Friday, April 18, 2014

WrestleMania XXX Sets Mercedes-Benz Superdome Record SMG Leads Local Coordination Efforts

New Orleans. LA –April 10, 2014  - SMG announced this week that WrestleMania XXX shattered the record for the Mercedes-Benz Superdome’s highest grossing entertainment event. World Wrestling Entertainment’s (WWE) annual pop-culture extravaganza grossed $10.9 million from a sold out crowd of 75,167 who travelled to New Orleans from all 50 states and 37 countries. The Superdome’s previous gross revenue record for an entertainment event was held by the 2013 Essence Music Festival.

WrestleMania XXX was the centerpiece of a week long celebration of WWE events that included the WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Monday Night RAW, both held at the SMG managed Smoothie King Center, WWE Axxess at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, Superstars for Kids Auction at the New Orleans Museum of Art, and various legacy projects including construction of a new playground at Woodland West Elementary School. Several members of SMG’s staff volunteered their help with this project.

WrestleMania XXX was the culmination of a five year process that began in April 2009 when SMG formally submitted a bid on behalf of the City of New Orleans to host this event. SMG served as the leader in coordinating the necessary support of community leaders for the bid, and upon being awarded WrestleMania XXX in late 2011, took the lead in facilitating and delivering on the bid requirements. Alan Freeman, SMG’s General Manager at the Superdome and Smoothie King Center noted “We were familiar with WrestleMania, having attended it at our sister venue in Houston - Reliant Stadium. We knew that it would be a perfect fit for New Orleans, and it certainly did not disappoint. I’m sure years from now people will still be talking about what a spectacular experience WWE produced. We are obviously thrilled with the outcome and look forward to the having the opportunity to host WrestleMania again.”  Ron Forman, Chairman of the Louisiana Stadium and Exposition District, underscored the overwhelming local enthusiasm for WrestleMania by stating “This event certainly compares in stature with, and continues our unprecedented success in staging major entertainment events, that in just the past few years have included the BCS Football Championship Game, NCAA Men’s and Women’s Final Fours, the Super Bowl, and the NBA All-Star Game. No city is better suited or does a better job of producing these major events than New Orleans. I want to personally commend our facility manager, SMG, on the wonderful job they have performed in helping to secure and manage these events.” Added John Saboor, WWE Executive Vice President of Special Events, “SMG has served as one of the absolute key principals on behalf of the New Orleans Local Organizing Committee, and has done a magnificent job of supporting the various other local stakeholder groups, which include the Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation, and the Morial Convention Center”.

The New Orleans economy, which is driven by tourism, will realize an economic windfall from this event. Based on independent analysis from previous host cities, it is expected that WrestleMania XXX will have a local economic impact of approximately $100 million. 

Thursday, April 17, 2014


2014 Athletic Business Magazine Facility Madness Tournament Winner

(Lincoln, NE) – SMG-managed Pinnacle Bank Arena was named the ”2014 Best Arena in College Basketball” by Athletic Business, a magazine source for athletic, fitness and recreation professionals. The publication recently set out to find the top college basketball arena in the nation. Lincoln’s Pinnacle Bank Arena, home to the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers men’s and women’s basketball teams, took top honors with more than 50,000 votes throughout the two week tournament.

The 32-arena “Facility Madness” bracket included venues such as UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion, Syracuse’s Carrier Dome and Duke’s Cameron Indoor Stadium.

According to Athletic Business the modern feel and amenities of Pinnacle Bank Arena generated enough votes to overtake Butler University’s historic Hinkle Fieldhouse in the championship round.

Pinnacle Bank Arena General Manager Tom Lorenz said ”This is an honor after capping off such tremendous seasons by both our men and women’s Cornhusker basketball teams. Thank you to our fan base for getting behind the voting effort to push it through.”   

CenturyLink Center Named in Top 50 of Worldwide Ticket Sales

Bossier City, Louisiana – (April 10, 2014) - Bossier City’s CenturyLink Center has been named among the Top 50 Arena Venues in Worldwide Ticket Sales in for the First Quarter of 2014 by Pollstar Magazine. Nationally, CenturyLink Center attained a ranking within the Top 20 United States Arena Venues in Q1 Ticket Sales.

