Five firms have been shortlisted to build the £90M Bristol Arena.
Olympic Stadium builder Sir Robert McAlpine is in the hat for the 12,000 capacity venue in the South West.
London 2012 Handball Arena contractor Buckingham Group and Leeds Direct Arena firm Bam Construction will also compete for the Bristol scheme.
Construction giants Bouygues and Laing O’Rourke complete a hard hitting shortlist.
All five bidders attended a site visit this week, and will submit final bids next month.
Bristol mayor George Ferguson said: “This is the next key milestone in the arena programme and takes us one step closer to delivery.
“Bristol has waited over 20 years for an arena which will at long last play a key part in the regeneration of the Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone and will make a vitally important contribution to the local economy. For the winning contractor it will be great opportunity to work with us to help shape the face of our increasingly vibrant city.”
Architects Populous and Feilden Clegg Bradley have developed plans for the arena with engineering firm BuroHappold.
Two planning applications are due to be submitted shortly, one for the venue itself and the other for the future development of housing, business and leisure facilities nearby.