The 38,000-capacity Paris La Défense Arena has become the fourth arena to join the European Arenas Association (EAA) since the post-pandemic easing of event restrictions began for live events across Europe.

The largest arena in Europe, with event capacity options ranging from 10,000 to 38,000 for concerts and sports events, La Défense Arena has joined the association taking total membership to 37 arenas across 20 European countries. The 94,000 sq.m facility opened in October 2017, and is located 15 minutes from central Paris.

La Défense Arena booking and operations director Raphaëlle Plasse said, “The last 10 years have been more demanding than ever for the venues. All across Europe, venues are facing challenges; sharing these challenges, talking about them and working together to resolve them, are the best way to take control of our actions and development. The EAA has always been at the forefront of our sector’s progress. Becoming a member of the EAA means being part of our sector’s development and being able to work together to be the best at what we do.”

EAA president Olivier Toth said that given the devasting impact Covid-19 has had on the live events sector it is important for the association to strengthen its membership and work collectively on recovery.

EAA research shows that total attendance for member arenas in 2020 fell 73% from 19 million to 5.1 million. Last year saw a further fall of 23% to 3.9 million. The total number of live events fell 59% from 2,915 in 2019 to 1,181 in 2020, although they registered a slight increase of 2% last year to total 1,202.

In 2020, music events accounted for 48% of total events compared to 23% for sports events. At the end of last year sport accounted for 52% of total events compared to 25% for music events, although music still made up 50% of total audiences compared to 33% for sports.