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Gladiators: Ready for new management at Utilita Sheffield Arena

ASM Global, the leading venue management company and producer of live experiences, has been appointed to operate Utilita Arena Sheffield, as of January 2025.

The announcement follows a rigorous procurement process, which was launched in a bid to attract the best in leisure and entertainment provision to run Sheffield’s venues, following Sheffield City Council announcing major investment into the city’s leisure and entertainment venues, including improvements to Sheffield’s arena.

Utilita Arena is a 12,700-capacity venue, which first opened in 1991 – it is currently perhaps best known as the home of the BBC’s rebooted Saturday night classic Gladiators, although it has also played hosts to gigs ranging from local heroes like Arctic Monkeys and Def Leppard to international stars including Lady Gaga and Kylie Minogue. This year it also hosted the MOBO Awards for the first time and is home to Sheffield’s ice hockey team, the Steelers.

Under its new management with ASM Global, the venue will see significant investment into guest experience at every level, including hospitality and premium. There will also be improvements made around the venue to refresh the space – with more detail to be announced in due course.

ASM already manages venues including Manchester’s AO Arena, Leeds’ first direct Arena, OVO Arena Wembley and Utilita Arena Newcastle.

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. With a history of being an events city, we are delighted to be working with the council to continue to bring major events to Sheffield. 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.”

Councillor Richard Williams, chair of the communities, parks and leisure committee at Sheffield City Council added: “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. Though we are incredibly proud of the Arena and our current partnership with Sheffield City Trust, this new investment will allow us to compete on a global scale.”

The senior management team and all Utilita Arena staff will move to ASM Global under TUPE regulations and ASM Global has committed to significant investment into the revamp of the already popular Arena, alongside planned council investment.

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