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Building(s) for the future: Introducing the new arenas

As the live entertainment industry prepares for what could be the busiest years in its history, IQ looks at some of the new area projects that promise to take indoor shows to the next level. From Oak View Group’s groundbreaking Climate Pledge Arena to MSG’s spheres in London and Las Vegas, below you’ll find an extensive guide of the arenas set to open in the next five years and beyond.

 

2021

Climate Pledge Arena (Seattle, US)
Oak View Group
Naming sponsor: Amazon
Purpose: Sport and live entertainment
Opening date: October 2021
Configurations: 18,100 total. Capacities for different events will vary
Cost to build: $1billion (€0.85bn) of private investment
Design: Populous. McLennan Design advised on green/ sustainability features
Partnerships: Amazon’s The Climate Pledge, Alaska Airlines, Coors Light, Symetra, Virginia Mason Franciscan Health, WaFd Bank, Verizon and Ticketmaster
Special features:
■ Expected to be the first net zero carbon certified arena in the world and will harness the power of sports and entertainment to inspire change on the climate crises.
■ OVG has respectfully retained the iconic roof of the Seattle Center Coliseum, originally built for the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair and designed by renowned architect Paul Thiry.

“There is no question that the state of our planet is a critical issue for all of us. We have a responsibility to future generations to try to leave them with a better world. We love that Amazon is using its naming rights for a cause we care deeply about – this partnership is a visionary step for the facilities business and sport and music industries. Our goal is to be the most progressive, responsible, and sustainable venue in the world. It is not just about one arena – it’s a platform for us to step up and heal our planet.” – Tim Leiweke, CEO, Oak View Group.

“[Climate Pledge Arena’s] goal is to be the most progressive, responsible, and sustainable venue in the world”

UBS Arena (New York, US)
Oak View Group
Naming sponsor: UBS signed on for a 20-year naming rights deal worth $250million (€213m)
Purpose: Made for music and built for hockey
Opening date: Autumn 2021
Configurations: 18,500 total. NHL capacity: 17,000. Concert capacity: 18,500
Cost to build: $1.5bn (€1.3bn)
Design: Populous
Partnerships: UBS, Northwell Health, Verizon, Heineken, Dime and Ticketmaster
Special features:
■ State-of-the-art sound system that leverages sophisticated engineering acoustics to amplify the audio experience.
■ The first venue of its kind in New York to be eligible to achieve certification under the LEED V4 Building Design + Construction rating system while featuring state-of-the-art sustainable technology.
■ Arena displays will include the largest scoreboard in New York with industry-leading high-definition technology and two levels of high-resolution LED ribbon boards.
■ The utilisation of the Verizon 5G Ultra-Wideband network.

“We like to call this arena ‘the next most famous arena for the next century’. It will be the last great arena that will be built in all of our lifetimes in the New York City area. – Tim Leiweke, CEO, Oak View Group.

“UBS Arena will be the last great arena that will be built in all of our lifetimes”

Coca-Cola Music Hall (Puerto Rico)
ASM Global
Naming sponsor: Coca-Cola
Purpose: Coca-Cola Music Hall has a flexible and innovative design that will cater to a wide range of events, including concerts, family shows, boxing matches, corporate events, and much more
Opening date: 14 August 2021
Configurations: Up to 5,000 guests
Cost to build: $40m
Programming: Beatriz Colón
Special features: Coca-Cola Music Hall is the first medium-sized venue in Puerto Rico.

 

2022

MTS Live Arena (Moscow, Russia)
ASM Global
Naming sponsor: MTS (Mobile TeleSystems PJSC)
Purpose: Music, sports (basketball, MMA, etc), corporate events
Opening date: Q1 2022
Configurations: Standing floor, seated lower bowl, suites, upper bowl; or all seated; or banquet tables on the floor, seated lower level, suites, upper bowl
Cost to build: TBC
Design: HOK, Gensler
Financial backers: Private investment
Programming: AEG and ASM Global
Special features: Best rigging capacity in the country: up to 200 tons in total with a 4.5 ton point load
Partnerships: Ticketland (ticketing company owned by the naming rights partner); Bose (sound equipment); Compass Group (venue-wide catering); and AB InBev/Efes, L-wine, and Ahmad Tea (beverages).

