FMC nets £60m deal for Arena hospitality

Hospitality provider FMC has beaten off stiff competition to secure a deal worth more than £60m to run the exhibition, banqueting, concert and catering operations at the forthcoming Arena Coventry complex.

The ten-year contract is centred on the Arena itself, which is part of a £113m scheme comprising a 32,000-seat stadium, which will be home to First Division football club Coventry, retail, casino and entertainment.

The complex will also house an 8,500 sq m exhibition and events hall that will hold 6,000 people for concerts.

The NEC had been in talks with the neighbouring complex for the hospitality contract but Arena Coventry chief executive Paul Fletcher felt it was necessary to widen the tender process.

"Only 10% of our business will be derived from exhibitions and therefore we had other, wider considerations," he said. "We are more than happy that the new deal will satisfy all those diverse needs."

The first phase of the Arena, consisting of the stadium, exhibition halls, conference centre and banqueting facilities, will be completed by August 2005.

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