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2019 News & Press Releases

IEBA Selects SMG’s Bolton For Board President - 2020

West Conshohocken, PA (March 21, 2019) - The International Association of Entertainment Buyers (IEBA) at their
most recent Board meeting in Nashville elected SMG’s John Bolton, CVE to serve as President of the Board in 2020.
Bolton will assume the role of Board Vice President in 2019, President in 2020, and followed by Chairman in 2021.

“John has a wealth of experience as a venue professional and is a highly-respected member of our organization, making
him the ideal candidate for this crucial position. We confidently rely on his guidance as we serve IEBA’s membership – our valuable community of live entertainment industry professionals,” commented Pam Matthews, IEBA’s Executive Director.

John Bolton, CVE, currently serves as Vice President of Entertainment for SMG. In this position, Bolton works with
SMG Arenas and Stadiums in the presentation of some 32,000 live events annually. Additionally, he provides marketing
and public relations support to more than 140 SMG arena marketing professionals. Bolton also heads up SMG’s Event
Innovation Team highlighting and producing creative content, festivals, and events for SMG venues across the United
Sates. Prior to his Vice President role with SMG, he served as Regional Vice President for SMG’s venues in Puerto Rico
and the West Coast United States as well as National Director of Marketing for SMG.

Bolton first joined the Board and Executive Committee in 2005 by the urging of then Board President Mike Smardak,
President of Outback Concerts in Nashville. “During my time as Board President it was critical for IEBA to expand
membership from entertainment venues across the United States. Bolton played a vital role in expanding that venue
membership base which has contributed a great deal to IEBA’s current success,” said Smardak.

“I continue to be honored by serving on the IEBA Board of Directors. IEBA is an incredible organization led by an
amazing professional staff that truly understand the Entertainment business. Being able to work alongside them and our Board is truly a privilege,” said Bolton.

Bolton has been awarded numerous other industry honors including Venue Executive of the Year by IEBA. Bolton
recently served as Chair of the Board of Directors (2013-14) for the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM),
representing some 6,200 venue management professionals across the globe.


West Conshohocken, PA (February 18, 2019) - SMG General Manager of The Greek Theatre, Los Angeles,
Becky Colwell, was recently named SMG west Regional booking director by Jim McCue, Senior Vice President
of SMG Entertainment, Colwell, who has been the General Manager of The Greek Theatre venue since fall of
2015, will oversee the regional booking efforts for the SMG venues in the west.

“We are excited to add Becky to our Regional Booking Team,” stated Jim McCue, Senior Vice President of
SMG. “The Greek Theater is one of our premier venues. Having Becky lend her knowledge of artists and
tours to our west coast venues strengthens our efforts. Becky has done a brilliant job at the Greek and her
success has been recognized by numerous industry awards.” “She will help secure top shows and attractions
to our SMG venues in the west” added McCue.

Colwell has hosted several monumental performances at the Greek Theater during her tenure including
sold-out performances in 2018 from artists such as: Cole Swindell, Khalid, Lord Huron, Janelle Monae,
Smokey Robinson, Niall Horan, Alice Cooper, Charlie Puth, Arcade Fire, Sebastian Maniscalco, Anita Baker and
Christina Aguilera.

Colwell was named IEBA 2017 Venue Executive of the Year and the Greek Theatre has been recognized in
2016 and 2017 by Pollstar as Best Small Outdoor Venue, American Country Music Venue of the Year Medium
Capacity and IEBA Amphitheatre of the Year in 2017.

SMG Announces Appointment of New National Director of SMG Promotions

West Conshohocken, PA (January 3, 2019) - Jim McCue, SMG Senior Vice President of Live Entertainment announced today the appointment of Jamey Hines as the new National Director, SMG Promotions. Jamey will assist the SMG Entertainment Team with generating more offers and events for SMG-managed facilities. Prior to joining the SMG Entertainment Team, Jamey was the General Manager of the Sands Bethlehem Event Center in Bethlehem, PA where he served in that role since 2016. At the Sands, he promoted events such as Britney Spears, Janet Jackson, Don Henley, Diana Ross and Steven Tyler to name a few. Previous to SMG, Jamey was with Princeton Entertainment, (a tour producer and programming consultant firm) and The Mann Center for Performing Arts. He has produced and promoted with world recognized partners such as The Kennedy Center, the New York Philharmonic and The Philadelphia Orchestra.

“We are excited to add Jamey to our Entertainment Team,” stated Jim McCue. “Jamey brings a great skill set and record of booking success to our efforts to attract top shows and attractions to our venues throughout the country, added McCue.

Additional 2018 Releases

SMG Managed Reading Venues achieve new high ranks on Pollstar’s top venues lists

Dec 20, 2018 - Santander Arena and Santander Performing Arts Center achieve new high ranks on Pollstar’s top venues list in US and Worldwide

SMG Officials in Reading are excited to announce that the Santander Arena and Santander Performing Arts Center have attained a Top 100 ranking in nationwide ticket sales for 2018. This ranking comes from Pollstar, a trade publication for the concert touring industry that collects data from venues and promoters after every event. Pollstar then compiles this information for its “Year-End Venue and Touring Rankings.” The Santander Arena was ranked #144 Worldwide and #80 in United States Arena ticket sales, up seven spots from the previous year’s US ranking. The Santander Performing Arts Center was ranked #117 Worldwide and #94 in US Theater ticket sales, two spots up from 2017’s US ranking.

General Manager, Mark Wallace, about the achievement: “This is a praise worthy accomplishment for our entire staff. They continue to do a tremendous job in securing and servicing talent, while providing great customer service to the talent and our fans who attend shows at our two venues. It’s because of all of their hard work and dedication, that we are honored and pleased to receive this recognition from our industry.”

2019 awaits an even bigger year for the Santander Arena as it kicks off the year with January’s annual World Championship Ice Racing Series. In the months following, The Harlem Globetrotters, Winter Jam, Bad Bunny and Kelsea Ballerini are expected to bring a full crowd to the Santander Arena. Additionally, 2019 will be the first year the Santander Arena hosts the District III High School Basketball Championships – an event that is typically hosted outside of Reading, PA. At the Santander Performing Arts Center, the Broadway Series is set to return and draw large crowds for performances of EVITA, Cinderella the Musical, and Rock of Ages. Furthermore, the Santander Performing Arts Center anticipates a full house for a variety of shows including Michael Carbonaro, Dennis Miller & Mark Steyn, Disney Junior Dance Party, and a fan-favorite – Get The Led Out.


[CHICAGO, December 17, 2018] – EPA honors Savor Chicago with Food Recovery Challenge award
(Chicago, Dec. 13, 2018) U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today honored SAVOR… Chicago, the food and beverage provider for Chicago’s McCormick Place, with the 2018 Regional Food Recovery Challenge award for increasing their waste diversion by 85% in 2017.

SAVOR… Chicago is one of the businesses and organizations nationwide participating in EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge under the “Winning on Reducing Food Waste” initiative. This year’s awardees took innovative approaches and engaged in a variety of cost-effective and practical actions to prevent and reduce food waste. In 2017, SAVOR… Chicago, the exclusive food and beverage provider at McCormick Place, diverted a record 40 tons of food waste – a more than 85 percent increase over 2016 – through its ongoing commitment to environmental stewardship and a large amount of consumer education.

“EPA congratulates SAVOR… Chicago for cutting food waste and recycling food scraps,” said EPA Region 5 Administrator Cathy Stepp. “Participants in Region 5’s 2017 Food Recovery Challenge stopped more than 200,000 tons of food scrap from going to landfills.”

“Consumer education is a vital part of our being able to take sustainable practices to the next level,” said Doug Bradley, SAVOR…Chicago vice president. “We have just seconds to educate millions of visitors on what goes in which waste stream. We know from experience that most people want to do the right thing when it comes to recycling and waste diversion. If we can make it simple and convenient for them to do this correctly, we all win.”

“We’ve created the innovative Green Angels program where we staff waste areas during events with Green Angels who are there to help attendees understand what is recyclable, compostable and waste,” explained Bradley. “We’ve created easy-to-understand graphics that help visitors quickly sort and dispose of their leftover items. Both initiatives have been a key part of our efforts to increase waste diversion.”

SAVOR…Chicago has been nationally and internationally recognized for its sustainability initiatives.

DRCFA extends SMG contract to operate Cobo Center through 2022

During a November 15th board meeting, the Detroit Regional Convention Facility Authority (DRCFA) voted to exercise the first three-year option to renew the SMG contract to manage facility operations of Cobo Center through 2022.

On October 1, 2010, the DRCFA entered into a three-year management agreement with SMG that included three, three-year options to renew at the discretion of the board. The contract was first extended in 2013 and later in 2016. SMG is currently in the final year of the second three-year extension.

"Our partnership with SMG has been extremely beneficial to Cobo Center and the Metro Detroit Region," said Larry Alexander, chairman of the DRCFA. "This is now a world class facility and we will continue to improve in the future."

SMG was sited for significant achievements including a 335% increase in operating revenue with a simultaneous operating expense increase of only 11%, greatly improved building maintenance and efficiency, retention of existing business, recapture of lost business and forging new customer relations, and the substantial turn around of the reputation of Cobo Center in the event industry.

CCCFDC renews SMG management contract for Huntington Convention Center and Global Center for Health Innovation New five-year agreement includes renewal clause

(CLEVELAND, November 12, 2018) – The Cuyahoga County Convention Facilities Development Corporation (CCCFDC) board of directors voted at its November quarterly board meeting to award the renewal contract for operation of two of its key properties to SMG, the world leader in entertainment and convention venue management. The CCCFDC unanimously approved the renewal of its five-year agreement with SMG for management of the Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland and the Global Center for Health Innovation. The five-year renewal contract takes effect January 1, 2019 and includes a renewal clause.

“The SMG team, led by regional vice president Craig Liston and general manager Ron King, has continued to operate the building in a first-class manner, deliver a best-in-class customer experience to our clients and consistently come in below budget,” said George Hillow, CCCFDC Executive Director. “The SMG team members are wonderful ambassadors for Cleveland and Cuyahoga County and are always working with our guests to ensure that each of them has a great experience not only inside the building but also enjoy all of the amenities that our community has to offer.”

Since opening in 2013, the SMG-managed Huntington Convention Center has hosted more than 1,200 conventions, trade shows, and meetings, including serving as the media center for the 2016 Republican National Convention.

“SMG manages municipally-owned convention centers, stadiums, and arenas throughout North America and worldwide, including more than 75 convention centers, and we thank the CCCFDC board of directors and Cuyahoga County for their renewed confidence in our expertise and experience,” said Gregg Caren, SMG Executive Vice President - Convention and Exhibition Centers. “SMG looks forward to continuing to serve as the trusted management partner for the Huntington Convention Center and Global Center for many years to come.”

During the past five years, the CCCFDC and SMG have lowered the net deficit for operating the building by 46%, increased gross revenues by 38%, increased attendance by 61%, usage days by 25% and booked hotel rooms by 28%.

“Cleveland has emerged on the national scene as a Top 30 destination for conventions and trade shows and we look forward to continuing to work closely with Destination Cleveland and other community partners to serve as the focal point for attracting convention attendees to our region,” said King. “We have continued to lower operating expenses, increase revenues, and attract thousands of convention attendees to fill hotel rooms and inject new money into our local economy. SMG has also implemented an aggressive Sustainability program that has resulted in a 60% landfill diversion rate, stewarded capital improvements to maintain the building in like-new condition, and installed an Art Gallery highlighting local artists, entertainment venues, and images.”


Wichita, Kansas – Ben George, Executive Chef for SAVOR… at INTRUST Bank Arena, has been named Chef of the Year by the Kansas Restaurant & Hospitality Association (KRHA). This annual award recognizes a working Chef who has set new or consistent standards of excellence in the Kansas food scene. Candidates demonstrate high culinary skills, are an inspiration to other culinary professionals and make a positive impact on the industry and their community.

George was honored for his multitude of accomplishments during his career as a Chef. In his time at INTRUST Bank Arena, he led the efforts to provide meals to more than 45,000 guests during the 2018 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship, including creating boxed lunches for more than 4,000 students and press meals for more than 400 media personnel. Additionally. Ben has created unique and savory menus for high-profile events hosted at INTRUST Bank Arena such as Youth Entrepreneurs Biz Bang and the annual Chamber’s Luncheon. Ben also lends his knowledge and skillset to ProStart as a volunteer Instructor at Eisenhower High School, and spends time volunteering for non-profit organizations such as the Wichita Orpheum Theatre and Kansas Humane Society.

“On behalf of our entire team, we are beyond proud that Chef Ben George has been honored with this very well deserved award,” said Greg Read, SMG Regional Director of Food & Beverage at INTRUST Bank Arena. “His passion and commitment to his craft is top-notch and we are thrilled to see his creative and innovative culinary skills rewarded.”

The awards were announced Monday night during an annual event, Hospitality Night Out that benefits the professional development of youth leaders in the industry. All proceeds of the Hospitality Night Out event are donated to the Kansas Restaurant & Hospitality Education Foundation. The Educational Foundation of the KRHA promotes the importance of food safety, responsible liquor service and educating the future industry workforce with ProStart school-to-career training in 30 Kansas schools. The funds raised at this event continue this mission by providing discounted ServSafe Manager Certification, offering education opportunities for hospitality careers through ProStart, the purchase of equipment to support culinary education in Kansas High Schools and more.

Cobo Cares volunteers get involved with Humble Design

Humble Design is a Detroit based non-profit also operating in Chicago, San Francisco and Seattle, helping families transition out of homeless shelters by providing furnishings and design services. In Detroit, Humble Design currently has the capacity to assist up to three families per week, and all referrals must come through a partnering organization.

Cobo Center volunteers built tables and bookcases from left-over wood pallets to contribute to the effort. As part of Cobo's ongoing "Cobo Cares" program on Sept. 5, they also spent a day volunteering at Humble Design's Pontiac warehouse, cleaning, repairing and renovating.

"Thank you so much for volunteering with Humble Design," said Kari Nies, volunteer coordinator for Humble Design. "We had so much fun working with your group. You guys were amazing. Thank you so much for all the amazing bookshelves and coffee tables. So many have been used already to help decorate our clients homes. I hope your group can come back again soon!"


(Columbus, October 23, 2018) -- John Page, general manager of the SMG-managed Greater Columbus Convention Center (GCCC), will be honored as a 2018 Diversity Pioneer Award recipient during the 8th Annual Central Ohio Champions of Diversity Awards Luncheon & Business Expo and Career Fair on October 31 at the Hilton Columbus at Easton.

Page was recognized for his leadership, focus on diversity and community outreach as general manager of the GCCC, which completed an award-winning $140 million expansion and renovation in 2017.

“The Central Ohio Champions of Diversity Awards are designed to highlight and recognize the contributions of individuals and corporations with 200 or more Central Ohio employees who demonstrate outstanding efforts in diversity leadership, development, supplier, workforce and community outreach,” said Sharon S. Gordon, chairperson of the 2018 Central Ohio Champions of Diversity.

Known as the only program in the area recognizing the diversity accomplishments of both individuals and corporations, the event is planned entirely by local businesses owned and operated by minorities, with a portion of the proceeds dedicated to local non-profit organizations assisting minority communities.

Page was also recognized in September as one of the 2018 Most Admired Chief Operating Officers in Central Ohio by Columbus Business First. He was a Smart Business Columbus 2016 Central Ohio Smart 50 Award recipient and has been profiled extensively in Who’s Who in Black Columbus.

A two-time graduate of The Ohio State University, Page also serves as a commissioner on the Ohio Expositions Commission, the governing body for the Ohio Expo Center and Ohio State Fair.

The Greater Columbus Convention Center is located in downtown Columbus and owned by the Franklin County Convention Facilities Authority and managed by SMG.

Brian Sipe Named Regional Director of Booking

Conshohocken, PA (October 17) – Brian Sipe, General Manager of the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza has been named a Regional Director of Booking for SMG. Brian’s regional area will be the Northeast United States and Canada.

“We are excited to add Brian to our Regional Booking Team,” stated Jim McCue, Senior Vice President of SMG. “Brian brings a great skill set and record of booking success to our efforts to attract top shows and attractions to our venues in the Northeast, added McCue.

Brian will join other Regional Directors of Booking for SMG including Chris Semrau, General Manager of the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Rich MacKeigan, General Manager of Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Steve Tadlock, Regional Vice President West Coast United States, and Zane Collings, Assistant General Manager for SMG’s venues in Jacksonville, Florida.

SMG Managed Greek Theatre and BOK Center Take Home Highest Awards at 2018 IEBA Conference

Last evening in a ceremony in Nashville the International Entertainment Buyers Association awarded their most highly coveted top venue awards to two SMG Venues located in Los Angeles and Tulsa, Oklahoma.

The SMG managed Greek Theatre was recognized as the 2018 Top Amphitheatre. Steve Tadlock, Regional Vice President accepted the award on behalf of the entire staff at the Greek Theatre commenting, “on behalf of the City of Los Angeles and Becky Colwell our General Manager we are humbled by this award and very grateful for the recognition.”

The SMG managed BOK Center was recognized as the 2018 Top Arena. Jeff Nickler, General Manager accepted the award commenting, “on behalf of our entire SMG management team back in Tulsa – Thank You – we couldn’t do it without all the agents and promoters who continue to believe in Tulsa and continue to deliver content for BOK Center. It’s hard to believe it’s been 10 years, but here’s to 10 more years!”

Wes Westley, President and CEO of SMG, commented, “The Greek Theater and Bok Center are premier facilities and this recognition is a reflection of that fact, as well as being a terrific reflection on the hard work of our fine SMG staff at both facilities. I congratulate everyone involved in helping to secure these coveted awards. Well done and well deserved.”

IEBA is the leading non-for-profit trade organization for entertainment industry professionals who buy, book, and sell talent. Founded in 1970, IEBA represents over 1500 members intimately involved in all aspects of the live entertainment.

Editorial, 9/21: In 5 years, Pinnacle Bank Arena has far exceeded its goals

When Pinnacle Bank Arena first opened its doors in September 2013 for a Michael Buble concert, skepticism abounded on whether the new facility would be a drain on Lincoln.

Fast forward to the arena’s fifth anniversary, and that answer is a resounding no.

Instead, PBA – since lovingly nicknamed The Vault by some – has become a cultural cornerstone for Lincoln. It’s brought to town the biggest names in entertainment, become the home for Nebraska basketball and spurred redevelopment of the West Haymarket area.

Simply put, the arena has achieved everything its proponents sought – and plenty more.

Nearly 3 million people have gone through the turnstiles at the arena solely for concerts (1.2 million) and Husker men’s and women’s basketball (1.7 million) in those five years.

The closest thing the arena had to an unofficial anniversary show was two weeks ago, when Metallica played Lincoln for the first time ever. This is saying something, particularly given the band’s nearly 40 years of touring. Unlike many other arenas, PBA could accommodate the 100 tons of audio and visual equipment hanging from the rafters.

The heavy-metal quartet is far from the only A-list name that would never have come to Lincoln before the arena was built. Paul McCartney, Jay-Z, Pink, Kendrick Lamar, Katy Perry, Eric Church – these are the magnitude of acts whose tour buses previously would have driven right past the city, rather than into it, and made the capital city into the concert destination it is today.

Furthermore, without the arena’s construction, odds are that the Haymarket would still stop at Seventh Street. Instead, a vibrant collection of restaurants, nightlife and office space now occupy what was once a desolate collection of abandoned railroad tracks.

Some grumbling still exists about the arena tax, but it has done exactly what it was intended to accomplish. Though its indefinite existence irritates plenty of people, it’s helped ensure PBA doesn’t require additional tax revenue or slash city services to fund its operations.

Fears the arena would become a financial albatross are long gone – and rightfully so.

Lincolnites don’t need to look far to see how it would appear if their worst fears were realized. Ralston, a suburb of Omaha, has seen its recently constructed arena become a money pit that led its City Council this week to approve a budget that increased property taxes and cut police and library services.

But this couldn’t be further from the case.

In its five years of existence, Pinnacle Bank Arena has transformed the culture and footprint of downtown Lincoln for the better. As we mark its anniversary this month, it’s hard to be anything but amazed at the outcome.

SMG Launch TECA Scotland to London Audience

Last night saw the launch of The Event Complex Aberdeen (TECA), at a client evening hosted at the Shangri-La Hotel at The Shard in London.

TECA is an SMG Managed, £333m event complex currently being developed in Aberdeen, Scotland and is due to open in summer next year, SMG’s first Scottish venue opening.

The launch evening included a warm welcome from Jenny Laing, Council Leader of Aberdeen City Council. Jenny discussed the transformational project and how the opening of TECA will be a game changer for not just the Region but also for Scotland as a whole. TECA is the UK’s single largest investment of its kind and one of many investment projects spearheaded by Aberdeen City Council, as the energy city looks beyond oil and gas and continues to grow in a range of exciting new industries.

The city of Aberdeen has a lot to offer visitors, Chris Foy of VisitAberdeenshire, was on hand to discuss the key strengths and drivers for the region. Chris highlighted the developments currently going on in the city such as the Music Hall, Art Gallery, Aberdeen International Airport expansion and the many hotels choosing to open up in the city.

Nick Waight, Managing Director of TECA, then unveiled all that the state of the art complex has to offers those looking to bring events to the region, delving deeper in to what the muliti purpose venue offers in terms of technology, sustainability and flexibility. Replacing the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre, with 48,000 sqm of mulit-purpose event space, TECA offers larger conference suites and exhibition spaces, a superior arena with vast backstage facilities, various VIP hospitality options and a high end 150 seater restaurant. The major development also comprises three on site hotels, offering 500 bedrooms on the doorstep.

The event was well attended by existing and prospective clients from all sectors of the industry including, association conference organisers, corporate event agencies, entertainment promoters and exhibitions organisers, all leaving last night’s event with a greater knowledge and enthusiasm for what will be the UK’s newest and most exciting events venue.

Nick Waight said “The event was a great success, we were delighted to showcase TECA to the London audience and look forward to announcing more events coming to Aberdeen in the near future. With some major events already in the diary for TECA, such as SPE Offshore Europe, one of the UKs largest oil and gas conference and exhibitions and the British Medical Society’s Annual Conference, we look forward to attracting more event content to allow us to prove the fantastic new facilities and also the evolving city of Aberdeen.”

John Sharkey, Executive Vice President, European Operations at SMG Europe closed the presentations by inviting all those in attendance to seriously consider Aberdeen as their next event destination and promised that TECA and the Team Aberdeen contingent will not disappoint on delivery.


(Wichita, Kan.) – SMG announced today the promotion of Christine Pileckas to Director of Booking & Marketing for INTRUST Bank Arena. Pileckas has served as the Arena’s Director of Sales & Marketing since 2012 and Marketing Manager since 2010.

“Christine has been an instrumental part of our team at INTRUST Bank Arena since 2010 and has been a valuable part of our success,” said SMG General Manager, A.J. Boleski. “She has provided tremendous leadership and knowledge in her role as Director of Sales & Marketing while exemplifying an ability to excel in other areas of the venue management industry, including cultivating positive relationships with promoters. We’re excited to announce this new role for her.”

As Director of Booking & Marketing, Pileckas will continue to lead the marketing department while also assuming new booking responsibilities. In her new role, Christine will strengthen the Arena’s relationships with promoters and agents in an effort to increase the overall number of concerts and events and assist in developing new programming for INTRUST Bank Arena.

While at INTRUST Bank Arena, Pileckas has received the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM) 30 Under 30 Award in 2016, was named an Inaugural Amplify Arena Week All-Star in 2016, received the Venues Today Generation Next Award in 2014, was nominated for a Venues Today Hall of Headlines Award in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2015, and has received multiple awards and accolades for her social media and public relations efforts. Christine also serves on the Event & Arena Marketing Conference Planning Committee.

Pileckas joined SMG Wichita in November 2010. Prior to SMG, she worked for Spectra Venue Management, formerly Global Spectrum, in Trenton, N.J. Pileckas graduated from West Chester University (West Chester, Pa.) in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in marketing.


(Columbus, August 13, 2018) -- John Page, general manager of the SMG-managed Greater Columbus Convention Center (GCCC), was selected by his peers for his leadership, business and civic contributions and will be included among the 2018 Most Admired Chief Operating Officers by Columbus Business First.

“Congratulations, your peers have selected you as a 2018 C-Suite Awards honoree in the COO category,” said Nick Fortine, Columbus Business First president and publisher. “You can count yourself among the region’s most-accomplished business leaders, inspiring and encouraging others in the community with your integrity and excellence.”

Along with other 2018 C-Suite honorees, Page’s profile will be included in the September 28 edition of Columbus Business First and will be celebrated at the C-Suite Gala on September 27 at the Hyatt Regency Columbus. The evening will feature a keynote address by Dr. Michael Drake, president of The Ohio State University, Page’s alma mater. Page is a two-time graduate of The Ohio State University with a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a specialization in marketing and a master’s degree in sports management.

Page was also recognized as a 2016 Central Ohio Smart 50 Award recipient by Smart Business Columbus and profiled extensively in Who’s Who in Black Columbus. He was appointed in 2017 by Ohio Governor John R. Kasich as a commissioner on the Ohio Expositions Commission, which is the governing body for the Ohio Expo Center and Ohio State Fair. Page, an advisory board member of The Ohio State University’s Hospitality Management program, is also a member of the Experience Columbus African-American Business Development Council and Columbus Black Sports Professionals. He serves as an annual guest speaker for The Ohio State University’s graduate-level sports management program and Columbus City Schools Career Day.

A 20-year SMG veteran, Page became general manager of the GCCC in 2013 and manages the venue’s daily operations, stakeholder relationships and business development. He most recently guided the facility through its award-winning 22-month, $140 million expansion and renovation and construction of the $18 million Goodale Garage, a parking facility that serves as an art-filled gateway to the Short North Arts District. He leads a staff composed of the city’s large contingent of Certified Tourism Ambassadors and continues to meet with community leaders, clients and hospitality partners to gain their insights and share the GCCC story and the facility’s future development plans.


