The iconic Resorts World Arena turns 40

04 December 2020 Jaime Davies

Birmingham’s Resorts World Arena is marking 40 years of hosting live events this weekend.

The 15,700-seat venue opened on 5 December 1980 as Birmingham International Arena, with the legendary Queen taking the stage for its very first show. Since then, Resorts World Arena has hosted over 2900 shows and seen a staggering 27 million fans walk through its doors.

Cliff Richard takes the title for the most performances at the venue having played to Birmingham audiences 59 times, with the likes of Status Quo, Elton John, UB40 and Rod Stewart playing at the venue in all four of its decades. Black Sabbath also played their final gig at the Arena, playing to their home city on 4 February 2017.

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Resorts World Arena by night

Guy Dunstan, Managing Director of Resorts World Arena, said: “2020 has been an undeniably difficult year for our industry. However, it also marks a very special milestone for us as a venue and has provided an opportunity for us to look back fondly on some of the world-class events that our teams have helped to deliver over the last 40 years.

“From Culture Club to Crufts, people from all over the world have made decades of unforgettable memories at our venue. We’ve loved seeing fans share them with us this week via our social media channels and we look forward to a time where together, we can make even more.”

The Arena has continually invested in its facilities throughout the years, transforming it from a local venue into an international player. Investments over the last decade include building an innovative pre-show entertainment area, state of the art LED lighting, a revamped backstage area and a refurbishment of its hospitality offering.

The Birmingham landmark is also poised to play a key role in the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, hosting the netball tournament from 29 July-7 August 2022.