Concerts Drive WiZink Center Growth

WiZink Center
– WiZink Center
WiZink Center

Business has been good for WiZink Center in Madrid, Spain, especially since Impulsa Eventos e Instalaciones took over management of the 17,500 capacity arena in 2014.

Since then, the number of annual events has constantly increased, from 121 in 2014 to 156 in 2017 – a 15.5 percent increase compared to 2016, when the arena hosted 135 events. It marks “the best result for Madrid’s venue since its construction in 2005,” according to a company statement.

Concerts, which increased from 56 in 2016 to 75 last year, played a big part. The arena’s operators say the venue’s flexibility was “widely welcomed” by promoters. The arena’s ring configuration, which holds some 5,000 spectators, hosted 25 concerts in 2017, six took place in the 3,600 capacity Box, and two in the “newly arrived Ring Plus,” with a capacity of 8,700.

Some of the full-capacity shows last year included Bruno Mars or Ed Sheeran in April, Shawn Mendes and Ricky Martin on May, four nights of Joaquin Sabina in June and July, and the shows of Deep Purple, Jamiroquai, Van Morrison and Depeche Mode.

– WiZink Center
Arena GM Manuel Saucedo

WiZink Center’s general manager Manuel Saucedo told Pollstar: “In 2017, there has been a lot of activity in the industry, with several artists both international and national on tour. This is in addition to WiZink Center’s increase of capacity to 17,453, that transformed the venue into a very comfortable, versatile and easy-going venue for artists and promoters.”
Saucedo said Madrid was “trendy nowadays as a destination, and is becoming a top choice for both cultural and musical tourism,” adding that the Spanish capital sold “more tickets than any other place in the country.”

Over the past three years, the arena’s current management invested a total of €5 million ($6 million) in innovation, technology, sound and security, “in order to improve the venue and its possibilities; to consolidate it as the most important in the country and one of the most relevant venues internationally.”

Sports events, most importantly basketball – WiZink Center is home to both the city’s top league teams, Real Madrid and Movistar Estudiantes – make up a big part of its program, which also includes family shows like WWE, Disney On Ice or the Harlem Globetrotters, and even a Spanish version of Germany’s famous Oktoberfest.

“We had only three empty days in December,” Saucedo said, pointing to the arena’s retractable grandstands, which allow him adapt the venue to different formats and events. He also provided a 12-hour time laps video of the arena’s tranformation (at the time of recording, Barclaycard was still the name sponsor).