It has been turned into a building site as work ploughs forward on its transformation.
And now workers are racing to get the first phase of Birmingham’s landmark NIA ready for its rebirth in time for the venue’s next show in September.
More than 150 workers descended on the venue at the start of the summer to begin the £24 million revamp of the iconic venue.
They are just weeks into the two-year project but they have already demolished walls, ripped out the old control room and started dismantling the dressing rooms.
Bosses at the NIA want the backstage area work completed by mid September to ensure the host of musical stars and their entourages visiting the venue over the coming months have the best experience possible.
These include the likes of Bruno Mars, Joe Bonamassa and Jay-Z.
The teams have already started the complicated process of moving the control room which operates the venue’s security systems, heating, lighting and safety systems including fire alarms.
New dressing rooms are being built which will have the feel of a five-star hotel. The stars and their teams will also have a new kitchen and eating area.
Workers have also started to demolish walls to make way for the new storage areas, retail units and food outlets which will now also be on the first floor as well as the second.
Work has already started on the 200 extra toilets which will cater for the thousands of visitors who descend on the arena for each show.
Site manager from Bam Construction, Stephen Roome, said: “We do have a lot to do, but there is plenty of time and everything is on track.
“Once the NIA is reopened we will continue to work on the exterior of the building, behind hoardings and out of sight.”
Throughout the winter and into next year the work will include extending the building line to create a larger glazed area at the front of the venue.
Work will also start on constructing new entrances and steps leading into the building and creating a large concourse.
Two mezzanine floors will also be installed to create a lounge and bar area for sponsors. In all, once the work is done, the public space area will be increased by 59,202 square feet.
Next summer the NIA will be closed once again, and the workforce will rip out the old seats which have been in the venue since it opened in 1991.
New seats will be installed with an extra three inches of leg room for the visitor.
The dramatic 85-foot high sky needles will also be erected on top of the venue.
General Manager of the NIA Guy Dunstan said: “The aim is to make the NIA much more comfortable for the visitor.
“This work will reduce queues, make it much easier for people to buy food and drink and make it feel less crowded.
“The NIA will also feel modern, and look dramatically different.
“The concrete will be gone and instead it will be glazed, creating light and a feeling of space.”
Bosses at the NIA are also planning to change the lighting system and stage area within the arena itself to create more room for the audience.
Mr Dunstan said the plan would hopefully increase capacity in the arena by 1,500 people.
He said: “This is something we will do at the end of the revamp.
“We will move the mother board which runs the sound and lighting system back, which means we can alter how the stage fits in creating more room for audience members.”