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Makeover for SSE Arena in Wembley following £10m deal with energy giants

PUBLISHED: 16:00 12 October 2014

A host of improvements have been made to the iconic venue (pic credit: Jan Nevill)

A host of improvements have been made to the iconic venue (pic credit: Jan Nevill)

Archant

The iconic Wembley Arena, which has been renamed the SSE Arena, Wembley as part of £10 million plus deal has undergone significant transformation. Reporter Myron Jobson took a tour around the famed site.

The SSE lounge is exclusive to existing customers (pic credit: Jan Nevill)The SSE lounge is exclusive to existing customers (pic credit: Jan Nevill)

From the Beatles to the Rolling Stones, celebrities have flocked to the site, formerly known as Wembley Arena, in Engineers Way, and given the performance of their lives in front of thousands of loyal fans.

The name change comes after US live music firm, AEG, which has been running the venue on Engineer’s Way since last year, agreed a deal in excess of £10million with one the UK’s biggest energy firms SSE.

Money from the agreement has been used to improve current facilities all aimed at bolstering the consumer experience.

The tagline of the improvement works is “optimisation while maintaining historic integrity” according to Sarah Niblock, sponsorship PR manager at SSE.

Times reporter Myron Jobson outside the VIP entrance offered to existing SSE customersTimes reporter Myron Jobson outside the VIP entrance offered to existing SSE customers

The grade II listing building was constructed in 1934 for the Empire Games. It was used for the swimming, diving, water polo and boxing events at the 1948 London Olympics before going on to host some of the biggest music talents,

Ms Niblock said: “This building has a wealth of history which should be celebrated that’s why improvements were made in a way which were sympathetic to the historical elements, while maximising the experience for guests.”

The entrance exterior has been spruced up and now features digital panels on the top half of the building -which is used to provide a novel colourful backdrop, as well as a medium to advertise the energy company.

The most notable change to the foyer is the addition of scores of memorabilia and nostalgic centrepieces on high-profile performances which has taken place at the popular venue in the past.

Other notable features include the erection of a massive ‘Hello Wembley’ sign opposite to the main stage –which is aimed to encourage acts to ditch the generic ‘hello London’ greeting.

SSE customers benefit from fast track entry and exclusive access to a new comfy lounge area, which features a private bar, a drop down television screen and a free to use jukebox which is connected to a wall of speakers.

Robert Lievesley, marketing manager at the arena, told the Times the London Designer Outlet which offers discounted retail shops, 15 restaurants and a nine-screen cinema, which opened in October last year, allows guests to make the most out of their experience.

He said: “The regeneration of the area has been beneficial for us. It allows guest to pop into nearby restaurants for dinner before attending a show at the SSE Arena.”


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