AEG Nearing Deal To Develop Massive Moscow Sports Complex
AEG is "nearing a deal to develop a massive new $1.5 billion sports and entertainment complex in Moscow," according to Muret & Lombardo of SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. The sports venues are "targeted to open in 2016, with the stadium a centerpiece of the 2018 FIFA World Cup competition." The NBA "has been in preliminary talks with the developers about a new concept, the NBA Club, a themed destination that could be part of the complex’s mixed-use development." Developers said that the NBA Club "could include a restaurant, children’s play area, a small gymnasium and a retail store, serving as a way for the league to extend its grassroots development to Russia." VTB Stadium and Arena -- the "working title of the project is named after VTB Bank, the Moscow bank spearheading the development -- encompasses a new 45,000-seat stadium, a 15,000-seat arena tied to a high-end commercial district, and a five-star hotel in the city’s historic Petrovsky Park." AEG Facilities COO Bob Newman said that his company "has been assisting VTB Bank for design and construction of the stadium and arena in the early stages of development." Newman and Andrei Peregoudov, VTB Bank Senior VP and Chair of the board for the sports development, both said that the "relationship could result in AEG Facilities signing a deal to operate both sports facilities." The NBA "has been consulting with VTB Bank on the arena portion." Peregoudov said that VTB Bank is "close to completing financing for the project." Officials "have been talking to other international banks about funding, about $1 billion of which is set aside for the 650,000 square feet of leasable commercial space." VTB Bank execs "plan to adopt the Western model of marketing arenas and stadiums by selling naming rights, founding partnerships and premium seats, while outsourcing deals for facility services such as ticketing and concessions" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 3/28 issue).