NIA renamed Barclaycard Arena after Â£26m refurb
Birmingham's National Indoor Arena (NIA) is to be renamed the Barclaycard Arena when it reopens in December following an 18-month £26m refurbishment.
It is part of the partnership agreement the payments business and the NEC Group signed in 2011.
Since opening in 1991, the NIA has become one of the busiest large-scale indoor sporting and entertainment venues in Europe. As part of the venue's substantial redevelopment all areas have now been upgraded, including a new glass façade overlooking the Brindleyplace canal side development.
Almost 65,000 sq ft of new pre/post show space has also been added, along with new food and drink options installed as well as seating.
The revamped venue will also offer contactless payment technology, which Barclaycard introduced to the UK, throughout at bars and catering outlets.
Barclaycard's involvement builds on its wider role in the music and entertainment industry, which includes current partnerships with the Mercury Prize, British Summer Time Hyde Park and, previously, the Wireless Festival.
Katherine Whitton, chief marketing officer at Barclaycard, said: "Birmingham is a thriving city at the heart of the UK and this project is both about recognising the important role it plays in the country's economy and supporting it in becoming a national destination for music and entertainment."
NEC Group chief executive Paul Thandi added: "The renaming of the NIA to the Barclaycard Arena continues to build and strengthen our partnership with Barclaycard.
"The new name reflects the enhanced and improved experience that the refurbishment will provide visitors, artists and promoters.
"The arena has a rich 21-year history in Birmingham, welcoming world-renowned singers, athletes, comedians and performers who all help to shine a light on what our city has to offer. The renaming is another historic moment in this and allows us to continue to be a world-class venue leading in providing the ultimate live experience."
The venue redevelopment forms a central part of Birmingham City Council's 'Big City Plan' – a 20-year vision to firmly position it as the UK's second city.
Michael Bublé will officially open the Barclaycard Arena on 2 December, playing two nights at the venue.