17,000 capacity venue to open in 2008.

Anschutz Entertainment Group, the U.S. entertainment and music promotion giant, has joined forces with O2 Germany, the Munich-based wireless telecommunications group, to build a new multi-purpose venue in Berlin.

Scheduled to be unveiled in 2008, the €150 million ($189 milion), 17,000-capacity O2 World arena is expected to host more than 300 events and more than three million ticket-paying visitors in its first three years.

It will be located in the former site of the Ostgueterbahnhof railway station, and construction is scheduled to kick off in the second half of 2006.

The partnership with O2 Germany is agreed for up to 15 years. It mirrors AEG's groundbreaking agreement between O2 in the United Kingdom, which will see the Millennium Dome resurrected as one of London's foremost music venues and renamed the O2 from next year.

The new partnership will offer O2 subscribers in Germany the facilities to download to their handsets exclusive content, including mobile music, linked to O2 World's live shows.

"O2 World is a milestone in integrating Berlin into the international industry. Berlin needed this stage urgently, and it deserves it," comments Detlef Kornett, AEG's VP and managing director Europe.

The 60,000-square-meter O2 World will feature a 1,800-square-meter LED (light-emitting display) screen on the arena's front side.

"The dimensions of O2 World's screen will surpass even those of the largest advertising space in New York's Time Square," AEG said in a statement.