Ahead of TheStadiumBusiness Summit 2022Martin Ingham, chief executive of National Ice Centre & Motorpoint Arena Nottingham, discusses how the venues have fared following their reopening amid COVID-19, along with what is on the agenda moving forward.

Ingham has worked for National Ice Centre & Motorpoint Arena Nottingham for over two decades, firstly as deputy chief executive/finance director from 2001 through to December 2016, before becoming CEO.

He also served as chairman of the National Arenas Association, from January 2016 to December 2018, and deputy chairman from January 2019 to January of this year.

TheStadiumBusiness: How is the reopening/return of fans going for the Motorpoint Arena and National Ice Centre?

Martin Ingham: “The return of shows has been strong since we reopened in September 2021, but particularly so since the start of February.

“In our financial year April 21 to March 22 we had 82% of our normal Arena business in just seven months of operation (six if you discount January which had no shows in the post-Christmas confidence crisis).

“We have had record levels of Arena business for each of the months of February, March, April and May as we work through the backlog. It’s particularly pleasing to see the fans back properly, letting their hair down, spending money and the number of no-shows dwindling to pre-COVID levels.”

TSB: What’s on the roadmap for the venues over the next six to 12 months?

MI: “It will be busy in May but then quieter through the summer as nearly everyone heads outdoors, but probably not as quiet indoors as usual as there are some big shows rescheduled.

“But from September we are seeing a level of bookings ahead of typical levels and that is projected to continue through into Q2 2023 – although still a strong emphasis on UK artists and probably fewer international acts than we might have expected.”

TSB: What are you looking forward to most about the Summit?

MI: “As always it’s about networking with your peers, mixed in with finding out what’s new in the marketplace and trying to find ways in which best practice elsewhere and exciting innovations can be applied in our own venue.

“But of course there’s no substitute for meeting in person and sharing the stories and the laughs that make this industry what we love.”


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