BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards show coming to Leeds

BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2012 winner Bradley Wiggins

BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2012 winner Bradley Wiggins

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The BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards show is coming to Leeds.

This year’s programme will be hosted at the city’s new First Direct Arena on Sunday, December 15.

And it will be the 60th anniversary of the ceremony which is expected to attract a crowd of 12,000 and a TV audience of millions.

Barbara Slater, director of BBC Sport, said: “The sporting heritage of the city is outstanding and the new arena will be a great venue from which to celebrate the very best of sport in 2013.

“The year includes major events such as the World Athletics Championships, the Ashes, Rugby League World Cup and Women’s Euros as well as a packed calendar across all sporting disciplines, so we’re looking forward to another exciting show.”

Gary Verity, chief executive of the Welcome To Yorkshire tourism agency, said: “This really does underline the county’s place at the heart of the country’s sporting life.”

The annual awards show was staged in London up until 2006, before heading out on the road.

Since then it has been held in Birmingham, Sheffield, Liverpool and Salford.

Information about tickets for the Leeds ceremony will be made available later this year.

The council-backed arena opens on July 24 with a Bruce Springsteen concert.

Outgoing Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has already become one of the front-runners to be named BBC Sports Personality of the Year for 2013.

Last year’s winner was cyclist Sir Bradley Wiggins.