(Wichita, Kan.) – The SMG-managed INTRUST Bank Arena is excited to announce the hiring of Samantha Faley and Jaime Tamsin. Faley will be joining the team under the Finance Department, while Tamsin will be joining Event Services.

Prior to coming to SMG, Samantha Faley worked in accounts receivable at Wickham Industries, a construction and manufacturing company. Faley graduated from Wichita State University in May with her Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting. Faley started her new role as the Payroll and Payables Accountant at INTRUST Bank Arena in June. Her primary duties include processing multiple payrolls as well as assisting in the everyday financial operations.

Jaime Tamsin comes to INTRUST Bank Arena from Spirit Communications Park in South Carolina. Tamsin joined the opening team as the Director of Special Events and had the opportunity to be part of the first special event at the facility. Tamsin graduated from the University of South Carolina with a Bachelor of Science in Sport and Entertainment Management. She began her new role as the Event Manager at INTRUST Bank Arena on July 18. She will work closely with the Director of Event Services to help control and monitor the customer contact aspect of the facility.

“We’re excited to welcome Sam and Jaime to the SMG team at INTRUST Bank Arena,” commented SMG General Manager, A.J. Boleski. “They both bring valuable knowledge and skills from their previous work experiences and will be a great addition to our full-time staff.”


AUSTIN, Texas --- The NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Committee has awarded regional-round hosting duties for the 2021 and 2022 championships to seven cities. The University of Texas will host a regional in 2021 at the H-E-B Center in Cedar Park, Texas.

Selected to host regionals in 2021 are Albany, New York (Times Union Center); the Austin, Texas, area (H-E-B Center in Cedar Park); Cincinnati (Cintas Center); and Spokane (Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena), with play taking place March 26-29. Albany, which also will serve as a regional host site in 2019, has hosted twice previously, in 2015 and 2018. Austin, which has hosted an NCAA championship-record 18 regional games at the Frank Erwin Center, will host in 2021 at the H-E-B Center in Cedar Park. The Cintas Center in Cincinnati will be hosting regional play for the first time after hosting first- and second-round action in 2001, 2010 and 2011. An experienced host site, Spokane previously welcomed regional play in 2001, 2008, 2013, 2015 and 2018.

In 2022, Bridgeport, Connecticut (Webster Bank Arena); Greensboro, North Carolina (Greensboro Coliseum); Spokane; and Wichita, Kansas (Intrust Bank Arena) will serve as the four regional sites, March 25-28. Bridgeport, which previously hosted regional play in 2006, 2013, 2016 and 2017, is currently tied for third on the all-time regional games hosted list with 12 along with another 2022 regional host venue, the Greensboro Coliseum, which hosted regional games in 1999, 2007, 2008 and 2015. Intrust Bank Arena will be hosting regional championship action for the first time, previously hosting first- and second-round play in 2011.

“We’re really excited that we’ve been chosen to host an NCAA Women’s Basketball Regional in 2021,” UT Vice President and Athletics Director Chris Del Conte said. “It will be a tremendous opportunity for our university and athletic department to be a part of a really special event and to celebrate basketball in our great city.”

H-E-B Center at Cedar Park broke ground in June of 2008 and opened for business on September 25, 2009. It is a multi-purpose venue that serves as home to the Texas Stars, the AHL affiliate of the NHL’s Dallas Stars, and the Austin Spurs, the NBA D-League affiliate of the San Antonio Spurs.

"This is great news - we are honored that the NCAA has selected Austin and our world-class venue in the city of Cedar Park as a 2021 regional host,” said Sammy Wallace, H-E-B Center at Cedar Park General Manager. “We look forward to working with UT athletics help make this an exciting and unforgettable championship experience for players, coaches, families and fans.”


(Wichita, Kan.) – The International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM) has awarded INTRUST Bank Arena the 2018 Venue Excellence Award. The award was announced today at the IAVM Venue Connect Conference in Toronto during the Venue Industry Awards Luncheon. This prestigious award is awarded annually to recognize five IAVM venues of any type within the membership which demonstrate excellence in the management and operation of public assembly venues. IAVM takes pride in its members and member venues that excel in providing their communities with a safe and enjoyable space for all types of events and educational opportunities.

Being honored alongside INTRUST Bank Arena, the 2018 Venue Excellence Award winners also include Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts (Orlando, Fla.), Minneapolis Convention Center (Minneapolis), BOK Center (Tulsa, Okla.), Shaw Conference Center (Edmonton).

“IAVM members manage public venues all over the world, and we’re excited that INTRUST Bank Arena has proven to be one of the best. The professionals who manage the Arena are to be commended for this industry achievement, and Wichita is fortunate to have a phenomenal asset that serves its citizens and community.” Brad Mayne, CVE, President and CEO

The criteria for the award includes: service to the community, teambuilding/professional development, safety and security, and operational excellence. The criteria used to evaluate the venues are at the core of IAVM’s mission, and are key components to the success and vitality of the venue industry. A committee of industry leaders chose the finalists for each venue type, and winners were approved by the IAVM Board of Directors.

“INTRUST Bank Arena has been a terrific facility and all of us at SMG are proud of the venue and send our congratulations for this significant accomplishment,” commented President and CEO of SMG, Wes Westley.

Sedgwick County Commission Chairman David Dennis added, “This is great news! INTRUST Bank Arena wouldn’t have been possible without the investment of our citizens. Congrats to the INTRUST Bank Arena team for their hard work and focus on customer experiences making this a world-class venue in our region.”

“We are very proud and honored to be recognized as a top venue in the world based on IAVM’s Venue Excellence Award criteria,” said SMG Assistant General Manager, Chris Kibler. “Our team constantly strives to be industry leaders and are always looking for ways to enhance our guest experience. This award is truly a testament to the hard work and dedication that all of our employees have put into executing the SMG mission in Wichita.”

Wichita selected to host 2022 NCAA Women's Basketball Championship Regional Rounds

WICHITA, Kan. (July 18, 2018) — For the first time, Wichita has been selected to host the 2022 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship Regional Rounds. Wichita was picked as one of four regional sites. The games will be held March 25-28, 2022.

Wichita State University will serve as the host for the event, which will take place at INTRUST Bank Arena, in partnership with Visit Wichita, Sedgwick County and the City of Wichita.

The last time Wichita served as host for the women’s tournament was for rounds one and two in 2011. In 2017, the Wichita State Volleyball team hosted NCAA first and second rounds for the first time in school history and in 2018, Wichita hosted men’s basketball first and second rounds.

“We’re thrilled to have an opportunity to not only host another NCAA event, but the Sweet 16 and Elite 8, where the winner will move on to the Final Four,” said WSU Associate Athletic Director and tournament manager Brad Pittman. “We’re grateful for the entities that pulled together to make this happen and look forward to another opportunity to showcase our university and community.”

Wichita was selected from a highly competitive group of qualified cities. Collaboration between the partners who submitted the bid and WSU's basketball momentum helped position Wichita well, showing Wichita had the necessary facilities and a supportive community to successfully host the event.

"Being selected by the NCAA to host the NCAA Division I women’s Basketball Championship for a second time is an honor,” said A.J. Boleski, SMG General Manager for INTRUST Bank Arena. “We’re thrilled to once again showcase Wichita’s world-class facilities on a national stage.”

Visit Wichita is looking forward to welcoming basketball fans for 2021 men’s basketball first and second rounds, and then again in 2022 for women’s basketball regional rounds.

"This reaffirms Wichita is a basketball city, and also a great place to visit and explore,” said Susie Santo, president and CEO of Visit Wichita. “Just as we did earlier this year, Wichita will put our best foot forward and provide a fantastic welcome to sports fans from across the country."


(Wichita, Kan.) – SMG and INTRUST Bank Arena are pleased to announce results of DodgeBrawl 2018. The third year event, which was held today, Saturday, July 14, 2018 at INTRUST Bank Arena, featured 37 teams playing for the chance to win money for the charity/non-profit of their choice. Each winning team’s selected charity/non-profit will receive a financial donation on behalf of the tournament.

INTRUST Bank Arena is proud to announce the winning teams and designated charities from today’s third annual DodgeBrawl event. Team “Wanna Bees” took third place. Wanna Bees was playing for the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance and we’re pleased to donate $500 to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance on their behalf. Team “Pitches Be Crazy” took second place. Pitches Be Crazy was playing for Big Brothers Big Sisters and we’re pleased to donate $750 to Big Brothers Big Sisters on their behalf. Team “Fruit of the Boom” took first place. Fruit of the Boom was playing for the Berean Academy and we’re pleased to donate $1,000 to the Berean Academy on their behalf. In addition to the charitable donations, each of the top 3 teams received tickets in a luxury suite for a Wichita Thunder or Wichita Force game during their upcoming seasons.

The participating teams also vied for two awards at the event: Best Dressed Team and Best Team Name. The award for Best Dressed Team went to Free Ballin’ and the award for Best Team Name went to Don’t Stop Ballieving. Both teams took home a prize pack consisting of a party for 10 people at The Alley including 2 hours of unlimited go karts and bowling, and cases of Mt. Dew KickStart, courtesy of Pepsi.

INTRUST Bank Arena would like to thank the 2018 DodgeBrawl sponsors: Cox Business, Martin Event Services, iHeart Radio including Channel 96.3 and Alt 107.3, KAKE-TV, Wichita Brewing Company, House of Schwan, Smoothie King, Wichita Sports Forum, VASA Fitness, Kansas Air National Guard and Promo Depot.

SMG Announces Hiring of Chris Semrau as General Manager for the Chesapeake Energy Arena and Cox Convention Center

West Conshohocken, PA (July 10, 2018) - SMG, the worldwide leader of public assembly facility management, announces the selection of Chris Semrau as the new General Manager for the Chesapeake Energy Arena and Cox Convention Center, Oklahoma City, OK.

“We are very excited to have Chris join our SMG team in Oklahoma City,” said Doug Thornton, SMG’s Executive Vice President of Stadiums and Arenas. “He is an accomplished arena manager who has deep experience and relationships in our industry. He will be a great addition to our operation there.”

Semrau was most recently the Assistant General Manager of the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center in Sioux Falls, SD. He relocated to Sioux Falls in 2014 to open the new facility and oversaw all PREMIER Center arena business operations relating to booking, marketing, sales, event services, media relations and premium seating. During his tenure, the PREMIER Center was a finalist for an Academy of Country Music Awards for Venue of the Year (medium capacity) three times (2016, 2017, 2018), Pollstar’s Best New Concert Venue Finalist (2015) and Semrau was a finalist for Venue Executive of the Year (2016) by the International Entertainment Buyers Association (IEBA). Venue’s Today Magazine also selected Semrau four-times as a finalist for Booking Achievement (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017)

Before opening the PREMIER Center, Semrau was part of the senior management team which opened and managed the Ralph Engelstad Arena in Grand Forks, ND. Semrau attended the University of North Dakota and received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Marketing.

“We are very fortunate that we are able to add someone of Chris’ caliber to our team in Oklahoma City,” said Leonard Bonacci, SMG’s Regional Vice President. “Chris has the knowledge and expertise needed to continue delivering on our commitment to creating unforgettable experiences that our guests in Oklahoma City have come to know and expect.”

“The City of Oklahoma City welcomes Chris Semrau as General Manager for the SMG-managed Chesapeake Energy Arena and Cox Convention Center” added Thomas Anderson, the Executive Manager of Special Projects for Oklahoma City. “As a highly respected professional, Chris displays a strong skill set as a leader and documented success in progressively raising the bar in securing A-list concert artists and other events. He has a track record of community involvement and I have no doubt he will seek not only the best for these City-owned facilities and their guests, but also in ways to help Oklahoma City address challenges and continue its successes for the betterment of our community. Oklahoma City is fortunate to have him.”

“Chris Semrau brings tremendous experience, vision and energy to the position of general manager of Chesapeake Arena,” said Danny Barth, Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer of the Oklahoma City Thunder. “On behalf of our ownership group and entire organization, we congratulate Chris and look forward to welcoming him to the SMG and Thunder family. Together, we will continue to make our facility among the very best in the nation.”

Chesapeake Energy Arena is Oklahoma’s premier arena and destination for the best in sports and entertainment. Whether it’s the action of an NBA basketball game, or the excitement of a live concert or world-class event, more than one million guests create memories each year at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Home of the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder, Chesapeake Energy Arena is conveniently located in downtown Oklahoma City, which continues to rank among the strongest-performing metro areas. Cox Convention Center is one of the most centrally located venues of its kind in the nation. The SMG-managed facility offers more than 100,000 square feet of exhibit space, a 25,000-square-foot ballroom, 21 meeting rooms and a 15,000-seat arena, all just steps away from an ever-increasing number of downtown hotels and a vibrant entertainment district featuring a variety of canal-side restaurants, clubs, music venues and attractions.

SMG Approved to Continue to Operate Two Major Facilities in Oklahoma City

West Conshohocken, PA (July 10, 2018) - The Oklahoma City Council has unanimously approved a five year management agreement with SMG to continue to operate the Chesapeake Energy Arena and Cox Convention Center. The agreement also includes an option for the City to extend the contract at the end of the term.

“The City of Oklahoma City is very pleased to renew SMG’s management agreement for the Chesapeake Energy Arena and Cox Convention Center. SMG management and staff are top-notch professionals, with proven success advancing Oklahoma City’s quality of life and economic expansion. The SMG team are second to none. Their expertise and dedication provides exceptional service to our guests, resident tenants and concert promoters. Working hand-in-hand with the NBA Oklahoma City Thunder and their close ties with promoters, agents and artist management, SMG helps create memories for our guests that last a lifetime” stated Tom Anderson, Executive Manager Special Projects Office of the City Manager.

Danny Barth, Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer of the Oklahoma City Thunder said, “Since day one in Oklahoma City, the Thunder has enjoyed a successful and meaningful partnership with SMG. We’ve grown together over the past decade, working to make the guest experience at the arena the very best it can be. I am proud and excited that we are able to continue the partnership and build upon our success.”

SMG has successfully operated these facilities for almost two decades beginning in 1999. Since that time, like the City itself, the facilities have developed and improved and will encompass a new convention center opening in 2020.

Doug Thornton, Executive Vice President of SMG said, “We are honored to continue to provide management for these terrific facilities. Our local management team, along with all of us at SMG, will continue to work diligently for the benefit of our clients and our facilities here in Oklahoma City. We look forward to a bright and successful future.”

Leonard Bonacci, Regional Vice President of SMG stated, “We appreciate the confidence that the City has shown us in extending our management agreement at the Chesapeake Energy Arena and the Cox Convention Center. The success of the Chesapeake Energy Arena and Cox Convention Center is a direct result of the hardworking and dedicated staff along with the support of terrific partners in the City of Oklahoma City and the Oklahoma City Thunder. The recent growth and development in the downtown area predicts a bright future in Oklahoma City. We look forward to continuing our work alongside our partners to provide the highest quality sports and entertainment experience that the people of Oklahoma City have come to expect.

SMG Celebrates Success of Event Innovation Team

126 New Events Booked In First Year

West Conshohocken, PA (July 9, 2018) - SMG highlighted the success of its Event Innovation Team at the company’s annual management meeting held recently in Philadelphia. Since its inception one year ago, 126 internally produced special events have taken place at SMG-managed facilities in the United States, exceeding expectations. These self-created and locally produced events occur under the SMG Promotions banner and include team members from SMG venues across the SMG footprint of Stadiums, Convention Centers, Arenas and Theaters.

“Not only does SMG book top concerts, but they have always focused on creating community events that enrich our city,” said Tulsa Mayor, G.T. Bynum. “Over the years, these community events have become annual traditions for many of our local residents and I’m proud to have SMG as a partner who embraces the city’s goal of downtown revitalization and economic growth.”

Event Innovation concepts across the SMG facility map include events such as, the Grand Rapids “Wine, Beer and Food Festival,” Tulsa’s “DodgeBrawl,” and “Winterfest,” Soldier Field’s (Chicago) “10 mile” run, El Paso’s “Ice Cream Festival,” Ontario’s (California)” Route 66 Cruisin’ Reunion” car show and concert, and many more.

“Congratulations to all our venues and their remarkable achievement of producing 126 special events in one year,” John Bolton, SMG Vice President said. “And thanks to our Event Innovation Team leaders, Matt Blasey, Bryan Crowe, Tom Lorenz, Jeff Nickler, Zane Collings, Luca Sera, and Brian Smith for their contributions to this successful program.”

“The SMG team in Greater Ontario, California has made a true and measurable economic impact to our region and community by creating signature special events,” said Scott Ochoa, City Manager, City of Ontario. “The Route 66 Cruisin’ Reunion Classic Car Show drew more than 250,000 attendees last year, with over a $16 Million gain to our local economy. In addition, Def Fest (held prior to the Def Leppard concert) and Party on the Pavement (prior to Tim McGraw and Faith Hill concert) at Citizens Business Bank Arena were successes, with 10,000 guests enjoying the added entertainment experience.”

The Event Innovation Team was created during the 2017 SMG management meeting when the company officials held a competition among all SMG facilities to identify the best self-produced special event concepts. A total of thirty-seven (37) entries were judged and the top fifteen (15) were then packaged for development and ‘curated’ to the field operators by the Event Innovation Team during monthly webinars.

“These curated yet customizable events are now available to all our facilities as part of our unique SMG resource library,” said Doug Thornton, SMG Executive Vice President. “The Event Innovation Team was born from our desire to generate more home-grown activity in our facilities and the group has done an outstanding job in just a short time. Congratulations to John Bolton and the entire Event Innovation team for their leadership in spearheading this effort.”

The SMG Event Innovation Team has plans to roll out ten (10) additional event concepts between now and year end.

Van Andel Arena’s “Thank You Cards for the Troops” Campaign wins Publicity Campaign of the Year at Event & Arena Marketing Conference (EAMC) Awards

Grand Rapids — One of the live entertainment industry’s biggest professional events, the 39th Annual Event & Arena Marketing Conference, was held in Las Vegas last week, and the SMG staff at Van Andel Arena® did not come home empty handed as their “Thank You Cards for the Troops” campaign was named the Publicity Campaign of the Year.

Venue marketers, promoters and publicists from across North America submitted entries in four different categories prior to the conference to be judged by industry experts in hopes of being recognized at the EAMC Awards held at the conference. This is the first time that SMG Grand Rapids has been honored with an EAMC Award and the second time being named as a finalist.

In November of last year, Van Andel Arena asked fans to drop off “thank you” cards at each of their events throughout the month for a chance to win two tickets to Trans-Siberian Orchestra in December. Using email marketing, social media, and mobile app push notifications as well as on-air messaging on 94.5 NASH FM to generate awareness of the campaign, the arena was able to collect over 450 cards from fans to send to the troops. They also collected cards from visitors of the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum and Grand Rapids Civic Theatre. Additionally, they collected cards from local elementary schools, some of which used the opportunity to teach students about the military.

The campaign was inspired by NASH FM’s nationally syndicated Ty, Kelly & Chuck Mornings, which responded with a hand-written “thank you” card. The show also kicked off the arena’s on-sale for Sugarland on August 10 by producing a city-specific video and running a ticket giveaway on air.

SMG employees named in the award submission were Director of Marketing Hilarie Szarowicz, Marketing Manager Alison Goodyke, Promotions and Special Events Manager Rebecca Chesnut, and Digital Marketing Coordinator Mike Klompstra. Szarowicz and Goodyke were in Las Vegas to accept the award.

“We’re so honored in Grand Rapids to be recognized with this industry-wide award. It is an excellent representation of the hard work Hilarie and her team, as well as the rest of the SMG staff in Grand Rapids, put in day in and day out,” said SMG Regional General Manager at Van Andel Arena Richard MacKeigan. “This is not just a reflection of our marketing department and staff here; it is a reflection of the support from the Grand Rapids-Kent County Convention/Arena Authority, SMG corporate, and the West Michigan community that spent the time and effort making the cards, as well as the enthusiasm from NASH’s Ty, Kelly and Chuck. This is not just our achievement, it is their achievement as well. Congratulations to everyone!”

SMG Approved to Operate Greek Theatre Under 5-year Management Agreement

West Conshohocken, PA (May 23, 2018) - The Los Angeles City Council has unanimously approved a five-year management agreement with SMG to operate the Greek Theatre, a historic venue in Griffith Park, for concerts and other events. The agreement also includes an option for the City to extend the contract for an additional five years at the end of the term.

SMG has successfully operated the Greek Theatre for the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks since 2015, when the facility was transitioned from a previous operator and made available for booking by all live music promoters. In just two years, SMG has exceeded original projections by generating more than $10.7 million in combined net revenue for the Department, including $3.8 million in sponsorship and premium seating revenue. SMG has also greatly reduced vehicular traffic impact in the Park by growing shuttle ridership by 35%, fulfilling a major objective for the Department and the neighbors in the surrounding community.

SMG was selected by the City through a competitive process that began in November 2017.

“We are proud of the new agreement with SMG to assist with the daily management of our iconic and historic Greek Theatre,” Mike Shull, General Manager of the Department of Recreation and Parks, said. “SMG has been a great partner for us, and this agreement will bring real improvements to the Greek to ensure it remains a cherished venue for the City of Los Angeles and a first-class experience for our patrons and the surrounding community members.”

SMG’s proposal included an improvement plan that will enhance the guest and artist experience, while driving additional revenue for the Department. The planned improvements include renovations to the three main hospitality areas – the Mercedes-Star Lounge, Fandango Lounge and The Redwoods Deck, as well as concession stands, expanded entry gates, artist dressing rooms and other infrastructure.

“We are honored to continue our management and operation of the Greek Theatre on behalf of the City of Los Angeles,” Doug Thornton, Executive Vice President of SMG, said. “The Greek Theatre is truly a unique facility in an extraordinary setting within Griffith Park. We will continue to embrace its historic nature and look forward to our continued partnership with the City of Los Angeles, and the surrounding community. We are excited about the future.”

3 SMG Venues Nominated for Academy of Country Music Awards 2018 Most Outstanding Venue

West Conshohocken, PA (May 21, 2018) -
The Academy of Country Music released their nominations for most outstanding venues in 2018. SMG was recognized with 3 nominations including:

• BOK Center – Tulsa, Oklahoma – Most Outstanding Large Venue

• Greek Theatre – Los Angeles, California – Most Outstanding Medium Size Venue

• Denny Sanford PREMIER Center – Sioux Falls, South Dakota – Most Outstanding Medium Size Venue

The ACM Industry Awards are voted on by the Academy’s professional members. The categories honor the behind-the-scenes industry professionals and venues who contribute so much to the artistry, success and longevity of country music. Industry Awards, Studio Recording Awards and Special Awards are presented to recipients at ACM Honors, a special event held annually in the fall at the historic Ryman Auditorium.

“Congratulations to these 3 incredible venues on their recognition by the Academy of Country Music. We join with the ACM in celebrating and recognizing their continued success,” said Wes Westley, President and CEO of SMG.

6 SMG Female Leaders Nominated for 2018 Women of Influence Awards

West Conshohocken, PA (May 21, 2018) - Venues Now magazine recently released the Nominees for the 2018 Women of Influence Awards. These awards recognize those in the venue management industry who have become legends and represent the best in the industry.

SMG Nominees for 2018 include:

• Kendra Clark, General Manager/SMG Stockton

• Cheryl Cohen, Regional Director of Marketing/SMG Providence

• Moira O’Connor, Director of Operations/SMG Chicago

• Sue Oxarart, Marketing & Communications Director/SMG Ontario

• Tammy Sweeney, General Manager/SMG Medicine Hat

• Dolly Vogt, Regional General Manager/SMG Richmond

“Congratulations to these 6 incredible female leaders at SMG. We are excited to recognize their success,” said Maureen Ginty, Executive Vice President of SMG and former Women of Influence Winner.

9 SMG Employees Named Top 30 Under 30 by IAVM Foundation

West Conshohocken, PA (May 21, 2018) - The International Association of Venue Managers Foundation (IAVM) recently recognized nine SMG emerging leaders in their 4th annual program honoring and recognizing the best and brightest in the venue management industry.

“There were many extremely qualified and worthy applicants this year,” stated Kathryn Eades, IAVM Foundation Director of Development. “Tough choices were made by the Foundation’s large group of judges, which included members from the Foundation Board of Trustees and numerous CVPs. Those chosen exemplify the characteristics of leadership and developing talent necessary to the future of our industry.”

Award recipients will receive full complimentary registration to VenueConnect, as well as an $800 travel stipend. They will also be provided opportunities for professional development in the venue industry to help better prepare them for continued career growth.

“To have such a significant number of our young talented team recognized by the leading industry association is an honor to each of these talented people and a proud moment for our company as a whole. We congratulate everyone and wish them continued success, and thank them for reflecting so positively on SMG,” said Wes Westley, President and CEO.

Those receiving the honor from SMG include the following:

Billy Langenstein, Director Event Services, U.S. Bank Stadium - SMG

Matt Christine, Marketing Manager, SMG Managed Santander Arena and Santander Performing Arts Center

Jericha McGill, Event Coordinator, SMG/Cox Convention Center & SMG/Chesapeake Energy Arena

Megan Dennis, Patron Services Manager, Wintrust Arena - SMG

Sarah Mathis, Senior Manager of Fan Experience, Jacksonville Jaguars - EverBank Field - SMG Client & Partner

Kevin Murphy, Event Services Manager, SMG Tulsa/BOK Center

Zachary Sloman, Booking & Marketing Manager, SMG/John Paul Jones Arena

Grant Jones, Operations Manager, SMG/INTRUST Bank Arena

Lisa Niess, Marketing and Communications Manager, U.S. Bank Stadium - SMG

Rogers K-Rock Centre Named MAJOR VENUE OF THE YEAR UNDER 8,000 SEATS at 2018 Canadian Music Week Awards Gala

For the eighth time in the last ten years , the Rogers K-Rock Centre has been voted Canadian Venue of the Year
under 8,000 seats at the 2018 Canadian Music and Broadcast Industry Awards.

General Manager Lynn Carlotto said “The competition from B.C. to Ontario for this award is consistently daunting,
making this honour even more prestigious. The entire team here work hard each and every day to be the best we
can be, and so it’s gratifying to see this effort and our results recognized by our industry.”

