The concept for Leeds arena was to provide a landmark venue in the centre of the city. The arena draws on the heritage of the city and its musical history to provide a focal point for the city and the region.
The venue has been designed for performance entertainment and is configured in a "super theatre" layout with a large fan of seating looking into the stage. This configuration has been optimised to reduce the distance between the audience and the performer and therefore increases the intimacy of the venue. This configuration also allows the volume of the arena bowl to be minimised, reducing the reverberation time within the space and allowing the venue to accommodate high impact amplified music with clarity.
The lower tier of seating can be removed to allow for an increased floor area which is accessed from the main entrance foyer to provide a natural flow from the external to the internal of the building. The city centre site is surrounded by high rise residential and business accommodation. The environmental impact of the arena has been carefully studied and the envelope of the building has been designed to allow for high impact shows to happen inside the arena whilst nearby residents are undisturbed.
The venue represents a focused response to the city's desire for a modern landmark music venue.