While all the venues inside the Winter Gardens Complex have a rich history, none has a more colourful past than The Arena.

Adjoining the cavernous Empress Ballroom, The Arena opened in 1896 and was initially used as a lounge area and since the turn of the 20th Century is has had multiple uses and remains one of the most sought after venues.

Now decorated in a Roman style, its past guises have included The Indian Lounge during the 1920s until a fire ravaged the venue and it became The Planet Room in 1964.

With a capacity for around 1,000 people, it is ideal as a reception area before big awards ceremonies, The Arena’s size means it can be used for a variety of events and also used alongside the Empress Ballroom for multi-venue events. Accessible from the Floral Hall and the Empress, The Arena serves as a multi-purpose area for all types of events.

The Arena Accessibility

The Arena is located to the east from the Floral Hall and the Empress Ballroom is to the south east of the building. Lift accessible via the Ballroom foyer is available to the lower level of The Arena.

There are some clearly marked steps in this area which can be overcome by ramps with handrails on both sides. There are accessible toilet cubicles within the standard toilets next to the Ballroom.

For accessible bookings, use our dedicated access line and please make sure to explain your particular access requirements when you book your tickets.

Dedicated Access booking line: 01253 749273.

The Arena Events and Tickets

Unless otherwise stated tickets are available via TicketMaster UK, in box office or by calling 0844 856 1111, links are supplied from the individual event pages to the relevant booking pages.

In some instances, tickets may be available via different platforms.

You can see all of the upcoming shows for The Arena and all other Winter Gardens venues by visiting our What’s On page.

The Arena Seating Plans

The Arena is a multi-layout arena and changes for each event.  

Key Information

  • Capacity: 1000
  • Ideal For: Meetings, Presentations, Themed Events, Banquets, Cabaret Style Shows and Exhibitions

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