AEG Grabs The Globe

AEG has stepped up its Scandinavian expansion by taking over management of the Stockholm Globe, although the four-venue complex has historically relied upon arch-rivals Live Nation to provide a major portion of the content.

In the 39 years since the venue opened, LN International chairman Thomas Johansson says his EMA Telstar has delivered between 40 percent and 60 percent of the arena’s bottom-line income, averaging about 60 dates per year.

"We’re a music company and we don’t run sports venues," Johansson told Pollstar, explaining why his company hadn’t made a pitch for the contract.

The Globe opened in 1989 with the world ice hockey championships, and it’s remained as one of the main venues for Sweden’s most popular sport.

The venue complex has four spaces: The Globe Arena, which is also the national arena, has a capacity of 16,000, the Hovet Arena (8,300 capacity), the Söder Stadium (16,200) and the Annex Arena (capacity 3,500).

Leading Swedish papers including Dagens Nyheter and Svenska Dagbladet were quick to question how the two L.A.-based rivals – the largest live music companies in the world – would do business together, although the May 10 editions of both papers suggested they were happy with AEG’s statement saying it’s "business as usual."

The two companies are already having one toe-to-toe in Sweden, which began last September when David Maloney and Mikael Tillman defected from LN to join AEG.

AEG then followed up by buying the booking company that planned the 22-year-old Hultsfred Festival, an event for which LN had previously found most of the international acts.

LN responded by setting up a Where the Action Is, a new one-day event that takes place June 14 and clashes with the last day of Hultsfred.

Where The Action Is, which has a 20,000 capacity and takes place in the center of Stockholm, has Foo Fighters, Queens of the Stone Age, The Hives, Dirty Pretty Things, Dinosaur Jr., The Hellacopters, Mando Diao and Sahara Hotnights. Johansson is confident it will sell out.