21 January 2008

Comfort in the Capital of Culture

With events already underway to mark its investiture as the European Capital of Culture, a rejuvenated Liverpool is emerging as a fresh, fearless 21st century city. The flagship Waterfront development at has as its centrepiece the Liverpool Echo Arena, a cathedral to music and entertainment which is certainly long overdue in a city of Liverpool’s size and musical pedigree.

Audiences at the arena will be treated not only to a fine line up throughout 2008 and beyond, but also to a comfortable seat and excellent sightlines thanks to Audience Systems. The multipurpose arena features a mixture of fixed and telescopic seating to give the arena owners all the flexibility they need to hold events as diverse as motocross, darts and concerts.

The age of the plastic bucket seat is far behind us, and modern arena audiences expect nothing less than complete comfort. On the other hand, arena operators still need seats to be tough. The upholstered Accolade chair, chosen for the arena, is the perfect remedy, with resilient plastic panels on the outside of the seats to minimise the ravages of energetic audiences enjoying anything from Westlife to wrestling. The chair is proving a popular choice for the new generation of super-venues – just two years old, it can already be found at Arena Riga in Latvia, the refurbished Bournemouth International Centre and the O2 Arena.

The Liverpool Echo Arena was designed by award winning architects Wilkinson Eyre, alongside design consultants Sport Concepts. Michael Lischer from Sport Concepts comments, “We chose to work with Audience Systems because of their flexibility in terms of the telescopic system, the speed of their installation and the quality of their product. I am very happy with the result.”

Audience Systems’ previous experience in the arena industry was also a key factor. Project Manager Peter Roberts from Bovis Lend Lease comments, “The installation went very well. I look after Manchester Arena and Audience Systems have done a good job with us there. And it’s very much the same story here.”

The good faith in Audience Systems’ abilities, and the close relationship between client and seating contractor really paid off when it came to installing the seating. With so many contractors on site, installing seating into an arena can be fraught with complications, as Audience Systems’ Project Manager Andrew Powell knows only too well. “This time it was clear that the client had faith in us to do a good job, and they simply let us get on with it,” he comments. “As a result the seating installation went without a hitch.”

For more details about the Kings Waterfront development, visit www.kingswaterfrontliverpool.co.uk

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