Cardiff Bay indoor arena to catalyze economy



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Cardiff new arena Image: Atlantic Wharf Cardiff

A new “world-class” 15,000-capacity venue in Cardiff (UK) will inject more than £100m a year into the South Wales economy, say backers of the project.

The ‘BBC’ stated that the Cardiff Council hoped the £150m indoor arena in Cardiff Bay would attract a million visitors every year after it opens to visitors at the end of 2024.

A 15,000-capacity indoor arena, hotels, housing complexes and added attractions will come up at Cardiff Bay in Wales (UK) and is all set to revitalize the pandemic-thrashed economy of the area.

The 15,000-capacity indoor arena being planned will boast 12,000 seats and will be the anchor project for the development. A multistory car park will also come up. The development would then pave the way for a 150-bed hotel and 150,000 sq m of office space.

Cardiff Bay is the area of water created by the Cardiff Barrage in South Cardiff, the capital of Wales. It is also the name commonly given to the surrounding areas of the City.

The ‘BBC’ further stated that the Council appointed a consortium of firms on September 16th to deliver “the missing piece of City infrastructure”.

The plan will be discussed by Cardiff’s Cabinet before the formal Council approval.

Up to 2,000 jobs could be created during the construction phase of the project in the Atlantic Bay area of Cardiff Bay, with a further 1,000 jobs when the venue is up-and-running, said the Council, calling it their “masterplan”.

The Cardiff Council said the proposal took a “step forward” on September 16th when the American global entertainment company Live Nation and Oak View Group (OVG) (American Global Advisory, Development and Investment Company for Sports and Live Entertainment industries) were appointed as operators of the venue while Robertson (construction company) will develop the site.

But councilors will now decide if the full business case for the project can be signed off.

The City’s (Cardiff) Principality Stadium can hold up to 74,000 people for major sporting and musical events.

But Cardiff’s planners want a venue that can host smaller events – but more than the current 7,000-capacity Motorpoint Arena, which could be demolished as part of plans to create a “canal quarter” in the City Centre.

In a statement, the Cardiff Council said the new venue’s development, which will be built on the current Red Dragon Centre site, is “the missing piece of City infrastructure needed to cement Cardiff’s international reputation as a major events City”.

The new arena would face Lloyd George Avenue and the Oval Basin outside the Senedd and Millennium Centre.

But work would be completed in stages – starting with a multistory car park on the Red Dragon Centre’s (indoor entertainment complex in Southern Cardiff) overflow car park.

The new leisure complex would then be built on the main car park, with the existing one knocked down.

Informed Cardiff Councilor Russell Goodway, “Through the Atlantic Wharf masterplan, significant improvements will be made to the public realm and to transport links, and there is no doubt that the regeneration of this site will kickstart the next phase of regeneration in Cardiff Bay. The City’s business community have backed the project for many years, particularly the hospitality sector.”

Added Goodway, “The new indoor arena will be a top-tier UK visitor attraction and the financial benefits that it will bring to Butetown and the wider area will be significant.”

After the project was delayed as the United Kingdom was smushed by the Delta variant of COVID-19 few months back, the developer has begun consultations with local businesses and residents before submitting a planning application.

Wider changes will include changes to the current road layouts. Local residents have raised early concerns regarding the closure of Schooner Way for example, which the Council has taken on board and will seek to mitigate.

Asserted Graham Walters of Live Nation, “We are committed to delivering a world-class arena that will offer maximum benefits to the local community and the wider region to create one of Wales’ key cultural locations and destination venues.”

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