Opening its door in 2013, the First Direct Arena really put Leeds on the map. Winner of the best new venue in the world in 2014, the First Direct Arena is a multi-purpose entertainment venue which welcomes some of the biggest names in live entertainment, including comedy, music, family shows, sporting events, as well as boasting incredible hospitality services. In music, the First Direct Arena has welcomed the likes of II Divo, Bruce Springsteen, Green Day, Elton John, Drake, Pet Shop Boys, Celine Dion, Dolly Parton, Miley Cyrus, Rita Ora, Fleetwood Mac, Bruno Mars and many other artists.
With regards to comedy, the First Direct Arena has hosted prolific comedians, including Lee Evans, Miranda Hart, Michael McIntyre, Ricky Gervais, Bob Mortimer and John Bishop. The First Direct Arena is also a venue for a variety of large scale performances and family show, such as Cirque du Soleil, Dancing on Ice, the MOBO Awards, Brian Cox and Strictly Come Dancing as well as sporting events, Premier League Darts, Championship Boxing and the Tour De France.
The building design, which is like a ‘super theatre’ is meant to enhance the spectator and performer experience and an incredible sound system. The First Direct Arena is currently owned by ASM Global, which is one of the world’s leading venue management companies.
The First Direct Arena is easily accessible by both public transport and car. There are also many places to eat and shop near the venue. The First Direct Arena full address is:Arena Way, Leeds LS2 8BY
If You have any queries prior to your visit to the First Direct Arena, please call the First Direct Arena Access Line on 0800 988 4440. If you call this number, you can make arrangements for accessing the venue if you are in need of any assistance.
Leeds City Train Station has a fully accessible ticket machine and assistance can also be organised. If you are taking the coach, there are also access services available; please call the Coach Station beforehand and at least 36 hours in advance. If you are driving to the venue, then there are disabled parking spaces available at Tower House Street, Jacob Street. However, there are limited spaces available so we recommend that you arrive early.
The First Direct Arena strives to be an accessible venue and is designed to be fully accessible to everyone. On entering the venue, there is an accessible entrance which is fully staffed. There are lifts available which allow you to reach level 2 Blocks 101 – 109, 210 - 220 and up to level 4 Blocks 321 - 333. There are also escalators up to level 2- 4, Blocks 101- 109, 210 - 220 & 321 - 333. Most seating throughout the arena is accessible,
Assistance Dogs are welcome to join you in the First Direct Arena, or alternatively, they can be looked after in a safe environment.
Only opening in 2013, the First Direct Arena has a relatively short history. Given that Leeds is one of the major cities in the UK, it was long overdue an arena, and there was certainly public demand for it to be built. There was in fact a large scale lobby from Leeds residents, as well as small businesses and artists, for the arena to be built. It was well publicised on facebook and local newspapers, including the Yorkshire Evening Post. There were then competitions to bid for who was going to develop and own the arena, and Claypit Lane won the site and Leeds City Council were the developers in the end.