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ASM Global moves into Italy with new Cantù arena

Venue management and services company ASM Global has ‘planted the flag in Italy’ after signing on to co-manage operations, run the commercialisation, and oversee the development of a new entertainment and sports arena in Cantù.

The 6,000-seat arena, which will be complete in late 2023, will be the new home of professional basketball team Pallacanestro Cantù.

The two-tier facility will also provide structural flexibility to allow for other sports and events, including expos, fairs, conventions, and corporate gatherings.

“Today we plant the flag in Italy, a region with incredible growth potential,” says Ron Bension, president and CEO of ASM Global.

“We to making the new arena one of the most recognised facilities in the region”

“ASM brings to Cantù the decades of expertise and world-class service that have made ASM the premier venue service company it is today. We are looking forward to building on our success and making the new arena one of the most recognised facilities in the region.”

John Sharkey, Executive VP, Europe, ASM Global, says: “The Cantù arena is but another example of ASM’s ability to help turn a great idea into reality. We were introduced to this project last year and even in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic we remained steadfast to get to today. I couldn’t be prouder of our team and our new Italian partners and I cannot wait to break ground.”

Financial services and real estate development firm Cantù Next will provide most of the project’s funding – though the cost of the arena has not been revealed – and the local municipal government is in support.

 


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New Toronto arena to double as ‘global hub for esports’

Global esports and entertainment organisation OverActive Media is set to build a multipurpose 7,000-seater arena in Exhibition Place, Toronto, projected to be complete in 2025.

According to the company, the venue will host 200+ events a year, driven primarily by music and entertainment bookings, while also serving corporate events, award shows and ‘a full slate of esports events increasing over time’.

OverActive Media is the owner of four major global esport franchises, including Toronto’s two professional teams – Toronto Ultra of the Call of Duty League and Toronto Defiant of the Overwatch League.

“We are already in active discussions to attract some of the biggest esport events in the world”

The venue will be home for both teams and the company hopes to establish the Toronto arena as a “global hub for major international esport events”.

The arena, designed by Populous, is just one aspect of the privately financed $500 million project, which includes a theatre-style entertainment venue and hotel complex.

“Today is another important step in the evolution of OverActive Media. We are building a world-leading, 21st-century sports, media and entertainment company and this best-in-class performance venue will be the chosen home for a new generation of fans that think differently about their entertainment choices and experiences,” says Chris Overholt, president and CEO at OverActive.

“It has always been our intention to develop a venue and hosting strategy and to build a facility that could not only serve as an iconic home for our two franchises, but ultimately emerge as a global hub for major international esport events. We are already in active discussions to attract some of the biggest esport events in the world. This venue will redefine Toronto’s event hosting opportunities in every way,” added Overholt.

The arena will be the first new sports or entertainment venue built in Toronto since 2007 when the city opened BMO Field, a 40,000-capacity outdoor stadium at Exhibition Place.

 


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Live Nation selected for new Cardiff arena

Live Nation has been identified as the preferred bidder to manage a new 15,000-capacity indoor arena in Cardiff.

The new venue, which will become Live Nation’s second arena in the Welsh capital, will cost around £150 million to build and, it is hoped, attract more than 1m visitors and an estimated £100m into the local economy annually.

A Live Nation-led consortium – which also includes venue company Oak View Group (OVG) and property firm Robertson – was behind one of two offers to Cardiff Council, which was seeking a private-sector partner to “deliver a top-tier UK venue that that will enable events of all sizes to be hosted in the city.”

Live Nation also operates the 5,000-capacity Cardiff International Arena (formerly Motorpoint Arena Cardiff), as well as converted warehouse venue Titan Warehouse. OVG, meanwhile, is currently constructing a new arena, Co-op Live, in Manchester, England.

Russell Goodway, Cardiff Council’s cabinet member for investment and development, says: “The city’s strategy is to establish the Cardiff Arena as a top-tier UK arena and to make it the premier arena in the south-west region of England and Wales.”

“Our combined experience in the delivery and operation of facilities of this nature will result in a world-class facility”

A rival arena in Bristol, in south-west England, YTL Arena, is now expected to open in 2023, after years of delays. It was originally due to open in 2018, with SMG Europe (now ASM Global) managing, but is now under construction at a new site.

According to Cardiff Council leader Huw Thomas, the council will commit less than 15% of the arena’s cost, with the remaining 85%+ of capital investment coming from the council’s private-sector partners.

