The Seoul Metropolitan Arena, shown in a rendering, will play host to both entertainment and sports events. (Courtesy AEG)

Venue, part of CJ Live City complex, seen as draw for fans across Asia

AEG will team up with CJ LiveCity Corp. to build the Seoul Metropolitan Arena, which they call South Korea’s first state-of-the-art live entertainment complex.

CJ LiveCity Corp. is a subsidiary of CJ Group, which owns the largest media and entertainment company in Korea, spanning film, music, television and conventions.

Together with AEG, it will build a 20,000-capacity arena in Goyang, Gyeonggi Province northwest of Seoul. It will be Korea’s largest and most advanced live performance venue for K-pop, international artist tours and sports events, according to the announcement.

Seoul Metropolitan Arena will be part of a wider complex dubbed CJ Live City, which will also include a studio complex, a K-culture themed entertainment district and waterfront park.

CJ LiveCity is planned for an area surrounded by five of Korea’s largest cities with a combined population of more than 150 million people. The location was selected to attract fans of Korean culture from across Asia, the announcement said.

The companies project more than 20 million visitors annually.

A high-speed express train scheduled to open in 2023 will connect CJ LiveCity to Gangnam District, a wealthy section of Seoul, in 20 minutes and to Seoul’s Incheon International Airport in 40 minutes and Gimpo International Airport in 20 minutes.

CJ LiveCity’s CEO Michael Kim said in a statement: “This collaboration combines CJ’s long-standing cultural business capabilities with AEG’s venue development and operations expertise and its global live touring and promotions capacities.

“Seoul Metropolitan Arena, which will be designed by a leading architectural firm, is expected to be a competitive venue not only across Asia, but also globally due to performances of K-pop as well as world-renowned artists.”

Having AEG as a partner, which gives CJ LiveCity access to AEG Presents and its roster of artists including Ed Sheeran, Justin Bieber, Paul McCartney, Elton John, Shawn Mendes, Celine Dion, Khalid, Taylor Swift, the Rolling Stones and Katy Perry, “will be one of the most important factors for the arena’s success,” Kim said.

AEG’s footprint in Asia also includes China’s Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai in partnership with the NBA and Oriental Pearl Group and the development of two venues in Bangkok through a joint venture partnership with Thailand’s leading retail developer, The Mall Group.

AEG Asia’s President and CEO Adam Wilkes said, “CJ has an in-depth understanding of the Korean and Asian markets and unparalleled experience in entertainment. We believe that Seoul Metropolitan Arena will become a must play destination for world tours.”

AEG did not respond to an email seeking details on the cost of the arena, its projected opening date and whether an architect had been selected.