Sports Personality will be crowned in Yorkshire

Sports Personality 2012 winner Sir Bradley Wiggins
Sports Personality 2012 winner Sir Bradley Wiggins

A remarkable year of sport in Yorkshire will begin when the BBC Sports Personality of the Year is named in Leeds this December.

The 60th annual awards ceremony is being held in the city’s first direct arena, and will be beamed live to millions across the country.

Organisers are expecting a crowd of more than 12,000, including fans and stars from sport and beyond. Last year, 2012 Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins scooped the top prize.

And cycling is set to feature heavily again, as Yorkshire prepares to host the 2014 Tour de France Grand Départ on July 5 next year, with the first stage taking in the Yorkshire Dales, and finishing in Harrogate.

Barbara Slater, director of BBC Sport, said: “We’re thrilled to announce Leeds as the host city for BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2013.

“The sporting heritage of the city is second to none and this new arena is an ideal location from which to celebrate the figures who have shaped sport over the year.

“Despite it’s extensive history, this year it still set to see one of the most engaging and exciting awards yet. This year has seen several major events such as the World Athletic Championships, the Ashes, Rugby League World Cup and Women’s Euros and much more across all sporting disciplines; December 15 promises to be a great culmination of it all.”

The ceremony will see sporting heroes awarded in eight categories.

They are the overall Sports Personality award, the Overseas Personality, Team of the year, Lifetime Achievement, Coach of the Year, the Helen Rollason Award, Young Personality and the Unsung Hero award.

The 13,000 seat arena, due to be officially opened in September, is operated by SMG Europe.

John Knight, regional vice president for SMG Europe, said: “Our aim, which we share openly, is to bring the biggest, most significant events to the first direct arena.

“The BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards are iconic and we’re delighted to have this opportunity to showcase the city’s world-class new venue to the people of Leeds and a national television audience of millions.”

Ticket information will be available later in the year.