Leeds First Direct Arena outsells its Sheffield rival

Have your say

Leeds First Direct Arena outsold Sheffield’s Motorpoint Arena by 40,000 tickets in the first six months of the year, despite having a similar number of shows.

Figures obtained by the Yorkshire Evening Post show the arena, which was voted best new entertainment venue in the world earlier this year, generated £10.6m in ticket sales in the first six months of the year with 36 shows, compared to £7.7m for Sheffield, which staged 34 shows.

Leeds is still some way behind Manchester’s Phones4u Arena, though - it sold 565,883 tickets from January to the end of June, generating £26.9m.

Leeds and Sheffield arenas both have capacities of 13,500, while Manchester is capable of seating 21,000 people.

The figures, obtained from industry magazine Pollstar, offer a detailed breakdown of sales for each show from January through to June.

They also reveal Leeds had a number of sell-out shows, including Prince’s gig on May 23, which was seen as a real coup for Leeds - it sold a total of 12,709 tickets and generated just over £1m in sales.

Other sell-out shows at Leeds included chart legends The Eagles on June 23, with 11,470 tickets, former Take That star Gary Barlow on April 3, with 11,889 tickets, while McBusted on April 30 sold 11,224 tickets at 99 per cent capacity.

The highest grossing one-night show in Leeds to June was Prince, which earned £1,026,745 , however Robbie Williams, who was the first solo artist to stage back-to-back gigs on consecutive nights on June 16 and 17, made £1,666,105.

Sheffield’s top earners for a single night gig was Justin Timberlake on March 30, which generated £784,770 from 9,826 tickets at 98 per cent capacity, followed by the Kings of Leon on June 17, which pulled in £636,165 from 11,043 at 83 per cent capacity.

Manchester’s top single night gig was The Eagles on June 25, which made £1.2m from 13,847 tickets, although crooner Michael Buble staged five sell-out shows at the arena and made £4.68m.

A spokesman for Leeds First Direct Arena said they did not normally comment on ticket sales due to various confidentiality issues with promoters.

Prior to the arena being built in Leeds, objections were voiced from Sheffield South Labour MP Clive Betts.

The area was funded partially from the proceeds from the sale of Leeds Bradford Airport in 2007, which netted Leeds City Council around £55m.

Since opening it has attracted some of the world’s top stars.

Regional Director of Northern Rail Sharon Keith, pictured at Leeds Railway Station..23rd March 2018 ..Picture by Simon Hulme

Rail chief pledges to keep Leeds and the North moving as two-day strike looms