In addition to these accolades, CenturyLink Center has been designated a “Top Stop” (among venues with a capacity of 10,001 - 15,000) by Venues Today Magazine in their January, February, and March issues.
With events like George Strait, Elton John, Winter Jam, and more – CenturyLink Center is excited to continually offer Bossier City and Shreveport first-rate entertainment. 

Without our community in Northwest Louisiana, CenturyLink Center could not have reached such a distinction. “I and the rest of the SMG staff at the CenturyLink Center are grateful to the Bossier – Shreveport communities that have demonstrated such tremendous support and excitement for the events during the first quarter.  It’s their support that makes these rankings possible and provides the opportunities for continued success.” says General Manager, Brodie McMahon.

For up to date information on events at CenturyLink Center, visit

Thursday, April 10, 2014



(Conshohocken, PA, April 7, 2014)  -- SMG, the worldwide leader of public assembly facility management, commenced management of the Branson Convention Center as of April 1, 2014.  The firm was selected over two other firms in a recent request for proposals by the City of Branson.  In firming up the new on site management team, SMG announced the selection of Marc Mulherin as the Center’s new general manager.
“We are pleased to welcome the Branson Convention Center to our family of SMG-managed properties and are confident the facility will thrive under Marc’s leadership, combined with SMG’s booking network, client base and other resources and generate a greater economic impact for the city of Branson,” said Gregg Caren, SMG executive vice president for convention and exhibition centers. 
“Not only are we pleased to welcome SMG as the new facility management company, we are excited to attract a general manager with the energy and experience of Marc Mulherin’s caliber to direct operations here in Branson,” said City Administrator Bill Malinen, who serves as Branson’s chief executive officer.
SMG assumed managerial responsibility for the facility from Hilton Worldwide Corporation on April 1 and retained the majority of the existing venue staff. 
Mulherin is a hospitality industry veteran with more than 15 years of experience in convention center, arena and hotel management, most recently as the assistant general manager, director of food & beverage operations and director of capital & special projects for SAVOR at the SMG-managed McCormick Place in Chicago -- the largest convention center in the United States -- where he has been based since 2011. SAVOR, as part of the SMG portfolio, has provided retail and catering food and beverage services throughout the United States, Europe and Mexico since 1983.
He also was the food and beverage director for the TD Garden with Delaware North Companies/Sportservice and director of catering convention service and concessions for Interstate Hotels and Resorts’ Lancaster Marriott Hotel & Convention Center in Pennsylvania. Mulherin held managerial positions in catering, convention services and concessions with five convention centers for whom ARAMARK Corporation provides services, and in the hotel sector with the Hyatt Regency Hotels at resorts in Newport and Chicago, and Starwood Hotels and Resorts’ Sheraton Boston Hotel and Sheraton Braintree Hotel.
A graduate of Bryant University with a bachelor’s degree in business management, Mulherin is a member of the International Association of Venue Managers and the Professional Convention Management Association.
The Branson Convention Center, located in the Branson Landing development in a lakeside setting, offers 113,725 square feet of event space, including a 47,172-square-foot exhibit hall attached to a 22,703-square-foot ballroom on the first floor, and a dozen meeting room ranging from 1,000 to 5,000 square feet on the second floor. The technologically progressive venue can accommodate 4,000 guests and is supported by onsite catering, audiovisual, high-speed Internet and event management teams, with a single point of contact for all event-related services.
Founded in 1977, SMG provides management services to more than 230 public assembly facilities including convention and exhibition centers, arenas, stadiums, theatres, performing arts centers, equestrian facilities, science centers and a variety of other venues. With facilities across the globe, SMG manages more than 14.4 million square feet of exhibition space and over 1.75 million sports and entertainment seats. As the recognized global industry leader, SMG provides venue management, sales, marketing, event booking and programming, construction and design consulting, and pre-opening services for such landmark facilities as McCormick Place and Soldier Field in Chicago, Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, Houston’s Reliant Park and the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. 

