Place strategy

Greater Manchester’s Nerf attraction to open in summer 2023

Trafford Palazzo will house the UK’s first Nerf Action Xperience, a 35,000 square foot indoor entertainment center with multiple sports arenas.

The attraction centers around Nerf, a Hasbro-owned toy brand that includes foam dart blasters. A similar venue opened in Singapore in 2019.

Branded Build Company, based in York, is leading the design and theming of the Trafford NAX.

When it opens next year, the family attraction will be divided into three areas: competition, sports and training.

The competition area will include three immersive arenas where guests can “battle”. The Sports segment will host Nerf-related challenges for a variety of sports, including basketball and soccer. The training section will allow you to work on a particular skill to become a Nerf pro.

Image showing what the sports section of the attraction might look like. Credit: via Roland Dransfield

Archie’s Burger Restaurant will also partner with NAX to provide customers with a space to refuel between play sessions. Archie’s will also be responsible for delivering children’s parties to NAX.

“The NERF Action Xperience in Manchester is an immersive, action-packed experience for families and Nerf fans of all ages,” said Matt Proulx, Vice President of Location-Based Entertainment at Hasbro.

Hasbro has teamed up with Salford-based Rocafella Leisure Group to bring NAX to life, along with owners of Trafford Palazzo, Peel L&P.

Peel’s executive director of investment and property management, Mark Whittaker, said the team was “really thrilled” with NAX on board.

“The brand aligns perfectly with all existing operators and I’m sure it will be extremely popular with visitors old and new,” said Whittaker.

“Over the past year, we have been focused on developing an activations and events strategy within our mall that has generated tremendous interest and demonstrates the power of creating experiences for customers. in a business environment,” he continued.

“We are excited to expand our strategy and offer new experiences to bring spectacular collaborations to Trafford Palazzo.”

Nerf Action Xperience Rocafella Leisure Group and Peel p Roland Dransfield

NAX is expected to open next summer. Credit: via Roland Dransfield

Word that Nerf was looking to open an attraction in Manchester has been swirling around since last year when plans for a laser battle site were submitted to Trafford Council. This was when Trafford Palazzo was still known as Barton Square.

According to Chris Hayes, Managing Director of Rocafella Leisure Group, getting the project to where it is now has been a huge effort on the part of the Rocafella team.

Hayes described his vision for NAX.

“We want NERF Action Experience to become a leading brand in the world of family entertainment and leisure attractions,” he said. “Offering something different for the people of Manchester and beyond to visit during the week, weekends and during holidays.”

“We are delighted to work with such a forward-thinking owner who has been instrumental in sharing our vision in bringing this to the North West capital.”

The Trafford NAX will be the first of several to open in the next five to 10 years, Hayes said.

Nerf Action Xperience Rocafella Leisure Group and Peel p Roland Dransfield

Visual showing what NAX might look like when it opens. Credit: via Roland Dransfield