The property of the arena was recently sold to Astaş Holding and the new owners are determined to erect a luxury hotel on the land, located right next to Bosporus in the Kuruçeşme neighborhood. As the holding has already begun negotiating the construction of the hotel, many artists, art lovers and organizers are saddened by the development.
The venue has hosted more than 250 shows and roughly 2 million spectators over six years thus far. On average, 50 activities are held at the venue annually, watched by about 450,000 people. Among this year’s performers at the venue were Tom Jones, Macy Gray, Enrico Macias and Jill Scott, while another world star Lenny Kravizt is scheduled to perform at the arena in October.
İstanbul Jazz Festival’s Assistant Director Harun İzler told today’s Zaman that the festival has already been struggling to find venues for performances for many years and holds events in alternative locations, including the İstanbul Archeology Museum and the Camialtı Shipyard. He believes the owners of the arena property must also consider the people of İstanbul when making a decision, although the construction of a hotel is totally legal. İstanbul Today’s Zaman