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OVG’s Jessica Koravos: ‘We’re very opportunistic’

Oak View Group (OVG) International president Jessica Koravos has spoken to IQ about the company’s plans for new arena developments in Europe and Africa.

OVG’s chief executive Tim Leiweke first revealed plans to build “the greatest arena in the world” in west London during his Hotseat interview at this year’s International Live Music Conference (ILMC), while the firm has also broken ground on a $100 million, 12,000-cap purpose-built venue in Lagos, Nigeria.

“We’re very opportunistic, and where we see a good opportunity in a good market – or an underserved market – we jump on it,” Koravos tells IQ. “Lagos is a prime example of that, in that you have one of the biggest music markets in the world in terms of fan and local artist concentration that has not got a single purpose-built music or sports venue to scale. I think that new arena in Lagos is going to be revolutionary in that market.”

Although London is already home to The O2 (cap. 21,000) and OVO Arena Wembley (12,500), Koravos believes the capital city is still “underserved” for arenas.

“London is at the very top of of Tim’s list,” she says. “It’s just got The O2 which, of course, Tim and I were both involved in building [while at AEG], and it’s got Wembley. It is a market that needs additional capacity and will do more than any other arena in any other city to expand the the number of arena tours going through the UK, because a lot of that thinking – rightly or wrongly – starts with London.

“Expanding capacity in London will open up a raft of additional opportunities for the whole country”

“If you can’t get dates in London then you wait until you can to route your tour, so expanding capacity in London will open up a raft of additional opportunities for the whole country.”

The company’s new 23,500-cap Co-op Live venue in Manchester got up and running last week with a concert by Elbow following a series of delays and has since hosted gigs by the Black Keys, Eric Clapton and Barry Manilow. The “music-first” arena’s opening season lineup also includes the likes of Nicki Minaj and Stevie Nicks, as well as several multi-night residencies including Liam Gallagher, The Killers and UK exclusive performances by the Eagles.

OVG also added high-end hospitality group Rhubarb Hospitality Collection to its ranks in 2023, having previously acquired a number of companies in the field including Bovingdons Catering and Spectrum Catering, Concessions & Event Services.

“It fits into our thinking about fan experience,” explains Koravos. “When we started thinking about what we wanted this new generation of venues to look like, one of the things that was the top of everybody’s list was that, whilst food and beverage is a fundamental part of the experience of going out to a concert, it has traditionally just not been done very well. And it hasn’t been done very well partly because it’s been outsourced to third party food and beverage partners.

“One of the first things that we tried to do was say, ‘Let’s take that back in house, control the full experience and try to find who does this best.’ And Rhubarb is the top premium food and beverage company in the country, so were a natural choice and a great fit.”

 


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Rebecca Kane Burton in at Co-op Live as GM resigns

Venue management veteran Rebecca Kane Burton has been named interim boss of Manchester’s Co-op Live following the resignation of general manager Gary Roden.

Kane Burton served a near five-year stint as VP and GM of The O2 in London before stepping down in 2016 to become chief executive of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s West End venue chain LW Theatres until departing in 2021.

Prior to The O2, Kane Burton was MD of the 10,400-cap Alexandra Palace, also in London, and previously held a senior role at English Heritage. She was appointed UK & Ireland CEO of venue services company Sodexo Live! in 2022.

Roden’s exit from the 23,500-cap Co-op Live – a joint venture between Oak View Group (OVG) and City Football Group (CFG) – was confirmed last night (25 April) in the midst of a turbulent week for the UK’s largest live entertainment arena, which has been forced to postpone its opening for a second time.

The £365 million venue’s official launch was pushed back due to a delay in completion of the power supply at the site, days after its capacity for a free test performance by Rick Astley was cut from 11,000 to 4,000 at short notice.

Its grand opening with two shows by comedian Peter Kay, originally slated for this week, has now been switched to 23-24 May, while a 10,000-cap test event with the Black Keys set for tomorrow (27 April) will instead take place on 15 May.

“Rescheduling The Black Keys and Peter Kay gives the dedicated team the time and space needed to finalise systems and measures”

“It’s always been very important to me that we only open Co-op Live when it is safe and appropriate to do so, and rescheduling The Black Keys and Peter Kay gives the dedicated team the time and space needed to finalise systems and measures,” says OVG chair and CEO Tim Leiweke. “I would like to offer my sincerest apologies to every fan that has been impacted by this decision and others this week, and join the full team in thanking them for their continued patience and support as we prepare to open our doors.”

