CTS Eventim has taken over the development of the MSG Arena in Milan, which is to host events at the 2026 Olympic Games.

The ticketing and live entertainment provider will lead the planning and construction of the 16,000-capacity multipurpose arena, which will become Italy’s largest indoor venue when it opens in autumn 2025. Oak View Group announced the venue as its first European project through a partnership with Live Nation at around the time Milan won the 2026 Olympic bid in 2019, but rights have now switched to CTS Eventim.

CTS Eventim said the arrangement with the project company Milano Santa Giulia S.p.A will “massively expand its portfolio of top international venues”. MSG Arena adds to the group’s existing portfolio, which includes venues such as the Lanxess Arena in Cologne, the Eventim Apollo in London and K.B. Hallen in Copenhagen.

The group said the investment over the duration of the project will amount to around €180m. An Eventim Group project company based in Milan will acquire a 50,000m² plot of land in the south-east of Italy’s northern powerhouse, where it will plan, build and operate the new arena, including the outdoor facilities and two multi-storey car parks for 2,750 vehicles.

The arena will initially be made available to the International Olympic Committee for the Winter Games at the beginning of 2026 and is set to host ice hockey events.

Klaus-Peter Schulenberg, chief executive of CTS Eventim, said: “Our work as venue operators is one of the outstanding success stories of CTS Eventim. We are very much looking forward to this new project, which will enable us to bring our expertise in the management of top international venues and the live entertainment business to bear.

“Our new arena in Milan will be a must-play for all major tours, and we will also be able to offer top events from the Eventim portfolio to the region around Milan and beyond in our own arena through the four Italian promoters in our Eventim Live promoter network. This is another excellent addition to our value chain.”

The switch to CTS Eventim is a surprise with International Olympic Committee (IOC) chiefs saying the operators lined up to run the Milan venues was a major part of their decision to award the 2026 Games to the Italian city.

The MSG Arena is part of the Milano Santa Giulia urban development project, which includes offices, housing and retail units across 120 hectares, just a few kilometres from Milan’s city centre.

In terms of revenue, Italy is CTS Eventim’s second largest market after Germany. Before the start of the coronavirus pandemic, the region generated around €271m in the ticketing and live entertainment segments in 2019.

Image: CTS Eventim / Arup