“We are confident that a thriving, beautiful city like Moscow needs this one-of-a-kind new venue, which will be in demand for all European tours once the business is back to normal. No expense has been spared to create the world-class amenities and ultimate convenience for the artists and the fans.” – Rick Krezwick, ASM Global.

“We are confident that a thriving, beautiful city like Moscow needs this one-of-a-kind [MTS Live Arena]”

Swansea Arena (Swansea, Wales)
Ambassador Theatre Group
Naming sponsor: TBC
Purpose: Live music, comedy, theatre, sports, e-sports and conferences
Opening date: Early 2022
Configurations: 2,151 seated. 3,500 seated/standing. 2,500 standing only. 750 seated in section separated by auditorium wall
Cost to build: The Swansea Arena forms part of the £135m (€158m) Copr Bay phase one district that also includes a 1.1-acre coastal park, a landmark bridge, new homes, car parking and spaces for leisure and hospitality businesses
Design: Friedrich Ludewig of Acme
Financial backers: Swansea Council and the Swansea Bay City Deal. The Swansea Bay City Deal is an investment in nine programmes and projects across the Swansea Bay City region. It’s funded by the UK Government, the Welsh Government, the public sector and the private sector
Programming: Ambassador Theatre Group
Partnerships: TBC
Special features: Over 1,600 gold-coloured panels are being fitted around the outside of Swansea Arena, complete with over 95,000 LED lights. These will enable the screening of the light shows, as well as the potential to promote upcoming shows, concerts and other events.

“Located within touching distance of our world-class seafront, Swansea Arena will be among the best facilities of its kind. The stunning, gold-coloured LED skin surrounding the attraction also means the arena is in keeping with the digital age, with top quality Wi-Fi being made available there for visitors too.” – Councilor Rob Stewart, leader, Swansea Council.

“Ambassador Theatre Group is incredibly excited to be operating the brand-new state-of-the-art Swansea Arena. Not only because we are able to play a part in the incredible regeneration that is happening in the city, but to also bring artists and events to the area that have never had the opportunity to before. The venue is incredibly flexible and can host a great range of shows and events – we can’t wait to get the doors open!” – Lisa Mart, general manager, Swansea Arena.

“Located within touching distance of our world-class seafront, Swansea Arena will be among the best facilities of its kind”

Coachella Valley Arena (California, US)
Oak View Group
Naming sponsor: TBD
Purpose: AHL Hockey, concerts, and family shows
Opening date: Autumn 2022
Configurations: 11,679 for concerts, 9,918 for hockey, 10,815 for basketball and other sporting events. The lower bowl of the venue will seat close to 8,000
Cost to build: $290m (€247m)
Design: Populous. McLennan Design advised on green/ sustainability features
Financial backers: Privately financed by Oak View Group
Partnerships: Ticketmaster, Live Nation, Verizon, Alaska Airlines
Special features:
■ 300,000-square foot arena.
■ 20 suites.
■ A 145-capacity private club.
■ A pair of VIP clubs and a premium concourse club that seats 590.

“[Moody Center] should be the first place the biggest bands in the world want to play”

Moody Center (Austin, US)
Oak View Group, Live Nation/C3 Presents
Naming sponsor: Moody Foundation
Purpose: Live music, family shows, community events and sports Opening date: Spring 2022
Configurations: 15,000+ seat venue with the largest event floor in the US
Cost to build: $338m (€228m)
Design: Gensler
Financial backers: Privately financed through a partnership between Oak View Group, Live Nation/C3 Presents, actor Matthew McConaughey, and the University of Texas at Austin
Programming: Live Nation in conjunction with subsidiary C3 Presents
Special features: Designed specifically for concerts, this modern arena will provide state-of-the-art amenities and top-tier hospitality for artists and fans.

“As a proud alumnus and professor at the University of Texas, I’m honoured, now as minister of culture, to convey what a special place the university and the city of Austin are through the design and hospitality of the new Moody Center. It should be the first place the biggest bands in the world want to play, but the last place a visiting basketball team wants to play.” – Matthew McConaughey.

