Hirofumi Yoshimura, the Governor of Osaka Prefecture, has announced that the consortium comprised of Mitsubishi Corporation Urban Development (MCUD), Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), and Kanden Realty & Development has been selected to develop and operate a new arena within the Osaka Expo Memorial Park.

Osaka Prefecture commenced its search for the project’s private developer and operator in 2019, with the new arena positioned as the centrepiece for a multi-purpose complex that would include a hotel and residential blocks.

The new arena will have a maximum capacity of 18,000, which will make it the biggest indoor arena in western Japan and second biggest only to the 37,000-capacity Saitama Super Arena near Tokyo. The construction phase is scheduled to commence in 2023 and the prefecture hopes the arena will be completed by autumn 2027.

Once opened, the arena is expected to host 165 events annually and attract approximately 1.8 million visitors every year. The Daily Sports website reported that Governor Yoshimura confirmed that the new arena will have 5G and other cutting-edge technologies to ensure that the fans will be safe and healthy, and cited the World Figure Skating Championships, WTA Premier tennis tournament, and NBA games as some of the international sporting events that could be hosted at the new arena.

Yoshimura said in the press conference: “This will be a huge project for Osaka and the fans will finally be able to see world-class sports and live entertainment events that rarely came to western Japan. Our initial aim was to have it completed for the 2025 Osaka Expo but obviously the impact COVID-19 brought to the nation meant that the project had to be delayed.”

AEG has taken international artists such as the Rolling Stones, Taylor Swift, and Céline Dion to various parts of the world and owns the Los Angeles Lakers and other professional sports teams worldwide. The group also owns and operates many indoor arenas and theatres and has been a part of the Aichi Smart Arena Group, which recently won the new Aichi Arena project contract in April.

The Osaka Prefecture’s website confirmed that Oak View Group and Live Nation were among the groups that missed out on the arena project.

Images: MANICA Architecture

Article provided by The Stadium Hub