Ahead of TheStadiumBusiness Design & Development Summit in Manchester in December, we caught up with Dan Boulger, Head of Venue Development at NEC Group, who is currently working on the Bradford Live project…
Bradford Live, a new 3,900-capacity arena, is scheduled to open in the Yorkshire city in 2024. The venue, which is being built on the site of the former Bradford Odeon, will host sports, music and comedy events.
The arena is being managed by the Bradford Live team and the Birmingham-based NEC Group. Once open, it will host more than 200 events each year.
Boulger has spent more than 11 years at NEC Group and has served as head of venue development since February 2021. He previously worked as mobilisation manager for the Bradford Live project.
TheStadiumBusiness: What’s exciting you in the field of stadium/arena design at present?
Dan Boulger: “Anything sustainability related. It should be our primary design focus in every area of life now, so to see existing venues phasing out gas and installing renewables is really positive.
“To see the new era of multi-function stadia and arenas being designed to minimise dark days, create brilliant premium experiences or incredible digital features whilst trying to get as close to being net zero carbon emitters as possible is exciting as it means our venues will be fit to entertain visitors for the next 30-plus years.”
TSB: What’s in the pipeline for Bradford Live over the next six to 12 months?
DB: “We will be opening the doors to the public in that period, marking the transition from planning and mobilising to event delivery and then preparation for being part of City of Culture 2025.
“The front of the building has already emerged from under scaffold and by the end of spring we will have the largest outdoor digital screen in the north on that elevation, showing commercial and creative content to Bradford’s City Park. Hopefully by the time we’re with you in Manchester we may have news of some of our first events too!”
TSB: What are you most looking forward to about the Summit?
DB: “It’s a great chance to not only keep up with the trends in the stadium and arena market, but also to hear from some of the innovative professionals we have in our industry who are delivering new product in venues across the world.”
Explore the future of entertainment venue design with Dan and hundreds of other stadium industry leaders, exclusively at #TDS23 at Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester on December 6-7.