Tech Port Arena will have a first-class in-house sound system

Tech Port Center + Arena (San Antonio, US)
ASM Global
Naming sponsor: TBC (imminent)
Purpose: The Tech Port Arena will host national touring concerts, comedy, Ted Talks, regional/national conferences, product launches, and regional/national/international e-sport events supporting the aerospace, cyber security, and robotics tenants located at Port San Antonio.
Opening date: April 2022
Configurations: The arena will have 3,200 seats on two levels that will include 1,200 retractable seats that can host GA full-floor shows, seated configurations, and banquets.
Cost to build: $60m
Design: RVK Architects
Financial backers: American Triple I Partners, Port San Antonio
Programming: ASM Global will operate the venue and it will be an open venue to all promoters. Tech Port will co-promote or buy direct from agents.
Special features: ■ Tech Port Arena will have a first-class in-house sound system, 60’ LED wall for performances, and a lighting system that will include a 7.1 surround sound system in the arena for conferences, e-sports and music events.
■ Tech Port Center and Arena will also have a seven-day-a-week restaurant and bar experience to support the 15,000 employees that work at Port San Antonio, which will have live bands and DJs hosting after-hours events and festivals.
■ E-sports will be a large part of the complex, which will have a LAN centre and the first e-sport-focused, 60 station, LAN/Arena complex built in the US.
■ The building will be the first test site for the Genesis Water System, which converts air to water and will be a lifesaver for millions of people around the world looking for water in any environment.
Partnerships: TBC

 

2023

Co-op Live (Manchester, UK)
Oak View Group
Naming sponsor: A 15-year partnership with the Co-op to bring one of the most planet-friendly arenas in Europe to east Manchester
Purpose: Live music, sports, comedy, awards, and family entertainment events
Opening date: 2023
Configurations: 23,500-capacity, making it the UK’s biggest venue
Cost to build: £350m (€409m), 100% privately financed
Design: Populous
Financial backers: Oak View Group and City Football Group (CFG) are equal joint venture partners and investors in Co-op Live, along with Harry Styles as an investor
Partnerships: Ticketmaster will be providing digital ticketing technology
Special features:
■ Smart bowl design providing an intimate experience for fans and ‘black box’ for artists.
■ Innovative LED programmable halo around the building facade.
■ A football-pitch-and-a-half of solar panels on its roof.
■ Ten tennis courts creating a green biodiverse ring.
■ 100% rainwater harvesting.
■ 100% electric.
■ Targeting zero-waste to support carbon neutral goals.
■ Sustainable food sourcing via local producers. electric.
■ Local supply chain for the build creating jobs and apprentices.

“I am incredibly proud to be partnering with OVG on their plans for Co-op Live. Manchester is an incredible city, filled with incredible people, and I couldn’t be happier to be involved in their project. It feels very much like coming home.” – Harry Styles.

“Manchester is an incredible city, filled with incredible people, and I couldn’t be happier to be involved in [Co-op Live]”

MSG Sphere at the Venetian (Las Vegas, US)
MSG Entertainment
Purpose: Attractions, concert residencies, corporate events, award shows, product launches and select sporting events
Opening date: 2023
Configurations: Scalable capacity of approximately 17,500 seated to 20,000 with a mix of seated and standing
Design: The vision for MSG Sphere, including its design, is being driven by a talented team at MSG Entertainment, which has also brought on board Populous, one of the world’s most acclaimed design and architectural firms, to help make MSG Entertainment’s vision a reality – both in Las Vegas and London
Special features:
■ Fully programmable LED exterior – creating a digital showcase for artists, brands and partners.
■ The highest resolution LED screen on Earth – an immersive display plane that will wrap up, over, and behind the audience at a resolution over 100 times that of a high-definition television.
■ Advanced acoustics system delivering crystal clear audio to every guest.
■ The system will use a variety of technologies including beamforming, enabling audio to be directed to specific locations in the bowl at a volume that remains constant – from point of origin to destination. This means two people – sitting in different seat sections – could hear completely different things, adding to the possibilities for a truly customised experience.
■ An infrasound haptic system that will use deep vibrations so guests can “feel” the experience.
■ A new architecture for connectivity that delivers more than 25 megabits per second for every guest – enabling a broader range of content and greater interaction.

