January 2014 saw a symbolic milestone in the project, as local lad Ozzy Osbourne brought his band back to the venue as the first act to use the new five-star backstage facilities.
As Phil Mead, Managing Director, Arenas at the NEC Group said at the time: “It's really cool to have Black Sabbath open our new dressing rooms at the NIA, at such an exciting time for the redevelopment. We've got one year to go until opening season 2015 and building work is on track.”
A terrific seal of approval for the work completed in phase 1.
The NIA, now renamed the Barclaycard Arena, was officially opened with a memorable performance by global superstar Michael Bublé, and audience impressed with the new world-class arena.