AEG offers USD 113 mil for Prague's multi-use arena

Sazka, a Czech betting giant, finds itself under severe financial pressure

Written by Published on 08.04.2011 10:16 (updated on 08.04.2011) Time to read: 2 minutes

Jason Pirodsky

Written by Jason Pirodsky Published on 08.04.2011 10:16 (updated on 08.04.2011) Time to read: 2 minutes

Sazka, a Czech betting giant, finds itself under severe financial pressure, and is preparing the sale of its multi-purpose arena in Prague’s Libeň district.

The O2 Arena was constructed for the 2004 hockey world championship, but eventually became an unbearable financial burden for Sazka, starting its current troubles.

The arena is owned and operated by Bestsport, a company linked to Sazka. Bestsport has already declared it insolvency with Prague’s municipal court.

According to Bestsport, the acquisition value of the arena is more than CZK 7.3 bil (USD 412 mil). The highest bid was – unofficially – offered by US company Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG). According to the information of online daily, the price equals CZK two bil (USD 113 mil). If no unexpected financial burdens tied to the property are found, the offer may increase to CZK 2.5 bil (USD 141 mil), according to a source close to the US firm.

AEG is not the only possible buyer, but appears to be the most interested and proactive. Representatives of Philip Frederick Anschutz, the 34th richest US citizen and the majority owner of AEG, has met with people from Sazka in Prague for a several times.

At the beginning of 2011, the chairman of AEG Facilities visited the Prague O2 Arena, accompanied by Aleš Hušák, Sazka CEO. was told this by a source from Sazka on condition of anonymity. AEG Facilities operates more than 110 stadiums all around the world.

In addition, there is already an existing link between AEG and Prague. The US company once co-owned Sparta Prague, a hockey club. However, it is not sure whether the acquisition of O2 Arena by AEG would also mean the US giant’s return to Sparta Prague.

AEG has spoken to all actors linked to the O2 Arena and its possible sale. The ownership structure and relations between different companies involved is however extremely complex. “Honestly, the Americans currently do not know who should they speak with,” said a source informed about AEG’s position.




I’m Roman - Handyman in Prague. I work with my father, Vladimir, and perform everyday and professional repairs and installations.. in your house, apartment, office, and garden.

5.0 from 10 reviews

LN Law Office Prague

LN Law Office Prague

Long term practice, multilingual proficiency, international competences ......

5.0 from 12 reviews


Aktuáně.cz is the first full-fledged online daily in the Czech Republic operating without the support of a major traditional media outlet. It covers all aspects of life in and outside the Czech Republic, from political, social, economic and sports news to arts and culture. Its main language is Czech, but it has an English language section called CzechNews where the most interesting and relevant articles appear on daily basis. has teamed with CzechNews to bring you the latest headlines from across the Czech Republic. Check back every Monday for a new weekly roundup.

Publish your story to Find out more