“The renders of the [Kai Tak Sports Park] provide a tantalising glimpse as to what that experience will look and feel like”

Kai Tak Sports Park (Hong Kong)
ASM Global
Naming sponsor: TBC
Purpose: Live entertainment, sport, conferences, seminars, meetings, exhibitions and trade shows
Opening date: Late 2023
Configurations: 10,000 maximum capacity with retractable seating systems to provide as much flexibility as possible.
Cost to build: HK$30bn (€3bn) including a 50,000 capacity stadium and other facilities
Design: Populous (architects), Arup (engineering disciplines) Financial backers: The Government of Hong Kong under a design build operate contract for 25 years
Programming: ASM Global (concerts and other live entertainment, conferences and functions), Sportfive (sport content)
Special features: Kai Tak Sports Park will integrate world-class sports facilities with retail, wellness and community leisure spaces to create an urban oasis. With its Pearl of the Orient theme, the main stadium will boast a retractable roof and flexible pitch surface that can host a wide range of international, regional and local events in any weather.
Building(s) For The Future_Feature
Partnerships: The Kai Tak Sports Park consortium is led by Kai Tak Sports Park Ltd (KTSPL), a subsidiary of New World Development Company Limited and NWS Holdings Limited. The KTSPL project team comprises of recognised local and global industry leaders with extensive experience in the design, construction and operation of large-scale projects. ASM Global will be responsible for management and operation of the precinct. The Park will include 57,000m2 of retail space, 3,000m2 of restaurants, a bowling centre, a sports health/wellness centre, an event village,
a main plaza, a children’s play area, and numerous outdoor sports courts.

“Kai Tak Sports Park will transform the sports landscape in Hong Kong. ASM Global will bring world-class sports and entertainment events and deliver an outstanding experience to fans and clients alike. The renders of the venues provide a tantalising glimpse as to what that experience will look and feel like and we can’t wait to start delivering events.” – Darren Burden, executive director, ASM Global.

 

2024

Newcastlegateshead Quays (Newcastle, UK)
ASM Global
Naming sponsor: TBC
Purpose: Concerts, live entertainment, boxing, mixed martial arts, sport, family entertainment, comedy, e-sport, e-gaming, conferencing, association events, exhibitions and regionally tailored and produced events
Opening date: Summer 2024
Configurations: 12,500-capacity arena plus conference and exhibition centre with over 6,300m2 including conference suite for 900, exhibition halls totalling 5,500m2
Cost to build: £260m (€304m)
Design: Hook
Financial backers: Ask and Patrizia
Programming: ASM Global
Partnerships: Local and national premium brands, Gateshead Council, regional stakeholder and education institutions

Derby Becketwell is perfectly placed to benefit from the demonstrable growth in 3,000-4,000 capacity shows in the UK”

Derby Becketwell Arena (Derby, UK)
ASM Global
Naming sponsor: TBC
Purpose: Concerts, live entertainment, family entertainment, comedy, sports entertainment, conferencing, exhibitions and corporate events
Opening date: 2024
Configurations: 3,500 capacity auditorium with flexible seating and standing modes
Cost to build: £39m (€45m)
Design: Corstorphine and Wright
Financial backers: St James Securities and Derby City Council
Programming: ASM Global
Special features: Becketwell Arena follows in the footsteps of the success of Bonus Arena in Hull and joins Swansea Arena as part
of a cohort of new 3,000-4,000 capacity venues in the UK, which represent a significant growth opportunity for the UK touring market. This new venue in the heart of the city of Derby will present intimate arena shows with fantastic sight lines and a first- class audience experience.
Partnerships: Close collaboration with Derby City Council and other regional stakeholders, putting the new venue at the heart of the city’s regeneration strategy, with a new entertainment, cultural and business events programme.