Roden’s recent comments to the BBC that some small music venues were “poorly run”, in response to the Music Venue Trust’s (MVT) calls for a compulsory £1 levy on tickets sold for UK live music events above 5,000-cap, also caused controversy.

“Why is a small venue failing?” he said. “Absolutely, en masse bills are going up and this, that and the other. But ultimately if there are 1,000 venues, one of them is going to be the best-run venue and one of them is going to be the poorly run venue, and where does the money go?

“If the conversation stops being ‘Give me a quid’ and quite aggressive – if it changed to be, ‘What can we do together to help?’, that’s where I think we start to get into that apprenticeship conversation and all those different things that we want to work through.”

MVT chief Mark Davyd criticised the remarks as “disrespectful and disingenuous”.

“The UK’s grassroots music venues are not ‘poorly run’, and it is disrespectful and disingenuous to suggest otherwise,” he told NME. “This is a highly skilled and experienced sector facing almost insurmountable and highly specialist challenges.”

“Neither Co-op Live nor Oak View Group share the sentiment expressed by former Co-op Live general manager Gary Roden regarding the grassroots industry”

Roden’s exit comes almost a year to the day since he joined Co-op Live as GM and executive director. He previously spent over eight years at Ticketmaster UK, latterly as SVP of client development and commercial.

OVG International president Jessica Koravos says Roden has “decided to resign” and the company remains “focused on opening Co-op Live”.

“We’d like to thank Gary for his help bringing the UK’s newest arena to live entertainment fans and wish him the best for the future,” she says. “Rebecca Kane Burton has been named interim GM, effective today. Rebecca is a seasoned veteran of venue management and live entertainment in the UK having served as VP/GM of The O2 from 2012-2016 and CEO of LW Theatres from 2016-2021.

“Neither Co-op Live nor Oak View Group share the sentiment expressed by former Co-op Live general manager Gary Roden regarding the grassroots industry. As OVG chairman and CEO Tim Leiweke has repeatedly stated, Co-op Live remains committed to grassroots music in Manchester and beyond, including teaming up with Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham on the Artist of the Month campaign, and as a founding partner of Beyond The Music.

“Co-op Live also donates over £1m a year to the Co-op Foundation to support communities and empower young people to take social action through its new Young Gamechangers fund. Oak View Group and Co-op Live remain happy to meet with grassroots organisations once the venue is fully operational.”

Meanwhile, Co-op Live has moved to reassure ticket-holders that upcoming dates with Boogie Wit Da Hoodie (1 May) and Olivia Rodrigo (3-4 May) will go ahead as planned.

A statement from the Co-op Group adds: “As the naming rights sponsor for Co-op Live, we are very disappointed in the delayed opening of the venue and fully recognise the disruption this has caused to affected ticket holders, many of whom are Co-op members.

“Co-op Live is an incredible venue and is a force for good for Manchester, our region and the UK as a whole. We look forward to seeing the venue fully open in accordance with the timescales provided by OVG today.”

 


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OVG’s Jessica Koravos on Manchester’s Co-op Live

Oak View Group (OVG) International president Jessica Koravos has previewed the company’s new Manchester venue Co-op Live ahead of its hotly-anticipated opening next week.

A joint venture between OVG and City Football Group (CFG), the 23,500-cap development will become the UK’s largest arena when it launches at Etihad Campus, the site of Manchester City FC’s Etihad Stadium, on 23 April. Harry Styles has also invested in the project.

Speaking to IQ, Koravos says the “music-first” arena – which boasts an innovative bowl design and state-of-the-art acoustics – will give the UK “one of the best music venues in the world”.

“The only reason I say ‘one of’ is because my boss, [OVG MD] Tim Leiweke, will get very angry if I say it’s the best, because we’ve built some other very good music venues in the US,” she says. “But given that we haven’t had to make any of the kinds of compromises around basketball or ice hockey that maybe North American buildings have to make, I feel like it is going to be the best arena for music in the world.

“For whatever reason, the rest of the venues in the UK, for the most part, are designed around North American sports despite there being a very limited audience for those. We have the biggest standing floor and our back seat on the top row is actually 24 metres closer to the stage then at other venues. There’s not a bad seat in the house, so that’s another big selling point.”

“Manchester has revolutionised itself over the last 20 years and is a top cultural destination in its own right”

Koravos indicates that OVG’s decision to move into Manchester was at least partly influenced by statistics.

