Macau to Build Outdoor Entertainment Venue Near Cotai Strip With Capacity for 50K

Posted on: June 18, 2024, 12:49h. 

Last updated on: June 18, 2024, 02:04h.

The Macau Special Administrative Region (SAR) Government will help the city’s six commercial casino operators diversify the leisure tourism market by way of a new outdoor entertainment venue.

Macau concert entertainment venue Cotai
A rendering of the Macau government’s plans to construct an outdoor concert venue near the Cotai Strip adjacent to Grand Lisboa Palace and Lisboeta Macau. The amphitheater will provide for audience attendance of up to 50,000 people. (Image: Macau SAR Government)

The Macau SAR Government announced this week its plans to build a large-scale outdoor amphitheater. The venue will be located south of SJM Resorts’ Grand Lisboa Palace integrated resort casino and east of Lisboeta Macau.

Lisboeta is a nongaming hotel privately owned by billionaire Angela Leong, the late Stanley Ho’s fourth wife. Ho founded what would become SJM Resorts and held a monopoly on casino gambling in Macau for decades until the region was handed over to China in 1999.

Macau government officials say the 94,000-square-meter (one million-square-foot) outdoor concert venue will have capacity for up to 50K people and aid in the region’s efforts to diversify its attractiveness to more leisure travelers and nongamblers.

Entertainment Destination

In December 2022, Macau’s six casino operators — SJM, Sands, Galaxy, Wynn, MGM, and Melco — pledged to invest nearly $18 billion into their resorts through nongaming projects. The Macau SAR Government is seeking to reduce its dependency on casino taxes, a financial river that was greatly dammed amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Macau leaders are trying to clone the Las Vegas game plan in making Asia’s casino epicenter a place where casinos are only part of the overall allure. The local government is leading by example in announcing the Cotai Strip amphitheater that’s being called the Macau Outdoor Performance Zone.

The construction of this open-air venue will create good conditions for large-scale outdoor shows to be held in Macau, to attract international-level performances to the city,” a release from Macau’s Cultural Affairs Bureau read.

The outdoor events space will be located in a prime area of Cotai where the city’s most lavish casino resorts stand. The venue will be about a half-mile east of the Cotai Strip.

Along with Grand Lisboa Palace and Lisboeta, the outdoor performance zone will be within walking distance of Wynn Palace, MGM Cotai, The Venetian and Parisian, Studio City, and City of Dreams.

“The Government has taken into account the different spatial conditions of Macau and balanced various factors such as geographic location before selecting the site,” the Cultural Affairs statement continued.

Government officials added that the bidding for the project development will soon be initiated. Only contractors that can guarantee the facility will be ready before the end of 2025 should apply.

Expanding Mass Market

Macau’s casino operators are spending much of their nongaming financial obligations on efforts to grow the mass and premium-mass markets. With fewer VIPs in town after China cracked down on junket groups, the casinos are betting on bridging the reduced high-roller revenue gap by way of the general public.

Macau Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng said in April that the casinos should assist the city in its aims to become a “City of Performing Arts.” Ho wants to develop a “concert economy” where global superstars will pull people from across the Pearl River Delta to Macau for entertainment happenings.