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Manchester Arena

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The Manchester Evening News Arena, managed and operated by SMG Europe, is one of the busiest venues in the World and the largest indoor arena in Europe. Opened in 1995, the M.E.N Arena has staged the biggest names in live entertainment from U2, The Rolling Stones, Madonna and Pavarotti to the record-breaking 2010 / 2011 residency by local comedian Peter Kay. Attracting over one million visitors each year, the 21,000 capacity Arena was named 'International Venue of the Year' in 2002 by industry publication Pollstar and has been nominated an unrivalled ten consecutive times.

M.E.N Arena Time Line

1995 - The venue is officially opened by Torvill & Dean who break the UK Box Office record for a single ice performance to over 15,000 fans

1998 - Ricky 'Hitman' Hatton beats Karl Taylor in his debut M.E.N Arena bout - the first of 14 fights at his hometown venue

1999 - The M.E.N Arena hosts the homecoming of Manchester United after they win 'The Treble'

2000 - Mike Tyson's UK debut fight at the Arena is watched by over 100 million people worldwide

2001 - Local band James perform their farewell show at the Arena - before returning with a sell-out concert in 2007!

2002 - The venue holds the 2002 Commonwealth Games' Boxing and Netball tournaments

2002 - U2 play to 19,384 fans, the biggest single audience of their European Elevation Tour. Bono declares the M.E.N Arena "the best concert venue in the country"

2004 - Madonna returns to Manchester for the first time since her 1980's British debut at the infamous Hacienda to perform two sell-out shows

2005 - Comedian Lee Evans breaks the Guinness world record for a solo act performing to the biggest comedy audience

2005 - Comedian Peter Kay, who used to work as a M.E.N Arena Steward, returns with his record-breaking "Mum Wants A Bungalow" Tour

2006 - Now an annual event, the first Versus Cancer charity concert is staged by Ex-Smith's member Andy Rourke

2007 - Kylie Minogue is crowned the biggest-selling solo artist in the history of the Arena after her January Showgirl Homecoming dates bring her total Arena performances to 17

2007 - Following their 11 shows in December, local band Take That become the biggest-selling act of all time with a total 27 M.E.N Arena performances

2008 - The Arena becomes the UK's first music and entertainment venue to host competitive swimming after staging the 9th FINA World Short Course Swimming Championships in April

2008 - The M.E.N Arena becomes Kylie Minogue's number one venue after official figures reveal the international pop star has performed more shows at the Arena - and to more people - than any other venue in the World

2009 - Peter Kay breaks box office records after all 20 nights for his 2010 spring residency sell out in an hour. The local comedian later announces he will return for an additional eight shows in 2011

2009 - Westlife announce they will return to the M.E.N Arena with two 2010 shows making them the biggest selling group (29 performances) in the history of the venue - surpassing the joint record held with Take That

2009 - The M.E.N Arena's summer family blockbuster Walking With Dinosaurs wins 'Best Family Show' at the Manchester Evening News Theatre Awards

2009 - The venue smashes attendance figures after welcoming over one and a half million ticketholders in 2009

2010 - The M.E.N Arena celebrates its 15th anniversary with a star-studded Birthday Bash featuring Alexandra Burke, Scouting For Girls, Pixie Lott, The Script, Beverley Knight, The Saturdays, special guest Peter Kay and many more

2011 - This summer sees the Manchester venue stage the World Premiere of Batman Live (July) and the European Premiere of Glee (June)

2011 - Kylie cements her position as the biggest selling solo artist in the history of the venue after her four 'Aphrodite Les Folies' April shows brings her total Arena performances to 27

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