Leeds First Direct Arena sold 314,000 pints of beer in 2018 across 108 gigs

Florence & The Machine, playing at First Direct Arena, Leeds, UK, 15 Nov 2018 on the opening night of her High as Hope tour
Florence & The Machine, playing at First Direct Arena, Leeds, UK, 15 Nov 2018 on the opening night of her High as Hope tour
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Over half a million people visited the First Direct Arena last year and they certainly made the most of the bars.

7,000 bottles of prosecco and 9,000 cups of Yorkshire tea were sold to thirsty music lovers in 2018.

Jason Derulo plays at First Direct Arena, Leeds, UK, 30 Sept 2018

Jason Derulo plays at First Direct Arena, Leeds, UK, 30 Sept 2018

But beating a hot cup of tea and the bubbles was the classic British pint. Whether that’s a pint of beer, lager or cider, guests at the arena ordered 314,279 of them last year.

Visitors worked up an appetite too. The arena sold more than 11,000 hot-dogs and 19,107 portions of chips.

With more than 108 arena shows in 2018, it is safe to say that Leeds’s First Direct Arena had a very busy year.

The arena hosted stars such as Mariah Carey, Jason Derulo and 1980s band Madness.

Madness playing First Direct Arena, Leeds, UK, 6 Dec 2018 on their Sound of Madness tour

Madness playing First Direct Arena, Leeds, UK, 6 Dec 2018 on their Sound of Madness tour

It also hosted Kylie Minogue months before she was announced as the this year's Glastonbury main stage headline act.

Kevin Williams, marketing and communications at First Direct Arena, joked: “Glastonbury will be a bit of a let down after Leeds Arena but the crowd loved her when she played and I’m sure she will be amazing at Glastonbury too.”

However, it has not been all about the music. The arena hosted comedy gigs, sports events and family shows.

Managers at the arena said it has been one of their greatest and busiest years yet but they insist that 2019 is set to be even better.

Mumford & Sons playing First Direct Arena, Leeds, UK, 1 Dec 2018 on their Delta tour

Mumford & Sons playing First Direct Arena, Leeds, UK, 1 Dec 2018 on their Delta tour

Jen Mitchell, general manager of First Direct Arena, said: “There are things in the pipeline we can’t talk about yet but we’ve got some big artists from the UK and the United States already confirmed and we can’t wait. Cher is the big one for me. It’s rare you get to see her perform so it will be amazing.”

Mr Williams said: “I’d say the line up is amazing next year. My dream act next year would be Oasis but I know that’s a tough ask.

“We’ve had Liam and Noel separately this year, but to get them back together in Leeds would be out of this world.”

Already confirmed to play Leeds First Direct Arena in 2019 are Cher, Boyzone, George Ezra, Little Mix, Olly Murs, Westlife, Rita Ora, Russell Howard and Andrea Bocelli.