The nomination for 2018 Major Facility of the Year under 8,000 seats was shared with Abbotsford Centre
(Abbotsford, BC ), Brandt Centre (Regina, SK), Prospera Place (Kelowna, BC), Revolution Place (Grand Prairie, AB),
TD Place (Ottawa, ON), and Tribute Communities Centre (Oshawa, ON).

City of Kingston Director, Recreation and Leisure Services, Luke Follwell stated, “The City of Kingston is thrilled to
see the Rogers K-Rock Centre once again be the recipient of this prestigious award. We congratulate SMG, the
venue management company that continues to do a great job running this world class centre, which was built by
the City ten years ago.”

Throughout 2018 Rogers K-Rock Centre is celebrating ten years as Kingston’s sports and entertainment
destination. This celebration kicked off on February 22, the anniversary of the 2008 opening day. Home of the
OHL Kingston Frontenacs, the facility has also hosted the biggest names in entertainment, rising stars, funniest
comedians, most exciting sporting events, and a wide assortment of private and community events. These events
have included nearly 160 concerts. All combined, more than 2.2 million fans have been entertained since the 2008
opening. “We deeply appreciate the support of all the voters, our promoters and fans, and most of all I am proud
to bring this award home again to the City of Kingston,” added Carlotto.

The Air Canada Centre (Toronto, ON) was awarded Canadian Venue of the Year over 8,000 seats for 2018. The
nominees and winners of the Canadian Music and Broadcast Industry Awards are chosen by combined votes of
registered Canadian music industry professionals. For more information on the CMBIA please visit .

For further information on upcoming Rogers K-Rock Centre events please visit, or
follow on Twitter @KROCKCentre.

Cobo Center drives business growth in Detroit

The transformation of Cobo Center and downtown Detroit have occurred together since the Detroit Regional Convention Facility Authority (DRCFA) was formed in 2009 shortly before the City of Detroit's historic bankruptcy. Since then, the number of available downtown hotel rooms has grown to 5,384 with more slated to come online this year. The Siren Hotel in the Wurlitzer Building opened last month, the Shinola Hotel will be completed in October and the Element Detroit Hotel in December.

"With more hotel rooms, events are more likely to come to Cobo Center," said Claude Molinari, Cobo Center general manager." Cobo bookings are up 40 percent and revenues are up 150 percent over 2012. Since 2011, attendance to events in Cobo Center is up 24 percent."

The world is beginning to notice the Detroit comeback. Forbes named Detroit one of the 10 coolest cities to visit in 2018. CareerBliss named Detroit the second happiest city in America. The Robb Report named Detroits Apparatus Room in the new Foundation Hotel across from Cobo Center one of the 10 most beautiful new restaurants in America. The New York Times named Detroit the most exciting city in America. And Lonely Planet named Detroit the second top city for "best in travel" in 2018.

"In my twenty years in the event business, I have never been a part of a stronger or more talented team." said Molinari. "Working together in cooperation with our regional partners, the DRCFA and SMG are committed to providing outstanding experiences for our guests, and growing the business for Metro Detroit."

Detroit attracts about 19 million visitors annually, according to the Detroit Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau. Last year, 1.4 million attended events in Cobo Center. Visitor numbers will likely increase this year with major events, including the National Association of Letter Carriers and US FIRST Robotics .

RSCVA APPOINTS SMG TO MANAGE RENO-SPARKS FACILITIES SMG to Oversee Operations of Four Major Convention and Entertainment Venues

RENO, Nev. (March 22, 2018) – The Reno-Sparks Convention & Visitors Authority (RSCVA) Board of Directors today approved an agreement for SMG, a worldwide entertainment and convention venue management company, to operate Reno-Sparks’ major convention and entertainment facilities. This four-year operating agreement includes the RSCVA-owned Reno-Sparks Convention Center (RSCC), the state-owned Reno-Sparks Livestock Events Center (RSLEC), as well as the Reno Events Center (REC) and the National Bowling Stadium (NBS), both owned by the City of Reno.

“This is a great opportunity for the entire Reno Tahoe region, and an important step in the right direction for the future of northern Nevada’s economy as it relates to tourism, entertainment and conventions,” said RSCVA Board Chair Bob Lucey. “This partnership will allow the RSCVA to focus on sales and marketing, while vastly improving efficiencies and customer service at the region’s most visible event venues.”

In addition to helping improve the overall customer experience throughout the destination, SMG’s current portfolio of clients and partners will provide opportunities to bring additional trade shows, events and touring entertainment to Reno Tahoe, according to the RSCVA.

“We have been longtime admirers and believers in the Reno Tahoe region, and note numerous milestone decisions like the development of the downtown Reno Events Center some 15 years ago,” said SMG Executive Vice President Gregg Caren. “We share a number of convention and trade show clients and look forward to supporting the sales efforts of the RSCVA to help grow business tourism for casino and hotel partners.”

SMG currently manages more than 75 convention centers, including North America’s largest, the McCormick Place in Chicago, Ill., as well as 13 stadiums, 70 arenas, and 67 theatres and performing arts centers.

A feasibility study for expanding Reno Tahoe’s largest facility, the 600,000 sq. ft. RSCC, is currently underway, and RSCVA President & CEO Phil DeLone is enthusiastic about the resources SMG provides in the event of a large-scale expansion.

“SMG has developed 30 new or expanded convention centers in the last 15 years,” said DeLone. “If an expansion of the convention center is approved, SMG will give us a considerable advantage in ensuring the process is strategic, efficient and comprehensive, so that we can continue to attract significant, large-scale business to Reno Tahoe for decades to come.”

The operational management of the RSCC, RSLEC, REC and NBS will begin in June 2018, and also includes culinary services through SMG’s in-house food and beverage division, under the company’s SAVOR…/Premier brands. The firm provides similar catering and concessions services at landmark west coast venues such as San Francisco’s Moscone Center and the Long Beach Convention Center.


(Wichita, Kan., April 10, 2018) – The SMG-managed INTRUST Bank Arena finished as the 39th busiest arena in the United States and 79th in the world in Pollstar Magazine’s 2018 First-Quarter Top 100 Arena Venues Rankings. Rankings are based on tickets sold worldwide for shows played between 1/1/18 and 3/31/18. INTRUST Bank Arena was also the fifth highest ranked arena in the continental United States managed by SMG, the Philadelphia-based venue operator that manages more than 230 facilities, nearly 70 arenas and over 1.75 million seats worldwide. The totals do not include tenant sport team ticket counts, some family shows, or SMG-produced special events. Pollstar is a weekly trade publication covering the worldwide concert industry.

Additionally, INTRUST Bank Arena hosted 5 of the Top 100 Tours through the first quarter, including Pink, The Harlem Globetrotters, Avenged Sevenfold, Winter Jam and Disney On Ice.

“It has been a tremendous first three months of 2018 for our team at INTRUST Bank Arena,” said A.J. Boleski, SMG General Manager. “From the sold out P!nk concert to the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship First/Second Rounds, we could not have asked for a better way to kick off this year. The success of these events, especially the NCAA tournament, is a huge testament to the outpouring of support from the community and the tireless efforts from our staff here at the arena. Thank you to everyone involved with making Wichita shine this past quarter.”

Upcoming events at INTRUST Bank Arena include Kevin Hart (April 12), Outcry (April 13), Wichita Force Football (April 14), Wichita Thunder Playoffs (April 14 & 15) and PBR (April 28). For a full list of upcoming events, please visit

ESPN and Minneapolis Agree to Two-Year Extension as X Games Host City

• U.S. Bank Stadium will Continue to Host Summer Edition of X Games Through 2020
• Announcement Marks 100 Days Out from X Games Minneapolis 2018
• First Wave of Invited Athletes Revealed today at

April 10, 2018 - Heading into the second year as a host city for the summer version of X Games, ESPN, Sports Minneapolis and U.S. Bank Stadium have reached a two-year extension agreement to host X Games Minneapolis through 2020.

“Our first year in Minneapolis proved what an incredible fan experience X Games at U.S. Bank Stadium can offer and we are excited to build on that success over the next three years,” said Tim Reed, vice president, X Games. “Minneapolis and U.S. Bank Stadium have quickly established themselves as a destination for the world’s top sport and entertainment brands and we look forward to building off of a terrific first year in Minneapolis.”

“Minneapolis is tailor-made to host ESPN’s X Games,” said Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey. “With a zip line over the Mississippi and Levi LaVallee’s backflip on a snowmobile in the heart of downtown Minneapolis this winter, we’ve shown the world we know how to live on the edge and what we can do as a world-class host for major sporting events. That’s why it only makes sense that our city will be the home of the X Games through 2020.”

“Following the success of the ESPN X Games in Minneapolis in 2017, we’re excited to announce the X Games will stay in Minneapolis through 2020,” said Executive Director of Sports Minneapolis and Meet Minneapolis President and CEO Melvin Tennant. “With a four-day attendance of nearly 110,000, the ESPN X Games gave fans a chance to enjoy some of the most thrilling athletes in the world last year, along with great concerts at an affordable price. Add to that the national and international coverage; it’s clear the X Games are a big win for Minneapolis.”

“We’re thrilled to welcome the X Games back to Minnesota this summer and to have the opportunity to host them again in 2019 and 2020,” said Michael Vekich, Chair of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority. “This international competition showcases the versatility of U.S. Bank Stadium and puts Minnesota in a global spotlight with extremely talented athletes from around the world.”

“U.S. Bank Stadium shines with the multi-day, high-energy event that is the X Games,” said Patrick Talty, SMG General Manager at U.S. Bank Stadium. “We look forward to hosting this event year over year, raising the standard of service excellence, and creating memorable experiences for all of our guests and athletes.”

With X Games Minneapolis just 100 days away, tickets are available now at in addition to the first wave of invited athletes. This year’s event will feature the world’s top action sports athletes over four days of Skateboard, BMX, Moto X and Harley-Davidson Flat Track competition at U.S. Bank Stadium. The GEICO music stage just outside U.S. Bank Stadium will also host musical performances by superstars Kaskade, Brother Ali, Ice Cube and Zedd. Tickets will start at $20 for general admission and $50 for three-day passes. Multi-day admission, several levels of hospitality, suites and travel packages are also available for purchase. Exclusive limited floor access is available, offering guests the opportunity to get up close and personal with all the action.

SMG Names Long-Time, Berks County Resident Mark Wallace, as General Manager of the Santander Arena and Santander Performing Arts Center

West Conshohocken, PA (April 3, 2018) - SMG and the Berks County Convention Center Authority are pleased to announce the hiring of long-time, Berks County resident Mark Wallace as the new General Manager of the Santander Arena, home of the ECHL’s Reading Royals, and Santander Performing Arts Center. As General Manger, Wallace will be responsible for the overall management, promotion, programming and operation of the Reading, PA venues. Wallace, an 11-year employee at the two facilities, brings a wealth of experience, and tremendous knowledge of the Reading/Berks County market, to the position. Wallace, who’s first day on the job will be April 9, replaces former General Manager David Farrar who resigned the position to pursue other opportunities in Lexington, KY.

Carl Herbein, Chairman of the Berks County Convention Center Authority, stated, “On behalf of myself and the Authority Board, I want to congratulate Mark on securing this all-important position. We’re pleased to have the opportunity to promote someone from within that we have known and worked with for such a long time. We are confident that Mark’s promotion will prove beneficial to both SMG and the Authority.”

“I am personally delighted to have the opportunity to bring Mark into this prominent role with SMG. I am certain that Mark will preserve the legacy of success enjoyed by the Arena and Performing Arts Center as beacons of the best of Reading and Berks County, Pennsylvania,” said Bob Cavalieri, former General Manager of the Reading facilities and Regional Vice President for SMG.

“When the General Manager position became available, it struck me as a wonderful opportunity to serve the community that my family and I have enjoyed for many years. The chance to continue the role these two great facilities have played in the quality of life for the residents of Reading and Berks County is something I am delighted to undertake,” Wallace said.

Wallace has served as Vice President for Corporate Sales and Sponsorships for the past four years for the Santander Arena and the Reading Royals Hockey Team. His responsibilities included advertising, promotional and sponsorship sales in addition to suite and corporate outing sales. Prior to this position, Wallace was the General Manager of the Reading Royals for four years, including the team’s ECHL Kelly Cup Championship season of 2012-2013. Wallace started to work with the then Sovereign Center in July of 2007 as Director of Sales for both the Sovereign Center and the Reading Royals.

A native of Uniontown, PA, Wallace has resided in Berks County since August of 1988. His 30-year professional career in management has included professional stops as Sports Information Director at Albright College, Director of Public and Community Relations with the Reading Phillies AA Baseball Team, Athletic Director at Wyomissing High School and Sales and Marketing Director at Body Zone Sports and Wellness Complex in Wyomissing, PA. Mark earned Championship rings from both the Reading Phillies and the Reading Royals.

Wallace has a Bachelor’s Degree in Speech Communications from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania and a Master’s Degree in Communications from Clarion University of Pennsylvania. He resides in Lower Heidelberg Township with his wife Alison. The couple has three children, son Ben, and daughters Jessie and Jennifer.

first direct bank & first direct arena - Winners of the Naming Rights Sponsorship category at the 24th UK Sponsorship Awards

first direct bank and its sponsorship of the SMG venue the first direct arena in Leeds , entered by Nielsen Sports, was revealed as the winner of the Naming Rights Sponsorship category at the 24th UK Sponsorship Awards at the London Marriott Hotel Grosvenor Square on Tuesday, March 26, 2018.

The Awards, which celebrate success and best practice across all areas of sponsorship, were attended by over 500 people covering all areas or sports, music, arts and culture. The Naming Rights Sponsorship category was designed to showcase companies who make the best use of their sponsorship assets while having a very clear understanding of the impact their activations are having on their business.

The judges commented: “first direct bank had identified it needed to diversify its customer base. Also, with no branches, first direct bank recognised the need to create a physical presence. This highly-effective naming rights partnership, based near the company’s HQ in Leeds, was a natural vehicle to address these strategic challenges”

first direct work with Nielsen Sports to provide a full analysis of both the tangible and intangible benefits of the arena partnership including analysing media coverage, on-site visitation and social & digital output. Nielsen Sports also provide strategic support and advice on future growth opportunities to ensure first direct are continually developing their arena partnership.

Zoe Burns-Shore, Head of Brand and Marketing at first direct, said: “When we started the partnership in 2013, we thought it had potential to do great things for our business and become a focal point for our employees, our customers and Yorkshire. Today we see the partnership achieving this and much, much more. The award is great news for both the team at first direct bank and the arena team led by Jen Mitchell and is reward for time, effort and energy that is needed to make the partnership as successful as it is.

Jen Mitchell, General Manager of the first direct arena commented “SMG as a whole is very proud of our close relationship with first direct bank and its customers. It has always been more of a partnership between us than merely a sponsorship. The partnership has been a massive factor in propelling the arena up to 13th in the world in the Pollstar rankings establishing ourselves as one of the bestselling arena’s and firmly amongst the world’s elite. Having such a customer focussed and multiple award winning institution such as first direct bank sponsoring the arena is something SMG is incredibly proud of.

Andy Milnes, Head of Brands at Nielsen Sports, said: “The partnership between first direct bank and the first direct arena is one the best examples we see of a brand and rights holder working together in a true partnership. Their focus on engaging customers, employees and local communities creates a unique and highly successful platform that both first direct bank and the arena benefit from. Recognition in this category is just reward for the effort the team on both sides of partnership put in."

SMG Introduces Another Level of Customer Service Training

West Conshohocken, PA (April 3, 2018) - We are pleased to announce another SMG exclusive training program available to all facilities – Advanced Customer Service! SMG is committed to delivering amazing customer service at all of our venues and this training class explores the finer nuances of interacting with our customers and truly making their visit memorable. We are taking service to a higher level!

Advanced Customer Service focuses on the five Cs of communication: Context, Congruence, Culture, Consistency and Clusters. The five stages of a customer conversation is practiced to achieve better results with customer complaints. In addition, many of the subtleties of body language and gestures are discussed.

Advanced Customer Service is intended for any employee who has attended k’nekt Customer Service. It is delivered in market by Certified k’nekt Facilitators. As with all k’nekt programs, the skills taught are applicable in all facets of life – work and personal.

For more information or to sign up, contact Katie Wells at 843-557-2813 or

Report card: How did Intrust Bank Arena do as an NCAA host Thursday?

Thursday was a test for Intrust Bank Arena.

Thrust into the national spotlight, the arena hosted first-round NCAA men's basketball tournament games for the first time in 24 years.

Despite Thursday being the first time Intrust Bank Arena has ever hosted March Madness, things went off largely without a hitch.

But with all tests, there eventually comes a report card.

Here's how Eagle staffers, who attended the tournament all day Thursday, rated the arena's performance as a first-time NCAA host. Some of these things aren't possible for the arena to control, but are worth mentioning as the city prepares to host the tournament again in 2021:

Traffic: B
For the most part, traffic near Intrust Bank Arena was heavy but navigable through mid-afternoon. Westbound Waterman on the south side of the arena had the heaviest delays, as the right-hand lane is closed for television satellite trucks.

Helping matters is the fact that Wichita Police officers are stationed at most corners, directing motorists and pedestrians across busy intersections. That’s a good thing, since hoards of basketball fans seem to be treating the four block area around the arena as one large pedestrian mall.

Parking/shuttles: B+
We checked on the parking situation over the hour immediately prior to the Kansas game, assuming that would be the busiest time of day for fans coming to the arena.

Lots closest to the arena - which were generally $20 per parking spot, were more than 75 percent full, according to the arena’s estimation. The steep parking cost was especially evident at a lot at 319 S. Broadway, where parking spots ran for $15 Thursday. The problem: No one had covered up the lot’s normal parking sign, advertising “$2.00 all day” parking. Not exactly a good look.

Even 30 minutes prior to tipoff, there were still plenty of free parking spots available at the Old Town Square Garage, 250 N. Rock Island; Gander Mountain Garage, 600 S. Water; and the WaterWalk Garage, 515 S. Main. A little further in the downtown area, there were three whole floors available at the Market Centre Garage, 1st and Main. Spots at that garage, while a little further walk away, were only $5.

Free public shuttles ran from Lawrence-Dumont Stadium and lots at 899 N. Seneca and 151 N. Waco throughout the day. Those shuttles really hit the mark. From the time I parked at Lawrence-Dumont (15 minutes before tipoff), it took exactly 10 minutes to ride the shuttle to the doors of Intrust Bank Arena. Impressive.

Overall, there was a surplus of parking downtown at peak time Thursday - if you knew where to look and where to avoid. Don’t pay $20 for parking when there are just as many free spots a few blocks away.

Bathrooms : A
The first busy time for arena bathrooms was, not surprisingly, during halftime of the KU-Penn game, when lines for both men’s and women’s restrooms were about 15-20 people long.

Fans were getting through quickly, though. In some areas, the line for the men’s room was two to three times longer than the line for the women’s room, breaking an old stereotype.

The average wait was about 20 minutes. Worth noting, however: As with major concerts at Intrust Bank Arena, if you encounter a huge line and just keep walking, you’ll likely find a shorter one.

Concessions/lines: A
Lines moved swiftly at Intrust Bank Arena’s more than two dozen concession stands, all of which serve something a little different. Lines seemed to be moving swiftly, and at most, they were no more than 10 people deep. The most popular spot seemed to be the Rub My Belly barbecue concession stand on the main concourse, which was selling smoked barbecue sandwiches with chips for $10.

Prices on meals seemed not to vary too much, and most people were paying between $9 and $12 for an entree. Other options included a grilled chicken sandwich for $9 at Coops Chicken Kitchen and a burrito bowl at Qdoba for $10. Various other concession kiosks also served, pizza slices, hot dogs and burgers. At Wild Leaf on the main concourse, diners also could get a Vietnamese banh mi sandwich for $10.

WiFi and cell service : A-
After watching Tulsa suffer a wifi meltdown at last year’s tournament, Sedgwick County and Intrust Bank Arena management invested $385,000 in a new wifi system.

Users were reporting that it worked pretty well, even with a near-capacity crowd for Kansas-Penn. Good thing too, because some cell phone customers - looking at you, T-Mobile - either got no signal or only a weak one.

People who tried to stream other games on their phones reported some buffering issues and dropouts, but the house wifi seemed fine for ordinary use - surfing for scores, Facebooking, tweeting and posting selfies. “

It was running slow for a few minutes,” said Blade Tatro of Wichita, who was using it to send video from his phone.

The reason some fans experienced slowdowns was that the arena IT staff capped the bandwidth for users on the public WiFi system, so data-intensive uses such as streaming and uploading large files wouldn't impact professional media coverage of the events.

Cleaning arena between sessions : A
Before the day started, one of the big stories from the arena's perspective was how efficiently the arena could clean up between the first and second session of games.

From the moment the Seton Hall-N.C. State game ended to the tipoff of the San Diego State-Houston game, the arena had 45 minutes. In that time, it had to clear everyone out and quickly clean up any spills or messes before the second session could be let in.

All in all, it took arena staff — and dozens of volunteers — just under 30 minutes to flip the space.

A few minutes before the Seton Hall-N.C. State game ended, cleanup crews armed with brooms, dustpans and trash bags began taking their stations at the top of every aisle. They were aided by the fact that the crowd by that point looked more like a Wichita Thunder crowd than a March Madness audience.

No issues were reported as fans filed out of the building, though workers at a merchandise table — apparently stressed about the quick turnaround — were complaining loudly that security officers weren't escorting people out of the building. By tipoff time for the second-session games, most fans were inside and in their seats. That's a big improvement from 2014, when Shocker fans in St. Louis missed part of a Wichita State game because the arena was delayed in its cleanup.

Overall fan experience: A
Throughout the first session Thursday, fans reached out to Intrust Bank Arena officials via Twitter with various complaints or glitches, ranging from uncomfortably cold temperatures to a glitch with the sound system.

“Hey, @INTRUSTarena do you have something against turning on the upstairs speakers?” one fan tweeted shortly before tipoff of the KU-Penn game. “Need some love for the cheap seats. #What?”

Intrust replied via Twitter quickly “Thanks for letting us know, working on it!” -- and got most problems corrected within minutes.

“Hey @INTRUSTarena it’s freezing in here!” Natalie Olmsted tweeted at halftime of Game 2. “The people around us have left due to the temp. #brrrr #teethchattering”

Intrust officials responded that they were checking with engineers. About 15 minutes later, reporters on press row noticed a drop in the chill. In any case, consider wearing layers if you’re attending games Thursday evening or Saturday.

Another fan request: scrolling scores of other games on the light-up banner around the arena. Officials said they were looking into that for the second session of games Thursday evening.

Fans filled the building during the KU game, but the arena was noticeably emptier for the game immediately following, as some fans bailed after the Jayhawks won Thursday. It was a boon for fans sitting higher up, as many moved down to take lower-bowl seats that had been vacated for the Seton Hall-N.C. State game.

The arena announced 14,390 people attended the first session.

Among those attending Thursday's games was former assistant Sedgwick County manager Ron Holt, who was a driving force in building the Intrust Bank Arena and was in charge of it for its first five years.

Now he’s retired and was, as he put it, “just part of the ticket-buying public” at Thursday’s tournament session.

“It’s wonderful, having KU here and getting this kind of turnout, it’s exciting,” he said.

Holt said it was a hard road getting the community to fund the new arena and hosting the NCAA was one of the selling points when organizers campaigned for the countywide tax to build it. Now, that’s a campaign promise finally accomplished.

“It’s a good feeling of fulfillment,” Holt said. “Everything’s going on here just about the way we planned.”


(Lincoln, NE) – SMG-managed Pinnacle Bank Arena honored its one-millionth fan as attendees entered the arena at the P!NK concert tonight, Tuesday, March 6. J.J. Mayer-Adams of Lincoln, NE, was the lucky fan to receive the honor.

Mayer-Adams took home a gigantic basket full of fun items ranging from a 2013 opening night Michael Bublé concert poster; a Paul McCartney concert poster; a P!NK T-Shirt, hat, and program from tonight's show; along with t-shirts from other PBA shows such as The Eagles, James Taylor, Billy Joel; two Chris Young concert tickets; a $50 gift certificate courtesy of The Graduate Hotel & John J's Chow Hall restaurant; plus many more items.

"I'm just in complete shock and so excited," said Ms. Mayer-Adams.

Pinnacle Bank Arena has held more than 174 public ticketed events in the arena since its opening in August 2013. *Does not include University of Nebraska Men's and Women's Basketball games and NSAA State Basketball and Volleyball games.

"We were thrilled to welcome our one-millionth fan,” said General Manager Tom Lorenz. “We want to thank J.J. and all of the many attendees over the years who helped us reach this milestone.”

Garth Brooks, Foo Fighters help Premier Center set another attendance record in 2017

More than 700,000 tickets were used to get into events at the Denny Sanford Premier Center in 2017, marking another year of record attendance for the three-year-old event center, officials announced Wednesday.

The 2017 year-end totals for the Premier Center are credited to nine sold-out concerts by Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood, plus multi-show runs by Cirque du Soleil, Disney on Ice, and the Professional Bull Riders tour.

“It was a huge year for the venue and for Sioux Falls thanks to the number and diversity of events that came to our venue,” said Terry Torkildson, Premier Center general manager. “We welcomed 38,000 more people through our doors in 2017 across all events. And just for concert tour attendance, we were up 68,000 over 2016.”

Overall event attendance reached 709,095 — the first time it has topped 700,000. Net operating income, which is revenue minus expenses, came in at $2,090,754 for the venue in 2017—the second straight year topping more than $2 million.

Mayor Mike Huether said a third-straight year of record setting attendance coupled with strong financials makes Sioux Falls' event center a top-flight entertainment venue in the country.

“I dare you to find another publicly owned events center that is operating in the black and delighting artists and fans at the level we are in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, right now,” Huether said.

Denny Sanford Premier Center finished the year ranked 44th in the U.S. and 84th in the world among arenas based on total ticket sales for touring events according to Pollstar Magazine. Venues Today magazine ranked the Premier Center 8th in the U.S. and 13th worldwide among venues with capacities of 10,000-15,000, based on gross ticket sales.

