Music, Not Sports, Becoming the Main Draw For Arenas

The live music business is expected to balloon to a $38 billion industry by 2030

Music, Not Sports, Becoming the Main Draw For Arenas
Singer Bruno Mars performs in 2016 at Staples Center. (Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
By Evan Bleier / November 19, 2019 11:10 am

With Concerts, not sporting events, starting to generate more net income for arenas, a private equity-backed developer is set to begin work on eight new arenas over the next three years, six of which will not have any tie to a big-league franchise.

Backed by Silver Lake, Los Angeles-based Oak View Group is leading the $3.9 billion investment into the group of arenas and plans to target locations including Palm Springs, Austin, Milan and Manchester in the U.K.

By keeping its properties free from any ties to sports teams, Oak View, which claims a venue can generate twice as much net income from hosting a concert than an NBA or NHL game, can schedule twice as many concerts as many of the arenas which are currently in operation.

That could be extremely lucrative as concert ticket prices rise and the live music business, which is expected to balloon up from $28 billion now to a $38 billion industry by 2030 according to PricewaterhouseCoopers, continues to grow.

According to Oak View, “the arenas are being designed with music as the primary focus, from acoustics to VIP amenities.” The new venues will also include fewer suites as those don’t sell as well for concerts and more interior clubs to encourage concertgoers to linger before or after shows, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The arenas, which are slated to seat between 10,000 to 18,000 fans, are set to be under construction or open by 2022.

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