Bonus Arena ‘exceeds all expectations’ during incredible first year

Stereophonics perform at Bonus Arena. Photo credit, Bonus Arena Hull

The £36m Bonus Arena celebrates its first anniversary this week.

Since opening in August 2018, 200,000 people have either bought tickets for or visited the state-of-the-art entertainment venue, which has hosted almost 100 events and performances.

Visitors from all over the world have visited the 3,500 capacity, multi-purpose arena that has attracted award-winning and international performers such as Noel Gallagher, Stereophonics, George Ezra and Van Morrison.

78 per cent of ticket sales have gone to people in Hull and the East Riding, with 60 per cent of purchasers being women.

Most international ticket sales have gone to visitors from Belgium, Netherlands, Spain, USA and Canada, with people coming as far as Japan and New Zealand to visit the venue.

Dan Harris, General Manager at the Bonus Arena, said: “It has been a hugely exciting and successful first year – from that wonderful opening night with Van Morrison to packed-out performances by Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, George Ezra, Madness and Stereophonics to name just four.

“We’ve been delighted with the welcome and enthusiasm from the residents of Hull who have been hugely supportive since day one. But we’re also very pleased to see so many people coming to Hull from outside the region – and from much further afield – which is boosting the local economy in so many different ways. We look forward to the start of the autumn season in September and to bringing many more world-class events to the city.”

Leader of Hull City Council, Councillor Stephen Brady, said: “We had grand ambitions for the arena which have exceeded all expectations.

“UK City of Culture gave the city a spotlight that it had never had before, and the arena was always going to play a pivotal role in the city developing its cultural offer following 2017.

“The arena has introduced a new audience to Hull, with visitors coming from all over the world, and is helping the city develop into a world-class visitor destination.”

Bonus Arena Hull

The 3,500 capacity arena is one of only a few of its kind in the UK. Its adaptability allows it to host a variety of events.

For larger events, the arena can open for multiple nights and therefore accommodate more fans. This is the case for next year’s Kaiser Chiefs performances, with the band set to play back-to-back nights in Hull, playing to 7,000 people. This is the only venue on the band’s UK tour where they are set to play multiple nights.

Garry Taylor, Hull City Council’s Assistant Director of Major Projects, said: “The Bonus Arena is one of the most unique entertainment venues in the country.

“Its size, layout and adaptability attracts a wide range of performers and events. Few arenas in the UK have a similar capacity and a similar draw.

“The arena manages to hit a sweet spot in the market that other cities are now trying to replicate. Following its success, we have hosted representatives from all the over the country interested in recreating its model.

“The arena has given a significant boost to the local economy, creating jobs as well as supporting a flourishing, unique and independent scene.”

The arena has hosted dozens of music performances, conferences, comedy shows and sporting events.

The venue has won multiple awards, including Campaign of the Year in the Ticketing Business Awards, beating the likes of Ed Sheeran’s Stadium Tour and the MLS (Major League Soccer).

The building has also won awards at the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Awards and the Local Authority Building Control (LABC) Awards.

The Bonus Arena is nominated for New Tourism Business Award at this year’s Welcome to Yorkshire Awards.

Music legend Van Morrison opened the Bonus Arena on 30 August 2018.

The Hull FC Player of the Year awards will return to the Bonus Arena next month, and will be its 100th event.

Olly Murs, Madness, Boyzone, Rick Astley, Catfish and the Bottleman and the Courteeners have all performed at the venue.

There are a host of bands, performers and events still to come this year including Two Door Cinema Club, Professor Brian Cox, Emeli Sande, James Arthur and the WWE NXT Tour.

[Michael Berriman – Hull City Council]