AEG Live has inked a name-in-title deal with Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) to rechristen the 2,150-capacity Times Square venue they operate as the PlayStation Theater. The venue had previously been known on AEG Live’s watch as the Best Buy Theater and, prior to that, the Nokia Theater at Times Square.
Whatever its name, the venue, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this fall, is a busy one. The arena hosted 67 shows in 2014, which drew 116,952 and grossed 67 shows, according to Boxscore. The theater has hosted 1,368 events and sold 1.7 million tickets since its grand opening on September of 2005, hosting such acts as Bon Jovi, The Eagles, John Legend, Rihanna, Selena Gomez, Nick Jonas, Fall Out Boy, Jay-Z, Linkin Park, Drake, Little Big Town, Sugarland, Prince, Tom Jones, Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings, and Phil Lesh & Friends, which enjoyed a 14 night run at the venue in 2008. So far this year, the arena has reported 48 shows that drew 84,858 fans and grossed $3.1 million.
The 45,000-square foot theater has also hosted special events such as Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Year’s Eve, Good Morning America concert series performances by Janet Jackson and Usher, Bruce Springsteen’s Gateway Schools Benefit, MusiCares MAP Fund Benefit Concert honoring Pete Townshend and Bill Curbishley, ESPN and Nickelodeon upfronts in addition to being the home of the annual Heisman Trophy presentation since 2005.
The strategic partnership, negotiated by AEG Global Partnerships and SCEA, includes the rebranding of all of the venue’s interior and exterior signage, including the iconic Times Square marquee, live performances on PlayStation Network, experiential marketing initiatives, and VIP hospitality opportunities.
“As a leader in global entertainment, PlayStation is the perfect partner for a venue centrally located at the ‘crossroads of the world,’” says Mark Shulman, vice president and Ggeneral manager of AEG Live in New York, which operates the venue, in a statement. “As the live music experience evolves, it’s important to AEG Live to stay ahead of technology and trends, and as many of our younger fans are gamers as well, we are excited for the possibilities at PlayStation Theater.”
“PlayStation Theater is an exceptionally exciting initiative, allowing us to marry our tremendous brand momentum with an amazing venue right in the heart of Times Square,” adds John Koller, vice president, marketing at PlayStation. “We believe the PlayStation brand should be deeply integrated with large cultural events, and this partnership provides that opportunity. We are looking forward to exploring significant cultural moments at PlayStation Theater.”
On tap this fall at the PlayStation Theater J Balvin with Becky G, a run of shows by rising comedian Bo Burnham, rock band Circa Survive, The Misfits, producer/DJ Parov Stelar, Cypress Hill’s annual “Haunted Hill,” Cole Swindell, and three nights with King Diamond performing their classic album Abigail in its entirety.