Galaxy plans major arena for Cotai

Piling due to start in July next year, documents show

Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd is finalising plans to build a 10,000-seat arena at its flagship Cotai property Galaxy Macau. The design documents – seen by Business Daily – are expected to be submitted to the government by late December, with the hope that construction can start next July.
It will be the third major indoor multi-use arena on Cotai as Macau attempts to diversify its tourism offer away from the traditional staple of casino gambling.
The Macao Dome – with two pavilions together capable of seating 7,000 – was built by the government for the East Asian Games in 2005. The 15,000-seat CotaiArena – constructed by Las Vegas Sands Corp. at The Venetian Macao – opened in 2007 and has featured major Asian and Western pop artists as well as basketball games and tennis exhibition matches. Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd is also planning a 5,000-seater arena at its under-construction Studio City resort. That will be a “multi-purpose entertainment studio and TV production pods,” according to a stock exchange filing earlier this month. The first phase of Studio City is due to open in mid-2015.

Entertainment Arena

Galaxy’s new facility is known as the Entertainment Arena. It will be within an area known as Lot IV on the eastern boundary of the Galaxy Macau site close to GEG’s satellite property the Grand Waldo Hotel. It will include a ground floor plus three tiers of seats above ground level.
The preliminary concept design, dated September 25, is still under discussion for government submission purposes. According to the drawings, the arena will also include two basement levels. A bridge for pedestrians will connect the arena with Phase 2 of Galaxy Macau, currently under construction.
With a total floor area of about 75,000 square metres, the Entertainment Arena will have an overall height of 35 metres above ground level.
The aim is to commence piling work on the arena in July next year, Business Daily understands. Shops and food and drink outlets will also be constructed nearby. There will also be a bridge connecting the arena to Galaxy Macau Phase 1.
Business Daily sought a comment from Galaxy Entertainment over the project, but the company said it preferred not to make any statements at this stage.

Mass market

Galaxy – founded by Hong Kong building materials tycoon Lui Che Woo – plans to invest about HK$16 billion (US$2.06 billion) in the second phase of its Galaxy Macau resort. Phase 1 cost HK$16.5 billion and opened on Cotai in May last year. It helped more than triple the group’s profit in 2011.
‘Phase 2’ as it’s officially titled, will add as many as 500 gaming tables and offer 1,300 more hotel rooms, the company said earlier this year in a statement to Hong Kong’s stock exchange.
The second stage of Galaxy Macau will add luxury stores and 1,300 rooms from JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton, taking Galaxy’s total hotel inventory to 3,600 rooms across five hotels in Macau.
“Phase 2 will help the first phase of the property, because we’ll be offering more amenities, more food and beverage, a lot more retail and a lot more MICE [meetings and conventions facilities],” Galaxy’s chief financial officer Robert Drake told Business Daily in April, when the expansion project was unveiled.

Photo: Manuel Cardoso