Planning for the development of the Hyllie district of Malmö started with the announcement of the construction of a new railway station in Hyllie. Percy Nilsson, for whom Malmö Arena is the realisation of a vision, began planning in detail a super-arena to be sited in Hyllie, an endeavour which would subsequently come to fruition with the full support and cooperation of the City of Malmö.

In 2001, the City of Malmö had taken a decision that Hyllie would be Malmö’s top-priority urban development area. Construction rights for a shopping centre and residential areas and offices were granted to Steen & Ström, Scandinavia’s leading shopping centre development company, whose local development plan gained formal municipal approval in February 2006. Steen & Ström commenced construction of the Emporia Shopping Centre in February 2008, which is scheduled for completion in February-March 2012.

The construction permit for Malmö Arena was granted in September 2006 and the first earth was turned on 10 January 2007.

During 2007, the City of Malmö reached a decision regarding the name of the arena, whereby the City of Malmö holds the rights to the name Malmö Arena for a period of 5 + 5 years.

Malmö Arena was inaugurated on 6-7 November 2008 with a spectacular performance of "The Swedish Music Wonder". It is a known fact that for many years Malmö missed out on major touring shows and concerts simply because the town lacked an adequate arena in which to stage them – a circumstance that has now finally and firmly been laid to rest.