Visit for more information.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Le Cordon Bleu Selects Montego Bay Convention Centre Chef

For Immediate Release
Montego Bay, Jamaica (February 11, 2014) Randie Anderson is the Executive Chef at the Montego Bay Convention Centre, and is regarded as one of Jamaica’s rising stars and most influential chef.  With several international accolades to his name, he presents modern-Jamaican cooking with an International influence at its best.   A culinary perfectionist, Chef Randi has worked alongside top celebrities in the food industry.
Chef Randi was recently awarded a scholarship to the highly commendable Le Cordon Bleu Masters of Gastronomic Tourism program.  Following a judging panel assessment, a highly commendable education professional partial scholarship from the Le Cordon Bleu has been granted to Chef Randie Anderson towards completion of his Masters in Gastronomic Tourism with the Southerncross University located in Australia.
Anderson was chosen for his demonstration in the following - passion and commitment, industry experience, levels of community engagement, diverse educational qualifications and backgrounds, focused career path and desire to share knowledge and expertise.
The program aims to provide graduates with as broad as possible an understanding of the potential to add value to food and wine tourism related business operations.  Crucially this understanding has social responsibility at its core.
Chef Randie at the end of the program will be both an innovator and protector of tradition, helping to revitalise and strengthen local and regional food cultures in Jamaica and the Caribbean.
“He’s got such talent and it’s fantastic to watch his trajectory towards international culinary success.” said Dittie Guise General Manager of the Montego Bay Convention Centre.
Ms. Guise said encouraging staff to further studies plays a role in maintaining a positive, supportive working environment at the Montego Bay Convention Centre.  She also pointed out that it was wonderful to see Randie get the recognition he deserves.  “It’s a win-win situation because it gives our chef the chance to further his own career while ensuring we deliver a world-class culinary experience to our clients.”
"I’ve won awards before but this placing made me feel especially proud because I put my heart and soul in my cooking,” says Chef Randie, I’m very thankful for the support of SMG.
The Montego Bay Convention centre is managed by SMG venue management, and its food and beverage division SAVOR has a wealth of experience in food preparation and service. The Centre is driven by a philosophy that incorporates the traditional values of exceptional service and the highest quality produce.   MBCC has consistently maintained its commitment to quality.
“We are proud to support Chef Randie’s passion for not only personal and professional development but also strengthening the local and regional culinary community through his acceptance in this prestigious program.” said Shaun Beard, SAVOR Senior Vice President.  “His motivation exemplifies our core values as a company as we strive to not only provide the best possible quality product and service but also support and participate in the communities we serve.”
The Montego Bay Convention centre is a revelation for the discerning pallet, accommodating up to 1600 patrons in its Ball room with an invigorating menu and bar selection.
Since it’s opening in 2011 the Montego Bay Convention Centre has been known to host some of the most prestigious banquets, offering a unique International dining experience, the venue has an atmosphere of relaxed elegance inspired by the exquisite cuisine and spectacular views.

