Looking to expand its opportunities in Canada, Live Nation Entertainment this week announced it signed a partnership deal with Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE), which owns the Maples Leafs and Toronto Raptors among other assets.
The deal calls for MLSE to sell Live Nation’s premium tickets and sponsorship initiatives at the Air Canada Centre, which MLSE owns, in addition to its other entertainment venues. Live Nation owns the Molson Canadian Amphitheatre in Toronto, for which MLSE also will sell tickets and services. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The deal also calls for the possibility of Live Nation and MLSE developing a future House of Blues venue in Toronto. According to the companies, all of the venues under Live Nation’s or MLSE’s control will still be available to independent promoters.
Toronto and the Province of Ontario are among some of North America’s largest live entertainment marketplaces, so the move will give Live Nation a stronger foothold in the region.
“The Greater Toronto Area is the third highest grossing event market in North America and this partnership provides an unparalleled venue footprint,” Michael Rapino, President and CEO of Live Nation, said in a statement. “Combining MLSE’s strong venue expertise and marketing relationships with our entertainment content makes them an ideal partner for Live Nation. We look forward to partnering with MLSE and building a truly fan focused experience in Ontario.”
In addition, although the deal’s announcement made no mention of the secondary ticket market, the partnership could help Live Nation overcome any public relations angst it may have experienced after the Ontario government passed a law that prohibited primary ticketing companies from selling tickets on secondary ticketing companies it owns. The law was thought to be directed at Ticketmaster, which merged with Live Nation in 2010, because Ticketmaster owns the secondary ticket company TicketsNow.
“This is an exciting partnership that will create tremendous synergies for both companies and further boost Ontario’s position as a premier destination for live entertainment globally,” Richard Peddie, President and CEO of MLSE, said in a statement. “We look forward to further developing our partnership with Live Nation and to growing our live entertainment assets in Canada in an effort to deliver exceptional fan value and a great experience for artists year-round.”