3Arena concert venue operator sees revenues and profits slump

Dublin docklands venue due to reopen on October 23rd as Covid-19 restrictions lifted

The crowd at Lewis Capaldi at the 3Arena, March 2020. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

The business that operates the 3Arena in Dublin last year sustained a £20.84 million (€24.5 million) revenue hit due to the Covid-19 shutdown of the venue.

That is according to new accounts for Live Nation company Apollo Leisure Group Ltd, which show that revenues at the business dropped 72 per cent to £8.16 million last year.

Planned gigs at the venue by the likes of Dua Lipa and David Gray for 2020 had to be rescheduled due to Covid-19 shutdowns of the venue in March 2020. Those gigs are now due to take place next year at the Dublin venue.

The accounts for the UK-based company show that the pandemic impact resulted in pretax profits reducing from £13.55 million to just £294,866.


The figures for 2020 are skewed as the Government’s employment wage subsidy scheme payments of £476,643 to workers at the venue appear as “other operating income”, flattering its bottom line.

The venue is set to reopen on October 23rd, with the Biggest ’90s Disco, as the Government further eases Covid-19 restrictions.

Underlining the pandemic impact, the directors’ report shows that numbers attending the venue fell from 956,242 in 113 shows in 2019 to 236,137 at 26 shows last year.

Ticket receipts

According to separate figures published by trade industry journal Pollstar, box office receipts generated by acts at the 3Arena last year totalled $16.86 million (€14.6 million), making it the 12th busiest international arena in 2020. Box office receipts are shared between the venue, promoter, ticket seller and artist after costs.

The impact of the pandemic on the live music business is starkly illustrated in the 2020 figures for the global operation of Live Nation, where concert revenues fell 84 per cent to $1.4 billion.

The directors for Apollo Leisure state that the group has net assets, is profit-making and has a positive cash balance, adding that it remains in a favourable liquidity position.

Numbers employed there fell from 64 to 62, while staff costs fell from £4.1 million to £2.78 million.

The company recorded post-tax profits of £89,607 after paying out £205,259 in corporation tax. Accumulated profits at the end of December last totalled £47.15 million.

A spokesman for Live Nation declined to comment on the accounts.

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times