Promoter Henry Cárdenas Acquires Arena Bogotá, Set To Open In Colombia Capital In 2020

Arena Bogota
– Arena Bogota
Cárdenas Marketing Network founder and CEO Henry Cárdenas will own and operate a 24,000-capacity arena set to open in 2020 in the capital of his native country of Colombia. 
CMN broke the news July 23 with an announcement noting that the investment in Arena Bogotá fulfills a professional dream for Cardenas, who is also the director of Cárdenas Entertainment and Marketing Group. Cárdenas confirmed to Pollstar via email that the purchase is valued at $35 million. 
The enclosed venue, which is under construction on Calle 80, is on a plot of land that will include construction on more than 750,000 square feet including the arena and other event space. 
The arena will feature a 131-foot roof, along with more than 40,000-square feet in storage space and room for more than 10 trucks to load in. A press lease boasts that the arena’s specifications will ensure there’s plenty of space for production elements and performance equipment, taking “acoustics and sound systems to new heights.” Plus, the design promises direct lines of sight of the stage from any point, no matter where you’re sitting. 
Arena Bogotá is part of a megaproject, being developed by businessmen Guillermo Rincon and Jaime Sanabria, which will include a shopping center, bars, cinemas, and a family club offering activities such as ice skating, bowling, billiards and more.  

Henry Cardenas
– Henry Cardenas
“I am very proud to be able to become the entertainment ambassador in my native country, and to be able to welcome everyone to Arena Bogotá, which will be the home to all Colombians, businessmen and promoters, the artists / live music events, business conventions, and sports that our country deserves,” Cárdenas said in a statement. 
“For the first year of operations we plan to perform between 130 and 140 shows, which means about three events per week, which will include family events, corporate, live music, sports (e.g. motocross, Olympic sports, indoor soccer, boxing, volleyball, tennis, basketball, etc.), eGaming, parades, and equine events, among others.” 
The venue will open its doors in the second half of next year and while a calendar of events hasn’t been revealed, Cárdenas said in a a statement that fans can expect “to enjoy shows like Marc Anthony, Carlos Vives, Maluma, Nicky Jam, Bad Bunny, Becky G, Silvestre Dangond, Wisin & Yandel, Ricardo Arjona, Maná, and Romeo Santos, among others.” 
A percent of the venue’s profits will be donated to Maestro Cares Foundation’s projects in Colombia. Cárdenas and Marc Anthony launched the foundation in 2012 to assist orphaned and disadvantaged children in Latin America and the United States. 
As detailed in a November 2018 Pollstar cover story, Cárdenas began his career as a promoter after he moved from Cali, Colombia, to Chicago in the ’70s and started throwing disco parties as a student at Northeastern Illinois University.

“I had about three or four disco parties a year,” said Cárdenas, 62. “I created a ‘battle of the DJs’ event and the disco parties went from 700 to 5,000 people. I was a promoter already without knowing it and it was going to be my life.”

Cárdenas founded Cárdenas Marketing Network in 2002 and told Pollstar in November that the company was expected to have a gross revenue for the year of some $150 million, selling roughly 1.3 million tickets from 200 shows in the U.S.

In May he was honored as part of Pollstar’s inaugural Impact 50 list, celebrating the live entertainment executives expected to have the most impact on the business in 2019.