Belfast Telegraph

New £5m suite for Odyssey

By Clare Weir

Rihanna wasn't the only person doing some unveiling last week - the Barbadian superstar's high-profile visit to Northern Ireland last week coincided with the launch of the Odyssey Arena's new £5m corporate hospitality suite.

The 64-seat complex was put on show for the first time to a gathering of 120 business leaders at the opening of Rihanna's European tour and comes on the back of the announcement of a 15-year contract between the world's biggest arena operator, SMG, and the Odyssey Trust.

The arena has 24 corporate hospitality suites and the new West Suite include a contemporary bar, fine dining options and views of the stage from a private lounge balcony.

The contract is supported by a £5m joint investment, £2m of which has enabled the upgrade of the facilities within the arena, including the new West Suite, the refurbishment of 24 smaller corporate hospitality suites and the facelift of a number of public areas.

Odyssey Trust chief executive Robert Fitzpatrick said that the contract comes at an exciting time for the arena.

"The Odyssey Arena recently celebrated its 10th birthday and it is largely thanks to our strong partnership with SMG that it has become one of the world's best run and most successful arenas over the last decade, so a further 15-year extension of the contract is excellent news for Northern Ireland," he said.

"This year, the arena welcomed its six millionth visitor through its doors, making it the fourth busiest public attraction of its kind in Europe and, as the 2011 MTV European Music Awards fast approach and the Odyssey Arena prepares to put Northern Ireland at the centre of the world stage, this is a massively exciting time for us."

Belfast Telegraph