At least 19 people were killed and 50 injured after an explosion took place on Monday night at the end of Ariana Grande’s concert at Manchester Arena. Police are treating the explosion as a “terror attack”. The 23-year old singer was performing in the arena as part of her “Dangerous Woman Tour”. In a tweet, Grande said that she is “broken” after the explosion. The “Break Free” singer also apologised to people. “Broken. From the bottom of my heart, I am so so sorry. I don’t have words,” she said.
Approximately 20,000 people attended Grande’s concert on Monday. Local police and emergency services were employed to help out the injured victims after the attack.
So what is the Manchester Arena?
Built in 1995, Manchester Arena, formerly known as MEN Arena, at Hunts Bank in Manchester city of England, is an indoor arena operated by SMG Europe. Situated in the northern region of the city, the arena has the highest seating capacity compared to any indoor venue in United Kingdom. It is also the second largest Arena in European Union, with a maximum seating capacity of around 21000 people. Over the years, by hosting several major national and international events, the arena has garnered the reputation of being one of the most busiest arenas in the world. As per their official website, it enjoys a crowd of approximately one million visitors every year. It also won the prestigious International Venue of the Year Award in 2007.
Apart from Ariana Grande, other noteworthy musical performances hosted at the arena included U2, The Rolling Stones, Madonna and Lady Gaga, among others. Gaga is set to return for another concert at this venue in October as part of her “Joanne World Tour”. Apart from live musical performances, the arena has seen some of the biggest sporting events including several 2002 Commonwealth Games’ events, international boxing bouts by Mike Tyson, Amir Khan, Koe Calzaghe and Anthony Crolla.
The 2012 Olympic basketball warm-up game between Great Britain and the United States also took place at this arena. US won the game by 118-78. The Manchester Arena, in 2016, also hosted Mixed martial event UFC 204, which featured UK’s own Michael Bisping successfully defending his Middleweight Championship against Dan Henderson.
Several live stand-up comedy acts have also taken place at the arena including the final performance of Peter Kay’s Mum wants a bungalow Tour in July 2003. Kay returned to the arena in 2010 for the first performance of his record breaking “The Tour That Doesn’t Tour” performance.
Most of the arena, is situated right above Manchester Victoria train station. But due to safety concerns, the station was closed after the attack and is expected to remain shut for the rest of the day.