AEG Eyeing Russia?

AEG European vice president of facilities Brian Kabatznick cites confidentiality reasons for not letting on what venue businesses AEG is looking at in Europe, but he did say he’s got his eyes on Moscow.

Kabatznick wouldn’t say if he was looking at stadiums or arenas, but the likelihood is that either would require a new building.

It could also mean AEG might be trying to put its foot on the same bit of turf as global rival Live Nation, which is understood to be looking at a Risto Juvonen-headed drive into the Baltics and Russia.

Juvonen headed Live Nation’s Finnish office until taking “a sabbatical” in September. He said that after 25 years in the business he felt he deserved it.

LN’s London office won’t confirm or deny reports that he’ll be given a new Eastern European role when he returns, with the Helsinki office carrying on as it has done during his absence.

Kabatznick’s difficulty will be continuing to bring in business at the rate he’s done for the last year or so. It’s included getting involved with the operation of venues in Glasgow, Paris, Istanbul, Stockholm and Rotterdam.

AEG now runs 19 venues spread across nine European cities. Apart from whatever it may be looking at in Moscow, other matters remain in other parts of the old Eastern Bloc.

The company also won the contract to run the new Danube Arena in Slovakia, but the building of the venue has been stalled because the local authority didn’t have enough money in place.

In the fall of 2009, Kabatznick dismissed Polish newspaper reports saying his company was to build the new Polonia Arena in Bydgoszcz, northern Poland, but he did indicate that his company would be interested in running it.