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AEG and NBA China Form Joint Venture

By Official Release
Posted Oct 12 2008 12:36PM

LONDON, October 12 -- - Unprecedented Partnership to Result in Development of NBA-Style Sports and Entertainment Arenas throughout China -

AEG, one of the leading sports and entertainment presenters in the world, and NBA China, have formed a joint venture to design, market, program and operate multi-purpose, NBA-style sports and entertainment arenas in major cities throughout Greater China, it was announced at a press conference today at AEG's O2 arena in London by Mr. Timothy J. Leiweke, President and CEO of AEG and NBA Commissioner David Stern.

The press conference took place prior to the game between the New Jersey Nets and Miami Heat as part of NBA Europe Live presented by EA SPORTS. AEG developed and operates the state-of-the-art O2 arena in London.

The new joint venture will work with government bodies and agencies and local developers to oversee the design and development of world-class arenas and entertainment districts. The partnership will manage booking and marketing of a wide variety of events including basketball and other sports events, concerts, family shows, cultural events, trade shows/conventions, and various live entertainment performances.

Where feasible, the arenas will be developed in conjunction with surrounding cultural and entertainment districts potentially comprised of restaurants, retail outlets, cinemas, hotels, residential areas, sports training facilities and smaller live entertainment venues.

The new organization will be equally owned and will oversee all decisions for each development including identifying target cities and project sites, arena design and development, procurement of naming rights and other sponsorships, securing an arena anchor tenant and the hiring of key personnel.

The first discussion between representatives of AEG and the NBA about potentially joining forces to create sports and entertainment arenas in China took place at the O2 arena last October during an exhibition game between the Boston Celtics and Minnesota Timberwolves as part of NBA Europe Live presented by EA SPORTS, the league's preseason tour of Europe. When it was discovered that both organizations were independently pursuing the development of world-class venues in China, they determined that working in cooperation would be in the best interest of each of their entities.

"AEG is the established leader in global arena development as evidenced by its state-of-the-art facilities in Los Angeles, London and Berlin. We are excited to partner with AEG in China where the popularity of basketball creates enormous opportunity," said Stern. "Together we will work with every level of government and the private sector to create NBA-style sports and entertainment facilities that will anchor communities and grow the sport of basketball throughout China."

"We view China as an exciting marketplace with a growing appetite for sports and entertainment. This is fueled by an emerging middle class and a great need for state-of-the-art multi-use arenas that can accommodate NBA games, sporting events and world-class concerts," said Leiweke. "Using our expertise and experience to design, manage and program venues in cities that are looking to create entertainment and cultural destinations will absolutely be one of the biggest and most important initiatives AEG has ever undertaken. Partnering with a global entity such as the NBA will become the most critical component of this initiative as the league's vision will re-define how the world views sports in the next decade."

About AEG:

AEG is one of the leading sports and entertainment presenters in the world. AEG, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Anschutz Company, owns, controls or is affiliated with a collection of companies including over 90 facilities worldwide such as STAPLES Center, NOKIA Theatre L.A. LIVE, Prudential Center (Newark, NJ), NOKIA Theatre Times Square, NOKIA Theatre at Grand Prairie, the El Rey Theatre (Hollywood, CA), WaMu Theatre (Seattle, WA), the Rose Garden (Portland, OR), Target Center (Minneapolis, MN), Beijing Olympic Basketball Arena Acer Arena (Sydney, Australia), Color Line Arena (Hamburg, Germany), The Globe arena (Stockholm, Sweden), O2 World arena (Berlin, Germany) and The O2, a 28-acre development located in the eastern part of London along the Thames River which includes a 20,000 seat arena and over 650,000sf of leisure and entertainment use; sports franchises throughout the world including the Los Angeles Kings (NHL) and two MLS franchises in addition to overseeing privately held management shares of the Los Angeles Lakers (NBA). AEG developed and operates The Home Depot Center, a $150 million national training facility on the Campus of California State University Dominguez Hills in Carson, California designated as an "Official U.S. Olympic Training Site" by the United States Olympic Committee that. includes major facilities for soccer, tennis, track & field, cycling, lacrosse, rugby, action sports, beach volleyball, basketball and other sports.

AEG's live entertainment division, AEG LIVE is one of the world's leading concert promotion and touring companies with fifteen regional offices that has recently promoted national tours on behalf of artists such as Prince, Usher, Kenny Chesney, Rod Stewart, Paul McCartney, Yanni, the Eagles, George Strait, Justin Timberlake and Christina Aguilera, Dixie Chicks, Hannah Montana and American Idol. AEG LIVE is currently overseeing the international museum tour of the artifacts of King Tut "Tutankhamen and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs" and produced "A New Day..." starring Celine Dion which just concluded an unprecedented five year "residency" at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.

About NBA China The NBA's entity that conducts all of the league's businesses in greater China was formed in January 2008. The NBA has interacted with Chinese basketball for decades, including first hosting the Chinese National team in 1985. The NBA currently has relationships with 51 Chinese telecasters, including a partnership of more than 20 years with national broadcaster CCTV. The league hosts hundreds of touring basketball events for fans, conducts community enrichment programs and maintains marketing partnerships with a combination of world-class Chinese based corporations and U.S.-based multinationals.

The NBA opened its Hong Kong office in 1992 and currently employs 100 people in four offices in greater China. NBA.com/China has become the most popular sports Web site in China and "more than 500 unique NBA products are available in China at the two new NBA Stores in Beijing, Wal-Mart, Carrefour, adidas stores and many other retail locations. NBA China Games 2008 will return to China for the third year and play two games in Beijing and Guangzhou. The NBA became the first American sports league to stage games in China in 2004 and returned in 2007.

Tune in today for live coverage of NBA Europe Live 2008 presented by EA Sports as Miami takes on New Jersey in London at 2 pm ET on NBA TV - The Game Happens Here.

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