Rating Manual section 6 part 3: valuation of all property classes

Section 79: arenas

This publication is intended for Valuation Officers. It may contain links to internal resources that are not available through this version.

1. Co-ordination

The major arenas form a class dealt with by National Valuation Unit (NVU)

2. Special category code

SCAT code 014N should be applied to all hereditaments within this class

3. Background

The concept of the modern arena developed in the United States of America as an indoor sports venue, seating upwards of 10000 people. However sports use alone cannot provide a sufficient number of event days or finance to justify the construction of the extensive facilities required. The modern arena therefore needs to cater for other events such as

  • Concerts and opera
  • Exhibitions
  • Religious and political rallies
  • Product launches and musical events
  • Rallies and conventions
  • Other entertainments

In some cases the primary motivation for the development of the arena may be other than sport (for example the Metroradio Arena in Newcastle was developed primarily as a music venue), and in most modern arenas the sports events are just one in a wide range of uses to which the building is put.

Arenas are primarily run as profit making enterprises, though there may be Local Authority involvement in the development or running of the arena.

The first modern arena in the UK was the Birmingham International Arena constructed at the NEC in 1980, although this is now assessed as part of the NEC, whose primary category of occupation is as an exhibition centre, and therefore is not within the scope of this section.

Purpose built arenas have since then been developed in Cardiff, Sheffield, Newcastle, Birmingham and Nottingham, and London.

4. Description

In order to provide flexibility to house a wide range of events, and the speed to change, the arenas are characterised by a large single hall, with tiered seating around 3 sides. There is a large high central space which provides the flexibility to the hall, and can be used to provide an ice rink for shows or ice hockey, an indoor athletics track, exhibition space, or temporary seating for concerts. The fixed seating is supplemented by large amounts of temporary seating depending on the use of the whole. The fixed seating may contribute up to 40% of the total seating.

Catering facilities etc are arranged around the perimeter of the hall, often beneath the tiered seating.

These are large hereditaments with GIAs in the range 15000 to 35000 m2, and seating capacities (in Concert form) in the range 10,000 to 20,000 people.

The arenas appear to have taken the majority of the rock concert business from smaller venues such as the conference centres, and theatres, because of their large seating capacity. The primary competition for the largest concerts now comes mainly from outdoor venues.

6. Referencing requirements

Arenas should be measured to GIA. Details should be available on CAD and this should be used wherever possible

7. Method of valuation

Where there is rental evidence available on this class, this provides the appropriate method of valuation.

Because of the nature of these hereditaments, the rental information is extremely commercially sensitive and should be treated accordingly.

The contractors basis would be a method of last resort for arenas, since they are run primarily for profit.