Solihull Resorts World: Plans to extend 'dated' arena before 2022 games

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Artist's impression of arena revampImage source, NEC Group
Image caption,
The NEC Group says it wants the arena "to attract world-class entertainment for the next generation".

Multi-million pound plans to boost the capacity of a "dated" arena before the Commonwealth Games have been unveiled.

The NEC Group wants to create space for 6,000 more people at Solihull's Resorts World Arena, which will host some sports at Birmingham's 2022 games.

It aims to ultimately make the 40-year-old venue "capable of hosting the largest live productions and providing the highest quality user experience".

The group lodged the £45m plans with Solihull Council last week.

If approved, capacity at the venue will increase from 15,600 to 21,600, and allow it to cater for larger crowds than either London's O2 or the Manchester Arena, a spokesman said.

Image source, NEC Group
Image caption,
The aim is to increase seating capacity by 38%

The company argues the changes will improve the appearance of the attraction and take account of dramatic changes to concerts and events in the decades since it opened, the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS) said.

The plans involve the existing arena being partly demolished, increasing seating capacity by 38%, and a new roof which would be about 10 metres [32.8ft] taller than the current one.

The NEC Group said it aimed to address "all the shortcomings of the existing arena".

Image caption,
Around 750,000 people attend the arena each year, with estimates the plans will attract up to another 120,000 annually

An NEC spokesman added the plans included new hospitality and merchandise facilities to ensure "it continues to attract world-class entertainment for the next generation".

Sports held at the at the 2022 games at the NEC include badminton, boxing, judo, table tennis, weightlifting, para powerlifting and wrestling.

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