Australasia News: More Stadium Concerts In NSW; Ticketmaster Breakthroughs; NZ: Auckland Waterfront Plans Revived

2 AUS allianz
LIFTING THE LID: Allianz Stadium near Sydney, Australia, will be among the stadiums to have concert limits lifted, in this case from four to 20 concerts allowed per year.


NSW Raising Concert Caps In Stadiums

With more international tours in the pipeline, caps on the number of concerts in stadiums are being lifted in New South Wales (NSW).

Restrictions were introduced 30 years ago to Sydney’s Moore Park precinct after complaints about noise and traffic at a Rolling Stones show.

The state government plans to lift the lid at Allianz Stadium and Sydney Cricket Ground from four to 20 each a year.

Premier Chris Minns said, “We could bring in an additional $1.3 billion (US$877.6 million) for NSW businesses over the lifetime of Allianz Stadium.”

Built by the government for A$828 million ($558.9 million) to replace the original Sydney Football Stadium, the 42,500-seat venue was opened August 2022.

Evelyn Richardson, chief executive at Live Performance Australia, said the move would ensure the city be included on global tour schedules, provide more options for fans, and “drive visitor economy activity including hospitality, accommodation, and travel.”

She added, “NSW taxpayers have made a huge investment in the upgrade of stadiums such as Allianz, so lifting the concert cap is a great way to maximise the economic, social and cultural return on that investment.”

In Newcastle, McDonald Jones Stadium applied to rise the annual number of non-sporting events as concerts, carols and markets from 5 to 15.

The 30,000-seat stadium returned to concerts after 30 years, with two Elton John sell-outs in January 2023 injecting $12 million ($8.1 million) into Newcastle’s economy, and Pi!nk’s show March 2024 also forecast to generate that figure.

Brisbane Arena Project Going To Market

The Queensland government plans by June to begin market soundings on the planned A$2.5 billion ($1.68 billion) 17,000-capacity Brisbane Live Arena.

It will seek feedback from bidders, unions, construction firms and other stakeholders on models, market conditions, practical delivery and tender processes, according to the Courier-Mail.

Deputy premier Steven Miles called the arena “a world-class facility [which would] help Queensland to attract a greater variety of entertainment and international sporting events and strengthen Brisbane’s tourism sector.”

Main bidders are a Live Nation/Oak View Group-led consortium, and ASM Global whose Brisbane-based Asia-Pacific chairman and CEO Harvey Lister initiated the project seven years ago. Oak View Group is Pollstar’s parent company.

Brisbane Live Arena will be used for swimming and water polo during the Brisbane 2032 Olympics and Paralympics.

Ticketmaster’s Breakthrough 2023 List

Ticketmaster unveiled its Breakthrough Australia 2023 list, which its Australian managing director Gavin Taylor explained is made up of artists with a strong career start, give voices to their community, amassed fans globally and “are ready to take their careers to the next level.”

They are Nairobi-born rapper and producer Elsy Wameyo, pop-electro producer Ninajirachi, indie guitar acts Royel Otis and Ruby Gill, jazz funk Surprise Chef, Americana-influenced WILSN, singers Jerome Farah and Baby Velvet, and Sydney noise-funk duo Party Dozen.


Plan For Auckland Waterfront Stadium Revived

A plan for a 50,000-seat enclosed, partially-submerged waterfront sports and entertainment stadium was revived by Auckland Waterfront Consortium (AWC).

It came a day after Eden Park went public with a proposal for a retractable roof, extra grandstands and increase capacity to 60,000, as previously reported in Pollstar.

The AWC insists its scheme, first mooted in 2006 as a venue called the Crater for the 2011 Rugby World Cup final, and again in 2018, will be cheaper than the Eden Park redevelopment and will not seek taxpayer funding.

The NZ $1.8 billion ($1.13 billion) cost will be met by a private developer (with additional overseas investment) on the proviso it can also build 2500 dwellings and commercial buildings nearby and the rights to redevelop Eden Park for residential and aged care use.

The 50,000 permanent seats can be upsized to 70,000 or downsized to 20,000, and when ready in ten years would address Auckland’s need for more stadiums to attract international events.