the 17,000-cap venue is likely to be delayed until 2026 after "inflationary pressures" caused costs to spiral

By James Hanley on 23 Mar 2023

An artist's impression of the proposed Arena Caerdydd (Cardiff Arena)

The cost of building Cardiff’s new arena has spiralled by more than 50%, causing significant delays to the project, according to a report.

The 17,000-cap venue, which is being developed by Robertson Group, will be operated by Live Nation and Oak View Group and is set to form part of a wider multi-million-pound regeneration of Butetown, Cardiff in Wales, UK.

However, “inflationary pressures” have seen costs rise from £180 million (€203m) to almost £280m (€316m).

“Following the pandemic, the UK economy has experienced significant volatility with abnormal levels of inflation and significant interest rate rises,” reads a Cardiff Council document. “Inflationary pressures have pushed the original design of the new indoor arena from the procured figure of £180m to close to £280m.”

The report to members of the council’s cabinet adds that, as the authority’s borrowings for the project are capped, Live Nation has taken responsibility for the price increases.

“Live Nation has had to undertake a detailed review of the design to identify any opportunities to make savings”

“Live Nation remains committed to the project and has secured board level approval to cover the costs,” it continues. “Nonetheless, Live Nation is now working to reduce the level of cost increase through a review of the arena design and reconsideration of site infrastructure requirements.

“The cost of delivering the new indoor arena project has risen by more than 50%. Consequently, Live Nation has had to undertake a detailed review of the design to identify any opportunities to make savings. This has caused a significant delay to the programme. It is now anticipated that the final contract will be signed in July 2023 with a start on-site programmed for January 2024.”

The arena was originally scheduled to open in 2025, but is not now set to be completed until the following year, according to Wales Online.

Live Nation already runs the existing 7,500-cap Motorpoint Arena Cardiff, as well as converted warehouse venue Titan Warehouse. OVG, meanwhile, is currently constructing the UK’s first all-electric arena, Co-op Live, in Manchester.


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