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Arena Market: Paraguay

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Paraguay is one of Latin America’s sparkiest challenger markets, working hard to get onto the circuit that brings the biggest and best Latin and international shows.

In its favour is its positioning between Brazil to the east and Chile and Argentina to the west, as well as strong ties with promoters in such markets that have enabled the development of internationally focused festivals such as G5pro/DF Entertainment’s Asunciónico and Kilkfest.

“In terms of production, we are really, really close to the bigger markets.”

Solidly in the debit column are Paraguay’s landlocked remoteness, its weak economy, and modest population – it has around 7.4m people, of which 2m are in the capital Asunción and an estimated 600,000 are in the market for tickets. But Paraguay also has gumption, and it is pushing hard.

“Five or six years ago, we didn’t have any [equipment] here – we had to import everything from Brazil or Argentina – but now we have suppliers for everything,” says local promoter Rodrigo Nogues of G5pro. “In terms of production, we are really, really close to the bigger markets. The main difference with Paraguay compared to other countries is the ticket price. Our average ticket price is really low because of how our economy is.”

All of which is a roundabout way of saying that Paraguay only has one indoor arena – the state-owned, 5,500-capacity SND Arena (Secretaría Nacional de Deportes), which is in the centre of Asunción and provides a home for basketball, handball, futsal, volleyball, and other sports.

“We need a bigger venue… If we can build one, that is going to be a catalyst for the industry in Paraguay.”

Since undergoing refurbishment in 2018, it has hosted mostly Latin acts, though this year’s slate has A-ha and Louis Tomlinson on it, in addition to Uruguay’s Jorge Drexler and No Te Va Gustar, and Argentina’s Don Osvaldo and Andrés Calamaro. Bigger shows go to the Jockey Club, with its capacity of up to 80,000, as Puerto Rico’s Wisin & Yandel and Argentina’s Soda Stereo have recently done.

“We need a bigger venue,” says Nogues. “If we can build one, that is going to be a catalyst for the industry in Paraguay.”

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