Anschutz breathes in O2 for Berlin arena

O2 World scheduled to open in 2008

Anschutz Entertainment Group and mobile telco O2 Germany unveiled plans to build O2 World, a E150 million ($186 million), 17,000-seat entertainment and sports arena in Berlin.

AEG, part of Anschutz Corp., which also owns Walden Media and Bristol Bay Prods., is one of the world’s leading providers of live entertainment, sports events and facilities.

Construction will begin this year, and O2 is scheduled to open in 2008. O2 Germany and AEG aim to attract more than 3 million visitors to around 300 events in three years. Arena also will be home to the Anschutz-owned Berlin Eisbaren hockey team.

O2 will offer its mobile customers exclusive live content, including sporting and entertainment events, for download onto mobile devices.

O2 users also will receive early notification about events via mobile phone and get the chance to purchase priority tickets, gain fast-track entry and have access to an O2 bar at the arena.

Thursday’s announcement follows a deal struck last year between AEG and O2 U.K. to rejuvenate the former Millennium Dome, renamed the O2, and the surrounding area. Work has begun on that facility, which will open in summer 2007.

Among AEG’s sports and entertainment venues are the Staples Center and the Forum in the L.A. area, the Nokia Theater Times Square in New York and the Manchester Evening News Arena in London.

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