The Utilita Arena, formerly Metro Radio Arena, is a sports and entertainment venue ranked as 7th of the world’s busiest venues by Pollstar magazine. It is the largest concert and exhibition venue in the North East.
The venue is sponsored by Utilita Energy and hosts music, sports, business and entertainment events. The most notable events that take place here are professional basketball and ice hockey matches. The first ice hockey team to take residence in the arena was the Whitley Warriors in 1996 and later occupied by the Newcastle Cobras. It has been averaging crowds of 3,000 in the arena and holding 6,500 people while basketball fixtures are hosted.
Other events that take place in the venue are conventions such as the annual convention of Jehovah’s Witnesses, which average to an attending of 7,000 people each year. There is Nations Cup snooker, Davis Cup tennis and world championship boxing that takes place here and stage shows such as Disney on Ice, Les Miserables, Teletubbies and the X-Factor.