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HS2 Plus Arena Expansion Adds Up To Solihull's Big Moment

The Birmingham Arena

The Resorts World Arena at Solihull is to be expanded to become the largest in the UK as the NEC site braces for the new HS2 station.

Resorts World Arena is currently the UK’s third largest, behind the O2 London and Manchester Arena. But the 15,600 capacity venue opened in 1980 is about to grow to 21,600. It will mean the arena leapfrogs into first place.

The expansion, which will boost visitor numbers by 16%, will also include a refit of rigging, sound and lighting to meet today’s show-time needs. Proposals have now been submitted to Solihull Council.

“By extending the capacity of Resorts World Arena to 21,600, it would be elevated to the largest indoor venue in the UK and Ireland market in terms of capacity and gross earning potential," a statement submitted to Solihull planners said. "This will ensure that major artists and the largest world class productions continue to come to the West Midlands, thus protecting the significant contribution that the arena provides to the local and regional economy.”

The development adds 65K SF of useable floor area but only expands the footprint by about 8K SF.

A new link to the site’s new HS2 high speed train terminal will be just 120 metres from the arena, as a new planning application from HS2 confirms.

The proposals are for two 415 metre-long platforms, providing space for two stopping services and two nonstop services. There will also be an automated people carrier linking the station to the NEC and the arena. It will carry up to 2,100 passengers an hour, council documents said.