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Europe’s second-largest arena planned for Frankfurt

The Katz Group of Companies, one of Canada’s largest private firms, is moving ahead with plans to build the largest indoor arena in Germany, and the second-largest in Europe, next to Frankfurt Airport.

The Dome will cost €300 million and have a capacity of 23,000, placing it ahead of SMG’s Manchester Arena (21,000-cap.) in the UK and just behind Live Nation’s Sportpaleis (23,001-cap.) in Antwerp, Belgium.

Katz Group was formerly owner of Rexall Health, one the largest chains of chemists in North America, and now operates chiefly in property and sports/entertainment. Through Oilers Entertainment Group (OEG), the Edmonton-based company, founded in 1990 by Daryl Katz, owns ice-hockey teams Edmonton Oilers, Edmonton Oil Kings and Bakersfield Condors.

It also manages the 20,734-capacity Rogers Place (home ground to the Oilers and Oil Kings), and surrounding ‘Ice District’, in Edmonton, and owns events agency Aquila Productions.

According to Dentons, which advised Katz Group on its joint venture with local investors, upon completion the Dome is likely to become the home venue of Frankfurt’s Löwen ice-hockey team and Skyliners basketball team.

“We have focused on the Frankfurt location for a variety of reasons,” Jürgen Schreiber, Katz Group’s German-born CEO, tells Stadionwelt (via Coliseum). “On the one hand, we want to build a special, unique arena that sets new standards.

“Frankfurt needs a venue of the size of the Dome in order to remain competitive”

“From the beginning, we have ruled out the possibility of designing the arena for a capacity of 10,000 to 13,000 seats – enough such arenas exist  in Germany. We deliberately decided to build a world-class arena.”

Currently, the largest indoor arena in Frankfurt, the fifth-largest city in Germany, is the turn-of-the-century Festhalle, which seats 8,500 and can hold up to 13,500 for concerts.

More modern alternatives include the 6,946-cap. Eissporthalle, primarily used for ice hockey, and the 5,002-seat Fraport Arena, which currently hosts the Skyliners.

“In our opinion, Frankfurt needs [a venue the size of the Dome] in order to remain competitive in the the events and, above all, sports industries,” Schreiber continues. “At the moment, most organisers are avoiding Frankfurt and prefer other cities instead.

“The Frankfurt airport location offers optimal conditions to implement such a project. The infrastructure is largely already there, which saves time and money. And the area is easily accessible by train, plane, car and bicycle.

“Half of the German population lives within a radius of 200 kilometres, which is why the potential of the location is enormous.”


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