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AEG pushes into south-east Asia with new arenas

AEG is to make its first major investment in south-east Asia with two new music and entertainment venues in Thai capital Bangkok.

In partnership with retail developer the Mall Group, AEG will invest more than ฿10 billion (US$309m) into two arenas, dubbed Bangkok Arena and EM Live, each of which will anchor an entertainment ‘district’, a model seen in other AEG-led developments such as Brisbane Live in Australia,  The O2 in London, LA Live in Los Angeles, Mercedes Platz in Berlin and Nashville Yards in Tennessee.

EM Live will have a capacity of over 6,000, and be the centre of a retail and entertainment centre in Sukhumvit called the Emsphere, while the up-to-16,000-seat Bangkok Arena will be located in a new Bangkok Mall, described as a “city within the city”.

“These two significant developments will be a game-changer”

AEG will manage and operate both arenas, and work with the Mall Group to programme and market events including concerts, family shows, sports and MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions). Recent AEG-promoted shows in Asia include Justin Bieber, Celine Dion, Katy Perry, Ed Sheeran, Taylor Swift, Metallica and the Rolling Stones.

“South-east Asia is going through a transformation,” comments Adam Wilkes, president and CEO of AEG Asia. “As incomes rise and spending power increases, consumers in the region are demanding more sophisticated entertainment experiences. In the Mall Group, we have not only found an outstanding partner but also an innovative company that is led by an insightful and forward-thinking leader, Khun Supaluck. […]

“These two significant developments will be a game-changer, giving Bangkok and Thailand the opportunity to become the most important retail and entertainment hub in south-east Asia.”

 


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Qld greenlights another new AEG entertainment district

The state government of Queensland, Australia, has approved plans for a A$2bn (US$1.5m) arena-centred entertainment district in the city of Brisbane.

Brisbane Live – a joint venture between the government-backed Cross River Rail Delivery Authority (CRRDA) and AEG’s Australasian/Asian operation, AEG Ogden – will be centred on a 17,000-capacity arena and also include outdoor amphitheaters, cinemas, restaurants, bars and hotels. The new complex will be built over the Roma Street railway line, in the heart of Brisbane’s central business district.

The development, which will be largely privately funded, mirrors similar AEG developments at The O2 in London, LA Live in Los Angeles, Mercedes Platz in Berlin and the recently announced Nashville Yards in Tennessee.

“We have been working closely with Harvey Lister to make sure we create the best entertainment … precinct in Australia”

The project has won bipartisan political support, with the governing Labor party and opposition Liberal National Party (LNP) both endorsing Brisbane Live, which is tied into the larger Cross River Rail underground railway development. State deputy premier Jackie Trad says she hopes to “create the best entertainment and integrated transport precinct in Australia”.

Harvey Lister, chairman of AEG Ogden, tells local paper the Courier Mail he welcomes public support for the project. “It’s very encouraging that the government appears to have recognised the potential for Brisbane Live to be an activator that could eventually see the whole Roma Street precinct become an exciting part of the state’s capital city,” he comments.

AEG Ogden also operates the 14,500-cap. Brisbane Entertainment Centre, which opened in 1986.

 


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30,000sqft trampoline park planned for The O2

The O2 is to increase its footprint by a further 110,000sqft (10,220m²), with a new cinema and trampoline park set to deliver an extra 4–5m visitors per annum to the London entertainment complex, operator AEG has announced.

The new development – a joint venture between AEG Europe and Crosstree Real Estate Partners – will, says AEG Europe development manager Alistair Wood, “complete the loop of space around the O2 Arena” and break ground in late September.

A 50,000sqft extension to Cineworld will add several additional screens the existing cinema, while a 30,000sqft trampoline park, managed by Oxygen Freejumping, is to include a Bear Grylls Fitness obstacle course, a trampolining school and parties and facilities for autistic-friendly and disability sessions. They join an under-construction 205,000sqft designer shopping centre, due to open the final months of 2018.

“This site, coupled with the ongoing Designer Outlet Village development, will complete the loop of space around the O2 Arena,” explains Wood. “Together they will deliver a further four to five million visitors per annum to The O2.

“Trampolining appeals to a broad demographic and will further diversify the leisure mix offered at The O2”

“The cinema has gone from strength to strength since it opened, and we are delighted Cineworld are extending their partnership with us. We are also very pleased to have Oxygen on board, the UK’s leading trampoline park operator. Trampolining appeals to a broad demographic and will further diversify the leisure mix offered at The O2 to complement the retail offering, which will open in Q4 2018.”

“We are delighted to have secured such a high profile and prestigious location for our next trampoline park,” adds Oxygen CEO David Stalker.

“At Oxygen, we have welcomed 1.5m jumpers through our doors since we opened, and provide a fun and safe jumping environment and best-in-class customer experience in line with our mission to support the government’s drive to address UK childhood obesity. We look forward to welcoming a new group of jumpers to our new trampoline park at The O2 in the near future.”

The 21,000-cap. O2 Arena has been the world’s most-visited music venue since 2008. It recently celebrated ten years of business, with GM John Langford telling IQ the ‘entertainment district’ model of live entertainment – also pioneered by AEG at LA Live in Los Angeles, the Mercedes Platz in Berlin and Nashville Yards in Tennessee – is “what consumers want” from a modern arena.

 


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Cheetham joins AEG as Mercedes Platz nears completion

AEG has made two appointments in Germany ahead of the 2018 opening of Mercedes Platz, a new mixed-use entertainment district neighbouring the Mercedes-Benz Arena (17,000-cap.) in Berlin.

The 20-hectare Mercedes Platz, which mirrors similar AEG developments at The O2 in London, LA Live in Los Angeles and the recently announced Nashville Yards in Tennessee, includes a cinema, cafés, restaurants, bars, hotels, a bowling alley and a 4,500-capacity music venue, Berlin Music Hall, which will open on Saturday 17 November 2018 with a show by Gloria Gaynor.

Berlin Music Hall will be booked by Paul Cheetham, who joins AEG as booking director for the venue, while long-time Mercedes-Benz Arena booker Aissata Hartmann-Sylla has been promoted to senior director, overseeing event acquisition for both the arena and Music Hall.

Before joining AEG, Cheetham – a 20-year veteran of the live music industry – was managing director for Heartburst Management, where he was involved in staging industry events Popkomm, Berlin Music Week and Reeperbahn Festival. Previously, he worked for Mean Fiddler (now Festival Republic) and Live Nation Scandinavia in Finland.

Both Cheetham and Hartmann-Sylla moved into their new roles on 1 September.

 


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