The Dome has been sold by the owners, Sasol Pension Fund. PictureNokuthula Mbatha.
The Dome has been sold by the owners, Sasol Pension Fund. PictureNokuthula Mbatha.

Ticketpro Dome entertainment venue closes doors for last time

By BR Reporter Time of article published Jul 20, 2021

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South Africa’s largest multipurpose indoor arena, the Ticketpro Dome in Northgate, Gauteng has been sold by its owners. The buyers are a third party that does not operate in the events arena.

The Dome has been sold by the owners, Sasol Pension Fund.

On Monday, RX Venue management company said the ban on public gatherings had meant that during 2020 and 2021, the indoor arena was unable to operate.

"This is another devastating blow for the exhibitions, events and entertainment industry due to Covid-19."

The company said the South African Events Council (SAEC) had been lobbying the government, since its inception in 2020, to let the live events industry operate within Covid-19 safety regulations.

"If shopping centres can operate, so too should event and exhibition venues. SAEC wants government to allow venues to operate at 50% capacity, so that the industry can start rebuilding," RX Africa said.

Managing director Carol Weaving said: “The selling of the Ticketpro Dome is extremely disappointing and heartbreaking for our industry. The Ticketpro Dome has been home to many international concerts and events in South Africa, and this will undoubtedly leave a huge void. Unfortunately, as we are only the managing company, we were unable to change the outcome of Sasol Pension Fund selling the venue due to force majeure.”

RX Africa said the Ticketpro Dome solidified global recognition with companies and promoters throughout several industries and would be remembered as an iconic venue across the events, exhibitions and entertainment sectors.

The Dome opened on April 8, 1998 with a concert by Diana Ross which was attended by more than 15 000 people. Nelson Mandela made a special guest appearance.

Over the years, the venue has played host to top international music artists such as Pink, Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, Lauren Hill, Pharrell Williams, Celine Dion and Michael Buble.

On the local front, artists such as Prime Circle, The Parlotones, Lira, Tonya De Lazy, Black Coffee and Soweto Gospel Choir have graced the stage. South African rapper, Cassper Nyovest become the first local artist to sell out the Dome. Some 20 000 tickets were sold even before the event, billed “Fill Up The Dome”.

On the exhibition front, the Dome has been home to many consumer and trade shows such as Homemakers Fair, Rage, Mama Magic Baby Show, Fire and Feast Food Festival, Mediatech Africa, and Africa Automation Technology Fair.

In 2020, the Ticketpro Dome launched the Hybrid Studio in response to the global pandemic.

Projeni Pather, the chairperson of the Association of African Exhibition Organisers, said: “Our sector has been extraordinarily innovative in transforming our offerings to accommodate online participation, but a hybrid event incurs two sets of costs, one for the online component and one for the in-venue aspect.

“Attendance capacity restrictions make in-person events unviable, and online does not carry the same appeal.”

The venue is due to be handed over on September 7, 2021.

BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE

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