Work on Cardiff Arena delayed as costs spiral by £100million

The venue is now expected to open in 2026

The completion date for the upcoming Cardiff Arena has now been extended to 2026. This comes as costs have increased by £100million.

The Live Nation and Oak View Group-led project was first announced back in 2020, and is set to be a 17,000-capacity indoor arena. However, it now appears that the completion date may take longer than expected, as inflation costs in construction have led to unseen expenses.

Originally, the finished venue was set to open its doors in 2025, although this has now been postponed by a year as costs have reportedly risen by 50%. The new estimate is £280million.


The upcoming venue will replace the existing Motorpoint arena – which has a lower capacity of 10,000. Further, the new building is expected to attract more than one million visitors and pump an estimated £100million into the local economy annually.

Despite the cost of the construction now spiralling by £100million, Live Nation has confirmed that it will continue to back the project. It has also stated that it has secured board level approval to cover the costs, and is working to decrease expenses by reviewing the design and reconsidering infrastructure requirements.

Venue in the UK
Venue in the UK. CREDIT: Gary Calton / Alamy Stock Photo

As reported by Access All Areas, the final contract for the development is predicted to be signed this summer and on-sight developments are expected to begin in January 2024.

Last month, upcoming arenas were put under scrutiny when pressures mounted, encouraging them to invest back into grassroots music spaces – or else not be allowed to open.

Launched by the Music Venue Trust, a 2022 annual report laid out the value of the sector and highlighted the danger that the UK economy faced if smaller venues did not receive support from arenas or other high-capacity locations.


UK Venue
UK Venue. CREDIT: Tim Robberts/ Getty Images

“I’m putting the music industry on notice: we are over the edge,” Mark Davyd, sharing the report at the Houses Of Parliament. “We’re not near the edge, we’re over the edge and we’re tumbling down. You need to throw a lifeline down. We can’t pay £79million a year to create the artists that are going to appear on your festival stages. It’s not possible for us to do that.”

He continued: “We have got to have a proper research and development arm in this country that supports new artists, develops their careers and brings them out of this. That is the responsibility of everyone in this industry, and it simply isn’t good enough to wait for a lone venue operator to take a chance on a new band.”

Currently, eight new arenas are being built across the UK, including the aforementioned arena in Cardiff and an upcoming YTL Arena in Bristol.

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