The UK’s newest arena venue, the first direct arena in Leeds, is to host the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year in its 60th anniversary.
The event will welcome sports VIPs and an anticipated live audience of 12,000 on 15 December 2013.
The venue, operated by SMG Europe is due to open officially this September and Director of BBC Sport, Barbara Slater, said: “We’re thrilled to announce Leeds as the host city for BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2013. The sporting heritage of the city is second to none and this new arena is an ideal location from which to celebrate the figures who have shaped sport over the year.”
Originally devised by Sir Paul Fox in 1954, the first ever ceremony was based at the Savoy Hotel, London with record-breaking runner Sir Christopher Chataway winning the major award.
“Despite it’s extensive history, this year is set to see one of the most engaging and exciting awards yet. This year has seen several major events such as the World Athletic Championships, the Ashes, Rugby League World Cup and Women’s Euros and much more across all sporting disciplines; 15 December promises to be a great culmination of it all,” Slater added.
On the announcement, John Knight, Regional Vice-President for SMG Europe, said: “Our aim is to bring the biggest, most significant events to the first direct arena.
“The BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards are iconic and we’re delighted to have this opportunity to showcase the city’s world-class new venue to the people of Leeds and a national television audience of millions.”
The first direct arena is part of a £60m project launched by Leeds City Council. Operated by SMG Europe, the arena is anticipated to bring an additional £25m into the local economy per annum.
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