AEG Given the Go-Ahead on Wembley Arena

Wembley Arena

(from Venues Today, September 4, 2013) AEG, Alderac Entertainment Group, was set to run the 12,500-seat iconic Wembley Arena, owned by Quintain Estates and Development, in January; however, the Competition Commission just approved AEG to run it for the next 15 years. The Competition Development investigates mergers and markets to prevent monopolies. AEG has plans to increase bookings, sponsorships, and premium seating options to grow revenues for the arena.

Wembley Park, open since 1934, sits in the middle of a development that has a 4-star Hilton London Wembley Hotel and a London Designer Outlet that is set to open October 24th. James Saunder, the Chief Operating Officer at Quintain stated that the Wembley Park should receive over 8 million visitors a year; additionally, Rod O’Connor, Executive Vice-President, and Bob Newmen, President of AEG Facilities, believes that the park is at an advantage with the foot traffic from the development.

AEG has experience in populating venues as they have successfully managed several venues in London, Los Angeles, and Sweden. Unfortunately, AEG’s success caused the delay in approval by the Competition Commission as AEG operates the 20,000-seat 02 Arena, 5,000-seat Hammersmith Apollo, and the 2,400-seat Indigo at 02 which are all located in London. On top of the arenas, AEG also has a 5-year deal with Hyde Park that has a 60,000 capacity. In Los Angeles, AEG manages the 7,000-seat Nokia Theatre and 20,000-seat Staple Center, which is located in a development similar to the Wembley Arena.

O’Connor states that the Arena has seen an increase in attendance from 1-1.5 million to 3 million since the opening of the 02 Arena and an even higher attendance because of sporting events according to Venues Today’s database. O’Connor also mentions that the Wembley Arena is currently averaging 100 event days but plans to have a full event calendar.

The only problem, besides low bookings, is in sponsorships. O’Connor believes that if they are more strategic with the opportunities available they will increase event bookings, maximize partnerships, and boost premium seating options.