Live Nation and VEGA, a French venue management company, have inked an eight year contract to manage and program the 9,000 capacity Palais Nikaia in Nice, France. The arena, which opened in 2001, hosted more than 200,000 people last year. The venue also has a 500 capacity multi-purpose room and opens up into the adjacent 52,000 Charles Ehrmann Stadium, where U2 performed on July 15.

“France is one of the strongest music markets in the world,” said Alan Ridgeway, Live Nation CEO of International Music, in a statement, “and we are pleased to expand our global concert platform with a premier venue like the Palais Nikaia. We are looking forward to partnering with VEGA and to bringing more of the world’s top artists to the Nikaia.”

“We are confident that Live Nation with its deep concert expertise is the right partner for us,” added Emmanuel de Lannurien, president of VEGA, “and we believe that through the wide range of capacities the Nikaia Venue and the adjacent Stadium have to offer to promoters, Nice will become a must in touring for all kinds of international shows.”

Live Nation entered the French market for the first time in 2007 by acquiring Jackie Lombard Productions. VEGA manages various concert and sporting venues in various French cities, including Dijon, Limoges, Nancy and Strasbourg, but none in Paris. France is the fifth largest music market in the world.

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Last Updated on July 16, 2009