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AEG raises concerns over rival MSG’s plans for a new arena in East London

By | Published on Tuesday 20 March 2018

Madison Square Garden Company

AEG has raised concerns about rival MSG’s plans to construct a new arena-style venue in East London. It insists that it is fine with new competition in the London venue market, but says that it feels East London is already very well served for large venues and an additional entertainment space could lead to congestion.

MSG announced plans to launch its first base outside the US last month, replicating a high-tech venue it’s planning to build in Las Vegas alongside the Olympic Park in East London. The MSG Sphere will have all sorts of sound, lighting, VR and AR gubbins thrown in.

With more details about those plans expected later today, AEG got in early to point out that there is already a stadium and an arena for sporty and occasional musical stuff in the Olympic Park – aka the London Stadium and Copper Box – while its own O2 Arena is just three tube stops away on the Jubilee Line.

A spokesperson for the live giant stated: “AEG understands competition in the live music industry and does not oppose the principle of a new music venue in London. However, there is a question mark over whether such a venue should be located in East London so close to existing venues at the Olympic Park – such as the London Stadium and Copper Box – as well as AEG’s own nearby venue, The O2 Arena”.

So many venues so close together could cause tube stress, AEG also reckons. “It is imperative that MSG’s proposals do not add to congestion in the area”, it goes on, “especially on the Jubilee Line, which is critical for the movement of guests to and from The O2 arena. AEG always strives to ensure that its guests have the best possible experience when they visit our venues and we will work with local stakeholders to ensure MSG’s plans do not affect this”.

Fuck the Jubilee Line, I never use that. What about the Central Line that also runs alongside the Olympic Park? That’s my route home. We don’t want any more congestion on that line. Though with all the hi-tech gizmos MSG plans to employ at its new Sphere, perhaps it could install a machine that teleports concert-goers directly to stations in Snaresbrook or Acton. I don’t need those bits of the line.

Anyway, AEG’s intervention regarding MSG’s London venue plans follows the spat between the two companies last year over their respective linked bookings policies. AEG started pressuring acts playing The O2 to choose its Staples Center when playing LA, in response to MSG likewise using bookings at its flagship Madison Square Garden venue in New York to pressure artists to play its LA arena The Forum.