The name of Sheffield's arena has changed – and this is why

The name of Sheffield’s biggest indoor entertainment venue has changed after being known for three years as the FlyDSA Arena.

Wednesday, 20th January 2021, 12:02 pm
Updated Wednesday, 20th January 2021, 2:13 pm

The building in Attercliffe is again called Sheffield Arena following the end of Doncaster Sheffield Airport’s deal for the venue’s naming rights, which was signed in 2017.

References to ‘FlyDSA’ are now being removed from the arena’s branding and promotional materials.

Simon Bailey, the venue’s marketing manager, said: “Doncaster Sheffield Airport's partnership with Sheffield Arena was a three-year naming rights deal that concluded at the end of 2020.

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Sheffield Arena with its FlyDSA sign.

“The venue is currently changing venue references back to Sheffield Arena.”

The 13,600-capacity arena was built for the World Student Games at a cost of £34 million and was officially opened by The Queen in May 1991, meaning the place will mark its 30th anniversary this year.

It was called Sheffield Arena until 2002, when a rights agreement meant its name became the Hallam FM Arena up to 2007. Then, from 2010 to 2015, the venue was known as the Motorpoint Arena. The arena reverted to its original name in between the different deals.

Mr Bailey indicated that a new naming rights sponsor was being sought to follow the airport.

“We hope to be able to announce a new partner once we have a reopening date for the venue,” he said.

The coronavirus pandemic and the associated restrictions on public gatherings has put the building out of action for live events, but it is set to be used as a temporary mass vaccination centre for Covid-19 jabs, while its car park was used for a drive-through blood test service in 2020.

In November a study found that cancelled events at the arena would cost the local economy £15.2 million between March 2020 and March 2021.

Sheffield City Trust, the arena’s operator, reaffirmed its commitment to the venue in a statement earlier this month.

“We can confirm categorically that there is no plan for the permanent closure of the Sheffield Arena,” the trust said. “We are already scheduling and going on sale with events in 2021, 2022 and beyond.”

Home to the Sheffield Steelers ice hockey team, the venue is normally used for major concerts and other spectacles like Disney On Ice.

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a digital subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.