First Direct Arena
A modern-day amphitheatre: probably the most startling feature for anyone entering the Leeds First Direct Arena in Leeds, West Yorkshire, is the way the seats are laid out. Rather than copying the traditional bowl or horseshoe design, they are arranged in a fan formation around the central stage. Well over 13,000 spectators can enjoy a huge variety of events here, with a perfect view regardless of where they are sitting – from rock concerts and theatre performances to basketball games, boxing matches and tennis tournaments. The rows of seating are retractable, enabling maximum flexibility whatever the occasion.
Another of the arena’s special features is its outer shell, a complex work of art embellished with a honeycomb façade which is especially effective in the dark thanks to a spectacular lighting concept. The acoustics are widely acknowledged to provide the best sound experience anywhere in the UK. Completed in summer 2013, the First Direct Arena was immediately voted “Best New Venue in the World 2014” at the Stadium Business Awards in London.