“We look forward to bringing world-class entertainment, sports entertainment and business events to Derby, in an innovative new venue, which is perfectly placed to benefit from the demonstrable growth in 3,000-4,000 capacity shows in the UK. We have been inspired by the vision shared for the city, and the growth and opportunities for the East Midlands economy more broadly. Along with a busy concert and entertainment programme, the venue will attract a wide range of business events and provide a great meeting place and activation platform for the region’s world-leading industrial sectors.” – Tom Lynch, group commercial director & senior vice president, Europe, ASM Global.

Emlive will be built atop a major mall development

Emlive (Bangkok, Thailand)
ASM Global
Naming sponsor: TBC
Purpose: Primarily entertainment and corporate banquets
Opening date: late 2024
Configurations: 5,000 maximum capacity
Cost to build: TBC
Design: The Mall Group
Financial backers: The Mall Group, AEG Real Estate
Programming: AEG Asia
Special features: Built atop a major mall development
Partnerships: TBC

 

2025

Cardiff Atlantic Wharf Arena (Wales, UK)
Oak View Group, Live Nation
Naming sponsor: TBC
Purpose: Live music, family shows, comedy and sport
Opening date: Spring 2025
Configurations: 15,000 capacity – standing and seated
Cost to build: £150m (€175m)
Design: HKO
Financial backers: Cardiff Council, Live Nation Entertainment, and Oak View Group, with Robertson Group as developers
Special features:
■ Single-tier arena to intensify the atmosphere for spectators and performers.
■ Seating and floor space that adapts to audience sizes anywhere between 3,500 and 15,000, and a variety of events from sports to family shows as well as live music and entertainment.
■ With world-class acoustics, fans and performers will be guaranteed the ultimate sound experience while noise levels are reduced to maintain a peaceful environment outside the arena.

“This project has reached an important milestone. It has been 22 years in the making, and we have made significant progress in recent years. The new indoor arena will be the primary catalyst of the regeneration of Atlantic Wharf.” – Russell Goodway, cabinet member for investment and development, Cardiff Council.

Cardiff Atlantic Wharf Arena has been 22 years in the making, and we have made significant progress in recent years”

Jeddah Arena (Saudi Arabia)
ASM Global
Naming sponsor: TBC
Purpose: Primarily entertainment and sport
Opening date: December 2025 Configurations: 20,000 maximum capacity
Cost to build: TBC
Design: Chapman Taylor
Financial backers: SARH Real Estate Investments
Programming: ASM Global
Special features: First international standard arena in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Partnerships: TBC

“ASM Global is looking forward to being an integral part of the team to deliver this visionary project in Jeddah. We pride ourselves on joining forces with partners with whom we know we can make a difference to creating and delivering amazing experiences.” – Harvey Lister, chairman & chief executive, ASM Global (Asia Pacific & Gulf Region).

 

2026

Milano Santa Giulia Arena (Milan, Italy)
CTS Eventim
Naming sponsor: TBC
Purpose: 2026 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games, live music
Opening date: 2026
Configurations: 16,000-capacity indoors. Plus outdoor area of more than 10,000m2 for open-air events
Cost to build: €180m Design: TBC
Financial backers: TBC

“Our new arena in Milan will be a must-play for all major tours, and we will also be able to offer top events from the Eventim portfolio to the region around Milan and beyond in our own arena through the four Italian promoters in our Eventim Live promoter network. This is another excellent addition to our value chain.” – Klaus-Peter Schulenberg, CEO, CTS Eventim.

“[CTS Eventim’s] new [Milano Santa Giulia Arena] will be a must-play for all major tours”

Bangkok Arena (Thailand)
ASM Global
Naming sponsor: TBC
Purpose: Primarily entertainment
Opening date: Late 2026
Configurations: 15,000 maximum capacity Cost to build: TBC
Design: The Mall Group
Financial backers: The Mall Group, AEG Real Estate
Programming: AEG Asia
Special features: Built atop a major mall development
Partnerships: TBC

 

TBC

MSG Sphere (London, UK)
MSG Entertainment
Purpose: Attractions, concert residencies, corporate events, award shows, product launches and select sporting events
Opening date: TBC. Planning application currently under consideration by the LLDC. “As we work through this process, our timeline will continue to evolve.”
Configurations: Scalable capacity of up to 17,500 seated or 21,500 when there is a mix of seated and standing
Design: See MSG Sphere at The Venetian
Special features: See MSG Sphere at The Venetian


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New Swansea Arena appoints general manager

Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG) has announced the appointment of Lisa Mart as general manager of its soon-to-open Swansea Arena.

