SMG Europe has been named preferred bidder for Scotland’s new AECC (Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre).
The venue operator has agreed a 10-year deal with Aberdeen City Council to manage, operate and programme the new 12,500-capacity venue, due to open in 2019.
Prior to the opening of the new £333 million development SMG Europe will work alongside the current AECC team in managing and operating the existing venue, starting April 1 next year.
John Sharkey (pictured), SMG EVP of European operations, said: “The SMG team is looking forward to bringing the expertise and experience we deliver at our existing landmark venues to the new and existing AECC, and we look forward to working with the team and venue stakeholders.”
The AECC is the latest addition to SMG Europe’s portfolio of UK arenas which include Manchester Arena, Leeds’ First Direct Arena, Newcastle’s Metro Radio Arena and the new Bristol Arena. Last week, it was also awarded preferred bidder status to run Hull's new 3,500-capacity venue, set to open in 2018.
The state of the art arena will include public access on three sides and has been modelled and shaped to improve sight lines towards the stage. In addition, new VIP boxes have been distributed around the perimeter of the arena on the first floor with a mixture of fixed and fully retractable seating providing a number of flexible formats for the venue.
The new venue is expected to generate 600 new jobs during the construction period, as well as 352 full time equivalent permanent positions by year ten of operation.
Over the next 10 years the new AECC is expected to attract major artists and events to the city while contributing an additional 4.5 million visitors, £113m of visitor spend and £63m net GVA to the Scottish economy. Forthcoming AECC events include Little Mix, Busted and The X Factor Live tour.
SMG recently announced it was returning to partner with Ticketmaster at the expiry of its current ticketing contract with Eventim UK.