According to the Birmingham Mail, heavy metal legends BLACK SABBATH opened the new five-star dressing rooms at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham, England prior to their appearance at the venue at the end of December.The dressing-room completion is a key milestone in the £26 million redevelopment of the NIA, which is scheduled to open in January 2015. The new NIA will feature better hospitality, food, drink, seating and a raft of other fantastic improvements. Phil Mead, managing director, Arenas, at the NEC Group, said: "It's really cool to have BLACK SABBATH — from Birmingham — 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. "BLACK SABBATH are the first artists to be in the new dressing rooms, and we wanted to celebrate their heritage with the city. They've signed the brand new artist and performer wall in the dressing room corridor, creating a piece of history." With the exception of one "intimate" homecoming show BLACK SABBATH played at Birmingham Academy on May 19, 2012, the dates at Birmingham's LG Arena (December 20) and National Indoor Arena (December 22) marked the first time the trio had played together in the city since May 2005. Fans from as far as Australia travelled to the concerts, with many queuing outside the venues for 12 hours before the shows began. Bassist Geezer Butler and lead guitarist Tony Iommi, who formed the band with singer Ozzy Osbourne in 1968, said Birmingham gigs are always the "most nerve-wracking" to play.
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