The venue hosted 18 sold-out events during the year, led by the nine sold-out Brooks concerts. Other sell outs included Foo Fighters, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, Twenty One Pilots, Eric Church, Def Leppard, and all three Professional Bull Riders tour dates.

“The touring concert industry had a phenomenal year in 2017, both in terms of quality and quantity of concerts,” said Chris Semrau, assistant general manager at the Premier Center who's responsible for booking events and entertainers. “We benefited from that, and we see no slow-down in the concert market for 2018.”

To date, 13 concerts are scheduled to play at the Premier Center in 2018, including Imagine Dragons, Smashing Pumpkins and Metallica.


$2.1 million — net operating income

$1.9 million — sales tax paid

709,095 — total attendance (671,098 in 2016)

120 — event days

24 — touring events

18 — sold-out events

Greek Theatre Named “Best Small Outdoor Venue”

West Conshohocken, PA (February 12, 2018) - The Greek Theatre was honored this week at the annual Pollstar Conference in Los Angeles, by being named recipient of the 2017 Red Rocks Award/ Best Small Outdoor Venue.

The iconic LA, outdoor venue, owned by the City of LA, and overseen by the Department of Recreation and Parks is managed by SMG. SMG, the world’s largest facility management company, was chosen in 2015 to manage the facility and completed a major transition in 2016 from an exclusive operator model to an open venue system. This change opened the doors to a diverse array of talent, promoters and entertainment legends. In 2017, the Greek Theatre hosted a record number of events between the months of April – October with a total attendance of 338,000.

Under the open venue model, the City of Los Angeles reaped a record $5.5 million in net revenue from rent and services, parking, food and beverage sales, premium seating, and sponsorships, which helped to fund over $1.5 million in capital improvements for the venue.

“2017 was an Incredible year for the Greek Theatre with well over 300,000 visitors. Receiving the Pollstar award was thrilling for our management team after the consistent hard work dedicated to this beloved venue. The Greek Management and Food and Beverage Team worked diligently at preparing the venue and event calendar for the 2017 season. Partners Goldenvoice, Live Nation and Nederlander Concerts put together another jam-packed season of entertainment featuring over 70 concerts to include John Legend, Logic, Buckingham McVie, Sam Hunt, Pete Townshend, Haim and Harry Styles. We look forward to again working with our partners, hosting artists and entertaining music fans in the summer of 2018!”said Becky Colwell, SMG Greek Theatre General Manager.

Van Andel Arena and DeVos Performance named top concert and event venues

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Van Andel Arena and DeVos Performance Hall are receiving big honors as top concert and entertainment venues worldwide.

According to a statement from Van Andel Arena and DeVos Performance Hall:

Van Andel Arena appears as the #4 venue in North America and #10 worldwide on Billboard’s year-end ranking of venues with a capacity between 10,001 and 15,000. Van Andel Arena also lands at #7 in the United States on Venues Today’s list of Top Stops of 2017 for venues with a capacity between 10,001 and 15,000, and #52 in the United States on Pollstar’s list of Top 200 Arena Venues of all sizes worldwide.

DeVos Performance Hall was also ranked by Pollstar as #19 in the US and #25 worldwide.

“We are always thrilled to make these year-end charts, and we know it is a direct result of the support we have here in Grand Rapids,” said SMG Regional General Manager Richard MacKeigan. “The Grand Rapids-Kent County Convention/Arena Authority’s commitment to the venues as well as the support of SMG corporate and the community’s enthusiasm for live entertainment have made our success possible, and we are excited to continue carrying that into the future.”

63 SMG Venues Make Pollstar’s 2017 Year-End Top 200 Venue Lists

West Conshohocken, PA (January 8, 2018) - SMG-managed arenas, theatres, stadiums, and amphitheatres completed another outstanding year with 63 venues appearing on Pollstar Magazine’s annual lists of the Top Venues.

On the arena side, Manchester Arena in Manchester, United Kingdom took the top SMG spot, finishing the year ranked third in the world with 1,072,079 concert tickets sold. Leading the way in the United States was the BOK Center in Tulsa, Okla., with 325,548 tickets sold. The rankings, which were released last week, are determined by tickets sold worldwide for concerts and shows during 2017.

For the theatre rankings, DeVos Performance Hall in Grand Rapids, Michigan took the spot for SMG managed theatres selling over 221,932 tickets in 2017.

Leading the way for SMG on the Amphitheatre rankings was the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles selling over 230,000 tickets in 2017.

Chicago’s Soldier Field led the way on the Stadium rankings selling 206,537 tickets in 2017.

“Having 63 SMG venues make the list this year is a record and we celebrate the success of all of our European and American venues,” said SMG President and CEO Wes Westley. “Congratulations to all of our buildings that made Pollstar’s annual lists,” added Westley.

SMG also received a record 8 nominations for the upcoming Pollstar Concert Industry awards which will be announced on February 8 in Los Angeles. “It’s great to see the hard work of our executives and venue teams from around the world recognized by the readers of Pollstar for these nominations” said SMG Senior Vice President of Entertainment Jim McCue. SMG Pollstar Award nominations included SMG’s Becky Colwell from the Greek Theatre (Los Angeles) was nominated as Venue Executive of the Year; Lakeview Amphitheatre (Syracuse) was nominated for Best Major Outdoor Venue; Manchester Arena (Manchester, UK) was nominated as International Venue of the Year; Wintrust Arena (Chicago) was nominated as Best New Concert Venue; Bellco Theatre (Denver) was nominated as Theatre of the Year; BOK Center (Tulsa) was nominated as Arena of the Year; and the Greek Theatre (Los Angeles) was nominated for the Red Rocks/Small Venue of the Year Award.

SMG Richmond Venues Rise in Year-End Pollstar Rankings

Jan. 26, 2018 - RICHMOND, Va. – The SMG-managed Richmond Coliseum, Altria Theater and Dominion Energy Center all improved in their respective Pollstar year-end rankings of concert venues based on ticket sales.

Altria Theater finished No. 53 in the United States (No. 67 worldwide) and Dominion Energy Center No. 125 (No. 159 worldwide) among theater venues and Richmond Coliseum was No. 90 (No. 147 worldwide) among arenas in 2017.

The rankings are based on total ticket sales reported to Pollstar for touring acts between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2017. In the 2016 ranking, Altria Theater was No. 81 in the U.S. (No. 99 worldwide) while Dominion Energy Center and Richmond Coliseum were unranked.

“We at SMG Richmond are committed to bringing a variety of quality entertainment to the people of Richmond at all of our amazing venues,” Regional General Manager Dolly Vogt said. “We are excited for what 2018 has in store and can’t wait to welcome more guests this coming year.”

Even more amazing entertainment is coming to SMG Richmond-managed venues in 2018. Richmond Coliseum’s schedule includes WWE Live Jan. 27, the Harlem Globetrotters Feb. 9, Monster Jam Feb. 23-24, the Atlantic 10 Women’s Basketball Championship March 2-4, Marvel Universe Live! Age of Heroes March 8-11, 90’s Block Party April 14 and Tim McGraw & Faith Hill May 31.

Richmond Coliseum will again be home to Richmond Roughriders indoor football in 2018, hosting seven regular-season home games beginning March 31.

Altria Theater hosts Finding Neverland Jan. 30-Feb. 4, Travis Wall’s Shaping Sound Feb. 5, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone™ - In Concert Feb. 10-11, Keith Sweat & Silk Feb. 14, Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit Feb. 16, Cabaret Feb. 23-25, Guess Who Showed Up at Dinner March 2-3, Million Dollar Quartet March 10, Celtic Woman March 16, Tony Bennett March 17 and more.

Shows at Dominion Energy Center include King of Crimes Jan. 27-Feb. 2, Richmond Symphony’s Music of Billy Joel feat. Michael Cavanaugh Jan. 27, Richmond Symphony’s Remembering 1968: A Tribute to MLK Feb. 3-4, Virginia Opera’s The Sleeping Beauty Feb. 9-11, Rain: A Tribute to the Beatles Feb. 15, Deep River: Marian Anderson’s Journey Feb. 17, Diana Krall Feb. 20, Virginia Opera’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream Feb. 23-25, Lewis Black March 2, CHEFS: The Sizzling Kitchen Showdown March 11, Tiffany Haddish March 16 and more.

SMG manages Altria Theater, Richmond Coliseum, Dominion Energy Center and Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center in Richmond. For more information and a full list of upcoming events, visit,, or

2017 News & Press Releases


(Wichita, Kan.) – The SMG-managed INTRUST Bank Arena continues to lead U.S. venues on social media and is currently ranked #1 in the U.S. and #4 in the world among mid-size venues in the most recent edition of the Venues Today Social Media Power 100 Chart, released in their November issue. The chart ranks venues' social media reach using a number of publicly available data points among Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

“Our marketing team has done a tremendous job of keeping social media a top priority and in turn becoming leaders in content innovation and fan engagement,” said SMG Director of Sales & Marketing, Christine Pileckas. “Just this month, we announced the return of our extremely popular 12 Days of Entertainment promotion, hosted through our Facebook page, and are very excited to give away 12 days’ worth of unique prizes and experiences to our loyal fans.”

Venues Today prequalifies more than 400 venues for consideration and weights scores for venue size and market size. This chart uses a weighted ranking curve so readers can quickly compare engagement within their own size category. INTRUST Bank Arena falls in the 10,001 to 15,000 capacity category and ranked 4th within the category. Leading the rankings in this category is The SSE Hydro in Glasgow, Scotland.


RICHMOND, Va. – SMG Richmond will continue its annual tradition of helping needy children in the Richmond
Region by teaming with the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve’s Toys for Tots program this holiday season.

Three SMG‐managed venues–Richmond Coliseum (601 E. Leigh St.), Altria Theater (6 N. Laurel St.) and Dominion
Arts Center (600 E. Grace St.)—will serve as drop‐off locations for new, unwrapped toys through Dec. 17. Toys
can be dropped off in the specially marked locations during normal office hours and during all public events at
the three venues.

On business days, donations can be made at the Richmond Coliseum administrative office on Leigh St. from 9
a.m.‐5 p.m., the Altria Theater box office from 10 a.m.‐5 p.m. and the Dominion Arts Center box office from 10
a.m.‐2 p.m.

“We at SMG always strive to give back to the Richmond community and are proud of our partnership with Toys
for Tots,” General Manager Dwight Johnson said. “We encourage our guests to help those in need during the
holidays by bringing a new toy to one of our upcoming events.”

Through this partnership, SMG Richmond assists Toys for Tots in its goal to deliver a message of hope to less
fortunate youngsters through a new toy at Christmas. This is the fifth year SMG has teamed with Toys for Tots to
collect toys for the children of Richmond.


Taylor Swift is set to perform at U.S. Bank Stadium on September 1, 2018.

NEW YORK, NY., November 13, 2017 –The first round of dates for Taylor Swift’s reputation Stadium Tour were announced this morning just days after the ten-time GRAMMY winner performed “…Ready For It?” and “Call It What You Want” from the unanimously critically-acclaimed album, reputation, on “Saturday Night Live.” Taylor Swift’s reputation Stadium Tour will be produced and promoted by the Messina Touring Group (MTG) and AEG Presents in North America, and Live Nation overseas, and kicks off on May 8, 2018 in Arizona.

Tickets for the North American leg will go on-sale to the general-public on December 13th. Fans will have the opportunity to purchase tickets in advance of the public on-sale in North America via Taylor Swift Tix powered by Ticketmaster Verified Fan. Registration is currently open and continues until November 28th. General ticketing and on-sale information is currently available at


May 8 Glendale, AZ University of Phoenix Stadium
May 12 Santa Clara, CA Levi’s Stadium
May 19 Pasadena, CA Rose Bowl
May 22 Seattle, WA CenturyLink Field
May 25 Denver, CO Sports Authority Field At Mile High
June 2 Chicago, IL Soldier Field
June 30 Louisville, KY Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium
July 7 Columbus, OH Ohio Stadium
July 10 Washington, DC FedEx Field
July 14 Philadelphia, PA Lincoln Financial Field
July 17 Cleveland, OH First Energy Stadium
July 21 East Rutherford, NJ MetLife Stadium
July 28 Foxborough, MA Gillette Stadium
August 4 Toronto, ON Rogers Centre
August 7 Pittsburgh, PA Heinz Field
August 11 Atlanta, GA Mercedes-Benz Stadium
August 14 Tampa, FL Raymond James Stadium
August 18 Miami, FL Hard Rock Stadium
August 25 Nashville, TN Nissan Stadium
August 28 Detroit, MI Ford Field
September 1 Minneapolis, MN U.S. Bank Stadium
September 8 Kansas City, MO Arrowhead Stadium
September 15 Indianapolis, IN Lucas Oil Stadium
September 18 St. Louis, MO The Dome at America’s Center
September 22 New Orleans, LA Mercedes-Benz Superdome
September 29 Houston, TX NRG Stadium
October 6 Arlington, TX AT&T Stadium

*Additional tour dates to be announced in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia & New Zealand

MSU-Georgia Charity Basketball Game Raises over $360K for Disaster Relief

American Red Cross Benefits from Sunday’s Contest at SMG-managed Van Andel Arena®

Grand Rapids — Before Sunday’s 2:00 PM exhibition basketball game between Michigan State University and University of Georgia men’s basketball teams at Van Andel Arena, a check for $339,448.90 was presented to representatives from the American Red Cross. After a final tally confirming income and expenses from the game, the total has increased to $368,115.62!

$184,057.81 will be donated by both the universities, the Grand Rapids-Kent County Convention/Arena Authority (CAA), and SMG/Van Andel Arena to both the American Red Cross – Georgia Region and American Red Cross – International Services. After tickets sold out almost immediately, SMG, MSU, and Georgia staff received confirmation that the event would be a worthwhile endeavor.

“We had confidence that the West Michigan community would respond to this event in a big way, and they certainly lived up to the expectations,” said SMG Regional General Manager Richard MacKeigan. “It had to come together very quickly, but the quality of the event paired with a great cause made this something we really wanted to be a part of.”

“We know West Michigan loves their Spartans, and we were certain that this community would jump at a chance to support communities recovering from recent disasters,” mentioned CAA Chairman and MSU alumnus Steve Heacock. “It’s a gratifying feeling to see the success today,” he added on Sunday.

The game was a last minute addition to the schedule with the intent of raising funds for disaster relief. With news of the possible event breaking on Monday, October 23, it left only six days to bring together what typically takes months to achieve. “I can’t say enough about the staff on all sides for making sure this event happened in such a short span,” said MacKeigan.

Organizers had to plan everything in a very limited time frame, including securing a basketball court for the game and having it arrive in Grand Rapids on time. Michigan State volunteered to bring their floor for the game, and without the necessary transportation to have it delivered, Meijer stepped in to donate semi-trucks and cover expenses to haul the court west to Van Andel Arena.

Both teams pledged to cover their own transportation and operational costs as well in order to achieve a maximum donation total possible from this event.

SMG‐Managed Altria Theater Named Best Theater and Best Concert Venue at RTD the Best Awards

Richmond, VA —Altria Theater has taken home two honors from this year’s RTD the Best Awards.

Readers of the Richmond Times‐Dispatch voted the SMG‐managed venue as the Best Theater and Best Concert
Venue in Richmond for 2017. The winners were announced Thursday at RTD Best Fest.

“On behalf of RPAC, Inc., Richmond Performing Arts Alliance and the City of Richmond, we are humbled the
people of Richmond have recognized Altria Theater as their choice for these honors,” Regional General
Manager Dolly Vogt said. “We at SMG strive to bring the best in entertainment to the Richmond Region and to
provide the best possible atmosphere for live events.”

The RTD the Best Awards are unveiled annually by the Richmond Times‐Dispatch. Nominees in over 100
categories are narrowed to three finalists and then voted on by readers of the newspaper. This is the second
consecutive year Altria Theater has won in the Best Theater category.

Altria Theater opened in 1927 and underwent extensive renovations from 2012‐14. The partnership between
RPAC, Inc., RPAA, the City of Richmond and civic leaders has ensured the theater will remain a community
asset for generations to come.

Upcoming events at the theater include John Mulaney: Kid Gorgeous on Nov. 2, Priest Tyaire’s Momma’s Boy
on Nov. 3, John Cleese and the Holy Grail on Nov. 10, John Prine on Nov. 11, The Beach Boys on Nov. 12, Neil
deGrasse Tyson on Nov. 15 and Gabriel Iglesias on Nov. 16.

The 2017‐18 Broadway in Richmond season at Altria Theater features Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The Sound of
Music Dec. 8‐10, Finding Neverland Jan. 30‐Feb. 4, Cabaret Feb. 23‐25, Dirty Dancing March 30‐April 1 and
Rent April 27‐29. For a full list of upcoming events and ticket information, visit


Metro Radio Arena, owned and managed by SMG Ltd is firmly on track to enjoy a record breaking 2017, with the start of the year seeing major announcements including Ed Sheeran, John Legend, Queen & Adam Lambert and a 25 performance run of the spectacular Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

In its 22nd year, the venue has welcomed over 14 Million people through its doors since opening, with welcoming 200,000 people through the doors already.

Ailsa Oliver, General Manager for Metro Radio Arena said “The first months of 2017 has seen amazing events at the venue with sell out performances for Strictly Come Dancing Live, Jack Whitehall, Kings of Leon, Ed Sheeran, Take That, Micky Flanagan, Steps and The Killers. There is a real passion for live entertainment in the North East and we thank local fans for their continued support along with a massive thank you to local and national promoters for bringing world class events to the region.”

2017 success continues with events including the iconic musician Phil Collins, the hilarious John Bishop, rock band Blink 182, the firm family favourite Disney on Ice Passport to Adventure, and the hottest ticket in town Little Mix.

Records already confirmed include comedy genius Micky Flanagan with the Highest Capacity at a Comedy Night and went on to perform for second date, and Little Mix will be setting a venue record for the most performances by a girl band at the Metro Radio Arena in a year, as they take to the stage for four sell out performances in the autumn.

Ian Coburn, Head of UK Live Comedy, Live Nation said “Absolutely elated to bring Micky back to Newcastle, the crowds are always fantastic, we are pleased to be part of their record breaking year and look forward to bringing more comedy to Newcastle”

The North East’s largest venue, continually looks at trends in the industry to ensure it is leading in opportunities. A major investment in 2017 includes a brand new draping system. This gives the venue further flexibility on formatting styles allowing them to attract new events to the area, such as the recently hosted Adam Ant and Professor Brian Cox along with the forthcoming Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat in December.

They have also welcomed in 2017 some fantastic new events including The Big North Tattoo Show, Impractical Jokers ‘Where’s Larry’ Tour and Enter Shikari.

John Sharkey Executive Vice President, Europe Operations for SMG Ltd said “The North East is well known in the Industry for delivering some of the best atmospheres at concerts, which brings both customers and artists back to the Metro Radio Arena time and time again”

SMG Ltd who own and manage the Metro Radio Arena are celebrating their 40th anniversary this year.

8093 portions of chips – equivalent to 1.2 tonne of potatoes
5755 Hot Dogs – equivalent to the height of 2.25 of the empire state building when stacked one on top of the other
98578 pints sold – equivalent to 12322 gallons
713 pizzas sold – equivalent to 890 Frisbees
1848lbs of confectionary - that’s a lot of happy tummies!

30 SMG Arenas and Theaters Win 2017 Prime Site Awards

West Conshohocken, PA (October 20, 2017) - Thirty (30) SMG-managed arenas and theaters received the prestigious
Prime Site Award presented by Facilities and Event Management magazine. The Facilities’ Prime Site award is given
to the top entertainment, sports and special event venus, including Arenas, Civic Centers, Coliseums, Auditoriums,
Stadiums, Theaters, PACs, Amphitheaters, University Venues, Fairgrounds and Special Event Venues. Readers of the
magazine nominate venues based on numerous criteria ranging from promotional support and event staff proficiency
to physical aspects such as seating versatility, A/V and staging quality, and back-of-house ammenitites. Winners of the
award demonstrate the ability to please both incoming acts and patrons on multiple levels.

Doug Thornton, SMG Executive Vice President, Stadiums and Arenas said, “This is continued validation that SMGmanaged
arenas and theaters provide their users with the greatest value and highest level of service in the industry. We
are proud of the men and women of SMG for their hard work and dedication to the communities they serve.”

This year’s Prime Site winning SMG-managed arenas and theaters are:

Arie Crown Theater, Chicago, IL
Bellco Theatre, Denver, CO
BOK Center, Tulsa, OK
Blue Cross Arena, Rochester, NY
Cabarrus Arena and Events Center, Concord, NC
CenturyLink Center, Bossier City, LA
Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, OK
Citizens Business Bank Arena, Ontario, CA
Coliseo de Puerto Rico, Hato Rey, PR
Covelli Centre, Youngstown, OH
DCU Center Arena, Worcester, MA
Dunkin’ Donuts Center, Providence, RI
Florence Civic Center, Florence, SC
George M. Sullivan Sports Arena, Anchorage, AK
Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena, Jacksonville, FL
Laredo Energy Arena, Laredo, TX
Meridian Centre, St. Catharines, Ontario, CA
Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza, Wilkes Barre, PA
North Charleston Coliseum, North Charleston, SC
Pinnacle Bank Arena, Lincoln, NE
Richmond Coliseum, Richmond, VA
Rogers K-Rock Centre, Kingston, ON
Royal Farms Arena, Baltimore, MD
Santander Arena, Reading, PA
Save Mart Center, Fresno, CA
Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, LA
SNHU Arena, Manchester, NH
Stockton Arena, Stockton, CA
Times Union Center, Albany, NY
Van Andel Arena, Grand Rapids, MI

SMG Five Flags Center Recipient of Dubuque Chamber Innovator of the Year Award

FIVE FLAGS CENTER – September 6th, 2017
DUBUQUE, IA — The staff of SMG and Five Flags Center were asked to be present at the Dubuque City Council meeting Tuesday, September 5th to be recognized by Mayor Roy Buol and Council Members as an award recipient from the Dubuque Chamber of Commerce as Most Innovative Business in Dubuque County.

Teri Goodman, Assistant City Manager, was also recognized at the City Council Meeting as Chamber Friend of the Year.

Five Flags Center was recognized as Innovator of the Year for dramatically increasing concerts, ticketed events and creating events that increase economic impact to the businesses in Downtown Dubuque in 2016-17. A total of six awards were handed out during the Annual Dubuque Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner that was hosted Thursday, August 24th. Other nominees in the category included Betty Jane Candies, a local chocolatier, and Convivium Urban Farmstead.

SMG Takes 6 IEBA Industry Award Nominations!

The International Association of Entertainment Buyers recently announced their 2017 Industry Award nominations. SMG was very pleased to be recognized with 6 Nominations including:

Amphitheatre of the Year: The Greek Theatre, Los Angeles
Amphitheatre of the Year: Daily’s Place, Jacksonville
Venue Executive of the Year: Becky Colwell, The Greek Theatre
Venue Executive of the Year: Chris Semrau, Denny Sanford Premier Center
Theatre of the Year: Bellco Theatre, Denver
Young Professional of the Year: Joe Giordano, BOK Center

“We are thrilled when our venues and employees receive national recognition for their work and achievements” said SMG Executive Vice President, Doug Thornton. “Our entire team at SMG is a big supporter of the International Association of Entertainment Buyers and its mission,” added Thornton.

The 2017 IEBA Industry Award winners will be announced at the IEBA Annual Conference in Nashville on October 17, 2017.
IEBA is the leading not-for-profit trade organization for live entertainment industry professionals who buy, book, and sell talent. Founded in 1970, IEBA provides an unparalleled forum for professional development. As a resource and a network representing billions of dollars in buying power, IEBA is an intimate organization that makes a huge impact.

War Memorial to be named 1ST SUMMIT ARENA @ Cambria County War Memorial

Johnstown, PA – What has been in the making for quite some time became a reality today when The Cambria County War Memorial Authority Board and 1ST SUMMIT BANK announced a 10-year agreement to rename the recently renovated facility 1ST SUMMIT ARENA @ Cambria County War Memorial. This venue will continue to serve as home to the Johnstown Tomahawks, the UPJ Ice Cats, and many youth hockey teams as well as host concerts, family entertainment, and trade shows.

This partnership comes at a time of positive change. Since becoming the nation’s first ever “Hockeyville,” the arena has undergone physical updates and generated positive income to better serve the community. This philosophy falls hand-in-hand with the mission of 1ST SUMMIT BANK, thus creating a beneficial collaboration for both organizations and, more importantly, their respective audiences.

A name change will not minimize the bottom line of the 1ST SUMMIT ARENA @ Cambria County War Memorial. Our Veterans are deep within our roots and will remain so. It is a common belief amongst all entities involved that the ‘War Memorial’ remains committed to honoring those who have served for our country.

“We see the War Memorial as more than an events center; it is a community meeting place,” explained Elmer Laslo, President of 1ST SUMMIT BANK, on his vision of this partnership.
Chairman of the arena Authority Board, Dean Gindlesperger, stated, “With this partnership, our customers and our Veterans can be assured the arena will continue to prosper and grow over the next ten years.”

As part of the partnership, the recently renovated 1ST SUMMIT ARENA @ Cambria County War Memorial will feature signage on the exterior of the arena, on the new digital scoreboard, and throughout the venue and organization to include promotional and marketing materials such as the newly branded website,

SMG named corporate partner of the year by the Department of Hospitality & Tourism Management of the College of Charleston’s School of Business

SMG was honored to be named corporate partner of the year at a presentation conducted at the College of Charleston and officiated by Alan Shao, Dean of the School of Business and Wayne Smith, Chairman, Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management. This is the first award of its kind issued by the department. In accepting the award, SMG President and CEO, Wes Westley stated, “SMG has enjoyed more than a decade of association with the College. We believe it is a perfect example of the private/public partnerships that can bring great value to each party. SMG provides internship opportunities for college students, and SMG executives collaborate with college professors in course development and sit on the college advisory board. These and many other examples have created a win/win opportunity. We are very pleased and humbled to receive this award and be the first recipient of such recognition.”

