AEG culture destination plans in Edinburgh


Plans for new Edinburgh Arena announced Image: AEG Europe

The entertainment giant behind London’s The O2 Arena – the Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) – has launched a bid to build a new venue on the fringes of Edinburgh, Scotland (UK).

‘BBC’ stated that plans for the 8,500-capacity ‘Carlton Arena’ at Edinburgh Park have been submitted to the City Council by AEG.

The 20,000-capacity The O2 Arena, commonly known as The O2, is a multipurpose indoor arena in the center of The O2 entertainment district on the Greenwich Peninsula in Southeast London (UK). It opened in its present form in 2007. It has the second-highest seating capacity of any indoor venue in the United Kingdom, behind the 21,000-capacity Manchester Arena, and in 2008 was the world’s busiest music arena. As of 2022, it is the ninth-largest building in the world by volume with a diameter of 365 meters (399 yards) and a height of 52 meters (57 yards).

The Edinburgh Park is an out-of-town business park in South Gyle, Edinburgh (capital of Scotland). It is in the West of the City, near the Edinburgh Airport and adjacent to the Edinburgh City Bypass. It was opened in 1995. The layout of the park was master-planned by the American architect Richard Meier. The park boasts a bar/grill, nursery and several sculptures, including busts of the famous Scottish poets, many of them socialists.

Los Angeles (US)-based the Anschutz Entertainment Group, also known as the AEG Worldwide, is an American global sporting and music entertainment presenter and a subsidiary of The Anschutz Corporation. It is the world’s largest owner of sports teams and sports events.

‘BBC’ further stated that the venue will sit on part of a vacant site previously earmarked for offices after the company purchased it from the developer Parabola.

Edinburgh (UK)-based Parabola is a privately-owned real estate development and investment group. Its mission is to accommodate people and organizations in high-quality, safe, friendly, and enriching environments.

Work is expected to begin in 2025, with hopes the first acts could take to the stage by 2027.

The AEG also owns venues across Europe and the United States, including the 3,341-capacity Eventim Apollo in London (UK) and Los Angeles’ (US) 20,000-capacity Arena.

The AEG Europe President-cum-head honcho, Alex Hill, said the project would “cement Edinburgh’s reputation as a destination for culture. The much-needed 8,500-capacity arena will bring world-class live music and entertainment to Edinburgh. We look forward to this development becoming an integral part of the local community and complementing one of the best Cities in the world for the arts and live entertainment.”

The new Edinburgh Park site in the West of the City sits just North of a stop on the tramline and is adjacent to Parabola’s “cultural quarter” development which so far contains a multistory car park and the 1 New Park Square complex.

It will also feature retail and food and drink space, the planning proposals said.

Said Peter Millican, Parabola Founder, “This investment will complement all that is on offer at the Edinburgh Park and ensure that the arts and culture has an outstanding live performance facility. The new arena will put West Edinburgh on the map as a new cultural destination.”

HOK On Board

‘yahoo!news’ stated that the “giant” US architecture firm HOK is on board for the designs, according to the architecture forum Edinburgh SSC (the world’s largest online forum for architecture and urbanism).

St. Louis (US)-based HOK, formerly Hellmuth, Obata + Kassabaum, is a global architecture, engineering, planning, and consulting firm. Founded in 1955, HOK is the largest architecture-engineering firm in the United States and the fourth-largest architectural firm in the world.

Added Alex Hill, “AEG is thrilled to announce this spectacular new arena for Edinburgh. It’s a location with immense potential, amplified by Parabola’s transformative development and regeneration of the Edinburgh Park. The much-needed 8,500-capacity arena will bring world-class live music and entertainment to Edinburgh, further cementing its reputation as a destination for culture and global tourism. We look forward to this development becoming an integral part of the local community and complementing one of the best Cities in the world for the arts and live entertainment.”

‘yahoo!news’ further stated that reacting to the news, the City of Edinburgh Council Leader Cammy Day said, “Great to see plans for an Edinburgh Arena at Edinburgh Park. Great opportunity for Edinburgh. Looking forward to consultation and plans being submitted.”

Alongside the arena, the proposal includes hot food and bar amenities, new access, parking, and infrastructure development at the site.

Public consultations into the plans will be held on January 9th, 2024 from 3 pm-7 pm at the 1 New Park Square in Edinburgh.

There have been long-awaited plans for a new indoor arena for Edinburgh for some time.

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