“From the late 1990s onwards, Manchester has punched way above its weight and sold more music tickets than many other cities with much bigger populations,” she explains. “And so it was an obvious market that we felt was underserved by its current infrastructure, with a lot of room to expand. And just as a city, Manchester has revolutionised itself over the last 20 years and is a top cultural destination in its own right.”

Comedian Peter Kay will kick-off Co-op Live’s star-studded opening lineup, with The Black Keys set to be the first music act to tread the boards on 27 April.

“Those two Peter Kay shows actually broke the Co-op presale record,” notes Koravos. “There have been 60 onsales to date and that’s been the biggest response. Peter Kay is just loved in the UK and in Manchester in particular. I believe he’s actually the top selling act in the UK currently and so we could think of no better start.”

Other highlights from its first few months include residencies by Take That, Eagles, Liam Gallagher and The Killers, exclusive arena dates with Pearl Jam and Stevie Nicks, plus shows by the likes of Olivia Rodrigo, Nicki Minaj, Jonas Brothers, Kings of Leon, A Boogie wit da Hoodie, Eric Clapton, Pet Shop Boys and Megan thee Stallion.

“We are absolutely thrilled to see the number of artists that are doing two, three, four, or even five or six nights at Co-op Live”

“It was the hope that we would attract multi-night residencies, but it had not been the case traditionally in Manchester before Co-op Live, so we are absolutely thrilled to see the number of artists that are doing two, three, four, or even five or six nights at Co-op Live,” says Koravos. “It really vindicates our hopes for the market. But it’s the artists’ decision, so we’re thrilled they are showing their faith in this venue and in Manchester – those are the decisions that tell us we’re onto a winner.”

Koravos points out that several shows have sold at a faster rate than their London equivalents.

“What’s unusual about their presale is that becoming a member of Co-op costs £1, so it’s a very low barrier to entry,” she says. “It’s a much more accessible presale than the others and I think that is one of the key reasons that it’s been so successful and has come out of the gates incredibly strongly.”

Co-op Live will go head-to-head with ASM Global’s near 30-year-old AO Arena in Manchester, which recently underwent a £50 million reconstruction which included a capacity increase from 21,000 to 23,000. Koravos believes that upgrade in itself illustrates the benefits of competition to consumers.

“We can see that that just the announcement of Co-op Live – never mind the opening – has had a great impact on competition in that that venue has announced its own programme of renovations and such,” she says. “So I think we can say that Co-op Live has pulled the entire infrastructure stock up by the bootstraps in that way, and that is classic competition operating in a good way for Manchester.

“But it’s also the case that having extended the availability of that scale venue dates in the country, enables more tours to come through the country. Every time a new project opens in the UK, it means that more artists can tour at a larger scale and expands the availability for fans.”

“It’s a gift to be able to design from scratch when it comes to sustainability, because these systems are very hard to retrofit once you’re up and running”

Co-op Live has been designed “with sustainability at its core”, according to OVG, and will use electricity for everything from air-source heat pumps for heating and domestic hot water through to cooling and catering, without any gas supply serving the site.

“It’s completely fundamental and has been from day one of our design conversations,” says Koravos. “It’s a gift to be able to design from scratch when it comes to sustainability, because these systems are very hard to retrofit once you’re up and running. The biggest thing was that we were able to design the building to be 100% electric from the beginning.”

In addition, Co-op Live and Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) last month announced a ground-breaking initiative which will see travel on Metrolink and new city centre shuttle buses included in all arena event tickets from 20 April to 30 June, during the venue’s opening season.

“Our efforts are going to be focused on ‘Scope 3 sustainability’, which is trying to influence the behaviour of the audiences coming to and from,” adds Koravos. “We can control our own operations, but we can’t control the audience choices so much in terms of how they get to the venue and back. So we have spent a lot of time and money with Manchester City Council and Transport for Greater Manchester in crafting a raft of measures.”

 


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OVG ‘very disappointed’ at Vienna arena veto

Oak View Group (OVG) has expressed its disappointment after an Austrian court revoked the decision to award it the contract to build and run a new “world-class” arena in Vienna.

OVG was identified as the ‘best bidder’ in July this year, with construction on the 20,000-cap venue scheduled to begin in 2025, aiming for completion in late 2029.

The €384 million arena was to be largely financed by OVG, with the City of Vienna contributing an amount in the “double-digit million range” according to the final offer.

