THE COUNTRY’S dominant promoter Live Nation Entertainment has acquired the top two arenas – the 23,000-capacity Antwerpen Sportpaleis and sister venue Lotto Arena (cap, 8,000), both in Antwerp, from operator Sportpaleis Group.
Among the artistes playing the Sportpaleis include Ariana Grande, Mark Knopfler, Neil Young and Michael Bublé, while shows at the Lottoo Arena feature The Smashing Pumpkings, Jonas Brothers, Khalid and Dodo.
Not included in the deal are Sportpaleis Group’s promoting arm PSE, which organises the multi-arena Night of the Proms tour, the Het Schlagerfestival at Ethias Arena (15,000) and ticket platform Tele Ticket Service
“Renting out venues seems to be more profitable than promoting shows, so as we promote more and more successful shows in those venues, we wanted to get involved,” says Live Nation Belgium (LNB) president Herman Schueremans. “We will, of course, keep on promoting shows in other venues such as Palais 12 [15,000].”
Schueremans says Sportpaleis Group’s Jan Van Esbroeck, Jan Vereecke and their teams will continue to work at the company following the acquisition.
“The venue operation will stay completely separate from the promoter activities. Jan Van Esbroeck and Jan Vereecke stay in charge [of the two venues] and will keep on doing what they are very good at,” adds Schueremans.
LNB confirms the venues’ hire rates will remain the same and they will continue to be open to all promoters.
Further details about the acquisition have not been disclosed.
Among venues also operated by Sportpaleis Group the Forest National (10,800) in Brussels and Ethias Arena in Hasselt.