SMG Europe appoints management team to launch and run Leeds Arena

SMG Europe has appointed its senior management team to launch and operate the 13,500 capacity Leeds Arena, the brand new concert and entertainment facility currently under construction and scheduled to open in September 2013.

General manager Ben Williams will lead the team charged with managing the internal fit out of the arena once construction work completes in Spring 2013. He will be supported by assistant general manager Ailsa Oliver and operations director John Webster. The team will prepare the arena for its opening in September 2013.

Together with Martin Farrington, Leeds City Council’s director of city development, the SMG Europe team outlined the shared vision for the Arena and the commercial opportunities available to the region’s businesses, at a launch organised by Marketing Leeds on Tuesday.

Williams is the former commercial and marketing director for Manchester Arena, Oliver was part of the pre-opening team for Newcastle’s Metro Radio Arena and Webster most recently opened the Ora Arena and Convention Centre in Istanbul, Turkey.

The invited audience were taken through some of the corporate and sponsorship deals that would be available at the 13,500 capacity venue, which has been designed by Populous.

A landmark development for the city, the Leeds Arena will act as a catalyst for investment, regeneration, jobs and tourism, with an annual economic impact estimated at more than £25 million. It will generate circa 70,000 additional bed night stays per annum for the city’s hotels.