Monday, October 22, 2007

Entertainment Venue: Hull Arena

Hull Arena is the largest indoor entertainment venue in the City of Kingston Upon Hull, it is situated very close to the City Centre. It was opened in September 1988 as the Humberside Arena, and has recently been refurbished, so that it has a seated capacity of 2,000, it is owned by Hull City Council and is a part of Hull Leisure Group(Hull City Council, 2007).

The outside of Hull Arena
The venue consists of an Olympic sized ice rink, surrounded by tiered seating, executive bar, café, and gift shop (Hull Arena, 2007a). The arena is a recreation venue that offers both leisure pursuits and entertainment. In terms of leisure the core product is ice skating (it is a regional centre of excellence for ice sports), but in terms of entertainment Hull Arena offers much more, including spectator sports such as ice hockey and boxing, as well as being a live music and stage venue (Neylon, 2007). As a live music venue, Hull Arena attracts well known bands of international acclaim including The Kaiser Chiefs, Faithless, Keane, McFly and Robbie Williams(Hull City Council, 2007). As a stage venue it has played host to an array of different performances including World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and the Lipizzaner Stallions. Hull Arena also offers special ‘disco’ skating nights hosted by a resident DJ and is a venue that may be hired out for private parties – it is also used extensively by local schools as an ice-skating venue (Hull Arena, 2007b).
The Ice Rink
The diagram below is designed to demonstrate the different levels of entertainment product that Hull Arena has, from both the perspective of home of the Hull Stingray's (top half) and as a live music venue (bottom half). the core products in the centre are the key reasons why visitors seeking entertainment come to Hull Arena, the second level in blue denotes products that will have an impact upon the entertainment experience but are most likely not the main reason for visiting the arena, and at the tertiary level are support products which are produced by, or present at the arena which may have impacted upon the decision to visit the arena, or the time spent there, but are not at the centre of the entertainment experience.

The levels of product at Hull Arena

Hull Arena is the home of Hull Stingrays who are a professional ice hockey team and a part of the Elite Ice Hockey League (Hull Stingrays, 2007), Hull Stingrays origins (like the arena) go back to 1988 when Humberside Seahawks were formed, who after a chequered league and financial history finally became Hull Stingrays in 2003 (Strachan, 2007). Hull Stingrays are a major stakeholder in the arena and play all of their home fixtures from there, as well as training at the arena during scheduled hours on weekdays, fans may watch them train free of charge from the café, but during training periods the ice rink and tiered seating is closed to members of the general public.

Hull Stingrays practicing (click below to see video footage)

The majority of the arena’s 250,000 visitors per year come from within the Hull and East Riding of Yorkshire conurbation, as well as surrounding areas across the River Humber, out of this number it is estimated that 170,000 visitors per year are teenagers, although research by the arena has uncovered visitors aged from 2 to 102 (Hull City Council, 2007).
Hull Arena markets itself in a number of ways, including online, posters and 40,000 leaflets which are produced and distributed within the catchment area each year (Hull City Council, 2007), the leaflets are also an income generating mechanism as other companies are offered advertising space upon them. Being the home to an Elite Ice Hockey League team also attracts interest from the Broadcast Media, in particular local radio, and Sky Television who broadcast several games per season on one of the Sky Sports channels (Strachan, 2007). This publicity helps to attract a greater fan base from a city that has traditionally been associated with both football (Hull City FC) and Rugby League (Hull FC and Hull Kingston Rovers).

The DJ booth above the ice rink which is used on 'disco' nights

Hull Arena. (2007a) Guide to ice skating. (leaflet)
Hull Arena. (2007b) Hull Arena. (leaflet)
Hull City Council. (2007) Hull Arena. [Internet] Hull, HCC. URL available from: <,83223&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL> [Accessed 22nd October, 2007].
Hull Stingrays. (2007) Hull Stingrays Ice Hockey Club. [Internet] Hull, Hull Stingrays. URL available from: <> [Accessed 22nd October, 2007].
Neylon, C. (2007) Interview with Carol Neylon, Hull Arena Operations Manager, 28th September, 2007.
Strachan, R. (2007) Interview with Rick Strachan, Hull Stingrays Coach, 28th September, 2007.

1 comment:

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