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New world-leading operator for Sheffield Arena announced

Utilita Arena Sheffield

ASM Global has been announced as the new operator for Utilita Arena Sheffield, as of January 2025.

Last year, Sheffield City Council revealed that the city’s leisure and entertainment venues were set to receive £117 million of investment including rebuilds of some of the city’s most popular leisure centres and improvements to Sheffield’s Arena and City Hall.

As part of these plans, in June 2023, a competitive procurement process was launched in a bid to attract the best in leisure and entertainment provision to run Sheffield’s venues.

Operators were invited to bid on the running of Utilita Arena Sheffield.

Following a robust eight-month tender process, the Council has now selected ASM Global as the successful bidder and the new operator for the Arena.

ASM Global is one of the world’s leading producer of entertainment experiences, venue management and event strategy. The company’s programming team delivers world-class content to venues around the UK and Europe – ranging from major sporting events as well as tours from artists of international acclaim.

Councillor Richard Williams, Chair of the Communities, Parks and Leisure Committee at Sheffield City Council, said:

“I am really pleased to welcome ASM Global onboard as the new operators of Sheffield Arena, this is a major step forward in our ambitious plan for the city and entertainment facilities.

“ASM Global have an unrivalled reputation in the global venue industry and this new investment will certainly allow us to compete on a global scale.”

Utilita Arena Sheffield joins ASM Global’s network of more than 350 venues around the world, which collectively host 20,000 events and welcome 164 million guests every year. With a matchless network and best-in-class operations, the company will further enhance the arena’s competitive position in-market.

Councillor Tom Hunt, Leader of Sheffield City Council, said:

“We are thrilled that ASM Global have chosen to work with us to bring the benefits of global scale to operate and invest in Sheffield’s Utilita Arena.

“Sheffield is a city on the up. Coming on the back of hosting the MOBO Awards and with the city’s rich musical and sporting history and our reputation for hosting major events, this new exciting partnership with ASM Global is another example of our ambition for Sheffield.”

Chris Bray, President of ASM Global Europe, said:

“Sheffield is a city with a rich cultural heritage. It’s known and loved for producing some of the UK’s most exciting musical talent who’ve gone on to put Sheffield on the map on a global scale. We are hugely excited to have been appointed to operate the Utilita Arena, which joins ASM’s industry-leading UK portfolio.

“Our goal is to ensure the venue is a must-play for world-class artists, and that the content is diverse, exciting and world-leading. We have exciting plans for reimagining the customer experience too and are looking forward to getting better acquainted with the city very soon.”

The Utilita Arena is home to The Sheffield Steelers – Sheffield’s celebrated professional ice hockey team. This year alone, the venue has hosted the MOBO Awards, and has Peter Kay, Take That, Matchroom Boxing, Premier League Darts, Liam Gallagher and more visiting the venue this year.

It also celebrated its best-ever performance in the European venue rankings for the live entertainment industry, being rated as the 6th best arena in the UK.

Tony Smith, Managing Director of the Sheffield Steelers, said:

The Steelers are delighted to be working with ASM Global and excited to see where they take the Utilita Arena.

“Going forward, investment is key, and we have many ideas on how existing facilities can be improved to benefit our fans and the many visitors to the Arena. The future is going to be very bright and we look forward to working closely with our new operator.”

Alongside the Council’s earmarked investment, which will benefit a number of venues and services across the city, ASM Global have committed to significant investment to re-vamp the already popular Arena.

Next steps for the projects include finalising tenders for the City Hall and leisure services.