First Look: The SSE Arena, Wembley reveals new revamp

John Drury, general manager at The SSE Arena, Wembley, has told Event the venue is ready to showcase its new look as a sponsored space, despite not planning a grand reopening.

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Drury told Event: "It’s not a new build, and we had to organise everything around the events already planned in our existing programme so couldn’t pinpoint a date that we officially became The SSE Arena, Wembley. It’s been a gradual process, but we’ve focused on this quarter as the time to introduce the partnership."

The UK energy company signed the ten-year naming rights for the arena after a negotiation process with AEG Global Partnerships back in April this year. Drury explained the partnership has seen a revamp of the venue’s technology, with the installation of LED screens throughout the concourse and foyer.

Two new lounges for guests and ticket-holder upgrades have also been revealed, including the branded bright green Heineken Lounge as well as the SSE Reward Lounge, which is available to customers registered with the energy supplier.

SSE have also introduced a group of SSE ‘energisers’, who will be on-hand to help and surprise guests. "They’re there to help with the finer touches," said Drury. "But they’re there for all customers, not just those registered with SSE."

He added response to the changes has been "very positive", despite some initial resilience from the general public towards the renaming of the iconic venue. Drury stated that SSE has been careful to respect the arena’s history, displaying old black and white posters and memorabilia from legendary events in the foyer.

"Wembley is still in the name, and the famous ‘Hello, Wembley’ phrase has been embraced by SSE in its signage – which is also important to us and the artists who perform here," Drury said.

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