Mart comes to Swansea Arena with nine years of experience at ATG, initially at New Wimbledon Theatre (1,670-cap.) in south-west London, where she was theatre director, and then at the Alexandra (1,347-cap.) in Birmingham, where she oversaw a £650,000 refurbishment and relaunch that completed in October 2018.

The 3,500-seat capacity indoor venue marks the first arena-sized project for ATG, best known as an operator of London West End theatres. The company is majority owned by Providence Equity Partners, and received an injection of funding from Australia’s TEG late last year.

The new arena, part of the £135 million Copr Bay urban regeneration project in Wales’s second-largest city, is expected to open later this year.

“I am incredibly pleased and excited to be starting as general manager of the Swansea Arena; to be given this huge and rare opportunity of not only opening a brand-new venue, but also being a part of the wider regeneration of Swansea and its transformational project of Copr Bay, is a real honour,” comments Mart.

“The arena has been beautifully designed and will really be able to provide the local community and visitors with a variety of spaces and options to fit any size and scale of meeting or event,” she adds. “I can’t wait to start talking to and working with businesses to really discover how best to support their needs in this area.

“The arena will help strengthen the city’s cultural and entertainment scene further”

“As soon as restrictions allow, I will be re-exploring Swansea and surrounding areas – I’m keen to meet as many people as possible to really learn of the expectations of residents, businesses and locals on how they hope to work with us as we maximise the local impact of this amazing arena.”

ATG is also recruiting for other senior arena roles, including a head of sales and marketing, a building and technical manager and a conference and events manager, which will open for applications in the coming weeks.

Robert Francis-Davies, Swansea Council’s cabinet member for investment, regeneration and tourism, comments: “We are delighted to welcome Lisa to Swansea’s thriving and buoyant cultural community.

“She brings skill and experience that will help the arena complement the programming of other great local cultural venues and locations, such as the Grand Theatre, Brangwyn Hall, Singleton Park and many others.

“The arena will help strengthen the city’s cultural and entertainment scene further for many thousands of residents and visitors. It will act as a catalyst for the city centre’s £1bn transformation.”

 


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TEG invests in Ambassador Theatre Group

Sydney-based live entertainment group TEG has acquired a minority stake in West End theatre operator Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG).

ATG, which is majority owned by Providence Equity Partners (Superstruct Entertainment, Tait), owns or manages around 50 venues globally, including many of London’s best-known theatres. Its portfolio includes the Savoy and Lyceum theatres in London, the Lyric and Hudson in New York, and a growing stable of UK music venues, including the upcoming Stockton Globe and Swansea Arena.

In conjunction with Providence, which paid £350 million for ATG in 2013, TEG – itself owned by a private-equity firm, Silver Lake – will reportedly inject £160m in new equity into ATG as UK theatres tentatively reopen.

It is the first acquisition for TEG – a ticketing, touring and venues company with offices across the Asia-Pacific region – in the UK since its buy-out of the former MJR Group last year. The company hired a new director of M&A in May.

In addition to its venue portfolio, ATG operates the UK’s most visited theatre website, ATGtickets.com, selling around 11 million tickets a year pre-coronavirus. The London-based company, which employs around 4,000 people, laid off 1,200 casual staff earlier this month.

 


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UK venues announce redundancies

Some of the UK’s most iconic venues have recently announced wide-reaching staff redundancies as the financial pressures of the Covid-19 shutdown continue to bite.

The news of sweeping staff layoffs in venues including the Southbank Centre and the Royal Opera House, come just as venues in England are finally given the go-ahead to reopen, albeit under restricted circumstances.

The announcements also come in the wake of the losses of well loved Manchester venues Gorilla and Deaf Institute last week, as well as VMS Live’s Hull venues the Welly and the Polar Bear.

