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Australasian venues rate highly on Billboard’s ‘2019 Arena Power List’

Australasian venues rate highly on Billboard’s ‘2019 Arena Power List’
October 4, 2019

Australian and New Zealand venues have been recognised among some of the world’s top performing venues by global entertainment magazine Billboard.

Sydney’s Qudos Bank Arena and Melbourne’s Rod Laver Arena have been recognised in the top five performing venues among global arenas with a capacity of more than 15,000 (ranking fourth and fifth) while the Brisbane Entertainment Centre, Perth’s RAC Arena and Auckland’s Spark Arena rank second, sixth and seventh among the world’s top performing venues with capacities of between 10,000 and 15,000.

Describing the market, a Billboard reporter advised “in each live-music year, festivals and stadium shows make the most noise, especially in today’s ultracompetitive live market but arenas have always represented the lifeblood of the global concert industry.”

Indoor venues accommodating 10,001 or more fans accounted for 40% of total attendance and 46% of total ticket grosses reported to Billboard Boxscore’s worldwide ranking during a recent 12-month period.

The report suggested that arenas are increasing sustainability, quoting Steve Sayer, General Manager of The O2 London as stating “like a lot of businesses, we have seen a massive shift in the way that consumers are thinking about environmental concerns.”

Consistent with practice at a number of Australian venues, The O2 London now has ‘green team’ to test reusable plastic cups at the venue and has committed to reduce its electrical consumption by two million kilowatts per year.

Billboard also identifies increased venue security in the wake of Manchester Arena bombing in 2017 as a key industry trend.

Rankings are based on a 12-month gross (as designated in the capsules below): total ticket sales reported to Billboard Boxscore between 1st July 2018, and 30th June 2019. (Venues did not report all events taking place during this period.) 

Venues with capacities of 15,001-plus

#4. Qudos Bank Arena, Sydney
Concert Capacity: 21,000
12-Month Gross: $81.1 million

Built for the Sydney Olympics in 2000, Sydney’s Qudos Bank Arena celebrates its 20th anniversary this year.

It now has an upgraded security control room with full CCTV, facial recognition and perimeter surveillance while stringent new screening processes have been implemented over the past 12 months. 

A raft of energy-saving initiatives also have been rolled out, including water-restriction tapware and the installation of a 70kW solar array system. Qudos Bank Arena, the largest indoor venue in Australia, is undergoing a conversion to LED lighting.

#5. Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne
Concert Capacity: 16,820
12-Month Gross: $66 million

The Rod Laver Arena can be configured for capacities of 16,800 in the round, 13,500 in end-stage concert mode and 7,000 in reduced concert mode. In the throes of an ambitious four-year refurbishment, which includes a three-level entrance, new annexes and a retractable roof that converts from outdoor to indoor in ‘seconds’.

Venues with capacities of 10,001-15,000

#2. Brisbane Entertainment Centre 
Concert Capacity: 13,500
12-Month Gross: $40.5 million

The Brisbane Entertainment Centre has such a strong connection with P!nk, a ladies bathroom is named in her honor. The veteran pop star, who has performed 32 shows at the Centre since 2004, returned with seven sold-out shows on her Beautiful Trauma World Tour this past year. 

Other international acts who have performed multiple shows over the past year include Céline Dion, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Katy Perry, Post Malone and Shania Twain (for the first time in 19 years).

General Manager Patricia McNamara told Billboard “we are seeing a two-speed market.

“Hot acts are selling out easily, and at times in spite of very high prices, while the acts who aren’t so hot have struggled.”

#6. RAC Arena, Perth
Concert Capacity: 15,000
12-Month Gross: $34 million

With its first naming-rights deal and eight of the venue’s top 20 highest-grossing shows of all time, the RAC Arena has enjoyed a “huge year,” according to General Manager Michael Scott

The venue has also implemented a raft of sustainability initiatives, including the introduction of reusable cups and a partnership with Hyundai, which will install electric car charging stations on-site.

#7. Spark Arena, Auckland
Concert Capacity: 12,000
12-Month Gross: $31.6 million

The largest indoor venue of its kind in New Zealand, Spark Arena is a year into its Zero Waste Strategy, where 100% compostable packaging is now used for front-of-house serveware. 

As a result, General Manager Brendan Hines told Billboard “we are seeing a dramatic reduction in our annual waste to landfills.”

In April, the venue hosted the You Are Us/Aroha Nui concert to raise funds for those affected by the March Christchurch terror attack. 

Hines added “it was an emotional evening for the artists and audience with a powerful message of acceptance and love.”

Images: P!nk at Qudos Bank Arena (top), esports at Rod Laver Arena (middle) and Perth's ARC Arena (below).

Related Articles

3rd October 2019 - New ASM Global expands operations in Australia

18th March 2019 - Plastic drinking cups removed from Sydney Showground

24th January 2019 - Frontier Touring ranked top Australian promoter in new Billboard global report

18th December 2018 - New facilities completed at Melbourne’s Rod Laver Arena

21st September 2018 - P!NK sets new ticket sales record at Qudos Bank Arena

12th September 2018 - Spark Arena rolls out Zero Waste Strategy

16th July 2018 - Australasian venues strong performers in Pollstar’s Mid-Year concert rankings

15th July 2018 - P!nk concerts attract 6,000 visitors to Perth

2nd March 2018 - Redevelopment work recommences in Rod Laver Arena’s anniversary year

13th September 2017 - Brisbane Entertainment Centre welcomes successful Ariana Grande concert

23rd May 2017 - Venue industry reacts to Manchester Arena terror attack

18th November 2016 - 2016 Billboard Touring Awards recognises the best of the global concert industry

8th December 2014 - Rolling Stones take out Billboard Touring award

9th November 2014 - Allphones Arena ranked among world’s top arenas in Billboard Touring Awards

9th November 2012 - Rod Laver Arena a finalist in Billboard Magazine’s ‘Top Arena’ Category

10th November 2011 - Australian venues compete for Billboard magazine’s Top Arena awards

5th November 2010 - Rod Laver Arena in World Top 10 for Ticket Sales


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