AEG, the leading entertainment and sports presenter with over 90 facilities worldwide, has formed a joint venture with NBA China to design, market, program and operate multi-purpose, NBA-style sports and entertainment arenas in Greater China.

The venture, which was announced at a press conference at AEG’s O2 arena in London, will see AEG and NBA China working with government bodies and agencies and local developers to oversee the creation of world-class venues in the country's major cities. It will also include the booking and marketing of events held at the venues, including concerts, trade shows and live entertainment.

"We view China as an exciting marketplace with a growing appetite for sports and entertainment. This is fueled by an emerging middle class and a great need for state-of-the-art multi-use arenas that can accommodate NBA games, sporting events and world-class concerts," said AEG president and CEO Timothy J. Leiweke. "Using our expertise and experience to design, manage and program venues in cities that are looking to create entertainment and cultural destinations will absolutely be one of the biggest and most important initiatives AEG has ever undertaken."

The new organization will be equally owned and will oversee all decisions for each development. Where possible, the companies will look to develop the venues in conjunction with surrounding cultural and entertainment districts.

AEG currently controls the Beijing Olympic Basketball Arena.

"AEG is the established leader in global arena development as evidenced by its state-of-the-art facilities in Los Angeles, London and Berlin," added NBA commissioner David Stern. "We are excited to partner with AEG in China where the popularity of basketball creates enormous opportunity."