Ahead of TheStadiumBusiness Summit 2022Marko Hurme, CEO of Tampere Deck and Arena Management Oy, discusses how the Nokia Arena has fared in its opening months, along with what is on the agenda for the venue moving forward.

Hurme has served in his current role since November 2019, having joined from Finnish betting and gaming company Veikkaus Oy. He joined the firm in January 2017, latterly serving as vice-president of concept and business development. Hurme’s spell at Veikkaus Oy also coincided with a two-year tenure as treasurer of the European Casino Association, a position which ended in February 2020.

The 15,000-capacity Nokia Arena opened in December ahead of staging the 2022 International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) Ice Hockey World Championship, which is taking place from May 13-29. The venue was formerly known as Tampere Deck Arena before Finnish telecommunications company Nokia took the naming rights under a five-year deal signed in November.


TheStadiumBusiness: How would you assess the success of the opening months of Nokia Arena’s operations, amid the challenges of opening during COVID-19?

Marko Hurme: “The opening months have been successful. COVID-19 hit us hard for a month and a half, but while there were lots of rebookings, there were only a few cancellations.

“We were awaiting some problems, as we are located in the city centre, with potential traffic issues. However, people have been using trams, other public transportation and trains to get to the arena so we have found no problem with the traffic.”

TSB: What’s on the roadmap for the arena over the next six to 12 months?

MH: “Our goal for ticket sales has been 800,000 per year. Now it looks like closer to one million per year.

“There have been some big shows that have been moved from Helsinki to Tampere, such as Queen + Adam Lambert and Eric Clapton. At the moment we are the No.1 arena venue in Finland.”


TSB: What are you looking forward to most about the Summit?

MH: “My goal is to hear where my colleagues see the industry moving forward to. Hear the best practice ideas and some new innovations, etc.”


Images: Nokia Arena

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