AEG Joins O2 For Berlin Arena

Anschutz Entertainment Group and telecommunications group O2 Germany announced a comprehensive strategic alliance April 27th to build O2 World, a multipurpose arena planned to seat 17,000 in Berlin.

Construction is scheduled to begin in the second half of this year, and O2 World is expected to open its doors to the public in 2008. AEG and O2 Germany have agreed on a partnership for as many as 15 years, providing high-profile national and international sporting and entertainment events in the German capital.

The arena’s most impressive feature will be an 1,800-meter LED wall that will turn O2 World’s outer facade into a gigantic video screen. The wall’s dimensions are touted by the two companies as more massive than the largest advertising space in New York City’s Times Square.

“We said we will build the arena when we are certain that the company that will give our arena its name, its face, and its spirit, is a partner who will work with us to transform a dream into a specific vision and, from there, a reality. O2 Germany is this partner,” AEG President/CEO Tim Leiweke said in a statement.

“I view O2’s partnership with AEG as a cutting-edge step for the whole industry, not just for O2,” added O2 Germany CEO Rudolf Gröger. “Through our comprehensive alliance, we are assuming a position at the vanguard, which shows that future collaboration between telecommunications companies as content providers and the entertainment industry will be far-reaching and substantive – to the benefit of consumers.”

O2 World will have a total area of 60,000 square meters, with dimensions of 160 meters by 130 meters wide, and 35 meters tall. The cost of construction is estimated at euro 150 million.

“O2 World is a milestone in integrating Berlin into the international entertainment industry,” said AEG VP Detlef Kornett. “Berlin needed this stage urgently, and it deserves it.”

The venue will be built on the former site of the Ostgüterbahnhof (Eastern Depot) between Warschauer Brücke, Rummelsburger Platz, and Mühlenstraße. Efforts to zone the site began in 2004, according to Kornett.

Kornett and his team in Berlin have been the driving force behind the project for several years, from the purchase of the site to its connection to Berlin’s transportation and utilities grid.

For additional O2 World information and images, go to