Dean Shao stated, “the length and depths of the excellent relationship we enjoy with SMG has been of great significance to all of us in the department and school of business. We look forward to enhancing these relationships for many years to come.”

Maureen Ginty, Executive Vice President, SMG, and member of the Executive Committee of the Advisory Board for the Hospitality Department said, “We cannot overstate the value of our long-standing relationship with the College. We continue to deepen and expand that relationship as we move into the future. All of us who have been associated with the College are extremely honored by the recognition and look forward to many years of continued partnership.”

SMG Launches its Newest k’nekt Training Classes Designed For Convention and Visitors Bureaus/DMOs

SMG announced today that it launched it’s first ever training class designed for Convention and Visitors Bureaus/DMOs. The content for this inaugural class was developed through interviews with heads of various Bureaus and DMOs. Their observations were integrated into our materials. “This class is evidence of the collaborative partnership SMG enjoys with its bureaus and DMOs. It exemplifies SMG’s vision for collaboration. Learning from and with each other, will increase the effectiveness of everyone involved and help us all to achieve our shared objectives.” said Maureen Ginty, EVP, SMG.

The initial class was attended by members of the Irving, Texas Convention and Visitors Bureau and Ontario, California Convention and Visitors Bureau. Lori Fojtasek, VP of Sales and Service, Irving, Texas Convention and Visitors Bureau had this to say about the class, “My team has been so complimentary of the entire training. It is always great to hear from a seasoned staff, that they learned so much and they plan to use what they have learned.” Jennifer Mendoza, Manager, Convention Sales, Greater Ontario Convention and Visitors Bureau offered, “the SMG k’nekt CVB Sales Professional Skills Training was by far the most comprehensive and focused training I’ve attended.”

The response to this initial class has been overwhelmingly positive, all of us with the SMG k’nekt team look forward to making it available to all of our CVB/DMO partners,” stated Ginty.


The SMG-managed Petersen Event Center at University of Pittsburgh hosted an all-time record of 96 events during the recently completed fiscal year, July 1, 2016-June 30, 2017. Several shows were at or near sellouts, including Louis CK, Panic @ the Disco, Lumineers, Green Day and Tool. The venue ranked 85th in the United States and 147th in the World as reported in the recent Pollstar Magazine Worldwide Ticket Sales Mid-year Rankings, with total attendance surpassing the prior year by more than 50,000 patrons.

“We are genuinely thrilled at the success of the national touring acts and other events that made the “Pete” their home this year. Our continuing partnership with the University of Pittsburgh, and the support of the University community and ticket buyers throughout the greater Pittsburgh region, underscore the attractiveness of this great venue.” commented SMG’s General Manager, Scott Michaels.

The Petersen Event Center also set records in several related areas when the Green Day show set an all-time show merchandise sales record and the Tool show set a new record for the highest, single show food and beverage sales.

Adding to the calendar were national attractions Cirque du Soleil’s OVO, Toby Mac, Justin Moore, Meghan Trainor and I Love the 90’s (featuring Vanilla Ice and Salt-N-Pepa). Local events made an impact as well with High School Basketball Championships, Local High School and College Graduations and Cheerleading Competitions taking place at the facility. In addition, SMG hosted a variety of University of Pittsburgh events including Men and Women’s Basketball, Freshmen Convocation and the Annual Commencement Ceremonies.

“The new fiscal year has kicked off with a record setting Phish Concert on July 19th, while the upcoming event schedule already includes Kenny ‘Babyface’ Edmonds on September 23 and A Perfect Circle on November 17, both of which are now on sale.” added Michaels. “We are truly excited about the year ahead.”

SMG-Managed Arenas, Theaters, Amphitheaters Continue Strong Performace on New Pollstar Mid-year Charts

West Conshohocken, PA (July 21, 2017) – SMG landed 33 arenas on Pollstar Magazine’s mid-year list of the Top 200 Arena Venues, 16 theaters on the Top 100 Theaters mid-year chart, and 1 amphitheater on the Top 50 Amphitheaters mid-year chart. The rankings were released on July 14, by the industry trade publication Pollstar.

“Congratulations to all our ranked venues,” said SMG Executive Vice President, Doug Thornton. “We are very pleased to see these fantastic results and look forward to a successful second half of the year.”

Manchester Arena took the top SMG spot, ranking second in the world with more than 622,000 tickets sold. Leading the way in North America was the Coliseo de Puerto Rico, which ranked 31st in the world with more than 243,000 tickets sold.

The SMG Amphitheater roster is growing this year with the addition of Pier 6 in Baltimore and Daily’s Place in Jacksonville. The iconic Greek Theatre in Los Angeles is SMG’s ranked amphitheater at #14 in the mid-year chart

Leading the way for SMG managed theaters was the DeVos Performance Hall in Grand Rapids, Michigan with 102,000 attendees and #35 ranking.

The complete list of SMG-managed venues in the Pollstar midyear rankings includes:

SMG Managed Arenas:

Manchester Arena (Manchester, United Kingdom)

First Direct Arena (Leeds, United Kingdom)

Konig – Pilsener Arena (Oberhausen, Germany)

Coliseo de Puerto Rico (San Juan, PR)

BOK Center (Tulsa, OK)

Smoothie King Center (New Orleans, LA)

Metro Radio Arena (Newcastle, UK)

Pinnacle Bank Arena (Lincoln, NE)

Van Andel Arena (Grand-Rapids, MI)

INTRUST Bank Arena (Wichita, KS)

Dunkin Donuts Center (Providence, RI)

SNHU Arena (Manchester, NH)

Save Mart Center (Fresno, CA)

Times Union Center (Albany, NY)

Chesapeake Energy Arena (Oklahoma City, OK)

Denny Sanford Premier Center (Sioux Falls, SD)

H-E-B Center at Cedar Park (Cedar Park, TX)

Royal Farms Arena (Baltimore, MD)

Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena (Jacksonville, FL)

Richmond Coliseum (Richmond, VA)

Huntington Center (Toledo, OH)

Peterson Center (Pittsburgh, PA)

John Paul Jones Arena (Charlottesville, VA)

Santander Arena (Reading, PA)

Blue Cross Arena (Rochester, NY)

Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza (Wilkes Barre, PA)

Stockton Arena (Stockton, CA)

North Charleston Coliseum (North Charleston, SC)

Century Link Center (Bossier City, LA)

Big Sandy Superstore Arena (Huntington, WV)

DCU Center (Worcester, MA)

Tucson Arena (Tucson, AZ)

Peoria Civic Center Arena (Peoria, IL)

SMG Managed Theaters:

DeVos Performance Hall (Grand Rapids, MI)

Altria Theater (Richmond, VA)

Bellco Theater (Denver, CO)

Wagner Noël Performing Arts Center (Midland/Odessa, TX)

James L. Knight Center (Miami, FL)

FM Kirby Center for the Performing Arts (Wilkes-Barre, PA)

Saenger Theater (Pensacola, FL)

Plaza Theatre (El Paso, TX)

Sands Bethlehem Events Center (Bethlehem, PA)

Santander Performing Arts Center (Reading, PA)

Peoria Civic Center Theater (Peoria, IL)

William Saroyan Theatre (Fresno, CA)

North Charleston Performing Arts Center (North Charleston, SC)

Crouse Hinds Theatre (Syracuse, NY)

Old National Events Plaza (Evansville, IN)

Carpenter Center (Richmond, VA)

SMG Managed Amphitheaters:

Greek Theatre (Los Angeles, CA)

Pollstar is a weekly trade publication covering the worldwide concert industry. Rankings are published on a quarterly basis.

Citizens Business Bank Arena Celebrates 45% Attendance Increase in 2016/17

Diverse sold out shows include Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Def Leppard and Tim McGraw /Faith Hill

Thursday, August 3, 2017 (Ontario, California) SMG, the world leader in venue management, took over management of Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, California on July 1, 2016. One year later, the results are in and they prove the decision by the City of Ontario to change management services at Citizens Business Bank Arena was a very good move. “We are thrilled that during our first year of management the attendance (outside of the home team sporting events) increased by 45%,” said Michael Krouse, President & CEO of Citizens Business Bank Arena and Regional Vice President for SMG. “Our goals this past year were to improve attendance, increase food and beverage options, and upgrade the overall guest experience,” added Krouse.

SMG has also worked tirelessly to bring a diverse mix of events to the City of Ontario. Recent sell-outs by Def Leppard and Tim McGraw/Faith Hill have proven the market will support big name events. In May, SMG and the Los Angeles Clippers announced that the Clippers new development league team, the Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario will be moving to Ontario. This team will add to the entertainment options at Citizens Business Bank Arena and to the already busy arena calendar. “We are proud to team-up with the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians to bring highly competitive professional basketball to the Inland Empire,” said Clippers President of Business Operations Gillian Zucker. “This region has already demonstrated enormous passion for the Clippers. Locating our team in Ontario allows us to reward that enthusiasm and continue to build a deep connection with these fans by offering affordable, family fun right in their backyard.”

SMG has also improved the food and beverages options to the delight of guests. The all new street tacos have been a fan favorite, along with the carne asada nachos and the slow roasted brisket sandwich with homemade BBQ sauce. New partnerships have been developed including Hanger 24 Craft Brewery, Jimmie John’s, and Chick Fil A. Prior to two sold out concerts, Def Leppard and Tim McGraw/Faith Hill, an early outdoor party experience offered dining options, concert merchandise, games and vendors. Part of the overall improvement of the guest experience has been providing excellent food and beverage options. Since taking over management, Premier Foods by SMG has increased sales by 14%. Not

only the fans have recognized the quality, the entertainers have expressed their appreciation for the quality, taste, and presentation of food at Citizens Business Bank Arena.

Other initiatives implemented by SMG during this first year of management include the following:

Installation of High Speed Wi-Fi
Ticketing platform returned to Ticketmaster
Suite scanners were installed -the arena was the first in the nation to install this type of scanner system.
New food and beverage menus and partners including Hanger 24 Craft Brewery, with several more options coming soon
New paint, wall coverings, and flooring improvements have begun and will continue thru 2018
SMG currently manages Ontario Convention Center, Ontario Town Square, Citizens Business Bank Arena, the Greater Ontario Convention & Visitors Bureau including the California Welcome Center at Ontario Mills and produces signature events such as Route 66 Cruisin’ Reunion. The overall synergy created by utilizing all the marketing resources to co-promote events is making a difference. There are over 6,000 hotel rooms in the Greater Ontario region. The management of those hotels are provided with a monthly calendar of arena and convention center events. Currently six electronic marquees are advertising upcoming events at the Arena on a regular basis. With the new, larger LED marquee sign build that will be in place by the fall of 2017, plus 5 other local marquees and an additional 10 electronic sign boards throughout the region coming this fall the promotional reach for upcoming shows will reach over 2.2 million people daily.

Overall, Citizens Business Bank Arena is being upgraded to a better venue that provides the local, regional, and Southern California fans with the best entertainment experience possible.

Record Setting Concert Year for SMG New Orleans

July 25, 2017 – NEW ORLEANS, LA – SMG announced today that its managed facilities in New Orleans have achieved a record setting concert year. The Mercedes-Benz Superdome, the Smoothie King Center and Champions Square collectively sold over $40 million in concert tickets during the 12 months ending June 30, 2017.

Among the many highlights were performances by Beyoncé and Guns N’ Roses at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Smoothie King Center hosted a record number of concerts (25) including sold-out shows by Drake, Maroon 5, Dixie Chicks, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Billy Joel, Radiohead, Charlie Wilson, Tim McGraw & Faith Hill, the Weeknd, and Journey.

This year also included the first ever Bayou Country Superfest at the Superdome as well as the annual Essence Festival. Commenting on this milestone, General Manager Alan Freeman noted “This past year is further validation of how far New Orleans has come back from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, and the vitality of our market. Our show numbers and grosses have shown sustained growth for several years. I want to thank all our promoters, with special thanks to Live Nation, Beaver Productions, and AEG.”

SMG Executive Vice President, Doug Thornton pointed out that the New Orleans facilities are part of larger company network that includes 5 other SMG-operated NFL stadiums and 68 domestic arenas. “Alan and our corporate staff in the SMG Live Entertainment Division did a fantastic job last year directing touring business to New Orleans. The unprecedented results represent yet another milestone for these three great facilities and we are pleased that our corporate resources were able to help deliver significant results,” said Thornton.

The momentum from last year continues to build. Ticket sales for the recently completed 2017 Essence Festival were up 27% compared to 2016. Pollstar’s mid-year report shows the Smoothie King Center ranked at # 47 in world-wide arena ticket sales, and # 21 in the United States. Concerts currently on sale include James Taylor & Bonnie Raitt, Jay-Z, Incubus, Lionel Richie & Mariah Carey, John Mayer, U2, Jason Aldean, Katy Perry, and Bruno Mars.

The Mercedes-Benz Superdome, Smoothie King Center, and Champions Square are the home venues for the New Orleans Saints and the New Orleans Pelicans, in addition to such annual attractions as the Allstate Sugar Bowl, the Bayou Classic, the R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl, and the LHSAA High School Football Championships. This past February all three venues were utilized during the very successful 2017 NBA All-Star Weekend, marking the third time hosting in the past 10 years.

SMG-managed Santander Arena and Santander Performing Arts Center Host Record Number of Events during the 2016-2017 Season

The SMG-managed Santander Arena and Santander Performing Arts Center hosted an all-time record of 275 events during the recently completed fiscal year, July 1, 2016-June 30, 2017, including nine sold out events. Concert headliners such as Eric Church, Miranda Lambert and Marc Anthony brought in fans from all over Eastern Pennsylvania, including the Berks County region and beyond. Over 420,000 fans crossed the threshold of these downtown Reading, PA venues to enjoy everything from concerts to legendary comedian Mel Brooks; from the Harlem Globetrotters to Reading Royals Hockey; and from the Illusionists to the Reading Symphony Orchestra. Adding to the calendar, the Santander Arena hosted multiple dates of Pennsylvania High School Basketball Playoffs in partnership with the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association.

“It’s been a non-stop year for us here!” commented David Farrar, General Manager of both facilities. “When you have the support of the ticket buying public and the dedicated staff that we have here, it’s easy to prove to promoters and agents that their artists will enjoy performing here. What we do behind the scenes ensures that these artists keep coming back and that our audiences get the best show possible!”

Also contributing to the venues’ 2016-17 success was increased revenue generated by various facility departments. Group sales increased over 40% from the prior year’s results, contributing nearly $200,000 in added revenue. Over 7,000 visitors attended from groups such as tour and travel agencies, senior centers, church groups, and local businesses. Additionally, Dinner on the Mezz, an exclusive pre-show dinner option offered right at the two venues, contributed another $50,000 in revenue.

All of this, when paired with additional catering revenue generated from SMG’s exclusive catering branch, SAVOR, and with revenue generated from the Arena’s fully leased, twenty-one luxury suites, has set a new standard for the Santander Arena and Santander Performing Arts Center for seasons to come. “We have some great, new initiatives set to roll out to maintain this momentum into the 2017-2018 year,” said Farrar, “so stay tuned!”

Contact: Matt Christine | Marketing Manager | (610) 898-7214 |

New contract with Cobo Center locks in NAIAS through 2025

Cobo proves itself to be the perfect venue for NAIAS now and into the future

DETROIT June 11, 2017 — Claude Molinari, general manager of SMG/Cobo Center, today announced the facility has entered into an eight-year contract with the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) to keep one of the world’s most influential auto shows in Cobo Center through 2025.

“With the leadership and work of the Detroit Regional Convention Facility Authority (DRCFA), along with SMG, Cobo Center is truly a world-class venue,” said Rod Alberts, Executive Director, NAIAS. “The significant renovation has allowed the auto show to expand our footprint and has provided us with the perfect facility to host thousands of international journalists, industry executives and over 800,000 public show attendees.”

The first multi-year agreement between the two companies was signed in 2012. The five-year agreement was unprecedented at the time. Prior to that, Detroit was in danger of losing NAIAS, one of the region’s most valuable assets. Since that time, Cobo Center’s $279 million renovation has been completed, SMG management has changed the business model, the center has been rebranded and advanced technology enhancements has made it state-of-the-art.

“The future is very bright for Cobo Center, and we are thrilled to have the NAIAS here for years to come,” said Molinari. “The DRCFA’s vision of a world class convention center has been realized. Working together in cooperation with our regional partners, the DRCFA and SMG are committed to providing outstanding experiences for our guests.”

The contract will include additional days to the NAIAS in Cobo Center for upcoming years. Beginning next year, The Gallery will return to Cobo for the official kick off of the event, including a nearly $10 million collection of the worlds luxury and supercar nameplates, along with an activity to benefit local children’s charity. Additionally, the AutoMobili-D exhibit will expand by 30,000 square-feet, now encompassing 150,000 square-feet, and will run through the 3-day Press Preview and 2-day Industry Preview, and the first weekend of the Public Show.

SMG Knoxville Increases Concert and Event Activity by 50% in First Year

Knoxville Civic Coliseum and Auditorium sees record numbers under new management.

Knoxville, TN – Upon reintroducing the facility to the event market, the number of concerts hosted at Knoxville Civic Auditorium and Coliseum (KCAC) increased by 50% in less than a year. Additionally, from the start of January through the middle of June, the Auditorium hosted an event every week for 24 straight weeks. There have been several sold-out shows in both the Coliseum and the Auditorium including (but not limited to) Thomas Rhett, Alabama, and Jim Gaffigan.

SMG has also increased consumer marketing focus at KCAC: both Twitter and Facebook have seen dramatic increases in customer engagement. City of Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero had this to say: “Since the City of Knoxville contracted with SMG to manage the Knoxville Civic Auditorium and Coliseum and Chilhowee Park and Exposition Center, we have been impressed by the rapid improvements and progress at both facilities. SMG’s professionalism and expertise have enabled them to identify and promote the strengths of these valuable public assets, leading to increased bookings and a better experience for both event organizers and attendees.”

Additional Growth Areas at SMG Managed Knoxville Convention Center.

SMG has managed the Knoxville Convention Center (KCC) for the past 15 years and has hosted over 4 million total attendees from 85 different countries. In the past year, bookings have increased by 25% and the city of Knoxville plans to renovate the older convention center to handle the increase in bookings. A year and a half ago, SMG was also asked to manage the Knoxville Civic Auditorium and Coliseum as well as Chilhowee Park & Exposition Center, creating a larger presence in the market that is now known as SMG Knoxville. In the past year, Chilhowee Park & Exposition Center (CPEC) has seen a 40% increase in bookings at this 81-acre multi use venue as well as dramatic increases in social media engagement. With all this success, it’s no wonder that SMG Knoxville has been selected as a finalist for the Knoxville Chamber’s 13th Annual Pinnacle Business Awards. The Business Excellence award is presented to a company with a significant presence in East Tennessee that has shown remarkable profitability, growth and stability.

SAVOR…Selected as new food and beverage provider at the Federal Way Performing Arts and Event Center

West Conshohocken, PA (July 11, 2017) – SAVOR… is pleased to announce that it will be the exclusive food and beverage provider for the brand new $33 million Federal Way Performing Arts and Event Center, scheduled to open August 19, 2017. Not only will SAVOR deliver F&B management services to the Events Center and intermission program, but continues its hyperlocal approach by partnering with local and trusted caterers in the Federal Way and greater Seattle area. “We will look into the communities we serve to find partners who have a passion for local eating. We believe it’s that passion that translates into taste,” says SAVOR SVP, Scott Campanella. SAVOR grows out of a 40 year history of supporting the economic development mission set within the civic venues we serve. That sensibility drives our promise of keeping things local, sharing the unique character of our neighborhoods, giving back to the community, and developing a sense of place on every plate we serve.

SAVOR…Selected as new food and beverage provider at PA Farm Show Complex and Expo Center

West Conshohocken, PA (July 11, 2017) – SAVOR… is pleased to announce that it is the new food and beverage provider for the PA Farm Show Complex and Expo Center, beginning July 1, 2017. “We saw an opportunity to tailor our operations, menus and our supply chain to support to the local producers and partner with the businesses who share the PA Farm Complex’s commitment to ‘PA Preferred’ suppliers for quality, sustainability, and freshness,” says SAVOR SVP Scott Campanella. SAVOR looks to re-imagine the concession operations with an eye on PA Agriculture and will introduce Executive Chef Stephanie Gelberd who featured Pennsylvania farm products at the café at Phipps Botanical Garden in Pittsburgh, recognized as one of the most sustainable cafés in the country.

30 SMG Convention Centers Win 2017 Prime Site Awards

West Conshohocken, PA (June 15, 2017) - Thirty (30) SMG-managed convention centers received the prestigious
Prime Site Award presented by Facilities and Destinations magazine. The Facilities’ Prime Site award recognizes cities
and venues that are ideal environments for stakeholders to engage in dialogue, brainstorming, learing and networking.
Convenient air accessibility, a CVB versed in group service, a LEED-certified convention center and a diverse and
convenient hotel package are examples of features readers highlight in making their nominations.

Gregg Caren, SMG Executive Vice President, Convention Centers said, “This is continued validation that SMG-managed
convention centers provide the ultimate in client satisfaction on many levels. Our convention centers provide a boon to
local economies and they stand out in a competitive meetings marketplace.”

This year’s Prime Site winning SMG-managed convention centers are:

Albuquerque Convention Center (Albuquerque, NM)
Branson Convention Center (Branson, MO)
Broward County Convention Center (Fort Lauderdale, FL)
Century Center (South Bend, IN)
Cobo Center (Detroit, MI)
Colorado Convention Center (Denver, CO)
Cox Convention Center (Oklahoma City, OK)
David L. Lawrence Convention Center (Pittsburgh, PA)
DeVos Place (Grand Rapids, MI)
Greater Columbus Convention Center (Columbus, OH)
Global Center for Health Innovation (Cleveland, OH)
Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland (Cleveland, OH)
Jackson Convention Complex (Jackson, MS)
Irving Convention Center (Irving, TX)
Knoxville Convention Center (Knoxville, TN)
Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Ctr. (Long Beach, CA)
McCormick Place (Chicago, IL)
Meadowlands Exposition Center (Secaucus, NJ)
Mobile Convention Center (Mobile, AL)
Montego Bay Convention Centre (Montego Bay, Jamaica)
NRG Center (Houston, TX)
Palm Springs Convention Center (Palm Springs, CA)
Pennsylvania Convention Center (Philadelphia, PA)
Raising Cane’s River Center (Baton Rouge, LA)
Rhode Island Convention Center (Providence, RI)
SeaGate Convention Centre (Toledo, OH)
Shreveport Convention Center (Shreveport, LA)
Sioux Falls Convention Center (Sioux Falls, SD)
Tucson Convention Center (Tucson, AZ)
Wildwoods Convention Center (Wildwood, NJ)

SMG’s k’nekt Training Programs Approved for CMP Education Credits

West Conshohocken, PA (June 8, 2017) – SMG is proud to announce that many of SMG’s k’nekt sales and event training classes were recently approved for CMP education credits by the Convention Industry Council.

Today, the CMP credential is recognized globally as the badge of excellence in the meeting, convention, exhibition, and event industry. The qualifications for certification are based on professional experience, education, and a rigorous exam. The purpose of the CMP is to:

Enhance the knowledge and performance of meeting professionals,
Promote the status and credibility of the meeting profession, and
Advance uniform standards of practice
The CMP exam was developed and is maintained by meeting professionals from all over the world who volunteer their time to ensure that the program reflects the best practices in the meeting management field. More than 11,000 meeting professionals in 55 countries around the globe hold the CMP designation. This unique community represents every sector of the industry—from corporations and associations to government and institutional organizations.

“We have aligned our training to further understand our professional meeting partners’ goals so we exceed their high expectations, stated Maureen Ginty, EVP and developer of SMG’s K’nekt training programs. Our k’nekt training is based on professionalism and creating a connection with each customer’s event. We are one of the only management companies that offers a complete catalogue of training classes covering every level of an associate’s career path. Our programs underwent rigorous review by the Council in order to achieve this industry recognition.”

Gregg Caren, EVP Convention Center Division said, “this is a significant accomplishment and recognition for the training programs SMG offers our facilities. The classes themselves have been met with widespread enthusiasm by our associates and clients alike. They are another example of the excellent proprietary programs SMG offers.”

SMG Selected To Manage One of World’s Largest Convention Centers Slated To Open in China in 2019 – Agreement Propels SMG’s International Growth

West Conshohocken, PA (June 6, 2017) – SMG, a leader in convention and entertainment venue management, announced that it has secured an agreement to manage a new exhibition and convention center in Shenzhen, China.

The agreement is a milestone in SMG’s 40-year history. The Shenzhen World Exhibition & Convention Center is set to become one of the largest convention centers in the world. It also will be the company’s new flagship venue in China’s growing trade show market.

“We are honored by our selection, which reflects our unique combination of resources, relationships and expertise in the industry,” said SMG President and CEO Wes Westley. “We look forward to operating a world-class facility in China’s most progressive international business center.”

SMG will work closely with China Merchants Shekou Holdings (CMSK) and OCT Group, the two Chinese companies that came together to win the bid from the Shenzhen Municipal Government to build the exhibition and convention center.

Mr. Sun Chengming, chairman of CMSK, said, “We are excited to work with SMG to build Shenzhen World Exhibition & Convention Center into a global venue benchmark.”

The new venue, which will be located near the Shenzhen International Airport, will anchor an extraordinary new business and lifestyle district, featuring numerous hotel and commercial projects, including a retail and entertainment complex.

“Shenzhen World is a very significant project for the Shenzhen government, and we have every confidence in CMSK and OCT to build and operate the venue,” said Mr. Xu Chongguang, deputy secretary general of the Shenzhen municipality. “We hope that by leveraging the international experience and expertise of SMG, the venue can achieve a world-class standard with wide exposure on the global stage.”

The design of Shenzhen World calls for 4.3 million square feet (400,000 square meters) of exhibition space and another 500,000 square feet (45,000 square meters) of flexible convention & meeting space. The venue will be roughly twice the size of McCormick Place in Chicago, the largest exhibition and meeting facility in North America. SMG has managed McCormick Place since 2011.

