Belfast Telegraph

Odyssey agrees new long-term deal

A long-term deal has been reached between the charity which runs the Odyssey Arena and the world's biggest venue operator.

The renewed contract between Odyssey Trust and SMG includes a £5m investment upgrade of the complex.

The 15-year contract comes into effect on December 3 - the 10th anniversary of the arena's opening.

SMG Europe runs major sports and entertainment venues in the UK and Europe, controlling 75,000 seats in nine facilities.

Odyssey Trust chief executive Robert Fitzpatrick said that SMG has made the Odyssey Arena one of the best run and most successful arenas in the world.

"What we've achieved together in this new contract will keep the Odyssey Arena in its premier position and even build further on that success," he said.

"This is a great result for both parties and puts one of Northern Ireland's most important public assets on a very firm footing for the future - without any public subsidy or funding."

SMG Europe managing director, John Sutherland added that Belfast will continue to attract some of the most popular shows anywhere in the world.

"This new deal also recognises the commercial success of the Odyssey Arena in the first 10 years. It also allows the opportunity for new investment to maintain the venue's position as one of the most attractive arenas in Europe for artists to play and the public to enjoy," he said.

The renewal of SMG's contract follows news that the neighbouring Odyssey Bowl will reopen this month after it was placed into liquidation in June.