New arena breaks ground in Nigeria


Live Nation and Oak View Group develop arena in Lagos Image: OVG and Live Nation

A ground-breaking ceremony has been held for Africa’s first purpose-built arena which is set to open in Lagos, Nigeria, at the end of 2025.

IQ-mag said the $100 million arena will have capacity for 12,000 and is projected to host events including concerts, family entertainment, basketball games, UFC fights, boxing matches, WWE shows and more.

The venue will be located on Victoria Island, an affluent area that serves as the main business and financial centre of Lagos.

The consortium delivering the project includes Live Nation, Oak View Group, Tayo Amusan (chairman of real estate company The Persianas Group), the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority, Yinka Folawiyo (chairman of the Yinka Folawiyo Group), Nigerian investment fund Adino Capital and MBO Capital.

Oak View Group Chairman and CEO, Tim Leiweke, said, “Nigerian artists are some of the most influential in the world right now and yet they have nowhere to play in their home market. 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.”

Live Nation said in a release that Nigeria with its young and rapidly growing population of over 220 million and a vibrant music scene has never had its own dedicated Arena.

This is about to change with the planned $100m Arena in Lagos – the commercial nerve centre of Nigeria. This Arena will be the first of its kind and will serve as a home for major entertainment and sporting events in the city.

With aspirations to host more than 200 events each year, the Arena is positioned to emerge as Africa’s leading destination for live entertainment and as such, it will offer a dedicated space for entertainment and creates exciting opportunities for both local and international artists.

Furthermore, it will usher a significant time in the country’s music industry and overall entertainment landscape thereby catalysing the continued expansion of Nigeria’s thriving music, sports, and entertainment sector. Additionally, the Arena will develop ancillary businesses around entertainment and sports as it is expected to create over 1,500 direct and indirect jobs.

Nigerian superstars, Burna Boy, Wizkid and Davido are leading the way as Afrobeats continues to top global charts. In 2023, Burna Boy became the first African artist to ever headline sold-out stadium shows in the UK and US while Wizkid became the first African artist to headline a major stage with Davido selling out the UK’s O2 for the third time.

Davido, said: “I am excited to hear that work has now started on building the Arena in Lagos. This is something that has been missing in the entertainment landscape in Nigeria for a very long time. Building an Arena in Nigeria means that artists like me will be able to deliver world class performances at home to our fans who have supported us through the years”.

John Reid, President Live Nation EMEA, said, “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.”

IQ-mag further stated that until now, artists have had to perform at hotel complexes such as Eko Convention Center (cap. 6,000) and Balmoral Convention Center (4,500) in Lagos, according to the Global Arena Guide 2023.

For larger concerts, temporary venues are built in outdoor spaces such as Muri Okunola Park on Victoria Island and Tafawa Balewa Square, a former horseracing track in the centre of the commercial district and the spot where Nigerians celebrated their independence in 1960.

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