Last month, it was announced that the AEG Facilities division of sports and entertainment giant AEG has been selected to manage and operate the Buenos Aires Arena, an under-construction, 16,000-seat venue in the Argentine capital. The arena is expected to host approximately 100 events a year including concerts, family shows, festivals, corporate and special events.
The venue, situated in the heart of the city and well served by transport links, is set to be completed by June 2019 and open in the second half of the year.
In the latest part of our Project Profile series, TheStadiumBusiness spoke to Venancio Castro, AEG’s managing director, LATAM, to get the lowdown on the project…
TSB: Who are the key players in the project, and could you tell us more about the vision behind it?
Castro: La Nacion – one of the most important media players in the market, is the main stakeholder. The project was developed by Estudio Minond.
Buenos Aires is considered one of the most important markets in South America for entertainment, and because of its current structure, has a unique growth potential. From 2019 the region will have a quality space, improving the overall experience of fans and definitely placing Argentina in the international touring circuit.
TSB: What sort of new technology will be incorporated?
Castro: The venue is expected to host some of the best concerts and shows in the industry, so it must meet the highest levels of quality in infrastructure. Specialised teams of engineers are concentrating investments in the best acoustics, VIP areas, accessibility and areas of convenience, creating a memorable experience for fans and artists.
TSB: What have been the main challenges and problems encountered during the project so far?
Castro: One of the biggest challenges the project had to pursue was the recovery of an unfinished construction from 2015, that over time suffered serious depreciation, and upgrade it into a modern, state of the art, indoor arena. The construction of a new stadium began back in 2013, and although they reached around 40 per cent of work progress, in mid-2015 the project was interrupted due to financial problems of the concessionaire then. The structure suffered damages over time, especially the roof, before works were resumed by the new team.
TSB: What are the immediate next steps/priorities for the project?
Castro: Keep construction on track, following an aggressive schedule, alongside with AEG on the preparation for all services to be provided; hiring and intensive training of the venue’s staff.
TSB: Is there any potential for naming rights deals/other sponsorship?
Castro: Since the first announcements of the venue, we have had a surprising number of contacts from companies interested in understanding further what the sponsorship opportunities available are. On the international side, AEG’s networking has also attracted interesting leads, from companies willing to be involved in this exciting new project.
TSB: How do you see the arena benefiting the owner in the future?
Castro: Argentina and especially Buenos Aires is a vibrant market, that aligned with a world-class venue such as Buenos Aires Arena will certainly change the culture of entertainment, benefiting not only the local community but the entire region.
Image: AEG/Buenos Aires Arena