Normally AEG isn’t in the habit of actually owning sports teams and venues, which is why this transaction is noteworthy: the facilities giant’s Facilities division is buying into U.S. Bank Arena and the Cincinnati Cyclones (ECHL) with current owner Nederlander Entertainment.
Terms of the investment were not disclosed.
Nederlander bought the arena out of bankruptcy in 2001 for $22.1 million, later adding the Cyclones, which had a checkered history (the team was part of the original IHL when it folded; the team later played at Cincinnati Gardens and then went dark due to financial issues) before stabilizing in recent years after an AHL franchise left the area. The arena opened in 1975 as Riverfront Coliseum, seating 17,556; it’s the largest arena in central Ohio.
“Our partnership with AEG is just another step forward in our continuing efforts to sustain U.S. Bank Arena as the premier entertainment venue in the market,” said Nederlander Chief Operating Officer Ray Harris. “The experience and resources they add are a welcomed addition to an already strong internal structure. We look forward to working with them in continuing the success of U.S. Bank Arena.”
The goal will be tapping into AEG’s national network to bring in traveling acts; Nederlander is seen as being stronger in booking regional tours.
AEG owns or operates many large venues and runs its own touring-production house.