Production Park, the UK’s leading centre for the live events and creative industries, has revealed it is set to welcome back elite sport, as it prepares to host the majority of this year’s Netball Superleague games from its Wakefield campus.
The first half of the 2021’s Vitality Netball Superleague season - which involves a partnership between Sky Sports and England Netball - kicks off on February 12 and will be played in Production Park’s Studio 001 - Europe's first arena-sized production rehearsal studio.
The 80ft high facility, which towers over the Production Park campus, is one of the largest of its kind in Europe and is typically used by arena-filling bands to practice performances ahead of worldwide tours.
Every match of the season will be available on Sky Sports (Sky Sports Arena & Sky Sports Mix), the Sky Sports YouTube channel and the England Netball YouTube channel, with the first half of the season’s games held at the Park’s Studio 001 in Wakefield.
Each game will be played under carefully controlled and consistent COVID-19 protocols, bolstered with a season-long testing programme. The super-sized Studio 001 space provides everything under its 128 tonne-capacity roof, including an on-site hotel, cinema, green room, en-suite dressing rooms, and even catering and production offices.
The organisers predict the partnership will constitute the greatest visibility to date for the competition, with the deal ensuring the sport can continue to bring in new audiences and build on the recent growth in interest its enjoyed in recent years.
For Lee Brooks, CEO of Production Park, the past 12 months have been a year of two-halves.
He said: “We’ve had to be really dynamic in adapting to the circumstances Covid has thrown at us.
“The pandemic caused a sudden cancellation of audiences attending live events, which meant a subsequent pausing of rehearsals we had booked into our studio calendar. However, our team’s adaptable skillset, twinned with our versatile studios spaces, has meant that we’ve been able to diversify our offering.
“Since the pandemic’s start, we’ve hosted several streamed music gigs and elite sporting events, which has included professional boxing matches. They’ve all been extremely well received by artists, athletes, professional bodies and fans alike - which is why we’re delighted to welcome this year’s Vitality Netball Superleague to Production Park.”
Jess Rogers, Head of Superleague & Major Events, Vitality Netball Superleague, said: "We're really excited to be at Production Park's Studio 001 for the start of the Vitality Netball Superleague season.
“To be able to launch our elite domestic competition is down to the work and dedication of all involved. The facilities here at Production Park are exceptional and the team has gone above and beyond to make it all possible - it's the ideal venue for the start of our behind-closed-doors season. It's going to look amazing and we can't wait for everyone at home to be able to watch every single game on Sky Sports / Sky Sports YouTube."
The opening weekend featured 10 matches in total, and launched with Celtic Dragons’ clash with Leeds Rhinos Netball on Friday February 12, broadcast live on Sky Sports. The bumper weekend combined rounds one and two together, before the start of 'regular' rounds, each consisting of six matches.
Any businesses interested in hearing more about Production Park’s studio facilities should call - 01977 659 880 or visit www.productionpark.co.uk