In a joint statement, Live Nation, Oak View Group and Robertson say: “We are delighted to have been announced preferred bidder today to deliver the new Cardiff arena. We look forward to working in partnership with Cardiff Council to bring this ambitious vision to life over the next few years.

“Our combined experience in the delivery and operation of facilities of this nature will result in a world-class facility that will bring economic benefits to the entire region, both during its construction and for many years to come once it’s open. In 2021 we will embark on the next phase of the planning process, which will provide the wider community the opportunity to see our exciting proposals for the site.”

 


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Benicàssim promoter to manage new Valencia arena

Festival promoter The Music Republic will run the under-construction Casal España Arena in Valencia, Spain’s biggest indoor arena, when it opens later this decade.

The Music Republic – whose festival portfolio includes Arenal Sound (60,000-cap.) in Burriana, Viña Rock (60,000-cap.) in Villarrobledo and Festival Internacional de Benicàssim (50,000-cap.), which it acquired from MCD/SJM last summer – will manage the arena alongside Juan Roig, whose Licampa 1617 holding company is leading the project, through a new operating company, València 5 Estrellas.

As well as managing the arena, València 5 Estrellas will oversee all partnerships with promoters, suppliers, service companies and other stakeholders, with the goal of making Casal España Arena a venue where “promoters can [stage] any kind of sports or entertainment events, regardless of their nature or format”, according to The Music Republic (TMR).

With a capacity of up to 18,600 for concerts, the new arena will be the largest in Spain, with space for over 3,000 fans more than Madrid’s WiZink Center.

Valencia Arena to be biggest in Spain

Construction began on Casal España Arena, funded by €220m in public–private investment, earlier this year.

Víctor Sendra, CEO of Licampa 1617, comments: “A significant milestone has been reached in this project, which allows us to move forward in the management of the venue alongside partners that are highly specialised in the organisation and creation of music and entertainment experiences…

“It is a great opportunity for Valencia and Spain, having the first arena of such a magnitude”

“In addition, we share the same vision regarding the future of Casal España Arena de València. We have long way to go, and we are very excited to create a team that will help us succeed with a project that is so important for Valencia, and to which Juan Roig’s patronage is fully committed.”

TMR David Sánchez adds: “It is a great opportunity for Valencia and Spain, having the first arena of such a magnitude and capabilities, designed to host all kinds of cultural, sports and corporate events, [positioning] itself as an attractive venue for users and the maximum number of event promoters.

“Valencia will be able to host many events that could not be accommodated to date due to the lack of equipped and specialised spaces. We are very pleased and grateful for contributing to the management of this great project, together with Licampa 1617.”

Casal España Arena is projected to open in 2023.

 


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Green light for ASM-operated Gateshead arena

A brand new 12,500-capacity arena operated by ASM-global is expected to open on Newcastle Gateshead Quays in 2023, following approval from the local planning committee.

The arena is the leading component of Newcastle Gateshead’s £260 million regeneration scheme which will include a conference and exhibition centre, restaurants, a hotel and large areas of ‘outdoor realm’ and performance space on the same site as the arena.

Construction on the complex is expected to start in March 2021 and the project will create around 2,000 new jobs in the region, giving a £60m annual boost to the local economy.

“This ambitious and transformational development will create a genuinely unique events campus with an iconic waterfront location,” says Tom Lynch, director of business development, Europe for ASM Global.

“ASM Global has enjoyed over 25 years of success in the North East and we look forward to leveraging our global and local partnerships with leading entertainment, sports, corporate, convention and exhibition event producers, to cement NewcastleGateshead’s reputation as a sought-after business, leisure and cultural destination.”

“This ambitious and transformational development will create a genuinely unique events campus”

ASM Global also operates the 11,000-capacity Utilita Arena, located in Newcastle upon Tyne, Gateshead’s twin city.

Martin Gannon, Gateshead council leader says: “We’ve wanted to revitalise this key site for a long time. Our long-term aspiration has always been to bring internationally recognisable facilities of this scale to not just Gateshead but the entire region.

“This project is transformational, and today’s decision signals confidence in the North East. Newcastle Gateshead Quays will be a global leader in entertainment, leisure, and hospitality but most importantly it is about creating new employment and training opportunities for thousands at a time when they are badly needed.”

“Despite the current challenges, we need to remember the worth of the events industry. We look forward to opening the venue late 2023.”

The plans were submitted by Gateshead Council’s development partner Ask:Patrizia, which has appointed Sir Robert McAlpine to build the 54,500 sqm scheme, designed by HOK Architects (Etihad Arena, Abu Dhabi).

 


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