However, Kurier reports the tender process is now back to square one after the award was “declared void for formal reasons” by Vienna Regional Court, following an objection by rival bidder CTS Eventim.

“Of course we are very disappointed with the result,” says OVG CEO Tim Leiweke, as per Die Presse. “This beautiful city has always been the jewel in Europe’s cultural landscape, but it had no arena to match it.

“We are pleased that the court assessed our offer in such a way that we meet all the tender requirements and also require the least amount of effort for taxpayers.”

“Should we decide to go ahead and continue the procedure, we remain confident that we will be able to overcome the court’s objections”

Jessica Koravos, president of OVG International, adds the company is now considering its options.

“Together with our partners in Vienna , the Oak View Group will now analyse the procedure and decide on the next steps,” she says. “Should we decide to go ahead and continue the procedure, we remain confident that we will be able to overcome the court’s objections and our project of a bespoke, contemporary venue with the latest technology will ultimately prevail.”

The opening of the arena was originally planned for 2024, but the City of Vienna began looking for a partner due to the expected high costs.

The Vienna arena was to have marked OVG’s ninth arena project in the last two years. The developer oversees the operations of Climate Pledge Arena at Seattle Center, UBS Arena in Belmont Park, NY, and Moody Center in Austin, TX as well as arena development projects for Acrisure Arena in Palm Springs, CA and Co-op Live in Manchester, UK.

Its other projects include Arena São Paulo in São Paulo, BZ; CFG Bank Arena in Baltimore, MD; FirstOntario Centre Arena in Hamilton, ON; a new arena and entertainment district in Las Vegas, NV; and a new arena in Cardiff, Wales.

Last week, it was announced that Climate Pledge Arena had become the first arena in the world to achieve International Living Future Institute’s Zero Carbon Certification. The certification is awarded to buildings that are energy efficient, can demonstrate a significant reduction in carbon footprint and offset the remaining embodied carbon and energy use through high-impact offset programmes.

 


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Execs talk investment opportunities in live music

A trio of leading live music executives have shared their views on the areas of the business most ripe for investment.

With the market bouncing back internationally following the Covid shutdown, Mumford & Sons musician and venue boss Ben Lovett, Oak View Group (OVG) International’s Jessica Koravos and Jarred Arfa, COO of Artist Group International, weighed in on the biggest opportunities for the industry.

Speaking during the Industry Investment: Field notes panel at the recent ILMC in London, US-based Arfa suggested the concept of Live Nation’s upcoming “emo nostalgia” festival When We Were Young in Las Vegas, which has expanded to three days due to demand, pointed a way forward for the industry.

“There are obviously so many festivals out there, but we’re seeing a lot of success where they’re focusing on specific niches,” he said. “People want to be part of that moment in time and relive that, as opposed to, ‘Let’s give everyone a little flavour of everything.’ Those that are focusing on specific genres, or overfeeding one time period, are seeing some success and a point of distinction.”

“The pandemic has made people really appreciate those coming together moments that maybe they took for granted before”

Koravos, who is also president of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Group, which oversees some of the world’s biggest theatrical titles, said Covid-19 has prompted a change of mindset in the public when it comes to live shows.

“One thing that pandemic has absolutely done is made people really appreciate those coming together moments that maybe they took for granted before,” she said. “Flipping hats and talking about the West End and theatre for a second, what’s very interesting to me is that what’s very successful in the West End right now is the shows that have been there the longest.

“I see it with Phantom of the Opera, which has flipped its age demographic down by 10 years over the course of the pandemic, and I think it’s because of exactly that – you take for granted that something that’s always been there will keep being there. But I don’t think that’s the assumption anymore.

“People want to go see Billy Joel at [Madison Square] Garden. They want to go see Phantom of the Opera. They want to make sure they are appreciating the things that might not always be there.”

“There are just not enough good venues. It’s really that simple”

TVG Hospitality co-founder Lovett urged would-be investors to put their faith (and finances) in the independent sector.

“I would back indie promoters,” he said. “Everything’s getting so algorithmic, we could end up with pretty watered down creative inputs into our lives unless those indie promoters go and stick their neck out. So I would say, invest money into those indie promoters… If we can get some great promoters coming through, it’s going to be good for everyone.”

Earlier this year, TVG Hospitality announced the closing of $50 million in new funding to expand its team and venue portfolio in the UK and US, backed by a heavyweight list of investors including OVG, founded by Tim Leiweke and Irving Azoff.

