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Go-ahead for Germany’s first climate-neutral arena

Plans for Germany’s first climate-neutral arena have been given the go-ahead by council officials.

Bavaria-based developer SWMunich will build and operate the 20,000-cap MUCcc Arena in Munich, backed by more than €300 million of private sector investment.

The multi-use concert and convention centre will be tailored to the requirements of concerts and other live entertainment, as well as in the areas of sustainability, transport and the environment.

“For us, the decision of the Freising City Council is both an incentive and an obligation,” says Lorenz Schmid, MD of SWMunich. “Because we will build and operate Germany’s most modern and first climate-neutral concert arena. And this for the benefit of the region. With the positive decision in principle, the city council of Freising has secured the chance for its city to help develop one of the most exciting cultural projects in Germany.”

The arena will be located in a new green space next to LabCampus, the technology and innovation centre at Munich Airport, with the seating to be arranged in a 270° horseshoe shape, placing the focus on the multifunctional stage.

“The project will create a new cultural centre for Munich and the wider Bavarian region to rival the best live entertainment venues in the world”

“With the construction and operation of Germany’s most sustainable concert arena, many cultural, economic and touristic impulses are created for Freising and the region,” adds director Gert Waltenbauer. “The arena helps to make the metropolitan region of Munich and the free state of Bavaria future-proof and internationally competitive in the concert and event sector. With the KGAL Group as a leading, independent investment and asset manager, the management and financing of the project is secured in the long term.”

The new arena will be climate-neutral thanks to lifecycle-based planning to reduce the carbon footprint during construction and climate-positive management of the operating phase. Several thousand solar panels on the roof of the arena and around the site, coupled with the potential for geothermal energy and district heating, will ensure that the energy for operating the arena can be generated and supplied on site.

Global design firm Populous has been chosen as the architect following a multi-stage architecture competition. Its winning design draws upon Bavarian heritage and character, with the support structure paying homage to the lozenge shape used in the Bavarian state flag.

“The design for MUCcc Arena places people at its heart, delivering a unique and immersive visitor experience, as well as showcasing the very latest in sustainable design methods,” adds Declan Sharkey, senior principal at Populous and lead architect for the scheme. “The project will create a new cultural centre for Munich and the wider Bavarian region to rival the best live entertainment venues in the world.”


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New 13,000-cap. arena coming to London?

As London’s stadia flex their music muscles and MSG continues to develop its groundbreaking Sphere, it has emerged that Europe’s live music capital could soon be home to another major new entertainment venue.

According to local media, the Linford Christie Outdoor Sports Centre – a stadium and community sports facility on Wormwood Scrubs, near East Acton, and home to the Thames Valley Harriers athletics club and PHC Chiswick hockey team – is slated as the site for a new 13,000-capacity performance venue, under council plans for the regeneration of the area, dubbed ‘Project Bolt’.

According to the Evening Standard, Hammersmith and Fulham borough council has appointed Populous – the designer of London’s Olympic Stadium, as well as MSG Sphere London – to explore masterplans for the Linford Christie stadium site, which could include an “event/performance venue”.

The proposed arena could either be “integrated with a community stadium” or a standalone structure, says Populous, in documents seen by the Standard.

The Acton venue’s capacity of 13,000 would make it slightly larger than AEG’s 12,500-cap. SSE Arena Wembley but put it behind the O2 in Greenwich (21,000-cap.) and the planned MSG Sphere in Stratford (believed to be in the region of 18,000).

“We have asked a masterplan architect to draw up options”

A Hammersmith and Fulham spokesperson describes the council’s subsidies to the sports stadium are “unsustainable” and says it has instructed “a masterplan architect [Populous] to draw up options”.

The spokesperson adds that the council is also still talking to Queens Park Rangers football club, which confirmed last year it had held “informal talks” with the local authority about the possibility of building a new stadium on Wormwood Scrubs.

The council’s plans for the Linford Christie site come amid a busy period for London’s live music market. In addition to MSG Sphere (for which Madison Square Garden Company hopes to have submitted a planning application by this autumn), many of London’s sports stadia bulked up their music programming in 2018: Twickenham Stadium told IQ in March that this summer’s shows by the Rolling Stones and Eminem are the beginning of a new era of concerts at the venue, while Wembley Stadium and London Stadium in Stratford hosted shows by Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift and Jay-Z/Beyoncé and Foo Fighters, respectively.

Tottenham Hotspur FC – which played at Wembley in 2017–18 – has additionally announced plans to bring concerts and “other major events” to its new stadium in north London, due to open this month.


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