“While we have entertained many inquiries from China in recent years, we were waiting for the right project and partner and believe we have found both in Shenzhen,” Westley said. “As we expand our global footprint, this agreement will propel our international growth strategy.”

The project is under construction, and the first phase is targeted for completion in the first quarter of 2019.

“Construction has gone smoothly since we broke ground in September 2016,” said Mr. Ma Jun, deputy general manager of CMSK (Shenzhen) and general manager of CMSK-OCT International Exhibition Development Co. Ltd. “The general contractor is already working on site, and the venue operation company has already been established. We are now busy with pre-opening work.”


JACKSONVILLE, Fla., April 14, 2017- SMG, Jacksonville’s premier venue management company, announced today that it is bringing a piece of New York history to Jacksonville. SMG has secured a traveling exhibition dedicated to telling the groundbreaking story of Dance Theatre of Harlem. Dance Theatre of Harlem: 40 Years of Firsts will be on display at the Ritz Theatre and Museum for an extended stay beginning Saturday, April 15.

In the aftermath of Martin Luther King, Jr’s assassination, African-American dance pioneer Arthur Mitchell co-founded the Dance Theatre of Harlem School in 1969 to ignite positive social change and dispel the belief that ballet could not be performed by those of African descent. The Dance Theatre of Harlem company officially debuted in New York City at the Guggenheim Museum in 1971. It has since grown into a multicultural dance institution of unparalleled acclaim, with a legacy of providing opportunities for creative expression and artistic excellence that continues to set standards in the performing arts.

In the last 44 plus years, the professional touring company has performed in 41 states and 40 countries on six continents. The renowned ballet company, school’s history, powerful social and artistic impact is brought to life through the exhibit’s more than 165 rare costumes, set pieces, historical photographs, tour posters, video excerpts and design sketches. The exhibit also includes four dramatically-staged ballets that are iconic to the company: A Streetcar Named Desire, Creole Giselle, Dougla and Firebird.

“It is a true honor for the Ritz Theatre and Museum to host an exhibition that shares such a compelling story of empowerment and defiance of racial stereotypes,” said SMG Jacksonville General Manager Bill McConnell. “Northeast Florida is home to many prolific dancers who helped pave the way as members of this iconic troupe. The Ritz Theatre and Museum is proud to provide Jacksonville with the opportunity to learn more about these artistic trailblazers and this storied dance company.”

The exhibition is thoughtfully divided into sections that allow the viewer to walk through a history of Dance Theatre – from photographs and stories about co-founders Mitchell and Karel Shook, to the forming of the school and progression to a professional company, and a repertoire that includes contributions from a myriad of choreographers over the years, including George Balanchine.

Dance Theatre of Harlem: 40 Years of Firsts is organized by Dance Theatre of Harlem, California African-American Museum and The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, and toured by International Arts & Artists, Washington, D.C. The exhibition will be on display at the Ritz Theatre and Museum through July 31.

Museum admission is available at the Tom Bush Family of Dealerships Box Offices located at the Ritz Theatre and Museum. For more information, call the Ritz at (904) 807-2010 or visit


Albany, NY- The first quarter of 2017 has come to an end and the Times Union Center saw 48 days made up of 55 events including concerts, basketball, hockey, and expositions. With 35 set up days for events, the center had 83 active days from January to March, which included 72 active construction days with an average of 40 workers per day.

January began our busy first quarter with 15 total events, including the highly anticipated Twenty One Pilots gig while February was a month of sports, which brought the return of the Harlem Globetrotters and NYSPHSAA High School Wrestling Championships. March ended the successful quarter with 21 events in just 16 days as the Times Union Center saw quick turnovers from sports to concerts and back in March. Beginning with the 2017 MAAC Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships, we moved onto Maroon 5, three nights of Garth Brooks and TobyMac, before a quick change to hockey. WWE Live took over mid-month for one night only before changing back to hockey for a three-game stretch. Following 5 days of rehearsals, we wrapped up the month with John Mayer’s opening night of the Search for Everything Tour. In addition to these individual events, the Times Union Center hosted two press conferences, including one hosted by Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood, to highlight their first return to Albany in over 20 years. The first quarter also saw significant construction milestones that will be on display in the coming months. A new elevator and escalators were installed in the front atrium, one bathroom was completed and the landing connecting the arena to the parking garage was enclosed.

“The Times Union Center has had a remarkable first quarter which would not have been successful without the support of staff, patrons, sponsors, suite holders, and promoters. Everyone has a part in making the Capital Region an exciting place to be. As incredible talent continues to come through the Times Union Center, fans have so much to look forward to in 2017 with state of the art advancements being brought to the venue,” said Albany County Executive Daniel P. McCoy.

“2017 has already proved to be one of our best years. With renovations successfully moving forward, we are grateful for the opportunities to host such incredible events. With new events like Twenty One Pilots, Maroon 5 and John Mayer, as well as returning events including NYSPHSAA, MAAC and Garth Brooks, it’s an exciting time at the Times Union Center. By the end of the year, the Capital Region will see the likes of The Chainsmokers, Poison, 80’s greats including Howard Jones and Men Without Hats at Retro Futura, and Roger Waters,” said Bob Belber, SMG Regional General Manager of the Times Union Center.

In these last three months, over 265,000 patrons walked through the Times Union Center turnstiles, having consumed nearly 30,000 bottles of water, 20,000 soft pretzels, and 13,000 bags of popcorn. The Times Union Center staff used two different basketball floors and three different sheets of ice to meet the requirements of each event and additionally, a total of 45 basketballs were used to accommodate the 30 basketball games. Throughout these busy months, the staff logged a total of more than a whopping 27,000 hours.

Leading international trade publication, Venues Today, ranked Times Union Center as #5 in the Mid-Atlantic “Top Stops” from March 2016 through February 2017 in our capacity category, ranking alongside high profile venues such as Madison Square Garden and Barclays Center. Our 2017 first quarter events directly helped this overall ranking and was a fantastic way to kick-off 2017. Forthcoming, fans can look forward to The Chainsmokers, Poison and Tesla, Reebok East Regional CrossFit Games, and the return of New Kids on the Block. A full schedule of events can be found by visiting our website at or by following us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @TUCenter.


Venue is highest ranked SMG-managed arena in North America

(Tulsa, Okla.) April 7, 2017- BOK Center continues to maintain its status as one of the world’s busiest concert arenas. Earlier today, Pollstar announced their 2017 First Quarter Top 100 Arena Venues based on ticket sales and BOK Center finished #11 in the United States and #35 in the world. BOK Center was also the highest ranked arena in North America managed by SMG, the Philadelphia-based venue operator that manages over 230 facilities, nearly 70 arenas, and over 1.75 million seats worldwide.

“We couldn’t have this sustained success without the support of the loyal fans along with the agents and promoters who continue to believe in the Tulsa market,” said BOK Center General Manager Jeff Nickler. “This honor doesn’t only belong to SMG, but also to our regional ticket buyers, sponsors and corporate partners that have supported this venue from day one.”

The #11 ranking in the United States puts BOK Center right behind Bridgestone Arena (Nashville) who ranked #10 and right in front of Staples Center (Los Angeles) who ranked #12. The Tulsa venue sold more concert tickets than arenas in several larger regional markets including New Orleans, Las Vegas, Kansas City, Houston and Austin.

The first quarter of 2017 was highlighted by several sold-out concerts that included Red HotChili Peppers, Eric Church, Twenty One Pilots, Green Day and Miranda Lambert. BOK Center also hosted two large scale sporting events which included the Big 12 Wrestling Championship and the NCAA D1 Men’s Basketball First and Second Rounds.

“Congratulations to BOK Center staff, all local music fans and our promoter partners for achieving such a high ranking for U.S. ticket sales,” said Doug Thornton, Executive Vice President for SMG. “This shows that Tulsa continues to be a strong market for live entertainment and we are thrilled to be a part of that success story.”

In addition to garnering a high ticket sales ranking, BOK Center was also named “Arena of the Year” in 2016 by the International Entertainment Buyers Association. The industry trade group and its voters selected the Tulsa venue for the prestigious award over Madison Square Garden (New York City), Barclays Center (Brooklyn), T-Mobile Arena (Las Vegas) and The Forum (Los Angeles).

The O2 (London) topped the overall ticket sales rankings and Barclays Center (Brooklyn) garnered the top United States spot. The rankings are determined by tickets sold worldwide for concerts from January 1, 2017 to March 31, 2017. Pollstar totals do not include tenant sport team ticket counts, some family shows, or SMG-produced special events.


(Tulsa, Okla.) March 23, 2017 – Get your sweatbands and kneepads ready – the sixth annual Dodgebrawl Tournament presented by Paul Transportation returns to BOK Center on May 13, 2017. This one-day dodge ball tournament sets teams to compete for the charity/non profit of their choice with each winning team’s selected charity/nonprofit receiving a financial donation on behalf of the tournament.

“Dodgebrawl is an event that brings the kid out in everyone,” said Jeff Nickler, SMG Tulsa General Manager. “People from across the region enjoy this opportunity to have a good time while supporting local charities and nonprofits.”

Dodgebrawl started in July of 2012 with 50 participating teams and it has grown to a 64-team tournament. As the event grows bigger and better each year, it has become a staple for the Tulsa community. Admission to Dodgebrawl is free and all are welcome to attend and cheer on their favorite team during the tournament.

64 teams of six gather on May 13 at BOK Center. Each team will be guaranteed three games – one warm-up game and then two games (or more) in a double-elimination bracket. At the end of the day, prizes will be awarded to the selected charities/nonprofits of the top three teams. Prizes will also be awarded to teams with the best team name and best team uniform. Anyone interested in playing in the tournament can register at

Dodgebrawl 2017 is presented by Paul Transportation. Other partners include Fox23, Tulsa Community College, Shocktop and BlueStone Natural Resources. iHeartMedia is the official radio partner including four of its stations: 92.1 the Beat, The Buzz, 106.1 The Twister and KMOD. Dodgebrawl is coordinated and produced by SMG Tulsa Special Events.

More information about Dodgebrawl 2017 is located at Questions or other inquiries about Dodgebrawl or other SMG special events can be directed to Brian Smith, Event & Festival Manager, at (918) 894-4268 or

CA-USA Wrestling, Inc. Exceeds Estimated Hotel Room Nights in City of Fresno

FRESNO, CA – California USA Wrestling, Inc. (CA-USAW) brought an exceptional amount of hotel room nights to the City of Fresno during back-to-back weekends of state championships hosted at Selland Arena. The organization exceeded the projected amount of hotel room nights by over 800.

CA-USAW kicked off their first weekend of 2017 wrestling at Selland Arena on March 11th and March 12th with the Frosh-Soph Freestyle State Championships. This weekend alone brought in a total of 1,859 hotel room nights. The second set of championships took place March 18 and March 19 for the Kids Folkstyle State Championships. This last weekend totaled 1,810 hotel room nights. Over both weekends, the City ofFresno saw 3,669 hotel room nights. The original projected amount for both state championship weekends was 2,800.

With the multi-year contract in place through 2020 with the Fresno Convention & Entertainment Center (FCEC) and CA-UASW, the FCEC, Fresno/Clovis Convention & Visitors Bureau (FCCVB) and the City of Fresno are hopeful the future events will continue to grow and bring in a substantial amount of hotel room nights and tourism.

The FCEC, FCCVB and City ofFresno are proud to continue the relationship with long-time partner, CA-USAW, and work together to create successful events for all parties involved. For more information on CA-USAW and all things wrestling, please visit


(Wichita, Kan.) — Miranda Lambert and her Mutt Nation pet line will be hosting a pet supply donation drive at INTRUST Bank Arena this Friday before her concert that evening, March 10.

Drop off any pet supply to be entered into a contest to win two Meet and Greet passes with Miranda Lambert as well as two upgraded seats for her show! All items donated will benefit Beauties and Beasts Rescue in Wichita, Kan.

To make a donation of an item, stop by the Select-A-Seat Box Office at INTRUST Bank Arena between 3pm and 6:15pm. The winner will be drawn at 6:20pm.

The Peoria Civic Center is expecting to welcome over 30,000 people through its doors this weekend

The SMG-Managed Peoria Civic Center is hosting a number of events this weekend, using every part of the facility. “These types of weekends are our favorite, as this building was designed to host multiple events at once and it is great to see that in action,” said Anne Clayton, General Manager of the Peoria Civic Center.

The Official Spring Home Show takes place in the Exhibit Halls Friday- Sunday. More than 250 companies occupying 450 booth spaces make the Home Show the largest of its kind in Central Illinois. Exhibitors display a wide range of interior, exterior, home building and home remodeling products and services. Hours are Friday 4pm-9pm, Saturday 10am~8pm and Sunday 11am-4pm. For more information visit

The Peoria Rivermen take on the Evansville Thunderbolts on Friday, February 24 at 7:05pm and Sunday, February 26th at 5:05pm. Experience all the action for yourself- get tickets at

IESA State Chess Tournament takes place in the ballroom and meeting rooms on Friday, February 24 and Saturday, February 25th. Teams from 56 schools will compete for the state champion title.

The Head and The Heart with special guest Whitney will take the stage in the Peoria Civic Center Theater on Friday, February 24 at 7:30pm. Limited tickets for this concert are still available at

The Home Team Tour- Thomas Rhett with Kelsea Ballerini, Russell Dickerson and Ryan Hurd will take place in the Arena on Saturday, February 25 at 7:00pm. Security lines will open at 5pm, arena doors are expected to open at 5:30pm. Click here for entrance and security information Fans are encouraged to arrive early and review security information before arrival. Limited tickets are still available for this event at


FLORENCE, SC • February 1, 2017 – Beginning February 1 , 2017, Florence Civic Center will implement additional security measures at all ticketed events. These new enhancements will include walk-through metal detectors and/or hand-held security wands at every arena entrance and size restrictions on all bags brought into the building by patrons. To accommodate the additional time needed for the new security procedures, doors will be opened 90 minutes prior to most events and fans are encouraged to arrive early to allow extra time for entry.

Bags no larger than 13″ x 15″ x 6″ will be permitted inside the venue. Guests who have bags larger than this size will be asked to return them to their vehicles or discard them. This is in addition to the existing policy that all bags, purses or personal items of any size are subject to search. An exception will be made for medically necessary items after proper inspection. Florence Civic Center is unable to store over-sized or prohibited items.

These enhanced security procedures are becoming commonplace in the arena and live events industry. Besides Florence Civic Center, concert goers and live event attendees nationwide can expect to see additional security measures in the near future.

“The safety of each guest who enters the Florence Civic Center is our top priority,” said the venue’s Assistant General Manager and Director of Events, Paul Beard. “These procedures are Just one part of our larger security planning efforts that we’re undertaking for the new year to enhance the safety of our fans and our employees.”

Florence Civic Center respects the privacy of its guests and the enhanced security measures will only be used to prevent hazardous and prohibited items from entering the venue.

For more information, please contact

Rogers K-Rock Centre Receives Worldwide Recognition From Pollstar Magazine

Kingston, ON – The SMG Canada managed Rogers K-Rock Centre has once again been recognized by Pollstar Magazine as one of Canada’s premier venues. The magazine released their Year End Worldwide Ticket Sales “Top 200 Arenas” on January 9th, ranking the Rogers K-Rock Centre first in Canadian venues under 7,000 seats, for total worldwide ticket sales in 2016.

“Our team is proud to deliver best in class, and first in Canada results for Rogers K-Rock Centre, This past year was another strong event year for us and the ticket sales prove it”, says Lynn Carlotto, SMG Canada’s General Manager of the Rogers K-Rock Centre.

With 66,343 tickets sold (excluding Frontenacs tickets) the Rogers K-Rock Centre ranked higher than any other facility of its size in Canada.

Sold out events in 2016 included Santana (April 21), James Taylor (May 12), Jason Aldean (May 13), Meat Loaf (May 28), Cirque du Soleil-OVO (December 7-11), and of course The Tragically Hip’s final performance on their Man Machine Poem Tour (August 20).

After finishing out 2016 with one of the most successful Cirque du Soleil performances in venue history, the Rogers K-Rock Centre heads into 2017 with a strong event line-up that includes: Jeff Dunham (January 26), Carr-Harris Cup (February 2), Brad Paisley (February 4), Blue Rodeo (February 9), the Harlem Globetrotters (April 5), and Dean Brody (April 28), “The notoriety received through the Pollstar rankings reminds event promoters that tickets for Rogers K-Rock Centre events sell. That fact helps us helps us bring in even more events,” continued Carlotto.

For further information on upcoming K-Rock Centre events be sure to visit us at or follow us on Twitter @KROCKCentre

PREMIER Center Finishes 2016 with $2.1 million Net Operating Income, Increased Attendance

(SIOUX FALLS, S.D.) – Denny Sanford PREMIER Center finished its second full calendar year with higher net operating income and attendance than 2015, due in part to a large number of touring events and big ticket sales.

Net operating mcome, which is revenue minus expenses, came in at $2,145,904 for the venue. Attendance increased by about 25,000 over the previous year to 671,098.

As evidenced by these numbers, we continue to enjoy strong ticket sales support from the region, says Terry Torkildson, General Manager of the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center. Venues are expensive to operate so we are pleased that we continue to get a lot of touring events coming to the PREMIER Center.

Denny Sanford PREMIER Center finished the year ranked as the No. 88 arena in the world and No. 46 arena in the United States based on total ticket sales for touring events according to Pollstar Magazine.

The PREMIER Center s increased attendance total came on fewer event dates than last year. Counting days that had more than one event or session—such as Summit League basketball tournament games—the venue logged 119 event dates in 2016.

Sold out events included Paul McCartney, the highest grossing concert in state history, and Carrie Underwood, the largest attended event to date for the PREMIER Center. Other sell cuts were Blake Shelton, Journey, Toby Keith’s performance for the South Dakota Cattleman’ s Foundation, Jason Aldean, Florida Georgia Line, all three dates of the Professional Bull Riders event, and one Sioux Falls Stampede game night.

‘The venue has been very busy with some amazing touring events,” says Chris Semrau, Assistant General Manager at the PREMIER Center who books events. We are thrilled by the number of sold out events this past year and are off to a great start of a dynamic year of events in 2017.

The venue also wrote a check for almost $1.9 million for sales tax from the entire complex and Orpheum Theater Center. Of that amount, $1.5 million came from the PREMIER Center.


January 1 -December 31, 2016

$2,145,904 —net operating income, Denny Sanford PREMIER Center

$1,010,031 — net operating income, Denny Sanford PREMIER Center complex (PREMIER Center, Convention Center, Arena) and Orpheum Theater Center

$1,546,067 — sales tax paid, Denny Sanford PREMIER Center

$1,868,366 — sales tax paid, Denny Sanford PREMIER Center complex and Orpheum Theater Center

671,098 — total attendance, Denny Sanford PREMIER Center (645,659 in 2015)

119 — event days, Denny Sanford PREMIER Center

11 — sold out events (Paul McCartney, Carrie Underwood, Blake Shelton, Journey, PBR (three dates), Toby Keith (Cattleman’s Foundation), Jason Aldean, Florida Georgia Line, and Sioux Falls Stampede Wiener Dog Racing night)

8 — country concerts

10 — pop/rock concerts

1 — Christian concert

16 — special events (including PBR, UFC, Jim Gaffigan, Harlem Globetrotters, WWE, Jeff Dunham, and Sioux Falls PREMIER Rodeo)

4—NCAA Division 1 Women’s Basketball Regional, NCAA Division II Wrestling Tournament, Summit League Basketball Tournament, State AA Boys and Girls Basketball Tournament


JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Jan. 24, 2017- SMG Jacksonville, manager of the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena, is pleased to announce that the Arena is elevating its world ranking as a top ticket sale producer. For the fourth straight year, the Arena has climbed in the rankings, coming in 98 in the world for ticket sales in 2016, according to Pollstar.

Attendance totals for the venue topped 548,000 in 2016-the second-highest to date-only marginally missing the record due to the forced cancellation of six Cirque de Soleil shows in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew.

“Being within the top 100 venues in the world for ticket sales isa significant accomplishment that Jacksonville should be very proud of,” said Bill McConnell, General Manager of SMG Jacksonville. “It validates the work we’re doing to elevate our Arena and become a true hub for sports and entertainment. We are grateful to the Jacksonville community for taking part in the diverse entertainment offerings we proudly recruit and facilitate.”

The Arena played host to numerous high-caliber concerts, even serving as the coveted first stop on three major tours including The Storyteller Tour–Carrie Underwood, Anti World Tour- Rihanna, and the Heart and Soul Tour 2.0 -Earth, Wind & Fire and Chicago. Securing the first stop on these tours meant increased notoriety and revenue for Jacksonville as the performing artists utilized the Arena for multiple rehearsal days on top of the live performances. Phish and Pearl Jam also held their first Jacksonville concerts at Veterans Memorial Arena in 2016.

Several unique sporting events took place inside the Arena in 2016, including the USA Curling National Championships, SEC Women’s Basketball Championship tournament and the season home-openers for the University of Florida Men’s and Women’s basketball teams,

Momentum is already building for another record-breaking year. January kicked off with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents Circus XTREME, which was the final time the big top tent went up in Jacksonville, as the circus will come to a close in May. Back-to-back top tier concerts will take place throughout the first few months of 2017 including Luke Bryan in February, Stevie Nicks in March, Red Hot Chili Peppers in April and Eric Church in May. Also in March, the Professional Bull Riders (PBR) Built Ford Tough Series will make its first appearance in the River City since 2008.


ALBANY, NY – Albany County officials have announced that the SMG Managed Times Union Center ended 2016 with aNet Operating Profit of $915,634. This marks the 24th year (out of 26) that the Times Union Center has ended the year with a Net Operating Profit. In 2016, 136 events were held at the Times Union Center and exceeded 480,000 in attendance.

The Times Union Center hosted great concerts in 2016 including Blake Shelton, Carrie Underwood, Trans-Siberian Orchestra and Bruce Springsteen. 2016 was a big year for comedy in Albany with Jim Gaffigan, Amy Schumer, Jeff Dunham, Jeff Foxworthy & Larry the Cable Guy, and the Comedy Get Down tour all stopping at Times Union Center. We also had a tremendous variety of sports at the TUC this year with the MAAC Basketball Championships, NYSPHSAA Wrestling Championships, NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey East Regionals, The Mayors Cup, the Federation Tournament of Champions and new comers the CrossFit Regionals.

“Times Union Center continues to be a vital part of the downtown Albany revitalization process. The success of local restaurants, bars and other businesses hinge heavily on the ability of the arena to book events that Capital Region residents can look forward to attending. In the coming months. Times Union Center fans can look forward to a variety of events including Garth Brooks, Maroon 5, MAAC Basketball Championships, Toby Mac and WWE.,” said Albany County Executive Daniel P. McCoy. “In addition to exciting events, the renovation project continues at Times Union Center with the atrium enclosure. The project also consists of enclosing the landing at the entrance to the arena nearest the parking garage, as well as concourse and concession stand upgrades. SMG General Manager Bob Belber and his staff continue to do great work not only for the Times Union Center but for the fans of the Capital Region.”

“2017 is going to be one of our best years. With our renovations well under way, and huge concerts like Garth Brooks, Maroon 5 and 21 Pilots, we are excited to kick 2017 off with a bang” said Bob Belber, SMG Regional General Manager of Times Union Center. “The Times Union Center is successful due to the support of the Capital Region. From our home teams, to fans to sponsors and suite holders, we could not host the events we have were it not for our patrons.”

2017 will kick off with 21 Pilots, Maroon 5 and Garth Brooks. These shows alone will bring in nearly 63,000 fans. Many more events are being worked on currently and big announcements will take place in the coming weeks. A full schedule of events can be found by visiting our webite,, or by becoming a fan of ours on Facebook(/TUCenter), Twitter (@TUCenter) and Instagram (@TUCenter).

Arena Still Ranks Top of Class

Manchester, NH (January 12, 2017) – Manchester, New Hampshire s very own SNHU Arena, managed by SMG, once again finds itself amongst the top ranking arenas according to industry leading publication Pollstar.

Pollstar ranked SNHU Arena amongst the top 15 in the US. for venues fewer than 15,000 seats based on worldwide ticket sales.* They also ranked the Arena 59th in the U.S. and 127th in the world for arenas of all sizes. The Arena continues to make a name for itself with a top 3 placement in New England.

“We owe a huge thank you to the numerous promoters and agents from around the world who choose to do business here. In the Northeast market, which is saturated with Arena options, it is because of our solid relationships developed over the years and the promoters continued success that enable us to bring the caliber of touring acts to New Hampshire at SNHU Arena. Of course the foundation of this success is our patrons and with their continued support they will truly chart the course and future successes ofSNHU Arena,” said Tim Bechert, Senior General Manager.

SNHU hosted 11 of the Top 25 Touring Artist of the Decade since their inception, selling out all 11 of those artists, some multiple times. These top touring acts included EIton John, Dave Matthews Band, The Eagles, Aerosmith, Neil Diamond, Cher, Rod Stewart, Rascal Flatts, Britney Spears, Toby Keith and Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Manchester will see more top touring acts hit the stage this year including Ariana Grande, Luke Bryan, Stevie Nicks and the Pretenders, Eric Church and DefLeppard with Poison. Of the Top 100 acts of 2016 the Arena saw 12 of these top shows.

For more information on upcoming events at SNHU Arena visit us at, follow us on Twitter @SNHUArena_NH or on Facebook at

Florence Civic Center Honored with 2 National Awards for 2016

FLORENCE, SC • January 3, 2017 – The SMG-managed Florence Civic Center ends 2016 with two major awards. The Civic Center has again been awarded the prestigious Prime Site Award by Facilities Media Group of New York and alsoConventionSouth Magazine’s 2016 Annual Readers’ Choice Award.

