Magnate Tayo Amusan Builds $100m Africa’s First Purpose Built Entertainment Arena

Posted on February 25, 2024

FUNSHO AROGUNDADE

A consortium led by the billionaire mogul Tayo Amusan’s Persianas Group and the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority – an independent investment institution of the Nigerian federation – on Saturday performed a groundbreaking ceremony for a proposed 12,000-capacity arena in Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria.

Other members of the consortium delivering the iconic endeavor includes Live Nation —world’s leading live entertainment company—; Oak View Group —global sports and entertainment company which is behind the £365million Co-op Live arena in Manchester, United Kingdom—; Tunde Folawiyo, Chairman of the Yinka Folawiyo Group; Adino Capital, a Nigerian investment fund and MBO Capital. The consortium plans to create a monumental centre for entertainment and sports, with a hotel and ample parking space.

At the landmark event attended by stakeholders, partners, esteemed Nigerian entertainment personalities among others, Amusan —who is the lead promoter of the multi-billion dollar project— stated that the Arena has been a long time coming and it is an honour to bring this project to life.

According to him, Nigeria with its young and rapidly growing population of over 220 million and a vibrant music scene has never had its own dedicated Arena. This is about to change with the proposed $100m Arena in Lagos —the commercial nerve centre of Nigeria.

“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 to deliver world-class performances to a home audience, something that has been missing for a long time now. Beyond music, the Arena’s versatile design will allow for a diverse range of events including performances by both global and Nigerian music artists, family entertainment, basketball games, UFC fights, boxing matches, WWE shows and so much more. This is indeed an exciting time for us all,” Amusan stated.

While performing the groundbreaking, Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu described the Arena as a purpose-built marvel being inspired by global standards.

He noted that the facility with an indoor capacity of  12,000 people will elevate Lagos to the forefront of the global events space.

“We welcome strategic projects like this with the completion timeline set for December 2025. The Lagos Arena is not just a building; it’s a beacon of possibilities for our entertainment industry and is setting the stage for world-class entertainment. Drawing inspiration from iconic arenas around the world yet distinguishing itself, The Lagos Arena is designed to be a jewel in Nigeria’s crown. The aim is to bring Lagos up to par with its global peers, making it a go-to destination for premier international events,” Sanwo-Olu stated.

Also speaking at the groundbreaking event, Aminu Umar-Sadiq, CEO, Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority, expressed his excitement to be a part of the 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,” he said.

Nigerian superstars, Burna Boy, Wizkid and Davido are leading the way as Afrobeats continues to top global charts. In 2023, Burna Boy became the first African artist to ever headline sold-out stadium shows in the UK and US while Wizkid became the first African artist to headline a major stage with Davido selling out the U.K’s O2 for the third time.

With aspirations to host more than 200 events each year, the Arena is positioned to emerge as Africa’s leading destination for live entertainment as such it will offer a dedicated space for entertainment and creates exciting opportunities for both local and international artists.

Furthermore, it will usher a significant time in the country’s music industry and overall entertainment landscape thereby catalysing the continued expansion of Nigeria’s thriving music, sports, and entertainment sector. Additionally, the Arena will develop ancillary businesses around entertainment and sports as it is expected to create over 1500 direct and indirect jobs.

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.”

In his contribution, Tim Leiweke, Oak View Group Chairman and CEO, 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”,

The Arena was designed by Yazgan Design Architecture and will be constructed by Sinerji İnşaat/Sinerji Construction. Acoustic design will be done by Mezzo Stüdyo Architectural Acoustics, Design and Consulting. The total construction area is 25,600 sqm and landscape area is 15,311 sqm. Construction of The Arena begins Saturday 24 February and completion is expected in December 2025.

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