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Oak View Group set to build Coachella Valley arena

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 – and The H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation are building a brand new entertainment arena in Coachella Valley.

The privately financed 10,000-capacity arena will be located in Riverside County near the City of Palm Desert and will span 300,000 square feet.

Originally, the arena was to be located on 16 acres of tribal land in Downtown Palm Springs belonging to the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, a federally recognised Indian Tribe, however negotiations fell through.

“After more than a year of good faith negotiations we were unable to finalise an agreement with the Agua Caliente tribal leaders for OVG to lease, develop and operate the privately funded arena,” said Tim Leiweke, CEO of Oak View Group.

“We appreciate the ongoing support and encouragement from the community and are very pleased to be partnering with the Berger Foundation who share our vision for creating a world-class venue for the Coachella Valley and what will be one of the most premier music and professional sports arenas in the world.”

“The venue will be a major must-play destination for top talent”

Irving Azoff, co-founder of Oak View Group added: “As a local La Quinta resident, I am excited about having a world-class arena built.

“The venue will be a major must-play destination for top talent and be the ultimate fan-friendly showcase for both valley’s sports and entertainment attendees.”

Live music behemoth Live Nation Entertainment will continue to work as a strategic partner and supply the new arena with its large stable of top touring artists and premium live events.

“We’re proud to work with Oak View Group and the Berger Foundation on what will no doubt be an amazing venue,” said Bob Roux, president of Live Nation, US Concerts.

“This new arena creates the opportunity for the whole region to enjoy incredible concerts and our entire touring team is truly excited and looking forward to delivering a significant calendar of annual concert events.”

The arena will also serve as the official home of the Seattle Kraken’s American Hockey League franchise.

 


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Rapino to remain Live Nation CEO through 2022 [updated]

Update (18/12/17): An SEC filing from Live Nation has confirmed Rapino’s new five-year contract. The deal is valued at a potential US$9m per annum ($3m base salary + $6m in bonuses) and also includes a grant of 289,505 shares in restricted Live Nation stock.

 


Michael Rapino, CEO of Live Nation Entertainment since 2010, is reportedly to remain in his role until at least 2022 with the expected signing this week of a new five-year contract.

Rapino has served as CEO of Live Nation since its formation in 2005, when it was spun off (initially as CCE SpinCo, Inc.) from Clear Channel, where he was president of global music. He became president and CEO of the newly formed Live Nation Entertainment in 2010, when Live Nation merged with Ticketmaster.

Under his tenure, Live Nation has experienced more than a decade of continuous growth, with Live Nation shares now trading at a record US$42.91, with a market capitalisation of $8.9bn, reports Amplify – a nearly four-fold increase from when the company went public in December 2005.

Live Nation Entertainment, now the world’s largest live entertainment company, continues to grow, both financially – it is on course for a seventh consecutive year of record growth, turning over $3.6bn in Q3 2017 – and in scope through buy-outs, joint ventures and partnerships: The company has made 16 acquisitions or equivalent in the past two years alone, the most recent being Utah promoter United Concerts.

 


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Executive reshuffle: Liberty Media Corporation

Liberty Media Corporation, the Colorado-based mass media group that holds a 34% stake in Live Nation, has made three new internal hires.

Former chief development officer Mark Carleton, who was recently reappointed, along with president and CEO Greg Maffei, to Live Nation’s board of directors, has become chief financial officer (CFO), overseeing Liberty’s accounts and corporate treasury.

Christopher Shean, meanwhile, moves from CFO to a senior adviser role with responsibility for unnamed “significant investments”, while former chief tax officer Albert Rosenthaler has been appointed chief corporate developer officer.

“We congratulate Mark, Chris and Albert and look forward to their continued service at Liberty Media in these new roles”

All will report to Maffei (pictured), who says: “We are pleased to announce these management changes, which will benefit the organisation. We congratulate Mark, Chris and Albert and look forward to their continued service at Liberty Media in these new roles.”

Maffei in July offered $3.4bn for music streaming service Pandora in a bid to bring it and Live Nation under one roof.

Liberty Media’s other investments include the Pepsi Center in Denver (18,007-cap.), the Atlanta Braves baseball team and its stadium, Turner Field (49,586-cap.) and a number of TV, radio, telecommunications and ecommerce businesses. It grew its revenue to US$1.366 billion in Q2 2016, up from $1.222bn in the same period last year.

 


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