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Bristol Arena operator is announced

The Bristol Arena is due to open in 2017 Credit: Bristol City Council

The UK’s largest arena operator SMG, in partnership with largest international live entertainment company Live Nation, has been named as Preferred Bidder to operate the Bristol Arena.

The decision was taken at tonight's Cabinet meeting when Mayor George Ferguson said that it represented a milestone in the development of the new arena.

Interest from bidders in operating the 12,000 capacity Bristol Arena has been highly competitive.

SMG and Live Nation will bring the combined expertise of two global businesses experienced in running arenas worldwide and delivering exciting programmes of concerts and events.

Their bid represents a good deal for the city and gives yet further confidence of a firm footing on which to move forward towards a 2017 arena opening when we can look forward to welcoming world-class performers to the region.

– George Ferguson, Bristol Mayor

The £91 million, 12,000 capacity arena is to be built on the former diesel depot site next to Bristol Temple Meads railway station.

It will bring more than 900 jobs to Bristol and is expected to attract millions of pounds in additional spending to the region.

The shortlist to design Bristol's £91m arena

Five teams have been shortlisted for the contract to design the 12,000 seater Bristol Arena at Temple Quarter in the city.

The architects behind the Eden Project are on the shortlist for Bristol Arena Credit: PA
  • Grimshaw Architects LLP - architects of the Eden Project
  • Idom Ingeniería y Consultoría - designers of the Bilbao Arena
  • Populous - architects of the London Olympic Stadium
  • White Arkitekter - designers of the Kiruna city plan in Sweden
  • Wilkinson Eyre - architects of the Liverpool Arena

The finalists will now have to come up with proposals, which will then go to a public exhibition before the decision being announced in March 2015

Populous, who designed the London Olympic Stadium, are also on the shortlist Credit: ITV News

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Operator appointed for Bristol Arena

Bristol's years of waiting for an indoor arena could soon be over with news tonight that an operator has been appointed to run the venue.

Speaking at his State of the City address, Mayor George Ferguson said their identity will be confirmed in three weeks, moving the opening of the 12,000-seater attraction a significant step closer.

Five design teams have also been shortlisted to compete to build the attraction beside Bristol Temple Meads station. It is hoped the arena will bring up to 1,000 jobs.

Bristol Arena could get approval tonight

Plans for Bristol Arena Credit: Bristol City Council

Plans for the Bristol Arena are expected to be approved at a city budget meeting tonight.

The £90 million venue next to Temple Meads would have a capacity of 12,000.

Work could start in January 2016 if the scheme gets the go-ahead.

The City Council has raised £53 million for the project and is planning to borrow the rest. The meeting will also debate cuts and a 2 percent rise in council tax.