Four ASM Global Arenas Make Top 5 On Pollstar’s Australia & New Zealand Focus Charts

Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney

Four of Pollstar’s Top 5 Australia/New Zealand arenas, determined from reports submitted between Aug. 1, 2021 and July 31, 2022, are part of the ASM Global Asia Pacific portfolio. At the top of the list is 21,032-capacity Qudos Bank Arena (QBA) in Sydney, grossing nearly A$10 million in the eligible period.

“We have been managing venues in the Asia Pacific region for more than 40 years. It is an honour and a privilege to host the world’s premier artists and to be selected as the promoters’ first choice in our venues,” said CEO and chairman Harvey Lister.
He attributed the listings to “the tireless efforts of the extraordinary venue teams” that deliver world-class experiences for artists, their management, promoters and, ultimately, fans.

“These results prove that in times of uncertainty artists, promoters and audiences seek support from their trusted loyal partners, such as ASM Global, to maximise guest experience,” Lister pointed out.

Added QBA general manager Steve Hevern, “Since operations commenced in 2006, we have taken great pride in being an inclusive, safe and well-operated facility, renowned for hosting the greatest artists and events in the country. To be named as the top-grossing arena is a testament to that fact.”

With COVID, ASM Global Asia Pacific reassessed all areas by increasing client engagement, identifying new and improved revenue-generating initiatives, and undertaking a more cost-effective way of operating.

A new approach was adopted, led by group director of arenas Tim Worton.

“Collectively, we’ve had to rethink our marketing, increase our direct customer engagement, enhance the customer experience at our venues and look at more compelling and innovative ways to pursue commercial partnerships,” Worton explained.
“In this business, nothing stays the same and being nimble and adaptive to change is pivotal to success.”

With minimal live content, the venues hosted indoor sporting events and film shoots, and served as mass COVID vaccination hubs.

In 2022, Australian artists returned to ASM Global venues, highlighted by The Kid LAROI, Midnight Oil, Guy Sebastian, and The Wiggles.

International content returned from June with Disney On Ice after a three-year hiatus, Gorillaz, and Tyler, The Creator.

Worton said, “The outlook is positive with world tours secured to the end of 2022 with the likes of KISS, Billie Eilish, Andrea Bocelli, Tame Impala, Dua Lipa, Keith Urban, Michael Bublé and The Killers.”

To cater to younger audiences, QBA adopted paperless ticketing to transition into a cashless venue, QR code in-seat ordering and upgraded catering, introducing zero-alcohol beverages, plant-based food items and cocktails on tap.

QBA sustainability remains at the forefront at the arena, said Hevern, with strides taken on display in September when it hosts the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup.

Collaborations continue “with cutting-edge brand partners to offer fantastic complimentary experiences via our busy activation schedule.”

At the sold-out Tyler, The Creator shows, for instance, the arena branded a new electric car, provided by BYD, in Tyler’s trademark leopard print to become a fun and “Instagrammable” feature in the main foyer.

Newcastle Entertainment Centre had strong sales for Aussie acts Midnight Oil, Delta Goodrem and Guy Sebastian, family faves The Wiggles and comics Carl Barron and Jim Jefferies.

General manager Luke Daniels reported that while the Newcastle community displayed a strong return to live entertainment and sport, “Consumer behaviour post-pandemic trends have seen a stronger discretionary spend across food and beverage, merchandise and in many cases have exceeded our historical data.”

Western Australia was not in lockdown at the same time, or for as long, as eastern states, so RAC Arena Perth had steady local content.

General manager Michael Scott relayed, “During our 10th anniversary year at RAC Arena, we haven’t had to transition from zero to 100 with the return of national tours.

“With the support of our owners, we were able to retain most of our full-time staff and have even come out the other side with a cross-trained workforce.”

The venue’s marketing teams switched client engagement to novel content creation, combined with giveaways. A quiet room was introduced for those with sensory sensitivities, and the Sunflower Scheme for attendees with hidden disabilities.

For Brisbane Entertainment Centre (BEC) general manager Patricia McNamara, reopening communication well in advance of rescheduled events was key, with the BEC presenting Chris Rock’s “Ego Death World Tour” in August.

“The BEC continues to actively promote COVID-safe measures at all times including mask wearing, hand hygiene, and social distancing whilst adhering to the heightened cleaning guidelines of ASM Global’s Venue Shield,” McNamara says. “People need to feel safe and confident when attending major events.” The BEC plans capital improvements that will take place, particularly in the accessibility space, for 2023 and beyond. BEC will host events for the 2032 Brisbane Olympics.

“As we return to our ‘new normal’, there are several challenges facing business including staff shortages across all sectors, increasing costs of living, and interest rate hikes,” McNamara adds.

“On-going recruitment and training will continue well into 2023,” which is “shaping up to be the biggest year ever. In addition to the tours and shows rescheduled multiple times, there is a plethora of new tours booked throughout next year, giving us all a sense of heightened optimism for the future,” said Worton.

Click here to check out Pollstar‘s 2022 Australia & New Zealand Focus Charts