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AEG
Headquarters Los Angeles, United States
Area served Worldwide
Website http://www.aegworldwide.com

The Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) is a sporting and music entertainment presenter and a subsidiary of The Anschutz Corporation. It is the world's largest owner of sports teams and sports events, the owner of the world’s most profitable sports and entertainment venues, and under AEG Live the world's second largest presenter of live music and entertainment events after Live Nation. It owns or operates the Staples Center, the Home Depot Center and beginning in fall 2007, the XL Center and Rentschler Field. In England, it owns the Manchester Evening News Arena[1], and currently operates the The O2 which includes a 20,000 capacity arena. As part of the development of the O2, Anschutz also purchased the London river service company Thames Clipper, and supported the development of the nearby David Beckham Academy (which also a branch at the Home Depot Center). The company has its headquarters in Downtown Los Angeles.[2]

The company owns the Los Angeles Galaxy, Houston Dynamo (50%), Los Angeles Kings, Ontario Reign, Manchester Monarchs, Eisbären Berlin, Hamburg Freezers, 49% of Hammarby IF Fotboll, as well as interests in the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Sparks and Reading Royals. The company also purchased the Champions on Ice figure skating tour in 2006, and own 12 % of Djurgårdens IF Hockey. The company makes a significant amount of its money by leveraging its sports interests, already significant earners, by using the stadia in which these teams play to host various other entertainment events, most notably concerts. Indeed, Philip Anschutz created the company by buying up several small local promoters in Los Angeles in order to fill up the schedule for his new sports venue, Staples Center. It is now the second-largest event promoter in the United States.

AEG Live came to international public attention in 2009 when it acted as the promoter for Michael Jackson's This Is It tour. Jackson died just three weeks before the series of 50 concerts were due to begin. Jackson's family have said they would like to see an investigation into the role of AEG Live in the final weeks of his life, and in particular into the role of the personal advisers and representatives they believe the promoter put in place for him.[3]

Contents

Controversy

AEG is planning to develop similar entertainment complexes to London's O2 Arena, including the O2 World in Berlin and an entertainment complex around the existing Staples Center.

In Berlin, local groups started a boycott against the projected development "Media Spree", of which O2 World is a part, arguing that huge sections of public spaces were being lost to the private sector. Furthermore, the Anschutz company was criticized for bully-like behaviour in regards to the changing of the outer parameters of the sports arena. A section of the near-by East Side Gallery, a left-over piece of the Berlin Wall now serving as an international memorial for peace and freedom, had to be removed to enable the view of Anschutz's new arena, located on the (former) eastern side of the city Spree.[4]

AEG benefited from global interest in the death of Michael Jackson by hosting a public memorial service at Staples Center, a prominent music venue in Los Angeles and home of the Grammy Museum. The event included security and logistical support by the City of Los Angeles totaling $4 million. City Council members and local media have called for the cost of the memorial incurred by the City to be paid for by the Jackson family and/or AEG, instead of the city taxpayer.

AEG has also been accused of attempting to profit from the death of Michael Jackson, who was due to perform at London's 02 Arena in 2009/2010. While refunds of the approximately 750,000 tickets (at £55–£75 each plus £9 booking fee per ticket) are available to customers that request it, the promoter has offered to send out "souvenir" tickets providing fans of the singer waive their right to the refund.[5]

Many fans believe this is an unfair proposal as customers were already due to receive the tickets, and had paid to attend the concerts. They therefore feel that a souvenir tickets is an unsuitable and expensive substitute for the live performance, and that a partial refund should also be offered, or that the monies raised donated to a charity.

The company estimates that between 40–50% of its customers will request the original tickets in lieu of the refund, which will save the company $40 million in refunds. This is in addition to future profits from any material that forms a part of the "This Is It" concerts - the intellectual property of AEG.[6]

This has led to a sense of betrayal and exploitation by the company whose president, Randy Phillips, was quoted as saying: "Since he [Jackson] loved his fans in life, it is incumbent upon us to treat them with the same reverence and respect after his death."

Las Vegas

In August 2007, AEG announced plans with Harrah's Entertainment to build a privately-financed 20,000-seat arena in Las Vegas on the Strip [7] on Harrah's land located directly behind the Bally's Las Vegas and Paris Las Vegas resorts.

See also

External links

References

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