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Arena Market: Italy

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With a capacity range of 5,000-16,000 people, Bologna’s Unipol Arena is a state-of-the-art venue that comes equipped with a truss structure of 1,300m2, eight screens of 6.70x5m, five luminous LED boards, nine bars for public access, and a VIP lounge with catering included. Having long established itself as a major point of reference for international artists, the venue’s general manager Andrea Raimondi expects a very positive outlook for 2023 and beyond.

“We’ll be hosting Björk, blink-182, Louis Tomlinson, and Greta Van Fleet, with many more being announced in the coming months,” says Raimondi. “We’ll also be hosting the opening match of the men’s European Volleyball Championships and the Davis Cup tennis tournament this year, which shows that the music and sports sectors continue to grow at the Unipol Arena.”

“We’ll be hosting Björk, blink-182, Louis Tomlinson, and Greta Van Fleet, with many more being announced in the coming months”

Raimondi also reveals several works that have been carried out on the venue over the past few years. “We completely renewed the audio system and equipped the arena with two resident delay systems that the producers now have at their disposal,” he says. “Furthermore, we replaced all the floodlight systems for the sports with an LED floodlight system made with programmable and dimmable lights, and we’ve made the backstage area bigger to make loading and unloading much easier.

In the next few months, Raimondi confirms that new halls will be built for spectators, and a new building will be finalised for hosting dressing rooms and catering for the producers. However, the biggest upgrade will come in the form of a renovation that will increase the concert capacity of the Arena to 18,000.

In Milan, the Mediolanum Forum experienced a record 2022/23 season, propelled by the popularity of the trap music scene, and the rising number of tours by young artists according to Giancarlo Sarli. “This directly resulted in an increased participation of our younger audiences,” says Sarli. “On the other hand, despite the everlasting popularity of heritage acts, the attendances of our older audiences have slightly decreased after the pandemic.”

“This directly resulted in an increased participation of our younger audiences,” says Sarli.

Over the years, the Mediolanum Forum – which will play host to performances by Björk, 5 Seconds of Summer, and 50 Cent this year – had also undergone several major improvements. Public areas such as refreshment points, toilets, and merchandising spaces have been refurbished, artists’ dressing rooms have been renovated. Prior to those works, a 5G antenna system was implemented with the goal of guaranteeing perfect connectivity within the arena. The renowned venue’s maximum capacity is also set to grow, with the authorisation process of increasing it to 15,800 (from 12,700) close to completion.

Having also recorded energy costs that have increased up to 300%, Sarli is also cognisant of the need to optimise consumption efficiency. “In the context of sustainability and energy efficiency of the Mediolanum Forum, we’ve also begun developing a project for the installation of solar panels on the entire roof of the venue,” he says.

ForumNet also manages Palazzo dello Sport – Rome, a dome-like structure originally designed for the 1960 Olympic Games. With a capacity of 11,500, it’s scheduled to host acts such as Croatian cellist HAUSER over the next few months.

The Pala Alpitour in Turin, which was built as a host arena for ice hockey during the 2006 Winter Olympics, is also one of Italy’s premier concert venues. The Live Nation-operated venue, which accommodates a maximum capacity of 18,500 and is recognised for its dedication to sustainability as an ISO 20121-standard arena, is set to welcome Sam Smith, Louis Tomlinson, Pooh, and Laura Pausini for their 2023 schedule.

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