YTL Arena update from Andrew Billingham

Once home to aviation icon the Concorde, the legendary Brabazon Hangars will now be transformed into the number one live destination for the South West, as YTL Arena Bristol CEO, Andrew Billingham, explains.

Andrew Billingham, CEO, YTL Arena Bristol, said:

We have been making good progress on the development of YTL Arena Bristol and are now entering the final stages of design and talking with major contractors.

Work has begun on key pieces of infrastructure required including new road connections, establishing new power supplies and site preparation works.

The train station at Brabazon is an important element and discussions continue on how this might be brought forward.

Given delays resulting from the impact of Covid and the general challenges in the construction market, our estimated opening is now late 2025 to early 2026. 

YTL is totally committed to opening Bristol’s first major indoor music arena and entertainment complex. We have been improving our design and have created the opportunity to increase the maximum capacity of the Arena from 17,000 to 19,000, with over 2,000 premium seats. 

We will have the region’s largest column-less exhibition and convention halls with 6,000m2 of floor area, height clearance of 21 metres and banqueting capacity for 4,000 people, together with a flexible hub for entertainment, film, TV and music rehearsals.

As both owner and operator of YTL Arena Bristol, our ambition has always been to create a vibrant and unique mix of bars and lounges in our design which showcase the very best of Bristol. That is why we have been working with Bristol based interior designers Studio B.

The Lobby at YTL Arena Bristol


Kyle Clarke, Founder of Studio B, said:

The highlight of our year was winning the YTL Arena work. Since we received the instruction, we’ve been completely consumed with designing selected spaces within the arena to completely blow the customer experience through the roof.

There isn’t another arena in the country that will come close. Huge hats off to the YTL Arena team for working with our relatively small, young, ambitious Bristol studio.

Together, we’ve got exciting plans to bring in other local artists and small businesses, harnessing Bristol’s endless skill and talent to ensure the arena feels proudly part of the city.

YTL Arena Bristol will be at the heart of a vibrant new community for Bristol, known as Brabazon.

Une Jurkstaite, Head of Experience, YTL Arena Bristol, was one of some 350+ attendees in attendance at ALSD International 2022, and also one of some 30+ industry executives sitting on the ALSD International Advisory Board. Check out the wrap video from ALSD International 2022 here.

In October 2022, YTL Developments received planning consent to build Brabazon Park, the largest new urban public park in the South West for over 50 years and the front door to YTL Arena.

Equivalent in size to Bristol’s Castle Park, this new landmark public space will span 15 acres, including a 2.5 acre lake surrounded by a floating boardwalk. There will be mature trees, lakeside coffee spots and outdoor exercise areas for adults, and an adventure playground for kids. Construction is planned to commence in 2023, with the Park due to open in sections from 2024.

Above & below: Hangar Bar East and a view into the arena bowl from a VIP suite

About YTL Arena Bristol:

YTL are repurposing the historic Brabazon Hangars, birthplace of aviation icon Concorde and Bristol Brabazon, into the number one live entertainment destination for Bristol and the South West. 

The three hangars are interlinked but each will offer their own unique experience for visitors. 

A fan experience like no other, YTL’s unique seating bowl has been designed to optimise sightlines, offering the audience an intimate experience, whether you’re watching a 4,000-capacity comedy gig or a 19,000-capacity rock concert. Every fan will have unforgettable experiences before and after a show, with a mix of vibrant bars, lounges and restaurants focusing on high quality, local food and drink.

The complex will also host exhibitions and trade shows in a large, flat floor, pillarless space and become a place for visitors to eat and play with year-round attractions and activities.

The spotlight is on sustainability, and it is YTL’s goal to create the most responsible and sustainable arena in Europe, and to be carbon neutral from day one. As a Retrofirst solution, repurposing the Hangars will save 18,600 tonnes of CO2 emissions from being emitted. 

The venue will be 100% electric, one of the first venues in the UK to operate without the use of fossil fuels, and 10,000m2 of solar panels covering the roof will generate green energy.

In May 2022, Queen + Adam Lambert’s – one of the biggest music acts in the world – made use of the vast space in the Brabazon Hangars to complete five days of full production rehearsals in preparation for their mammoth Rhapsody Tour

Queen + Adam Lambert were also the first artists to contribute to our glazed ‘Walk of Fame’, a unique feature in our Runway Bar which stores and showcase a series of time capsules.

Each clear-cased capsule will contain specially selected items and be carefully placed in the 100-metre-long channel which will be glazed so future audiences can encounter entertainment history beneath their feet.

Brabazon Park


About Brabazon:

Filton Airfield is steeped in history. Home to the Hurricane aircraft in WW2. Birthplace of Concorde and supersonic travel. Now a bold new vision will see Filton Airfield transformed into Brabazon, a thriving new neighbourhood for Bristol and a place that changes everything.

The 380 acres of the Airfield will become the most exciting new city district in the South West. You’ll be able to wander around independent stores, discover new restaurants or relax in leafy parks and open public squares. 

Inspired by a revolutionary airplane that became an icon of engineering, the 2,600 homes and creative workplaces at Brabazon will be a new home for Bristol’s next generation of pioneers. A place for enjoyment and entertainment. A centre of learning and a launchpad for business. A hub for industry and invention, with the new 19,000-capacity YTL Arena complex as its beating social heart. 

Over £100 million is being invested to improve local infrastructure: A new railway station will connect Brabazon to Bristol Temple Meads in less than 15 minutes and a dedicated metrobus will run straight to the city centre. The new neighbourhood will also be criss-crossed by walking routes and cycle paths.

Sports Venue Business organises and delivers ALSD International – the leading event & 365 community for the Premium Seat & Hospitality sector – on behalf of the Association of Luxury Suite Directors (ALSD).

The 2022 event featured a high-level conference, an exhibition showcasing industry-leaders, networking events and a very special tour of Tottenham Hotspur Stadium powered by THFC and Levy UK+I. Details on ALSD International 2023 to follow in the coming days…

#ALSDInternational – Europe’s leading event for the Premium Seat & Sports Hospitality sector

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