For more information visit;
Michelle Parkes
Montego Bay Convention Centre


(Tulsa, Okla.) February 28, 2014 – SMG is pleased to announce John Bolton has been promoted to Vice President, SMG Entertainment.  Bolton is a 25 year industry veteran of which the last nine years have been with SMG in various venues.  Most recently, Bolton served as General Manager for SMG in Tulsa managing a multi-complex campus of venues. Jeff Nickler, current Assistant General Manager for the BOK Center, has been promoted to SMG General Manager of the BOK Center and Cox Business Center.
In addition to his role as General Manager, Bolton acted as a Regional Vice President for SMG for its venues in Puerto Rico and the West Coast.  John also serves as National Director of Marketing for SMG overseeing a regional network of Arena Marketing executives.  Additionally, John is the current Chair of the Board of Directors for the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM) –representing more than 4,000 venue managers around the world.
In his past roles, John has been responsible for creating new events and festivals in every venue he has managed including five new festivals and self-created events in Tulsa that attract more than 200,000 people per year.    His success in the booking, programming, and marketing of venues has placed his venue as one of the consistent top 10 venues in the nation.
John will be relocating to the corporate office in March, and will join Senior Vice President of Entertainment Jim McCue to provide leadership and support for initiatives in booking, marketing and growing SMG.
“John Bolton has turned the BOK Center in Tulsa into a must play for all touring artists, clearly one of the hottest buildings in the US.  He is also a masterful marketing executive so adding his skills to our corporate booking team will allow us to further align out booking and marketing efforts for our SMG Stadiums and Arenas,” said Jim McCue, SVP of Entertainment for SMG.
“I am tremendously excited to join our corporate team.  I am looking forward to coordinating our booking and marketing efforts to maximize our brand and assist our clients nationally in achieving success,” said John Bolton.
Nickler joined the SMG Tulsa team in 2008 as Premium Services and Sales Manager and was an integral part of the Grand Opening team for the BOK Center. He also served as Special Events Manager and later Director of Booking and Special Events. In 2011, he was promoted to Assistant General Manager. Under Nickler’s leadership, the BOK Center completed successful bids to host the 2013 Bassmaster Classic and the 2011 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament Second and Third Rounds. As Director of Special Events, Nickler created and produced highly successful events including Rock ‘n Rib Festival, Winterfest, Dodgebrawl and others. As Assistant General Manager, Nickler’s primary role has been booking the BOK Center and developing new concert traffic for Tulsa.
“I have been fortunate to be part of our SMG team in Tulsa for the past seven years and I look forward to sustaining our city’s reputation as one of the country’s top markets for live entertainment,” Nickler said. “We can be very proud of what we have accomplished here at BOK Center and Cox Business Center and I am confident we can maintain our success while continuing to elevate Tulsa’s status on a national scale.”
Nickler will assume the responsibilities of General Manager in March.
Local leaders have responded with appreciation for Bolton’s accomplishments in Tulsa and excitement at Nickler’s expanded role as General Manager.
Mayor Dewey Bartlett said: “John has been integral in creating a world class successful arena in Tulsa.   We will miss him, but are excited he will remain involved in Tulsa not only with his new position, but also continuing to have regional oversight of both the BOK Center and Cox Business Center for SMG.”
We are excited that Jeff Nickler who has been involved with the BOK Center since day one will step up into the role as General Manager,” Bartlett added.
Mike Neal, President and CEO of the Tulsa Regional Chamber said:
"This promotion could not be more well-deserved. We have thoroughly enjoyed having John as a part of the Tulsa community, and his industry expertise has been integral in the development of the BOK Center as a top-ranked arena. Our biggest congratulations to him on this incredible promotion. He will be missed as he moves to SMG's corporate offices as Vice President.
The Chamber and VisitTulsa look forward to the continued growth of the BOK Center and Cox Business Center under the leadership of Jeff Nickler, who will continue to build on John's work and further enhance the wonderful impact of SMG, and their facilities, in the Tulsa community."
Former Tulsa Mayor Kathy Taylor, who played an important role in bringing Bolton to Tulsa said:
“As part of the initial selection committee who hired John Bolton in 2007, I couldn't be more pleased with the success he has achieved in Tulsa. Under his leadership, the BOK Center not only opened to overwhelming success but has sustained that same level of achievement over the past five years. I have full confidence in Jeff Nickler's ability to carry on that legacy.”

New Web Site, Logo Launches for Denny Sanford PREMIER Center

(Sioux Falls, SD)— Starting today, the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center has a new look and a new web site.
A new logo has been developed for the multi-purpose venue, scheduled to open in September. The logo features a spotlight effect on a rendering of the exterior of the building. Its debut coincides with today’s launch of, which will replace the existing websites for the Sioux Falls Arena,  Convention Center, and Orpheum Theater Center.
Designed by Lawrence and Schiller of Sioux Falls, features the latest website development technology and communications tools. Each venue has its own section on the website, color coded to help visitors find the information they’re looking for.
Social media feeds for Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram will appear on the website in real time to share photos and status updates. Photos from the many events held at each facility will be prominently featured on the website as well, including those submitted by the public.
“There will be more information to come as we get closer to the opening of the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center, especially when it comes to concert announcements this spring,” says Terry Torkildson, General Manager of SMG, which manages all four facilities. “Facility maps, seating charts, and other information are still being developed and will be added as they become available.”
While the calendar of events listings for the Events Center will grow in the near future, visitors to the website will find plenty of calendar listings for the other venues. The Arena section will feature upcoming events as well as ticketing information and visitor policies and information. The Convention Center section features information for convention, conference, meeting, and wedding planners and exhibitors. The Orpheum Theater section also offers information for event planners and wedding planning, as well as upcoming events and highlights of the historic theater’s recent centennial celebration. All sections will host resource pages for hotels, restaurants, and other Sioux Falls area features.
About the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center
The Denny Sanford PREMIER Center is a multipurpose facility that will host many different types of events including hockey, indoor football, basketball, rodeos, concerts, and so much more. The facility features three clubs and offers premium seating including private suites, loge boxes, and club seats. The Denny Sanford PREMIER Center is scheduled to open in the fall of 2014.