Despite a difficult year, Coventry Building Society (CBS) Arena welcomed more than 966,000 visitors in 2022.
Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group secured ownership of CBS Arena in November, after the previous operating companies – Arena Coventry Limited (ACL), Arena Coventry (2006) Limited and IEC Experience Limited – confirmed that they had applied to be placed into administration.
Championship football club Coventry City then signed a new licence agreement in December with Frasers Group, to continue playing its home games at CBS Arena until May this year. Coventry had originally been issued an eviction notice by Frasers Group, after the British retail company said the club had no right to use the venue.
Overall visitor figures have risen by more than 348,000 since 2021, boosted by international events including the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games and Rugby League World Cup.
However, despite the positivity associated with an influx of visitors, the events created issues surrounding the arena’s pitch.
Coventry City had to postpone a number of games as the pitch was deemed unplayable, following the arena’s use for rugby sevens games at the Commonwealth Games.
During late spring and the summer, the stadium welcomed performances from international stars The Killers and Rammstein. More than 60,000 concert-goers descended on CBS Arena to enjoy the events.
Over 600,000 people attended sporting events at the venue between January and December last year, and more than 630 events have been hosted at CBS Arena. This represented a 37% increase compared to 2021.
Last year saw CBS Arena host 60 exhibitions, up from the 39 held in 2021, and provided the backdrop for a further 69 large conferences, 23 annual awards ceremonies and more than 230 small meetings.
CBS Arena also celebrated the opening of the new £6.3m (€7.1m/$7.7m) Commonwealth Convention Centre, which increased the indoor conference and exhibition space to 7,750 square metres.
“Set against the backdrop of a difficult year, our team has produced an extraordinary 12 months of business at the venue,” said Paul Michael, commercial director at CBS Arena.
“We have hosted a record number of exhibitions and have further positioned the venue as a leader in that sector, with new exhibitions launching with us including The Big Zero Show and Beauty UK.
“Now we have the certainty of our new ownership we are set for an even stronger 2023.”