AO Arena is being filled with thousands of tonnes of dirt for a night of motocross racing and unreal stunts

The dancefloor has become a dirt track to make way for hours of non-stop gravity-defying and nail-biting carnage. Sold.

Danny Jones Danny Jones - 4th January 2024

Manchester’s AO Arena is being filled with thousands of tonnes of dirt ahead of a truly epic, high-octane night of dirtbike racing, freestyle motocross and stunts you’ll only be able to watch through your fingers.

Over 3000 tonnes, to be precise — all courtesy of the much-anticipated Arenacross Tour 2024.

That’s right: whether you can picture it or not, one of Manchester’s most iconic and beloved venues, where many of you will have watched countless gigs and live performances over the years, is set to be turned into one big dirt track, complete with giant makeshift ramps, jumps and more.

With the AO set to host one of the Arena‘s most action-packed and biggest nights of extreme sports in the UK for just the third time in the event’s history, fans can expect everything from seven-year-old racing starlets to top pros competing for coveted titles.

Can’t lie, was pretty wild just seeing this place slowly filled with heaps of dirt.

Taking two days to build from start to finish including moving the dirt, the multi-discipline motocross event’s visit to Manchester on Saturday, 6 January has seen a total of 5,000 tonnes shipped from Bolesworth Castle in Tattenhall, Cheshire — the home of the Arenacross Festival — to assemble the full track and all its various aspects.


Requiring huge 25 dump trucks working around the clock (we’re talking loading the dirt until gone midnight and hauling it to the city centre by 5am that same day), a core team of 60 people and plenty more Arena staff chip to bring this gloriously muddy and petrol-fumed wonder to life.

Now into just the second round of Arenacross British Championship, Mancs will get to see the likes of reigning Champion Tommy Searle and last year’s runner-up Conrad Mewse battling it out for the 2024 title, as well all lots of tricks and bikes flying over 60 feet high in the air.


More than 500,000 people have come along to watch these events over the past decade and, considering what’s on show, it’s no surprise.

The youngest motocross rider competing at the AO Arena this Saturday is a seven-year-old kid, if you can believe that.

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As you can see, it isn’t just about what people are doing on two wheels either: there’s plenty of pyrotechnics, light shows and general fanfare to be enjoyed.

It’s the only indoor event of its kind anywhere in the UK and with this being their 78th show and their 10-year anniversary year, the organisers are determined to make this Manchester date bigger and better than ever.


It’s been five long years since Arenacross last came to Manchester and they’ve shifted over a quarter of a million tonnes of dirt to bring this thing to life since it started. Even witnessing the mountains of dirt being dumped into the middle of a floor we’re used to dancing on was pretty surreal.

This is definitely one of those things where you need to see it to believe it, so if you’re interested in experiencing the only indoor motocross event in the country this Saturday, you can grab your tickets for the event HERE.

It’s the closest thing you’ll get to the X Games on this side of the Atlantic.

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Featured Images — AO Arena (supplied)