Bam Construction has won the £55m construction contract for the Leeds Arena.
Laing O’Rourke, Sir Robert McAlpine and Bovis Lend Lease were also in the running for the prestigious job.
The project was granted initial planning permission last month.
Leeds City Council said the arena will protect 100 construction jobs as well as creating an additional 100 jobs for local residents with potentially 90 apprenticeships.
Leeds City Council leader Andrew Carter said: “The announcement of the preferred construction contractor is a huge step forward in this important development project.
“The development sector in Leeds has taken quite a few knocks recently, with a number of high profile projects being put on hold or cancelled and the positive impact of the arena construction simply cannot be underestimated.
“It provides a welcome boost for the construction sector during what are difficult economic times and, importantly, it will create jobs and provide training opportunities for local people – a win-win situation.
“We remain fully on track to deliver this project and we will work hard to ensure that the economic and social impact of the Leeds Arena is maximised when our economy needs it most.”
Work will start on the 13,500-seater indoor arena later this year, with the venue expected to be completed by Christmas 2012.