TVG is bidding to create the next generation of music venues alongside elevated hospitality offerings in order to enhance the artist and fan experience and create gathering spaces as community assets. The company’s current portfolio includes London music venues, Omeara, Lafayette and the Social, and broader hospitality offerings at Flat Iron Square and Goods Way.

“This is going to be the most exciting few years”

“Across the board, I think what Tim and Irving saw – and the same issue that we were trying to solve – is there are just not enough good venues. It’s really that simple,” said Lovett, whose latest project – the 8,000-cap Orion Amphitheater in Huntsville, Alabama – opened earlier this month.

“For the last couple of decades there just hasn’t been enough investment into truly inspiring places,” continued Lovett. “There are people buying incredible bars and restaurants and hotels, and there’s lots of other things that are being constantly being reimagined and the envelope is being pushed. But when it comes to music venues it’s just stagnated. And this is going to be the most exciting few years where all of these new venues are going to [launch].”

OVG has already opened the Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle, Moody Center in Austin and the UBS Arena in Long Island, New York, with schemes also on their way in Manchester, Baltimore, Coachella Valley and Cardiff.

“Venues are very expensive,” added Koravos. “The 2,000 seaters are expensive, the 20,000 seaters are super-expensive, so investment is a crucial part of getting those off the ground. But the whole point of Oak View Group is really just looking around at the fact that, around the world, the big music venues are actually all buildings that were built 20 years ago or more, for the most part.

“They were built for sports for the most part, not by anybody who knew anything about the content about what needed to go in them and what the fan needed to experience. So at Oak View, our whole reason for being is to build the best experience in the best markets.”

 


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Plans submitted for new Cardiff arena

A hybrid planning application has been submitted for the proposed new 17,000-capacity arena in Cardiff.

Operated by Live Nation and Oak View Group (OVG), the venue will form part of a wider multi-million-pound regeneration of Butetown, Cardiff. Determination of the planning decision is expected in spring 2022, with the arena set to open in 2025.

Set to create 1,000 jobs, the venue is being developed by Robertson Group with a view to cementing Cardiff Bay’s position as a “top-tier” visitor attraction and bring “the world’s best events” to the city. If planning is granted, it is anticipated that work will start in autumn 2022.

“As a leader in live entertainment, our aim is to deliver a new kind of arena in partnership with Cardiff City Council that will place the local community and the city at the heart of our ambition” says Live Nation UK venues chief operating officer Graham Walters.

“With a globally recognised arena as a focal point for entertainment and culture, we aspire to strengthen Cardiff’s position as a major touring destination, that is capable of hosting outstanding local, national and international events and continue Cardiff’s growth as a leading music city.”

We see a huge opportunity to bring a genuinely world-class arena to Cardiff

Live Nation already runs the existing 7,500-cap Motorpoint Arena Cardiff, as well as converted warehouse venue Titan Warehouse. OVG, meanwhile, is currently constructing the UK’s first all-electric arena, Co-op Live, in Manchester.

Jessica Koravos, chair, OVG International, adds: “We see a huge opportunity to bring a genuinely world-class arena to Cardiff – a venue that will host the best in live entertainment, creating thousands of jobs and attracting millions of visitors to the city.

“We look forward to working with the council and the community to deliver this exciting and ambitious scheme.”

The development of the arena and the wider masterplan takes into consideration the 2030 climate neutral aspirations of Cardiff Council, with the energy strategy designed to achieve an operational climate neutral position by 2030.

 

 


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OVG: “We’ve been on a different ride to our peers”

While many live entertainment businesses have spent the pandemic stopping and starting, Oak View Group continued to fire on all cylinders. The global sports and entertainment company has forged ahead with constructing its new arenas and making the most of its unique position to respond to the ‘new normal’ in real-time…

What has the pandemic looked like so far for Oak View Group (OVG)?
JK: OVG is the largest sports and entertainment venue company in the world but none of our venues are open yet. So, we’ve been on a really different ride to our peers in the industry. They’ve been in batten-down-the-hatches mode whereas we’ve been in full-on construction mode on six buildings throughout this whole thing, and those processes haven’t stopped at all.

Has that put OVG in a unique position to respond to the pandemic in the design and build phase?
JK: Yes. We have been able to do a lot of thinking about what we need to change as a result of the pandemic. For example, speeding up the road to paperless. We were looking at it much more from an environmental standpoint but then we saw it from a sort of sanitation standpoint – customer touchpoints are really necessary now. We also looked at all of the catering and how we could minimise touch – and make food more grab and go.

