Utilita Arena Birmingham - Great architecture

Utilita Arena Birmingham, previously known as Arena Birmingham, is host to many large sports events and concerts with a capacity of 15,800. Arena Birmingham opened in 1991.

Utilita Arena Birmingham


B1 2AA

View site map HERE.

Photography by Daniel Sturley.


Architect: Broadway Malyan (Renovation and Refurbishment in 2013/2014)

Construction: Royal BAM Group (Renovation and Refurbishment in 2013/2014)

Owner: NEC Group


In brief 

Utilita Arena Birmingham is located close to King Edwards Road in Birmingham near the Old Turn Junction, where the Birmingham & Fazeley Canal meets the Birmingham Canal Navigations Mainline.

It is owned by the NEC Group.

Photography by Elliott Brown.


The story of the build

The NIA Birmingham, 1991 - 2014

The National Indoor Arena was opened on the 4th October 1991 by Linford Christie. From 1992 to 1999, Gladiators was recorded at The NIA. It was also host to the Eurovision Song Contest in 1998. Various sporting events have taken place here over the yearsincluding Netball, Badminton and Athletics. It retained the name The NIA Birmingham until the refurbishment was completed in 2014.

the nia birmingham

Photography by Elliott Brown.


Refurbishment 2013-14

The NIA Birmingham was redeveloped on the canalside facade during 2013 and 2014. It opened in December 2014 under the name of Barclaycard Arena.

NIA redevelopment Photography by Elliott Brown.


Barclaycard Arena, 2014-17

The Barclaycard Arena opened in December 2014. It was a regular host during this time to Indoor Athletics.

Barclaycard Arena Photography by Elliott Brown.


Arena Birmingham, 2017-20

Barclaycard withdrew their sponsorship of the arena at the end of summer 2017, so for the next three years it was called the Arena Birmingham. During this time the World Indoor Athletics Championships took place here in 2018.

Arena Birmingham Photography by Elliott Brown.


Utilita Arena Birmingham, 2020 to present

The new sponsorship of the arena began from April 2020, but the arena has not been able to hold any events during the lockdowns. But Badminton returned in 2021, and the counts of the May 2021 local elections in Birmingham took place here.

Utilita Arena BirminghamPhotography by Elliott Brown.

Project dates

02 Aug 2020 - On-going


Construction & regeneration, Art; Culture & creativity, Photography
Business & enterprise, People & community, Modern Architecture, Rivers, lakes & canals, Music & musicians

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Jonathan Bostock

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