OVG & Live Nation Partner On Lagos Arena

New Lagos Arena Groundbreaking
International consortium led by Persianas Group Chairman Tayo Amusan and the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority, along with Oak View Group and Live Nation, breaks ground on new 12,000-capacity arena in Lagos, Nigeria. Pictured from left: (from left): Jessica Koravos (President, OVG International), Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Governor of Lagos State), Tayo Amusan (Chairman, Persianas Group), Ayo Amusan (Founder and CEO, Persianas Retail), Senator John Enoh (Minister of Sports Development), Tom Lynch (President, Venues – Live Nation EMEA). (Photo credit: Leon Photography)

OVG and Live Nation, in partnership with the Persianas Group, and the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), will deliver a new 12,000-capacity arena in Lagos, Nigeria. The ground-breaking ceremony took place Feb. 24.

The consortium delivering the project includes Tayo Amusan, chairman of The Persianas Group, the NSIA, Live Nation, and global sports and entertainment company Oak View Group (Pollstar’s parent company).

Other partners include Yinka Folawiyo, chairman of the Yinka Folawiyo Group, Nigerian investment fund Adino Capital, and MBO Capital. “The consortium plans to create a monumental centre for entertainment and sports, with hotel and ample parking space,” according to a press release.

Nigeria, with its young, and rapidly growing population of over 220 million, has a vibrant music scene. Nigerian superstars, Burna Boy, Wizkid, and Davido, are leading the global Afrobeats craze.

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Aerial rendering of what the new arena in Nigeria will look like.

In 2023, Burna Boy became the first African artist to ever headline sold-out stadium shows in the UK and U.S., while Wizkid became the first African artist to headline a major stage with Davido, selling out the UK’s O2 for the third time.

Despite its incredibly popular music scene, Nigeria has been lacking a dedicated arena. Until now.

The proposed $100 million arena in Lagos, the commercial nerve centre of Nigeria, will be “the first of its kind and will serve as a home for major entertainment and sporting events in the city,” the press release states.

Aside from international and local music stars and newcomers, the arena will be able to host family entertainment, basketball, UFC, boxing, WWE, and much more.

The idea is to host more than 200 events each year, which would make Nigeria Africa’s leading destination for live entertainment.

“Furthermore,” the press release continues, “it will usher a significant time in the country’s music industry, and overall entertainment landscape, thereby catalyzing the continued expansion of Nigeria’s thriving music, sports, and entertainment sector.”

Ancillary business will be generated around entertainment and sports, and the arena is expected to create over 1,500 direct and indirect jobs.

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Rendering of what the new arena in Nigeria will look like.

Tayo Amusan, chairman, Persianas Group, commented: “Project Arena has been a long time coming and it is an honour to bring this project to life. This project is monumental in supporting Nigeria’s thriving entertainment and sports industry. A state of the art, music-first arena, driven by technology will allow our Artists deliver world-class performances to a home audience, something that has been missing for a long time now. Beyond music, the Arena will also serve as a home for major sporting events including basketball games, UFC among others. This is indeed an exciting time for us all.”

NSIA CEO Aminu Umar-Sadiq added, “We are excited to be a part of this watershed moment with great potential to re-position the Nigerian entertainment sector. This groundbreaking ceremony is the culmination of extensive planning, collaboration and dedication of all parties involved. We look forward to delivering a world class
facility that will serve as a hub for entertainment, sports and cultural events for generations to come.”

Davido commented, “I am excited to hear that work has now started on building the Arena in Lagos. This is something that has been missing in the entertainment landscape in Nigeria for a very long time. Building an Arena in Nigeria means that artists like me will be able to deliver world class performances at home to our fans who have supported us through the years.”

John Reid, president Live Nation EMEA, said, “We are incredibly excited to be part of the consortium delivering this groundbreaking arena in Lagos. Nigeria and Africa more broadly present massive opportunities to touring artists when it comes to connecting with their global audiences. This brand new 12,000 capacity venue will open up Nigeria to international stars, and Nigerian artists will benefit hugely from having an arena to showcase their talents in front of a home audience.”

OVG CEO Tim Leiweke said, “Nigerian artists are some of the most influential in the world right now and yet they have nowhere to play in their home market. We want to change that. This consortium, headed by Tayo Amusan, has shown enormous tenacity and entrepreneurial spirit in getting this project off the ground and we are proud to be their partner. The arena will also give major brands – both global and local – the chance to showcase to Nigerian audiences for the first time at over 200 electrifying events per year.”

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