London’s Southbank Centre, a multi-venue arts and culture complex including the 2,700-capacity Royal Festival Hall, is to make up to two thirds of its staff redundant, equating to around 400 roles.

The centre, which has previously warned it may be forced to close until at least April 2021 without the correct support, has already furloughed the majority of its 600 employees and pecits a deficit of £5.1m for the current financial year.

“It is with great sadness that the Southbank Centre announced that up to 400 roles have been put at risk of redundancy,” says a spokesperson for the venue.

The spokesperson says the cuts form part of a management plan designed “to stem the financial losses being incurred as a result of Covid-19, and to help safeguard the future of the UK’s largest arts centre.”

The news comes as the Royal Opera House (ROH) announces it is laying off its entire team of casual workers.

“It is with great sadness that the Southbank Centre announced that up to 400 roles have been put at risk of redundancy”

It is unclear how many jobs are affected, but the organisation has confirmed that all casual contracts have been terminated and a process of voluntary redundancies among other staff is already underway.

“It is with huge sadness that we have begun a restructure process,” reads a post on the ROH Twitter page. “The scale of financial pressure on ROH alongside continued restrictions on our ability to perform to live audiences, has resulted in this very difficult decision.”

The post adds that ROH’s director of music, Antonio Pappano, has forgone his salary since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis, with the venue’s chief executive, Alex Beard, also taking a “significant reduction” in pay.

The National Theatre in London has also signalled its intention to proceed with around 400 redundancies among its casual staff base, including 250 front-of-house workers.

The Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG), is another organisation to announce it is planning redundancies across its UK workforce.

ATG, which operates close to 50 venues worldwide including theatres Bristol Hippodrome, London’s Lyceum Theatre, Sunderland Empire, Manchester’s Palace Theatre and the Alexandra in Birmingham, as well as live venues Swansea Arena and the Stockton Globe, says layoffs may affect around 5% of its staff, predominantly those working in its head offices in London and Woking.

The operator has also said that while it zero-hours staff will continue to be supported by the government’s furlough scheme, arrangements beyond that have not been confirmed.

The wave of redundancies come despite the UK government’s recently announced £1.57 billion rescue package for arts and culture and a reduction in the value-added tax (VAT) levied on concert and event tickets, from 20% to 5%.

It remains unclear how the funds will be distributed across the sector.

Photo: Saval/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0) (cropped)

 


This article forms part of IQ’s Covid-19 resource centre – a knowledge hub of essential guidance and updating resources for uncertain times.

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ATG expands into UK arenas with new Swansea venue

The construction of a new 3,500-capacity arena in Swansea, Wales, began today (Wednesday 27 November) as part of a £1 billion regeneration of the city centre.

Swansea Arena, opening in 2021, is the latest live music venue in the Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG) portfolio, in addition to the Stockton Globe, which is reopening next year.

With almost 50 entertainment venues, Providence Equity-backed ATG hosts acts including Pet Shop Boys, Snow Patrol and Emeli Sandé in the UK, Lionel Richie, Al Green, Lauryn Hill and Lenny Kravitz in the US and Bonnie Tyler, FKA Twigs and Sinead O’Connor in Germany.

ATG also operates the UK’s most visited theatre website ATGtickets.com and overall sells around 11 million tickets a year.

“ATG has nearly 30 years’ experience of managing venues but this is an exciting moment that sees us expanding our portfolio to UK arenas”

“We have been working with Swansea Council for a period of time now to make the Arena a world class venue for music, comedy, conferencing and events in South Wales,” comments Mark Cornell, CEO of ATG.

“ATG has nearly 30 years’ experience of working with councils and managing venues but this is an exciting moment that sees us expanding our portfolio to UK arenas following our success across the UK, US and Germany.”

“Swansea Arena is an incredibly exciting addition to ATG,” adds Katy Arnander (pictured), ATG content development director. “The new arena will be at the forefront of our music, comedy, events and exhibitions strategy as well as presenting new content like gaming and esports which is a perfect fit for such a technologically advanced arena.”

The arena is funded by Swansea Council and part-funded by the £1.3bn Swansea Bay City Deal.

For update of when tickets go on sale at Swansea Arena, join the mailing list here.

 


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