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Tuesday 16.01.2018 | Name days: Lida, Lidija

Arena Riga: Riga Dinamo own hockey hall is mere Savickis PR move

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Itera Latvija head Juris Savickis statement on their own hockey hall construction for the needs of Riga Dinamo is a mere PR move to reduce Arena Riga possible price, in case it is bought from the current owner AS Rietumu banka.

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUArena Riga executive director Edgars Buncis informed the business news portal BNN abotu the economic activities of the hall and the fact it concluded 2010 with slight losses, the amount of which he did not disclose, though.

What has changed in the management or future plans since the new owner AS Rietumu banka bought the hall a year ago?

Nothing has changed from the practical point of view. From the economic perspective, the bank has introduced its view on money management matters and it own vision on the adjacent block development. Arena Riga has always operated as a business during these five years, no matter whether it is owned by Merks or other two private persons. We simply carry out our basic functions without complying with any caprices of the owners.

How can you comment upon the Itera Latvija head and Riga Dinamo board chairman Juris Savickis statement they could build their own hockey arena for the needs of the team. At first you were very critical about that. Have you come to an agreement?

Dinamo and Itera Latvija issue can be subdivided into two distinct aspects. Firstly, if we speak about organizing games, everything is alright. We can really be proud of Arena Riga investment in shaping Dinamo the way it is. Thanks to us, Dinamo is a recognized marketing leader in the continental hockey league. It has not received a single complaint on the rink, security measures, ect. Secondly, it is the political level. Savicksis statements are based on the the fact the hockey club Riga Dinamo needs its own arena, which is actually understandable. However, Riga with 750 up to 800 thousand population would not be able to sustain two such big and multifunctional halls.

Would this boost hockey tickets prices?

Twice as expensive tickets would not solve the financial situation of Riga Dinamo. It would not be possible to manage the hall only with income derived from matches. At some stage they would start competing with us by attracting concerts, that is logical. This would be an unhealthy competition with disproportionally huge investments and overall price drop, leaving both of the galls with nothing. We would simply destroy each other. Moreover, that way they would also have to consider building an additional hall for practices and infrastructure near which it could be located, in order people could access it easily.

Are long-term advertisers and/or sponsors interested in hockey games?

The fact Riga Dinamo closes an agreement with Arena Riga for a year makes it difficult for us to attract sponsors and collaborate with the leading advertisers willing to address people at hockey games. If any interest occurs, it disappears once they find out we still have to extend the contract in June-July.

I believe Juris Savickis statement on building their own hockey hall is a mere PR move to reduce Arena Riga possible price, in case it is bought from the current owner AS Rietumu banka. There is no information such an action is considered at all.

How will you make use of Arena Riga outdoor area?

We are drafting a hockey training hall to facilitate training of both children and adults, residing on this side of Daugava, because the best halls are currently on the other bank of the river – Inbox in Piņķi and Volvo hall in Imanta. It is not easy for many to get there after work. Similarly, also Riga Dinamo practice here would solve many issues of practical nature.

From the perspective of Arena Riga, which one is more profitable – hockey or basketball?

There are little basketball games, they flourished in the season of 2008/2009, when about 4 400 people on average visited every games. We cannot compare this with hockey, because these games have been visited by about 8 000 people for the past three seasons already. I hope hockey will regain its position as the most popular sport in Latvia. Basketball is currently facing some serious challenges.

Which requires more service – a world famous star Kylie Minogue or a local one – Linda Leen?

It is exactly local concerts claiming more organization time from the point of view of Arena, because everything is constructed here. Speaking about famous musicians visiting Latvia, they usually come with very developed mechanisms of how to set up a stage. If they arrive at 7 am, at 2 pm as the latest they hold a rehearsal, the concert is at 8 pm and they are already gone at 3 am. They have made their requirements known some time before already. We do, of course, make more with these concerts, compared to a Dinamo game.

If Congress house is turned into a Riga city concert hall, could this steal the visitors of your concerts?

I believe it would not. Riga needs a concert hall. When AB dam was discussed, the timing did not meet the will of people. However, times change and we will start appreciating classical – high quality music. It is rather expensive. As expensive as pop stars concerts. A concert hall with a small number of seats would boost tickets prices. It is no secret Arena Riga is not actually a concert hall, thus sometimes we cannot meet all the acoustic requirements. If this sector could attract more classical music-oriented concerts, the whole city would benefit. This would boost our image and popularity, because we are not currently considered to be a very solvent audience and a city that a world tour should definitely drop by. The financial crisis hit this sector considerably. It is often that world-famous artists skip the Baltics during their tours.

How do you make up the staff?

Arena Riga makes use of outsourcing services as much as possible. We employ 16 persons, I have managed to maintain the staff unchanged for four years already. Owners change, but Arena Riga keeps moving only forward. We have our own persons on duty overnight. Organizers of various events are responsible for security guards. In our contracts, we ask third party liability insurance from the part of the event organizers. Moreover, we ourselves are also insured.

Have you already calculated 2010 turnover and profit?

We concluded 2010 with 117 various events visited by 580 000 people and slight losses.


Leave a reply

  1. Piter Bull says:

    the more halls the better, but people must consider whether they can afford them

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  2. Melly says:

    Tuodhcown! That’s a really cool way of putting it!

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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