The China Rumor

AEG and the NBA are reportedly in cahoots to open up to 12 arenas in China and run a new 18,000-seat arena for basketball at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

After the August event, AEG and NBA would manage and operate the Wukesong Indoor Stadium together and split revenues evenly from a facility owned by the Chinese government, according to Street and Smith’s Sports Business Journal.

The arena deal is expected to be announced within the next few weeks and the magazine reported the two parties are in the process of finalizing a plan to include areas such as Shanghai, Nanjing and Guangzhou.

The partnership would benefit both AEG’s global expansion plan and NBA’s hopes for an Asian league, according to the Sports Business Journal. It hinted at how London’s The O2 and O2 World, opening in Berlin in September, could help the NBA overcome the obstacle of lack of suitable arenas in possible European expansion.

AEG declined to comment to Pollstar.