“We’ve had the luxury of being able to react in real-time to [the pandemic]”

Also, readjusting the airflow and ventilation and making sure that our metrics are all in line with the new research that is coming out on airborne transmission. Making sure the materials are anti-bacterial, that doors that might have opened and shut maybe just stay open. We’ve had the luxury of being able to react in real-time to these things.

How has OVG supported its employees during this tumultuous time?
AJ: I’m really proud of the way OVG has decided to support the employees throughout the pandemic, not laying people off, letting them keep their benefits, bringing people back as things opened up and it became safe to do that. From an onboarding perspective, we’ve been trying to make employees in remote places feel like a part of it by, say, sending them swag because they’re just sat at their dining-room table, and not at an OVG office.

We’re hoping that we’re going to have 100% of employees back in the office by the fall, based on what’s going on with the pandemic. We want to make it a very festive environment that says we’re glad that we can spend time in each other’s real presence, but at the same time there’ll be protocols in place, not to prohibit or make anyone’s job more difficult, just to keep them safe.

“OVG is lightyears ahead of our competitors in terms of gender diversity”

As OVG expands internationally, what’s your strategy for creating diverse teams?
AJ: We’re making sure that we go about hiring with intention. Whether that’s reaching out to HBCUs (historically Black colleges and universities) or diverse professional organisations to ensure that we have a larger slate of people that we can consider for the roles that we’re looking to fill. For example, we’re supporting diverse students to do an MBA in Sports and Entertainment Management at Seattle University’s Albers School of Business and Economics. So we can start building that pipeline to venues like our Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle and get people back into this industry to get a more diverse interview.

Why is making diverse hires good for business?
JK: OVG is lightyears ahead of our competitors in terms of gender diversity. One of the reasons it’s so important is to do with the fan experience. If there aren’t people designing a fan experience with everybody in mind, then it’s going to fall short for big chunks of the population and people aren’t going to feel welcome. It’s just as important from a customer service point of view too; if fans are being greeted by a wall of people who are different from them.

Just look at the UK’s events research programme that our almost completely white male government is putting forward. They’ve picked cricket, football, Formula One racing, Wimbledon and the snooker championships. There are virtually no women and virtually no people who aren’t white in any of the event research programmes and that kind of gender and racial data gap is what creates a crap experience for most of the population.

 


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OVG International launches in London

Oak View Group (OVG), the US-based venue development, advisory and investment company co-founded by former AEG CEO Tim Leiweke and ex-Live Nation chairman Irving Azoff, today launched its new international business at the International Live Music Conference in London.

OVG International, based in London and led by notables from the European venues world, is tasked with building arena and stadium development and partnership opportunities in the UK, Europe and the Middle East and Asia. According to OVG CEO Leiweke, OVG International is already in “advanced discussions” on a number of projects in those territories.

Jessica Koravos, president of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Group, and formerly MD of AEG Live and COO of AEG Europe, will serve as co-chair of OVG International alongside Leiweke.

Other appointments include:

“Oak View Group is growing rapidly, and we’re delighted to welcome seven exceptional executives to our team as we launch OVG International,” says Leiweke.

“We look forward to extending the Arena and Stadium Alliance to like-minded venues outside North America”

“Our aim is to create a new generation of state-of-the-art entertainment facilities. Our venues will be an elite class in terms of fan experience, artist experience and technology, and will provide an unparalleled platform for the activation of global brands.”

Oak View Group was founded in 2015. In addition to its major arena development projects at the Key Arena in Seattle, Belmont in New York and the University of Texas in Austin, OVG runs the Arena and Stadium Alliance, an invitation-only partnership of 28 arenas in North America that seeks to help independent venues attract global sponsorship opportunities, additional events and content.

It also has a venue-management outfit, OVG Facilities, launched last October following the acquisition of Pinnacle Venue Services, and a security arm, Prevent Advisors, and owns industry trade titles Venues Today and Pollstar, the latter which it bought last summer.

“The live events market has grown significantly in the United States since Oak View Group launched three years ago, and we see a huge opportunity to drive similar growth internationally by creating world-class experiences in world-class arenas,” continues Leiweke.

“We look forward to extending the Arena and Stadium Alliance to like-minded venues outside North America and to announcing more about OVG International’s plans soon.”

 


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