The Facilities Prime Site Award is given to the top entertainment, sports and special event venues including Arenas, Civic Centers, Coliseums, Auditoriums, Stadiums, Theaters, PACs, Amphitheaters, University Venues, Fairgrounds and Special Event Venues. The honor is voted on by booking agents, promoters, talent buyers and key industry members. A message from Facilities Media Group states “Florence has won every year since this award s inception for a record-breaking 20 consecutive years.”

The venue has achieved additional acclaimed industry credit by receiving the 2016 ConventionSouth Readers’ Choice Award. ConventionSouth, a national meeting planner’s resource publication and website, recently released their list of preferred venues and awarded Florence Civic Center as a top stop. ConventionSouth readers and fans have voted to decide the best meeting sites in the South, and it is no surprise to us that Florence Civic Center has been selected to receive our annual Readers’ Choice Award,” said Publisher J. Talty O’Connor. “The value in receiving this prestigious recognition is that it comes from the United States’ top meeting professionals who hold events in the South. These planners demand the highest level of customer service and quality facilities, and they have contributed in determining that Florence Civic Center indeed displays the commitment to professionalism, creativity and service that they require.”

“We have all worked hard this year and it’s a great feeling to see that hard work paying off. We would like to thank the meeting planners, promoters and our fans for voting for us,” says Kendall Wall, General Manager of the Florence Civic Center. “That doesn’t mean that the Civic Center will slow down in 2017, with the upcoming expansion scheduled to break ground in early January, things will only get busier and we will continue to look for new ways to attract people to Florence,” continues Wall.

The SMG-managed Florence Civic Center is the hub for entertainment, exhibitions and civic events for the Fee Dee area. With over 50,000 square feet ofmultl-purpose space, the Florence Civic Center can accommodate events of all shapes, types and sizes. The Center has the advantage of a prime location on a spacious, manicured complex at the intersection of 1-95 and 1-20 Just a few miles from the regional airport. The facility is close to dozens of national chain hotels, several of which are Immediately adjacent and within walking distance. It is located just across the street from Florence’s premier shopping plaza and close to a variety of awardwinning restaurants. Visit for more information on the award-winning venue.



JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Bold Events, the Jacksonville Jaguars and the City of Jacksonville are set to christen Daily’s Place this Memorial Day weekend as downtown Jacksonville’s newest destination for live entertainment. The amphitheater is ready to showcase its first performers and guest services staff are ready to welcome thousands of music fans for the opening of the facility, featuring Tedeschi Trucks Band on Saturday, May 27 and Train with O.A.R. and Natasha Bedingfield on Sunday, May 28. For the grand opening of Daily’s Place, a sold-out crowd will experience an acoustic performance by Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds on Tuesday, May 30.

“Daily’s Place will be open and ready to welcome live music fans this Saturday,” said Jaguars and Bold Events President Mark Lamping. “We’re eager to introduce Northeast Florida to this new venue and kick off a full year of concerts and events featuring a diversity of musical genres. Daily’s Place is a landmark project in the ongoing revitalization of downtown Jacksonville, and we’re thrilled to open our doors and turn up the volume.”

Guests attending any of the upcoming concerts at Daily’s Place can look forward to the following unique amenities:
– Intimate artist interaction – The unique, three-tiered, vertical design of the amphitheater at Daily’s Place offers unparalleled sight lines and amenities from every seat in the venue. The front of each balcony is only 115 feet from the front of the stage at Daily’s Place and the last seat in the house is just 150 feet, giving every attendee an up-close-and-personal experience with every artist.
– Easy parking – The price of parking is included with every ticket to Daily’s Place. Concert-goers can show their ticket to attendants at Lot J on the west side of the facility and park without any additional charge starting three hours before each show. Attendees with premium seating can use the hang tag provided in advance by Bold Events to park or valet in Lots C and D on the east side of Daily’s Place.
– Guest comforts at every level – The design of Daily’s Place provides that every seat is fixed. Additionally, every seat is protected from the elements by the iconic roof at Daily’s Place. Guests will enjoy 120 points of sale for food and beverage and over 90 individual restroom facilities throughout the venue. The venue also features a state-of-the-art Daily’s convenience store inside the ground floor concession area.

Work continues on Daily’s Place, with the scheduled completion of the covered flex field set for mid-July, just before the start of the Jacksonville Jaguars’ 2017 training camp. Concert-goers can also look forward to several new features and amenities still to come this summer at Daily’s Place, including:

– Additional permanent food and beverage options – The ground floor concession area will feature new fixed concessions stands that will take shape in the next few weeks, including an innovative frozen drink stand, a Daily’s food truck featuring fresh, made-to-order Daily’s Dash menu items, and the Miller Lite Lounge, a unique partnership with MillerCoors.
– Technological enhancements – The Daily’s Place free public Wi-Fi system will be fully activated by the end of June and several new video boards will be installed, including a three-sided triangle board in the south end zone concession area.
– Architectural features – Florida’s sunshine will continue to bleach the unique Daily’s Place roof panels, giving it a consistent white appearance by summer’s end. The permanent enclosure for the covered flex field will be completed before the start of training camp and feature a PTFE material never before used in the United States. By the end of July, one-of-a-kind glass bridges will take guests from the main concourse and Fields Auto Group Terrace Suite into the seating bowl of Daily’s Place.

Assisting with final preparations and overseeing event production are representatives from Live Nation Florida, the preferred programming partner and co-facility manager of Daily’s Place. Joining them as a co-facility manager is SMG Jacksonville, having recently agreed to terms with Bold Events.

“SMG Jacksonville has already demonstrated a high level of operational excellence with its management of the downtown sports complex properties,” said Lamping. “Their familiarity with EverBank Field makes them ideally suited to offer that same level of service to Daily’s Place.”

SMG Jacksonville will oversee maintenance, ongoing repairs, housekeeping and capital improvements to Daily’s Place. SMG Jacksonville’s appointment is still subject to approval by the Jacksonville City Council.

“The SMG team is proud to be chosen to manage Daily’s Place,” said Bill McConnell, SMG Jacksonville General Manager. “Alongside Bold Events, the Jaguars, Live Nation, and the City of Jacksonville, we are thrilled to present this new, dynamic world class venue that will immediately establish itself as an iconic piece of the Jacksonville entertainment landscape.”

A limited number of tickets remain for the first two shows. Guests can learn more about Daily’s Place at or by following the venue via @dailysplace on all social media channels.


(SIOUX FALLS, S.D.) –Denny Sanford PREMIER Center is nominated for the second straight year for Venue of the Year for medium capacity venues for the 52nd Academy of Country Music Awards™.

Industry Award, Studio Recording Award and Special Award winners will be announced and celebrated during the 11th Annual ACM Honors™, an evening dedicated to recognizing the special honorees and off-camera category winners from the 52nd Academy of Country Music Awards. The event will take place Wednesday, August 23, 2017 at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN.

“I am so proud of the back to back nominations as Venue of the Year!” says Mayor Mike Huether. “The folks around Sioux Falls are thrilled by our new Event Center and it is wonderful that country music leaders across America and the world are recognizing the grand things happening here.”

The PREMIER Center is nominated along with some of the busiest medium sized venues in the country, including Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, Colorado, Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion at Meadowbrook in Gilford, N.H., Huntington Center in Toledo, and Ford Center in Evansville, Ind.

“With 13 of our 16 country shows selling out since PREMIER Center opened, that demonstrates the support from the region for these tours,” says Chris Semrau, Assistant General Manager of PREMIER Center. “We will continue to pursue the hottest country shows for the market while providing a great experience for tours at the PREMIER Center.”

In 2016, Denny Sanford PREMIER Center ranked among the world’s highest ticket-selling concert and sports venues, according to data released earlier this year by Pollstar Magazine. The venue ranked 88th in the world.

The PREMIER Center hosted 671,098 people in 2016. Sold out events included Paul McCartney, Carrie Underwood, Blake Shelton, Journey, and Professional Bull Riders tour.

SMG Richmond’s Dwight Johnson Honored as Sports Tourism MVP by Richmond Region Tourism

RICHMOND, Va. – Richmond Region Tourism has named SMG Richmond General Manager Dwight Johnson as the recipient of its Sports Tourism Award for 2017. The honor was presented at the organization’s I Am Tourism Awards ceremony and recognizes outstanding leadership in promoting local athletics as a tool to attract visitors to the Richmond Region.

Dwight and his team at the SMG-managed Richmond Coliseum were singled out for their support of sports tourism and understanding the impact it has on the area.

“Customer service is always at the center of what he does,” said Richmond Region Tourism President and CEO Jack Berry. “Dwight starts with ‘yes’ then works through the details to make things happen. He is quick to provide solutions that create wins for the client, his organization, and the larger tourism efforts.”

SMG Richmond Regional General Manager Dolly Vogt said, “We are proud to have Dwight as part of our family at SMG Richmond. He is an asset to the city because of his commitment to providing guests and clients at Richmond Coliseum with the best possible experience.”

Under Dwight’s guidance, recent sporting events at Richmond Coliseum have included the USA Figure Skating Eastern Region Synchronized Skating Championships, Atlantic 10 Women’s Basketball Championship, Freedom Classic, Times-Dispatch Invitational Tournament, Arena Racing USA and several cheerleading competitions. Richmond Coliseum is home to the Richmond Roughriders of Arena Pro Football and it will host the upcoming Southeastern Rodeo Association Black Rodeo on June 3. A full list of upcoming events is available at

New Leadership Brings Excitement to the Miller Theater

West Conshohocken, PA/Augusta, GA (May 2, 2017) – SMG and Symphony Orchestra Augusta (SOA) are pleased to
announce that Marty Elliott will be joining the Miller Theater team as its new General Manager. “Marty Elliott brings a
wealth of experience in venue management,” says SOA Executive Director Anne Catherine Murray. “We are fortunate to
gain the leadership strength of both SMG and Ms. Elliott.”

Elliott has more than 20 years of industry experience most recently in the greater Atlanta area leading the Fifth Third
Bank Stadium and the Sports and Entertainment Park at Kennesaw State University. Thanks to SMG’s expertise in talent
buying, event and project management and production and staffing, the Miller Theater is poised for success. “It’s an
exciting time for the Miller and Augusta community, and SMG is proud to be a part of it,” says Vice President of Theaters
for SMG, Bob Papke. “We are looking forward to the future of the Miller Theater, and the addition of Marty Elliott to the
team will certainly strengthen that process.”

In addition to serving as the new home for SOA, the Miller is aligned to reach new audiences, with SMG bringing in a
variety of popular acts. The 1,300 seat theater is undergoing a $23 million dollar renovation with an opening set for
January 6, 2018.

SMG-Managed Venues Pick Up 13 NCAA Championship Events

West Conshohocken, PA (April 24, 2017) – SMG is proud to announce the NCAA has selected twelve SMG-managed venues to serve as host sites for NCAA tournaments and championships.

The breakdown of SMG-managed facilities hosting the tournaments is as follows:

Men’s NCAA Basketball

Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena (Jacksonville, FL) – 2019 – 1st & 2nd rounds

BOK Center (Tulsa, OK) – 2019 – 1st and 2nd rounds

Times Union Center (Albany, NY) – 2020 – 1st and 2nd rounds

Intrust Bank Arena (Wichita, KS) – 2021 – 1st and 2nd rounds

Dunkin’ Donuts Center (Providence, RI) – 2021 – 1st & 2nd rounds

Women’s NCAA Basketball

Times Union Center (Albany, NY) – 2020 – Regional

Wintrust Arena (Chicago, IL) – Regional

Men’s NCAA Hockey

Denny Sanford Premier Center (Sioux Falls, SD) – 2018 Regional

DCU Center (Worcester, MA) – 2018 Regional

SNHU Arena (Manchester, NH) – 2019 Regional

Dunkin’ Donuts Center (Providence, RI) – 2021 Regional

Indoor Track & Field

Albuquerque Convention Center – 2020 Championships


US Bank Stadium (Minneapolis, MN) – Final Four

“SMG is honored the NCAA once again has chosen SMG venues to serve as hosts sites,” said SMG President and CEO Wes Westley. “Having the NCAA recognize SMG venues past success in serving as host sites is a tribute to our venues and dedicated staff that will provide a first-class experience for the NCAA and the student athletes competing in these championships,” added Westley.

SMG recently hosted the NCAA Men’s Basketball Final 4 in Glendale, Arizona at the University of Phoenix Stadium and is set to host the NCAA Men’s Final 4 in Minneapolis at US Bank Stadium in 2019.

The NCAA made the announcement April 18. Sites were selected by the respective sport committees, made up of coaches and administrators from NCAA member schools and conferences, and ultimately approved by the appropriate division championship cabinets or committees.


U.S. Bank Stadium to become the largest-ever home of the DI NCAA Wrestling Championship on March 19-21, 2020.

Minneapolis, MN (April 18, 2017) – The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) announced today that the University of Minnesota will host four collegiate championship events within the 2018-2022 championship bid cycle, including the DI Wrestling Championship at U.S. Bank Stadium scheduled for March 19-21, 2020.

University of Minnesota, Sports Minneapolis and U.S. Bank Stadium staff bid in partnership on the major championship for 2020, proposing to host this event for the first time in an NFL stadium. U.S. Bank Stadium increases the capacity for seating and with world-class amenities will provide the best experience for fans and student athletes alike.

“Securing the NCAA DI Wrestling Championship adds to the high-caliber of championship events we will host in the coming years at U.S. Bank Stadium,” says Patrick Talty, General Manager for SMG at U.S. Bank Stadium. “We look forward to preparing and planning for this championship with the NCAA, University of Minnesota, Sports Minneapolis and all stadium and community partners. We’re honored that the NCAA chose U.S. Bank Stadium to be their platform of growth for this championship and we look forward to hosting the wrestling community in 2020.”

The 2020 DI Wrestling Championship joins the 2019 NCAA Men’s Final Four as the second major championship hosted by the University of Minnesota at U.S. Bank Stadium.


Albany, NY—The NCAA® has awarded the 2019 Division I Women’s Basketball Regional and the 2020 Division I Men’s Basketball First and Second Round championships to the SMG managed, Times Union Center.

“The opportunity to host NCAA® Championships is tremendous for Albany County, the city and the region at large. These championships will highlight what a world-class venue the Times Union Center is and provide a significant boost to the local economy. The work we are doing to upgrade and enhance the facility will provide a great experience for fans who attend. We are looking forward to watching the best in college athletics right here in Albany. Our efforts to market the arena and the region have proven successful with this exciting announcement and this is just the beginning for the Times Union Center,” said Albany County Executive Daniel P. McCoy.

Division I Women’s Basketball was first hosted at the Times Union Center by the MAAC and Siena college in 2015. Times Union Center was previously selected as a regional host site for 2018 and 2019 will mark the third-time NCAA® Women’s Basketball will be held in Albany.

The Times Union Center previously hosted the NCAA Men’s Basketball East Regional in 1995 and 2003. Both years, teams competed in front of sold-out crowds. The same is expected for 2020.

“It is exciting to show the world what Albany has to offer. The newly opened Albany Capital Center and the Times Union Center fully complement one another, providing a superior level of service for each NCAA® Championship. The selection of Albany is a testament to this collaboration,” said Gavin Donohue, Chairman of the Albany Convention Center Authority Board.

“The Times Union Center is honored to be selected to host the 2019 Division I Women’s Basketball and 2020 Division I Men’s First and Second Rounds. The Times Union Center has a long history with the NCAA® and we are excited to continue the tradition of hosting outstanding championships. Thanks to the capital investment made by Albany County, the Times Union Center is currently undergoing major renovations which helped us to earn these selections and will be sure to enhance the student-athlete and visitor experience,” said Bob Belber, SMG Regional Manager of the Times Union Center.

The NCAA® 2019 Division I Women’s Basketball and 2020 Division I Men’s First and Second Rounds are expected to bring a number of guests from outside the capital region which will have a tremendous economic impact on the area. According to Destination Marketing Association International, NCAA® Division I Men’s Basketball is projecting an impact of $3.25M. In 2015, NCAA women’s basketball brought in $1.3M in total sales, including $793K in direct sales. In 2016, NCAA hockey brought in $849K in total sales, including $527K in direct sales.

“The NCAA tournaments really build destination awareness,” said Michele Vennard, President and CEO of Albany County Convention and Visitors Bureau. “You’ve got all of the U.S. looking at Albany. That’s important.”

For more information on all of the NCAA championship sites awarded, log on to


The Road to the Final Four Set to Begin in Wichita

WICHITA, Kan. – Area basketball fans won’t have to wait long for another taste of March Madness. Wichita has been selected as a First and Second Round site for the 2021 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championships, the NCAA announced today.

Wichita State University will serve as host at INTRUST Bank Arena, in partnership with Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission, Visit Wichita, Sedgwick County and the City of Wichita.

In November of 2014 members of that group completed a successful bid for 2018 First and Second Round games, returning the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championships to Wichita for the first time in 24 years. Tuesday’s announcement continues the momentum.

“Landing the 2018 tournament was significant, but our goal all along has been to make Wichita a regular host. Securing a second bid for 2021 is another step in that direction,” said WSU Associate Athletic Director and tournament manager, Brad Pittman. “We’re grateful for the many groups that pulled together to make this happen and look forward to another opportunity to showcase our university and community.”

The four First Round contests on Friday, March 19, 2021 and two Second Round matchups on Sunday, March 21 will all take place at INTRUST Bank Arena in downtown Wichita.

It will be the men’s tournament’s 11th stop in Wichita and second at INTRUST Bank Arena (including 2018). Wichita State’s Levitt Arena played host to 22 games spanning eight different tournaments between 1956 and 1981. In 1994, the Kansas Coliseum hosted six NCAA Midwest Sub-Regional contests.

“Being selected by the NCAA to host the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship again in 2021 is an honor and we’re thrilled about the opportunity to host this prestigious event for a second time,” added A.J. Boleski, SMG General Manager for INTRUST Bank Arena. “The success of Wichita State University’s men’s basketball program has helped put Wichita on the map as a host site for NCAA events and we look forward Wichita’s world-class facilities being showcased on a national stage in both 2018 and 2021.”

Wichita was selected from a highly competitive group of qualified cities. Several hundred bids are submitted from venues across the country to host the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championships, but only 14 sites are selected as hosts each year. Collaboration between the partners who submitted the bid and Wichita State’s men’s basketball momentum helped position Wichita well.

“Today’s announcement is another example of the excitement this community has for basketball and its Shockers,” said Susie Santo, president and CEO of Visit Wichita. “We know that teams, coaches, families and fans will have an amazing time in Wichita this next year. Now, we will welcome them back to Wichita again for 2021.”

“Hosting this tournament has long been a dream of ours – one we’ll have the opportunity to experience in March 2018 and now again in 2021,” said Bob Hanson, president and CEO for the Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission. “As we build toward 2018, when we’ll host this tournament but also the Midwestern and Pacific Coast Synchronized Skating Sectional Championships, the Sports Commission will continue to advocate for hosting the very finest sporting events in our city.”



Albany, NY – Amidst a $19.6 million renovation, SMG managed Times Union Center paves the way for a successful 2017 with a thriving first quarter. The Times Union Center hosted 55 events including concerts, basketball, hockey, and expositions.

January began our busy first quarter with 15 events, including the highly anticipated Twenty One Pilots gig while February was a month of sports, which brought the return of the Harlem Globetrotters and NYSPHSAA High School Wrestling Championships. March ended the successful quarter with 21 events in just 16 days as the Times Union Center saw quick turnovers from sports to concerts and back in March. Beginning with the 2017 MAAC Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships, we moved onto Maroon 5, three nights of Garth Brooks and TobyMac, before a quick change to hockey. WWE Live took over mid-month for one night only before changing back to hockey for a three-game stretch. Following 5 days of rehearsals, we wrapped up the month with John Mayer’s opening night of the Search for Everything Tour. In addition to these individual events, the Times Union Center hosted two press conferences, including one hosted by Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood, to highlight their first return to Albany in over 20 years. The first quarter also saw significant construction milestones that will be on display in the coming months. A new glass elevator and escalators were installed in the front atrium, one bathroom was completed and the landing connecting the arena to the parking garage was enclosed.

“The Times Union Center has had a remarkable first quarter which we can attribute to the support of staff, patrons, sponsors, suite holders, and promoters. As incredible talent continues to come through the Times Union Center, fans have so much to look forward to in 2017 with state of the art advancements being brought to this great venue,” said Albany County Executive Daniel P. McCoy.

“2017 has already proved to be one of our best years. With renovations successfully moving forward, we are grateful for the opportunities to host such incredible events. With new events like Twenty One Pilots, Maroon 5 and John Mayer, as well as returning events including NYSPHSAA, MAAC and Garth Brooks, it’s an exciting time at the Times Union Center. By the end of the year, the Capital Region will see the likes of The Chainsmokers, Poison and Tesla, 80’s greats including Howard Jones and Men Without Hats at Retro Futura, and Roger Waters,” said Bob Belber, SMG Regional General Manager of the Times Union Center.

In these last three months, over 265,000 patrons walked through the Times Union Center turnstiles, having consumed nearly 30,000 bottles of water, 20,000 soft pretzels, and 13,000 bags of popcorn. Just for fun – the Times Union Center staff used two different basketball floors and three different sheets of ice to meet the requirements of each event and additionally, a total of 45 basketballs were used to accommodate the 30 basketball games. Throughout these busy months, the staff logged a total of more than a whopping 27,000 hours.

Leading international trade publication, Venues Today, ranked Times Union Center as #5 in the Mid-Atlantic “Top Stops” for facilities with 15,000 – 30,000 seats from March 2016 through February 2017 ranking alongside high profile venues such as Madison Square Garden and Barclays Center. Our 2017 first quarter events directly helped this overall ranking and was a fantastic way to kick-off 2017. Forthcoming, fans can look forward to The Chainsmokers, Poison and Tesla, Reebok East Regional CrossFit Games, and the return of New Kids on the Block. A full schedule of events can be found by visiting our website at or by following us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @TUCenter.

SMG and Albany County also will be tuning in to the NCAA’s broadcast/streaming of their Site Selection Show on Tuesday, April 18th at 1:00 pm. When the NCAA will announce the cities that they will be bringing their NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championships as well as all other Division I, II & III sports championships for the years 2018 – 2022. Bids were submitted by SMG for the Times Union Center/Albany for Division I championships including Men’s Basketball, Women’s Basketball, Men’s Ice Hockey, Women’s Volleyball and SMG also submitted a bid for the Albany Capital Center for the Division I NCAA Fencing Championships in conjunction with Cornell University.

SMG Announces Its Gift of Kindness Contest

West Conshohocken, PA (April 13, 2017) – Kindness is having a moment. At SMG, we couldn’t agree more and we are encouraged to see kindness being celebrated, by other companies like Waterford Crystal through their Greatest Gifts Campaign, and media giants like Oprah in her April issue of O, The Oprah Magazine. SMG has been cultivating, celebrating and recognizing kindness for decades.

2017 is the 40th Anniversary year for SMG. As part of our planned anniversary festivities we’ve launched our Gift of Kindness Contest.

Paying homage to this year’s greatest gift, that of kindness, SMG developed our own internal “Gift of Kindness” contest. Enthusiastically approved by SMG’s President, Wes Westley and the members of his management team in January, the contest was officially launched in March.

The Gift of Kindness contest is meant to recognize employees demonstrating kindness in their work life or their personal life. Employee submissions will be accepted throughout the year, with a winner announced each quarter and an overall winner announced in December 2017. Each winner will receive cash prizes and special limited edition Waterford “2017 The Gift of Kindness” signature ornaments.

“We want to celebrate the kind of character that has set SMG apart for our first 40 years and will continue to drive our success in the future,” said Maureen Ginty, Executive Vice President, SMG.


(Wichita, Kan.) – The SMG-managed INTRUST Bank Arena finished the first quarter of 2017 ranked as the 28th busiest arena in the United States and 60th in the world according to Pollstar Magazine’s Top 100 Arena Rankings. INTRUST Bank Arena was also the fifth highest ranked arena in the continental United States managed by SMG, the Philadelphia-based venue operator that manages more than 230 facilities, nearly 70 arenas and over 1.75 million seats worldwide. This ranking is based on tickets sold worldwide for shows played between Jan. 1, 2017 to March 31, 2017. The totals do not include tenant sport team ticket counts, some family shows, or SMG-produced special events. Pollstar is a weekly trade publication covering the worldwide concert industry.

Additionally, the venue hosted 10 of the Top 100 Tours. These tours included Sesame Street Live, WWE, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Cirque Du Soleil’s Toruk-The First Flight, Twenty One Pilots, Brantley Gilbert, Harlem Globetrotters, Miranda Lambert, Disney On Ice and Winter Jam.

“We are very pleased with the 2017 events we have hosted so far at INTRUST Bank Arena,” said A.J. Boleski, SMG General Manager. “Our first quarter saw a diverse lineup that brought in first-time guests to the arena from shows such as Red Hot Chili Peppers and Twenty One Pilots. We’re looking forward to several more event announcements to add to the already exciting lineup so far this year.”

Upcoming events include Midian Shrine Circus (April 21-23), Dierks Bentley (May 5), PBR Velocity Tour (April 29), Wichita Force games and comedians George Lopez and D.L. Hughley (May 20.) For a full list of upcoming events, please visit

SMG To Manage Existing Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre as well as the New $416 million Complex

West Conshohocken, PA (April 3, 2017) – Aberdeen City Council has named SMG to manage the existing AECC (Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre) ahead of a move to its newly built home near Aberdeen International Airport in 2019.

The partnership follows last year’s announcement that SMG was awarded preferred bidder status to manage, operate and program the new $416 million complex.

The new state-of-the art venue will include a 12,500 seat arena with a moveable stage, hospitality boxes and club lounge, 538,000 sq. ft of flexible exhibition space, conference centre, three hotels and its very own energy centre.

SMG is exceedingly pleased to have been named to manage this prestigious facility,” said SMG president and CEO Wes Westley. “It is a terrific addition to our growing network of international facilities. We look forward to working with the Council and the Community for the success of these facilities.”

John Sharkey, SMG Executive Vice President of European Operations, said: “SMG’s expertise in driving multi-purpose exhibition, conference and entertainment content is second to none and we’re delighted to bring this portfolio of experience, international industry contacts and innovative thinking to both the existing and new AECC.”

