Industry News

AEG signs New York City stadium deal past 2030

Sport and live entertainment firm AEG has signed a long-term booking and concert promotion deal with Forest Hills Stadium in Queens, New York City.

Madison House Presents, which is owned by AEG, will present 15 to 20 shows a year at the 13,000-capacity stadium.

The arena is the former home of the first US Open Tennis Championship, which left for Flushing Meadows in 1977, and is still owned and operated by the 125-year-old West Side Tennis Club (pictured).

While the terms of the deal were not released, Madison House’s Mike Luba told Billboard magazine that the agreement goes past 2030. The new deal extends an agreement that was first formed almost four years ago with a Mumford and Sons concert.

AEG recently acquired indie promoter Bowery Presents, and earlier this month purchased Manhattan’s Webster Hall in a joint venture with Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment.

The Forest Hills Stadium concourse, seating and concessions could be redesigned by AEG, while also potentially adding a “speakeasy” VIP area with hidden area access points. It is said to include a suite that can only be accessed via a secret passage through a fake port-a-loo.

“We went back to the original architectural drawings of the stadium,” Luba told Billboard. “People are playing tennis on the grass courts behind the stadium all the way up until the show starts.”

“You have an old-school, legendary tennis club that’s running at full speed while The Who is sound checking. I like to joke that it has the feeling of a Caddyshack gone berserk.”

Forest Hills Stadium hosted a Beatles concert in which the band famously landed a helicopter on the court in 1964.

Ticketing company AXS will lead venue seat sales, while paperless ticketing firm Flash Seats will power digital ticket delivery and entry, as well as the resale market.