Anaheim Arena Deals With AEG

SoCal’s Anaheim Convention Center, which includes the 8,800-capacity Anaheim Arena, is expected to sign an exclusive agreement with AEG Live around December 20th.

The five-year deal is expected to add major touring acts to a venue that has lately been known for basketball tournaments and conventions.

The contract has been drawn up and signed by AEG, according to convention center entertainment director Greg Smith. It needs to be approved by the City of Anaheim, which meets December 20th. If the council approves the deal, and Smith anticipates it will, he will add his signature that evening.

“We expect [AEG] will have about 150 to 175 days they’ll be able to book each year,” Smith told Pollstar. “And, actually, now that we’ll have this relationship with them, some of the bookings we’ve been slotting in the arena we’ll try to move out and put into another part of the building to give AEG more dates.”

The building, which has undergone renovations in the last few years, currently averages about 200 dates a year. Many are booked by the city’s Visitor Convention Bureau 12 months in advance.

The agreement will bring concerts back to a venue that used to see a lot of them in the ’70s and ’80s, Smith said, as well as whatever else AEG books, including possible family shows and boxing matches.

The arena was under consideration for demolition in the ’90s, Anaheim Mayor Curt Pringle told the Los Angeles Times. It opened in 1967 with a Doors concert and hosted Elvis Presley, Cream, and Elton John in its salad days, the paper said.

A spokesman for AEG did not return calls at press time.

– Joe Reinartz