Australian venue operator AEG Ogden has reached an agreement to manage the Beijing Olympic Basketball Arena (BOBA) - the first NBA-style venue of its type in Asia.

AEG Ogden has formed a strategic partnership with the Beijing Wukesong Culture & Sports Center (BWCSC) and NBA China to design, market, program and operate the venue. AEG's CEO Tim Leiweke said in a statement, "We are committed to creating and operating an arena that provides the highest level of guest services and the best schedule of sports and entertainment anywhere in China."

The 18,700 capacity multi-purpose venue will host the men's and women's basketball program during this summer's Olympic Games, and then stage concerts, theatrical shows and ice events as hockey and figure-skating competitions.

The announcement was made Thursday during a ceremony at the venue, which was attended by Beijing's deputy mayor Chen Gang and members of the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad.

AEG Ogden was formed in December 2007 when L.A.-based AEG acquired an interest in Brisbane-based Ogden IFC, the largest venue management company in the Asia Pacific region. BOBA is its 66th venue, which includes those in India, South East Asia, New Zealand, the Middle East and North Africa.

The NBA sees great potential for expanding its profile in the Chinese market. "We will start here in this arena and emulate its model to build more arenas in other cities," NBA China CEO Tim Chen said in a statement.

The basketball league teamed with broadcaster ESPN and Chinese companies Bank of China Group Investment and Legend Holdings Ltd to launch NBA China in December 2007. Legend Holdings invested $253 million to acquire 11% of the company.

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