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NEC Group to open 14,000m2 outdoor event space

The NEC Group is to open a new outdoor event space as part of a major redevelopment of the NEC Campus in Birmingham.

The site is already home to the UK’s largest exhibition venue – the National Exhibition Centre (NEC), as well as the Vox Conference Venue, Resorts World Arena (15,685), Resorts World Birmingham, The Bear Grylls Adventure and a number of hotels.

NEC Group says the redevelopment will transform over 27 hectares of surface level car parking and surplus land, to create new residential, office, leisure and community spaces.

In addition to the 14,000m2 event space, the plans include 35,000m2 of new commercial space, a hotel, restaurants and cafes, 5,000 new homes and a school.

The group says the redevelopment would create an estimated 3,500 new local jobs, and result in a greener and more sustainable environment on the NEC Campus.

The plan also involves the site being linked to the High Speed 2 Interchange Station via a four-minute shuttle.

“Now is the time to be bold and ambitious about the future and harness the power of the real estate we have to offer”

It said residential access will be separated from logistics and visitor traffic, and ample parking provisions will be maintained to ensure the venue can continue to service major sold-out events. Additional multi-storey car parks are part of the plan.

“Now is the time to be bold and ambitious about the future and harness the power of the real estate we have to offer, whilst simultaneously maximising the benefits of having a young, diverse and entrepreneurial population,” says NEC Group CEO Paul Thandi.

“The NEC Campus sits within a major engine of economic growth in the UK, recognised as one of the best-connected development zones in Europe. This Masterplan unites corporate ambition with global purpose, setting out our vision whilst considering eco and socially responsible practices.”

Birmingham City Council leader and councillor Ian Ward added: “I believe that we are at the beginning of a golden decade for Birmingham, with the Commonwealth Games taking place next year, and the arrival of HS2. The NEC Masterplan will connect the site with Arden Cross and the High Speed 2 Interchange, which together will transform this area, creating thousands of jobs and build thousands of homes.”

The Masterplan will be subject to a six-week period of public consultation running from 10 November to 24 December.

 


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Oak View Group plants first flag in Canada

Oak View Group (OVG) is making its first foray into Canada with a brand new partnership, which will serve as the launching point for a Canadian office.

The global sports and entertainment company is partnering with Hamilton Urban Precinct Entertainment Group (HUPEG) on the redevelopment of the downtown arts and entertainment district in Hamilton, Ontario.

This will include the renovation of the FirstOntario Centre (cap. 19,000), which will be privately funded with more than CA$50 million.

Construction at the arena is anticipated to begin in the autumn of 2022 and take place over two years in two phases.

Internationally renowned arena architect BBB, who managed the renovation of Madison Square Garden in New York City, will lead the arena renovation design.

“We believe Hamilton is the perfect market to plant our first OVG Canada flag”

OVG, which has offices in Los Angeles, New York, London, and Philadelphia, says the deal will kickstart the company’s Canadian operations.

Tim Leiweke, CEO of OVG, and former past president of Canada’s Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment commented, “I have been very fortunate in my career to be part of the Toronto community and call Canada home. I saw first-hand the continued growth in the Toronto Metro area, and we believe Hamilton in particular, needs a venue that reflects the growth, great fans, and community thus requiring that new facilities are developed and new opportunities are created.

“We believe Hamilton is the perfect market to plant our first OVG Canada flag and will be a venue that compliments Toronto and the Scotia Bank Arena [cap. 19,800]. We think there is a need, an opportunity to transform the current arena and we are extremely excited to be partners with the City of Hamilton and HUPEG on their vision.”

OVG is also leading the redevelopment and operations of Climate Pledge Arena at Seattle Center as well as leading arena development projects for UBS Arena in Belmont Park, New York; Moody Center in Austin, Texas; New Arena in Coachella Valley, CA; and Co-op Live in Manchester, UK.

 


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Rotterdam Ahoy begins construction of new music venue

The Rotterdam Ahoy arena and convention centre has begun construction on a brand new building which will house a conference centre and music venue by 2020.

Extending the current space’s 15,000 capacity, the new building will house the 7,000-capacity (2,750-seated cap.) RTM Stage, providing a space for live music, theatre and events. Additionally, 35 rooms will be created across four floors, to function as a conference centre catering for what Rotterdam city councillor Adriaan Visser calls Rotterdam’s “[growth] as a business hotspot.”

Speaking at the ceremony that launched the work, Peter van der Veer, CEO of the Ahoy and newly elected president of the European Arenas Association (EAA), says: “I am extremely proud that today, after years’ of preparation, we were finally able to allow construction to commence.

“In January 2021 we will celebrate our 50th anniversary here at this wonderful new venue. I’m really looking forward to it!”

“In January 2021 we will celebrate our 50th anniversary here at this wonderful new venue. I’m really looking forward to it!”

The new stage area will also allow for the expansion of events held at the venue, like the North Sea Jazz Festival, which will take place at the Ahoy in 2019 despite the redevelopment works.

The Ahoy’s new building is part of a wider redevelopment project which seeks to transform the Hart va Zuid area, in the south of Rotterdam, and improve the quality of life of its residents. Under the plans, new areas for housing, shopping and leisure will be created.

A video giving the details of the new-look Rotterdam Ahoy can be found on YouTube.

 


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