The new AECC is forecast to generate 600 new jobs during the construction period, contribute an additional 4.5 million visitors, $142 million in new visitor revenue which has a $78 million net impact to the Scottish economy by 2025 and is the key element of Aberdeen City Council’s $1.25 billion transformational infrastructure and culture plans to grow the Granite City economy.


West Conshohocken, PA (March 30, 2017) – 2017 marks the 40th Anniversary for facility management leader, SMG. What began in 1977 with their first account, The Mercedes-Benz Superdome, an account that is still proudly managed by SMG today, has grown to more than 230 facilities in 5 countries.

Kyle France, Chairman of the Louisiana Stadium and Exposition District, SMG’s longest standing client had this to say about SMG, “SMG has been an outstanding partner to the LSED since the inception of our relationship. SMG has delivered on its value promise to the State of Louisiana and is a big reason the Mercedes-Benz Superdome has been so successful in generating such an impact for New Orleans and the surrounding region. On behalf of the LSED, we congratulate SMG on 40 great years of service and this significant point in its history.”

“Long standing partnerships such as the one SMG enjoys with the Mercedes-Benz Superdome are the result of the dedicated work and stewardship provided by our employees to our clients. Throughout this year SMG will be marking this milestone. SMG has enjoyed a remarkable client retention rate of 93% by focusing our passion and energy into getting the best results for our clients. We’re extraordinarily proud of the company’s growth and success and look forward to an exciting future,” said SMG President and CEO, Wes Westley.

Venues Today Magazine names 13 SMG Finalists for Annual Generation Next Awards

West Conshohocken, PA (February 20, 2017) – Venues Today magazine will be presenting its 2017 Generation Next Awards in May recognizing the most outstanding young professionals in the entertainment and venue industry. SMG received a record 13 nominations.

Young executives from SMG venues across the United States were nominated and include:

• Lucy Albers, Senior Marketing Manager – Denny Sanford Premier Center – Sioux Falls, SD

• John Ciolfi, Marketing Manager – Dunkin Donuts Center & Rhode Island Convention Center – Providence, RI

• Ariel Devore, Digital Media Manager – Citizens Business Bank Arena – Ontario, CA

• Evan Falat, Director of Business Development – BOK Center & Cox Business Center – Tulsa, OK

• Mark Hall, Box Office Manager – John Paul Jones Arena – Charlottesville, VA

• Josh Kesler, Sales & Marketing Manager – Eastern Kentucky Expo Center – Pikeville, KY

• Joseph Leavens, Operations Manager – Hampton Roads Convention Center – Hampton, VA

• Mitch List, Asst. General Manager – Knoxville Civic Auditorium and Coliseum – Knoxville, TN

• Lisa Niess, Marketing and Communications Manager – US Bank Stadium – Minneapolis, MN

• Stephen Poremba, Director of Marketing – Mohegan Sun Arena – Wilkes Barre, PA

• Aaron Shaber, Director of Finance – John Paul Jones Arena – Charlottesville, VA

• Zach Sloman, Booking and Sales Manager – John Paul Jones Arena – Charlottesville, VA

• Nick Waclawski, Event Operations Manager – John Paul Jones Arena – Charlottesville, VA

“We are thrilled to recognize these outstanding young professionals who contribute daily to the success of their individual venues and represent the next generation of leadership at SMG,” commented Doug Thornton, Executive Vice President, SMG.

Experient and SMG Renew Partnership

New agreement will expand industry opportunities

Feb 10, 2017 – TWINSBURG, Ohio/CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa. – Experient, A Maritz Global Events Company, and SMG, the world’s largest convention center management firm, recently finalized a preferred partner agreement that continues a long-standing relationship between the two companies since 2005.

The new agreement will help both companies expand their business opportunities by focusing on each company’s collective venue and planning services.

“We have always seen the parallels between our two organizations,” said Gregg Caren, Executive Vice President of SMG’s Convention Center Division. “We both offer best-in-class service to our mutual clients. This new and expanded partnership is a ‘renewal of vows’ so to speak. It will encourage even more event activity at our facilities by simplifying the process of contracting with our convention centers, and providing added benefits for clients.”

By expanding the partnership, customers will save time and money thanks to a more streamlined contract process.

“This continued partnership is further evidence that both of our companies are committed to provide the best service to our clients,” said Michael Guerriero, Division President of Experient. “We have enjoyed working with SMG over the last 12 years for the mutual benefit of our clients and look forward to the continuation of this partnership. The combination of SMG and Experient’s industry-leading event management services and the expertise of our event professionals help create one-of-akind events for clients with exceptional results.”


(West Conshohocken, PA — January 30, 2017) —

Matt Longo ended his career at Villanova as one of the best offensive players in school history. Longo still holds the school record for career total bases with 407. He ranks second in the program with 242 hits, 199 runs, and 58 doubles and is third in Villanova history with 719 at bats and 126 walks. During his career, he posted a .337 average with 158 RBI, 31 home runs and 25 stolen bases. He earned First Team All-BIG EAST honors in 1999 and was named a Freshman All-America in 1998 by Baseball America.


(West Conshohocken, PA — January 26, 2017) —

SMG, the worldwide leader in entertainment and conference venue management, announces the selection of Fredia Brady as the new general manager for the Wilmington Convention Center.

“The selection of SMG veteran Fredia Brady as general manager, along with the high quality of services clients have grown to expect from SMG, will enable the facility to continue to develop as a key contributor to the ongoing economic development of entire community and in particular the continued growth of the hospitality industry in the region” said Bob McClintock, SMG’s senior vice president/chief operating officer for the SMG Convention Center Division. “Fredia’s experience will be invaluable as the Convention Center positions itself to support the rebranding of the River District and the opening of an adjacent Embassy Suites Hotel this year.”

Brady is a hospitality industry veteran with more than 25 years of experience in convention sales and marketing, business development, facility operations and event management, including serving SMG as a regional senior director of sales & marketing for SMG’s Southeast Region from 2008 to 2014. She most recently was the senior director of sales & marketing for the Savannah International Trade & Convention Center and served that venue previously as director of sales & marketing from 1999 to 2008. She was the senior sales manager for the Hyatt Regency in Savannah from 1991- 1999.

A graduate of both Brewton Parker College with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and South University with an associate degree in hospitality management, Brady is a board member of the Royce Learning Center and the Tourism Leadership Council of Savannah. She is a community adviser for the Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation Student Leadership Program and member of the Junior League of Savannah and a variety of professional associations, including the International Association of Exhibitions and Events, Professional Convention Management Association and American Society of Association Executives.

Brady will arrive in Wilmington February 6, 2017.


West Conshohocken, PA (January 18, 2017) – SMG-managed arenas, theaters and amphitheaters completed another outstanding year with 32 arenas, 14 theaters and 4 amphitheaters appearing on Pollstar Magazine’s annual list of the Top 200 Venues in each category.

On the arena side, Manchester Arena took the top SMG spot, finishing the year ranked fourth in the world with more than 850,000 concert tickets sold. Leading the way in the United States was the BOK Center in Tulsa, OK, which ranked 24th in the continental United States. The rankings, which were released last week, are determined by tickets sold worldwide for concerts and shows during 2016.

For the theater rankings, DeVos Performance Hall in Grand Rapids, Michigan took the spot for SMG-managed theaters selling more than 197,495 tickets in 2016.

SMG Amphitheaters were led by the Greek Theatre with 71 shows and a Pollstar Award nomination as “small outdoor venue of the year.” Also ranking high in it’s the first full season was the Lakeview Amphitheater in Syracuse.

“Last year was another outstanding year for SMG as we celebrate the success of our European and American venues,” said SMG President and CEO, Wes Westley. “Congratulations to all of our buildings that made Pollstar’s select lists,” added Westley.

In all, SMG venues in the Top 200 Pollstar list accounted for more than 7 million concert tickets sold in 2016.

The complete list of SMG-managed venues on Pollstar’s rankings includes:


Manchester Arena – Manchester, UNITED KINGDOM

First Direct Arena – Leeds, UNITED KINGDOM

Coliseo de Puerto Rico – San Juan, PUERTO RICO

BOK Center – Tulsa, OKLAHOMA

Konig-Pilsener Arena – Oberhausen, GERMANY

Metro Radio Arena – Newcastle upon Tyne, UNITED KINGDOM

Van Andel Arena – Grand Rapids, MI

Save Mart Center – Fresno, CA

Smoothie King Center – New Orleans, LA

Denny Sanford Premier Center – Sioux Falls, SD

INTRUST Bank Arena – Wichita, KS

Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena – Jacksonville, FL

Chesapeake Energy Arena – Oklahoma City, OK

DCU Center – Worcester, MA

Pinnacle Bank Arena – Lincoln, NE

Citizens Business Bank Arena – Ontario, CA

Royal Farms Arena – Baltimore, MD

Huntington Center – Toledo, OH

SNHU Arena (formerly Verizon Wireless Arena) – Manchester, NH

Times Union Center – Albany, NY

Mohegan Sun Arena At Casey Plaza – Wilkes-Barre, PA

John Paul Jones Arena – Charlottesville, VA

CenturyLink Center – Bossier City, LA

North Charleston Coliseum – North Charleston, SC

Santander Arena – Reading, PA

H-E-B Center at Cedar Park – Cedar Park, TX

Rogers K-Rock Centre – Kingston, CANADA

Peoria Civic Center Arena – Peoria, IL

Blue Cross Arena – Rochester, NY

ShoWare Center – Kent, WA

Stockton Arena – Stockton, CA

AmericanBank Center – Corpus Christi, TX


DeVos Performance Hall – Grand Rapids, MI

Belco Theatre – Denver, CO

Sands Bethlehem Event Center – Bethlehem, PA

Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts – Worcester, MA

Wagner Noel Performing Arts Center – Midland, TX

Altria Theatre – Richmond, VA

F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts – Wilkes-Barre, PA

William Saroyan Theatre – Fresno, CA

Saenger Theatre – Pensacola, FL

The Plaza Theatre – El Paso, TX

Shreveport Municipal Auditorium – Shreveport, LA

James L. Knight Center – Miami, FL

Old National Events Plaza – Evansville, IN

Saenger Theatre – Mobile, AL


Greek Theatre – Los Angeles, CA

Lakeview Amphitheater – Syracuse, NY

Constellation Brands – Canandaigua, NY

Champions Square – New Orleans, LA

2016 News & Press Releases

Inline skating announced for this December at U.S. Bank Stadium

Minneapolis, MN (November 21, 2016) – The Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority and SMG announced the inaugural inline skating event at U.S. Bank Stadium for Tuesday, December 13 from 5:00 – 8:00 pm. The three-hour open skating event for all ages will take place on the stadium’s main concourse.

Skaters will need to bring their own equipment to participate as skate rental will not be available. Skaters are required to bring their own safety gear, including helmets. Participants are welcome to bring inline skating equipment to the stadium and will be subject to a bag search and standard security procedures. After purchasing tickets, inline skaters will need to sign a waiver in order to skate at U.S. Bank Stadium.

“Skating at the Metrodome was a favorite memory for many Minnesotans,” says Michele Kelm-Helgen, Chair of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority. “The return of skating at U.S. Bank Stadium is something many have requested and looked forward to. This legacy event will be a great opportunity for families to build new experiences and enjoy the stadium in a new way.”

Tickets for Inline Skating at U.S. Bank Stadium will go on sale at the U.S. Bank Stadium Ticket Office on Tuesday, November 29 at 10 am. Tickets will not be sold online for this event. The U.S. Bank Stadium Ticket Office is located on the northwest corner of the stadium near the Polaris Gate and is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 am – 5:00 pm. The ticket office will remain open on Tuesday, December 13th until 7:00 pm.

After the inaugural skating event, more skating dates and times will be offered to the public. Dates will likely be scheduled through March 2017. Updated event information will be posted on

SMG receives record 7 nominations for 2016 Pollstar Awards

Conshohocken, PA (November 17, 2016) – Pollstar magazine, the trade publication that covers the concert industry worldwide recently announced the nominations for their annual Pollstar Awards – recognizing the best of the best in the music industry. SMG received a record 7 nominations in 5 different categories including:



BEST NEW MAJOR CONCERT VENUE: Lakeview Amphitheatre – Syracuse, NY & US Bank Stadium – Minneapolis, MN

INTERNATIONAL VENUE OF THE YEAR: Manchester Arena – Manchester, UK

FACILITY EXECUTIVE OF THE YEAR: Bob Belber – Times Union Center – Albany, NY & Jeff Nickler – BOK Center – Tulsa, OK

“I’m thrilled to see the recognition for 2 of our deserving SMG General Managers nominated in the Facility Executive of the Year category and excited to see the recognition for all of our renowned nominated venues, commented Doug Thornton, Executive Vice President at SMG.

Winners of the Pollstar awards will be announced in Los Angeles on February 2, 2017.

Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza and WWE Team up to Support Local Veterans

Enter to Win a Luxury Suite to see WWE SMACKDOWN LIVE on November 15 and Meet a
WWE Superstar by supporting local Veterans at the Gino J. Merli Veterans’ Center in Scranton

Plus, see the return of WWE Legend – THE UNDERTAKER – on the 900th
episode of WWE SMACKDOWN LIVE right here in Wilkes-Barre

(November 3, 2016 WILKES-BARRE, PA) – The SMG-managed Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza in Wilkes-Barre Twp. is teaming up with the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) to support local Veterans at the Gino J. Merli Veterans’ Center in Scranton. Local wrestling enthusiasts may donate an item from the Resident Wish List (see item list below) and be entered to win a luxury suite with 12 tickets to see WWE SMACKDOWN LIVE at Mohegan Sun Arena on Tuesday, November 15th and meet a WWE Superstar earlier that day.

Fans may donate items at the Gino J. Merli Veterans’ Center beginning Monday, November 7th at 9am through Veterans Day on November 11th at 5pm. The Gino J. Merli Veterans’ Center is located at 401 Penn Ave in Scranton and is open 24 hours for donations. Fans may also donate items at the NBT Bank Box Office at Mohegan Sun Arena located at 255 Highland Park Blvd. in Wilkes-Barre Township between the hours of 10am-4pm from November 7th-11th. One random winner will be selected from all combined donations/entries after 5pm on November 11th.

“We are honored to be partnering with the WWE to help support local Veterans in our community,” said Stephen Poremba, SMG Director of Sales and Marketing at Mohegan Sun Arena. “Veterans Day reminds us all of the sacrifices made by so many brave men and women to protect our freedoms and collectively thank and honor them for their courage.”

BREAKING NEWS! The Undertaker returns to Wilkes Barre on November 15th for the 900th episode of WWE Smackdown Live right here at Mohegan Sun Arena! Experience the action live and in person as WWE broadcasts the show to the world! Here is your chance to see your favorite WWE Superstars LIVE in action including The Undertaker, A.J. Styles, Dean Ambrose, Randy Orton, Bray Wyatt, Becky Lynch and more! WWE offers the best value in entertainment, with tickets starting at $15. Tickets to WWE SMACKDOWN LIVE at Mohegan Sun Arena are on sale now at, the NBT Bank Box Office, or charge-by-phone 1-800-745-3000.
*card subject to change

Venues Today Magazine names 14 SMG Finalists for Annual Hall of Headline Awards

Conshohocken, PA (October 20, 2016) – This December, Venues Today magazine will be presenting its “most prestigious award”, the Hall of Headlines, with SMG receiving a record 14 nominations. The categories featured in the nominations include News, Bookings, Operations and Tech, Marketing, and Concessions with SMG nominated in all 5 categories.

Staff from 6 SMG venues was nominated in the Bookings category:

Leonard Bonacci, Regional Vice President was nominated for his work in turning Glendale, Arizona into “Paradise City” for a day in honor of a concert by Guns N’ Roses at the newly acquired SMG account, University of Phoenix Stadium.
Lynn Carlotto, GM for SMG in Kingston Ontario was nominated for booking and hosting the last tour date of The Tragically Hip’s Man Machine Poem Tour. The event was especially poignant as the band’s lead singer Gord Downie was diagnosed at the end of 2015 with terminal brain cancer. The 11.7 million fans who watched the event, earned the concert the title of the second highest-rated show in Canadian television history.
Jerry Goldman, AGM/SMG, at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota, was nominated for organizing the Grand Opening Ceremonies (over 200,000 in attendance) and Sold-out Grand Opening events including an International Soccer Event: AC Milan v. Chelsea FC as part of the International Champions Cup as well as two sold-out concerts performed by Luke Bryan and Metallica.
Jeff Nickler, GM for SMG in Tulsa, Oklahoma at the BOK Center was nominated for creating the Mother Road Revival Festival weekend , a new five-day folk music festival that pays homage to Historic Route 66 including encompassing live music at five different venues, a folk film series, food trucks, engaging panels with folk musicians and songwriters.
Chris Semrau, AGM for SMG in Sioux Falls at the Denny Sanford Premier Center was nominated for delivering a sophomore year even bigger than the inaugural year at one of the newest Midwest hot spots. In its second year the arena hosted 24 different events, including sold out shows by Paul McCartney, Carrie Underwood, and Journey.
Rich MacKeigan, GM for SMG in Grand Rapids at the Van Andel Arena and DeVos Place was nominated for breaking multiple venue records including Garth Brooks record for most tickets sold for a single engagement and Paul McCartney’s record for gross ticket sales for a single event.
In the Marketing category, SMG nearly had a clean sweep garnering 4 of the 5 total category nominations including:

Meghan Doyle, Director of Marketing at the BOK Center in Tulsa was nominated for creating the most memorable backstage experience ever for Ariana Grande. In October 2015, BOK Center stunned the pop star and her 85.7-million Instagram followers with a surprise that sparked national media coverage and generated awareness for a very worthy cause. Knowing of Grande’s love for animals, specifically rescue dogs, SMG staff surprised her in the green room with eight adorable puppies from the Animal Rescue Foundation of Tulsa. Grande’s Instagram posts that evening generated over 1.3 million likes and helped the Tulsa nonprofit grow their social media following by 600%.
Josh Kesler, Marketing & Sales Manager at the Eastern Kentucky Expo Center in Pikeville, Kentucky was nominated for creating a TV show for the arena, Expo Now, a monthly show that gives a behind-the-scenes look at the arena, employee spotlight, discusses Savor brand catering, upcoming shows and events, plus a cooking segment called Dine Hard. Kesler also has his own newspaper column in the regional newspaper called Expo Minute.
Steve Poremba, Director of Marketing, Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza, Wilkes-Barre, Pa was nominated for creating a welcoming campaign, entitled #WelcomeToWilkesBarry, for Barry Manilow that featured over $15,000 in outdoor digital media exposure and social media promotions. An oversized “Thank You” card gave fans the opportunity to write their own message to Mr. Manilow before he took the stage “One Last Time” in Northeast Pennsylvania on March 13. Manilow uploaded a video to his Facebook page with the greeting card, which received widespread engagement from all over the world.
Hilarie Szarowicz, Director of Marketing at Van Andel Arena and DeVos Place in Grand Rapids, Michigan was nominated for hosting a Facebook promotion encouraging people to share their favorite event memory and/or photo using hashtag #MyVAA20 in honor of the 20th Anniversary of Van Andel Arena. The promotion was intended to build awareness of the arena’s 20th anniversary while capturing user content for use in future marketing materials. The campaign resulted in 41,599 people reached, 1,300+ memories (comments) posted, 844 reactions and 118 shares.
Included in the Concessions category were nominations of Mark Anderson, GM and VP, of Premier Food Services (SMG) in Del Mar California for enhancing and finding fun and profit in Del Mar Fair’s theme, “Mad about the Fair,” by creating pop-up Alice in Wonderland tea parties and Tipsy Tea parties throughout the grounds. In the Flower and Garden Show area, Premier created Tea Time in Wonderland hosted tea parties, complete with hat-making and an upsell to Tipsy Tea, The concept was “Garden to Bar” with cocktails named The Wrong Alice, Smile in the Sky, and Advice from Absolem.

In addition in the Concessions category, Jeff Dubin, Director of Food & Beverage for SAVOR at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids was nominated for introducing a new take on the everyday salad bar called a “Living Salad Bar” for the bands, staff and crew of the “San Francisco Fest Tour,” featuring rock bands Journey, The Doobie Brothers and Dave Mason Aug. 2, 2016, at Van Andel Arena, Grand Rapids, Mich. The Living Salad Bar featured several types of lettuces and kales with all of the typical salad ingredients, with the exception that the lettuce is still alive. In order to provide the freshest salad possible, staff and crew snip their lettuce fresh off the plant before placing it on their plate. Voting is currently underway for the nominees.

For the Operations and Tech category, SMG’s Eddie Tadlock, AGM at DeVos Place in Grand Rapids was nominated for efforts to decrease energy usage by 6.03 percent by installing new equipment and reducing wasted resources resulting in the venue finishing second in the 2nd annual Michigan Battle of the Buildings Energy Summit.

SMG’s General Manager in Puerto Rico at the Coliseo of Puerto Rico, Eduardo Cajina, was nominated in the News category, for a record year of events culminating in 103 events with over 700,000 guests and more than $35 million in gross ticket sales – despite one of the worst economic downturns in the island’s history.


(West Conshohocken, PA — October 20, 2016) — SMG has been awarded the pre-opening and 5-year management contract for the historic Miller Theater in Augusta, GA. Planned to open late in 2017 this contract for the Miller Theater reflects a unique partnership between Symphony Orchestra Augusta, SMG and the Miller Theater board. “We are excited to bring to life the innovative vision that defines the Miller Theater through our operating partnership with SMG as we collectively seek to further enhance the quality and diversity of arts and entertainment programming for the many audiences within the Greater Augusta and Aiken community,” said Ora Parish, Jr., President of the Board of Symphony Orchestra Augusta. “We are honored to have been selected by Symphony Orchestra Augusta to be stewards of this magnificent theater. We look forward to working with the Board, the Symphony staff and the community to bring the Miller back to life,” added Bob Papke, Vice President, Theaters for SMG.

Big Wins for SMG at IEBA

SMG Announces selection to manage the H-E-B Center and takes home 2016 Arena of the Year Award

SMG, the worldwide leader of public facility management, hosted industry leaders from CAA, WME, ICM, AGI, Live Nation, AEG Live, Knitting Factory, Outback Concerts, Bill Rogers Presents, NS2, Frank Productions, Huka Entertainment and others at a private SMG luncheon at the International Association of Entertainment Buyers Conference held in Nashville, Tennessee October 9-11. SMG announced they have been selected to manage the H-E-B Center in Cedar Park, Texas as well as introduced Jim Salamenta as the new GM there.

The SMG managed BOK Center in Tulsa received the 2016 Arena of the Year Award. In addition, John Bolton, Jeff Nickler, and Jerry Goldman were all nominated for Venue Executive of the Year. In the Amphitheatre of the Year category, the SMG managed Greek Theatre in Los Angeles was also recognized as a nominee.

SMG also sponsored the Promoter’s Alley event during the conference connecting SMG venues with event promoters throughout the USA and Canada. “This was our biggest attendance ever” said Jim McCue, SMG Senior Vice President of Entertainment. “We thanked our agents and event promoters as SMG executives for our arenas, theatres, and stadiums discussed upcoming tours. Additionally as sponsor of the “Promoters Alley” this role allows SMG venues to further their industry relationships,” added McCue.

SMG also sponsored a private luncheon connecting over 60 agents, mangers, and promoters with SMG’s venue General Managers and Booking Executives. “There is an ease of doing business with SMG in our family of venues and continuing to make connections with our key partners is critical to our future success,” said John Bolton, SMG Vice President of Entertainment and a member of the IEBA Board of Directors.


(Tulsa, Okla.) October 12, 2016 – BOK Center was named the Arena of the Year by the International Entertainment Buyers Association (IEBA) during the annual Honors and Awards Ceremony on Tuesday, October 11 at the CMA Theater inside the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville. This was BOK Center’s third year in a row to be nominated for the prestigious industry award that recognizes the top concert arena in the country. The Tulsa venue joined an elite group of nominees that included Barclays Center (Brooklyn, NY), The Forum (Los Angeles, CA), Madison Square Garden (New York, NY), T-Mobile Arena (Las Vegas, NV) and Wells Fargo Center (Philadelphia, PA).

IEBA is one of the leading non-profit trade organizations for live entertainment industry professionals. Founded in 1970 and based in Nashville, IEBA provides networking, showcasing and educational opportunities to strengthen relationships, foster growth and increase revenue for the live entertainment industry.

“To be recognized as Arena of the Year by IEBA is a tremendous honor for BOK Center, its staff and the City of Tulsa,” said Doug Thornton, SMG Executive Vice President of Stadiums and Arenas. “Congratulations to Jeff Nickler and his team for all of their hard work to make this possible.”

“We are so thankful for the concert promoters and agents who continue to believe in the Tulsa market,” added SMG Tulsa General Manager Jeff Nickler. “We have worked hard to bring a compelling line-up of shows to Oklahoma and are fortunate to be in a city that has embraced the venue and fans who continue to purchase tickets in record numbers year after year.”

As the venue approaches its eighth birthday, BOK Center continues to maintain its status as one of the world’s busiest concert arenas. In the Pollstar 2016 Mid-Year Top 200 Arena Venues based on ticket sales, BOK Center ranked #13 in the United States and #36 in the world. BOK Center was also the highest ranked arena in the Continental United States managed by SMG, the Philadelphia-based venue operator the manages over 230 facilities, nearly 70 arenas and over 1.75 million seats worldwide. Already this year, the venue has hosted several blockbuster shows including Madonna, Iron Maiden, Tool, Carrie Underwood, Mumford and Sons, Justin Bieber, James Taylor and Coldplay. Next month, Billy Joel visits Tulsa for one of only six arena shows in 2016 outside of Manhattan.

BOK Center has already announced a stellar line-up for 2017 with much more to come. The Red Hot Chili Peppers will rock BOK Center on January 14, along with Eric Church on February 2, Ariana Grande on February 9, Twenty One Pilots on February 21, Panic at the Disco on April 4 and Tim McGraw and Faith Hill on May 11.
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