SMG Stalled By Leeds Venue Fight

Having beaten AEG, Live Nation, Global Spectrum and Logistik/GL in the battle to run a new arena in Leeds, SMG Europe’s plans appear to have been stalled while the local authority argues about who’s going to build the venue.

Montpellier Estates, one of two companies that failed in a bid to develop either a site at Holbeck’s Sweet Street or land next to Leeds United’s Elland Road soccer ground, is taking the city council to court.

Leeds City Council opted to build the arena at Claypit Lane, a site not originally shortlisted, because it felt it would be better value for money.

Claypit Lane was chosen as the preferred site for the 12,500-seat venue at a meeting of the council’s executive board in November.

“The Claypit Lane site brings all of the advantages of a city centre scheme,” deputy council leader Andrew Carter explained. “It will have a real regenerative impact to a key gateway into Leeds, it benefits from great public transport links and will complement the activities of the universities to create a real buzz in this part of our city.”

Montpellier released a statement confirming it has issued proceedings against Leeds City Council in connection with the competition to award the contract. The company says it wants to obtain information about the decision.

Montpellier has offered little comment but confirmed the proceedings involve the council’s decision to switch to Claypit Lane.