AEG Won’t Build Polonia Arena

AEG European vice president of facilities Brian Kabatznick has dismissed Polish newspaper reports saying his company is to build the new Polonia Arena and says the company is interested only in running the venue.

Stories in Gazeta Wyborcza and Warsaw Business Journal claimed the company would carry out the billion zlotych ($341 million) construction in Bydgoszcz, northern Poland, but that task is more likely to fall to a local consortium headed by Bau und Technik Polska.

Although AEG has handled the construction of the Staples Centre in Los Angeles and the O2 Arena in Berlin, its plans to build a new arena in Copenhagen have hit a stumbling block.

The Copenhagen city council chose AEG for the project in March and gave it until June 15 to show it has the necessary cash. It had to extend that deadline because the U.S. entertainment giant came up with half of the $225 million it needs. It now has until Oct. 1.

The Polish arena, which is expected to produce annual revenues of up to 200 million zlotych ($68.23 million), will have room for 30,000 fans.

The development will include a soccer stadium, a 5,000-seat basketball hall and a hotel next to the arena. It will also have a three-story underground parking lot. It will be built on the site of the old Polonia Stadium, a multipurpose arena opened in 1924 that is home to the Polonia Bydgoszcz speedway team.

Construction is expected to start next year, although local deputy mayor Jacek Wojciechowicz says there are still some architectural, urban and legal issues that need to be resolved.