Design & Development

Live Nation, OVG back new 12,000-capacity arena in Lagos

Images: Oak View Group

Work has commenced on a new 12,000-capacity arena in the Nigerian city of Lagos, with the project backed by Live Nation and Oak View Group.

Live Nation and OVG have teamed up with the Persianas Group and the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) to deliver the arena, which is expected to be completed in December 2025.

A groundbreaking ceremony was held on Saturday. According to OVG, the venue will be Africa’s first purpose-built entertainment arena.

The consortium delivering the project includes Persianas Group chairman Tayo Amusan, the NSIA, Live Nation and OVG. Other partners include Yinka Folawiyo, chairman of the Yinka Folawiyo Group, Nigerian investment fund Adino Capital and MBO Capital.

The $100m (£79m/€92m) arena will be capable of hosting UFC, WWE, boxing and basketball events, as well as music shows and other live entertainment. There are plans for the arena to host more than 200 events a year.

The project is expected to create over 1,500 direct and indirect jobs, with OVG stating the arena will help accelerate the expansion of Nigeria’s music, sports and entertainment sector.

Amusan said: “Project Arena has been a long time coming and it is an honour to bring this project to life. This project is monumental in supporting Nigeria’s thriving entertainment and sports industry.

“A state-of-the-art, music-first arena, driven by technology will allow our artists to deliver world-class performances to a home audience, something that has been missing for a long time now. Beyond music, the arena will also serve as a home for major sporting events including basketball games and UFC among others. This is indeed an exciting time for us all.”

John Reid, president of Live Nation EMEA, added: “We are incredibly excited to be part of the consortium delivering this groundbreaking arena in Lagos. Nigeria and Africa more broadly present massive opportunities to touring artists when it comes to connecting with their global audiences.

“This brand new 12,000-capacity venue will open up Nigeria to international stars, and Nigerian artists will benefit hugely from having an arena to showcase their talents in front of a home audience.”

OVG cited the popularity of Nigerian artists such as Burna Boy, Wizkid and Davido as one of the reasons for building the new arena. Burna Boy became the first African artist to ever headline sold-out stadium shows in the UK and US, while Wizkid is the first African artist to headline a major stage and Davido has sold out The O2 in London three times.

“Nigerian artists are some of the most influential in the world right now and yet they have nowhere to play in their home market,” said Tim Leiweke, chairman and chief executive of OVG. “We want to change that. This consortium, headed by Tayo Amusan, has shown enormous tenacity and entrepreneurial spirit in getting this project off the ground and we are proud to be their partner.

“The arena will also give major brands – both global and local – the chance to showcase to Nigerian audiences for the first time at over 200 electrifying events per year.”

OVG’s arena portfolio includes Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle, UBS Arena in New York, and Moody Center in Austin. In April, the company will open the 23,500-capacity Co-op Live in Manchester, which will become the largest arena in the UK.