San Diego Arena Goes AEG

AEG has partnered to manage, book and operate the 14,000-capacity San Diego Sports Arena with current venue operator Arena Group 2000 through 2018.

While AEG previously booked shows at the arena, the deal signals a deeper move into the San Diego market, where the promoter has been quietly building a presence with a regional office and booking shows at several venues, including at its own Concerts on the Green site next to Qualcomm Stadium.

“We are extremely excited to be associated with the premier building in one of the largest markets in the nation and a city with a great reputation for supporting sports and entertainment throughout the years,” AEG Facilities COO Bob Newman said in a statement. “The San Diego Sports Arena truly is one of the nation’s most versatile venues with a history of attracting truly an iconic roster of events.”

The agreement will provide new resources for improvements and support services for the 35-year-old building to stimulate growth and create new revenue streams, the statement said.

The partnership could also reinvigorate a local push to build a new arena to replace the Sports Arena.

Last year, city officials weighed the option of building an $800 million football stadium before deciding a $250 million arena that could house a pro basketball team would be best suited to replace the aging venue, the San Diego Business Journal reported at the time.

“The ipayOne Center [The Sports Arena’s former name] doesn’t have much of a life left, San Diego wants the property back, and with the arena’s size, it would be much easier to finance,” Mayor Ron Morrison told the Journal.