Friday, February 5, 2016


Wichita, KS (February 4, 2016) – INTRUST Bank Arena was recently honored with the prestigious Destination Promotion Award for the second time since the Arena’s opening in 2010 during Visit Wichita’s Annual Meeting which was held on Jan. 28. During the meeting, Visit Wichita recognized six individuals and organizations with the Visit Wichita Tourism Awards for their contributions to hospitality and tourism in the Wichita area during 2015.
“With these awards, we honor partners who have contributed significantly during the past year,” said Visit Wichita President and CEO Susie Santo. “Our staff is fortunate to work with a fantastic group of partners dedicated to making our city a great place to live and visit. The Visit Wichita Tourism Awards are a wonderful way to highlight a handful of exceptional people, businesses and organizations.”
The Destination Promotion Award recognizes an individual, attraction or company that has made outstanding efforts to promote Wichita. INTRUST Bank Arena was honored as the recipient of this award for 2015 for promoting Wichita as a destination city when more than 75,000 tickets for six Garth Brooks shows were sold in 48 minutes and for giving those 75,000 guests (1/3 of whom were from out of town) a fantastic welcome over the four days and six shows. INTRUST Bank Arena continually partners with the bureau to bring in visitors to Wichita.
“We’re humbled and honored to be recognized by Visit Wichita for the second time in our short history with the Destination Promotion Award,” said SMG General Manager, A.J. Boleski. “We’re continually working to bring not only a diverse lineup of events to INTRUST Bank Arena but also a variety of events that will benefit our community as a whole. The positive impact of the Garth Brooks concerts was very widespread and we’re very appreciative of the support Visit Wichita constantly provides us to ensure events of this magnitude can take place in our city.”

Monday, February 1, 2016

Jamie Huckleberry Named Convention Services Manager of the Year by Successful Meetings Magazine

The Director of Event Services has been with David L. Lawrence Convention Center since 2002
Pittsburgh, PA (February 1, 2016) –  Executives for the David L. Lawrence Convention Center today announced that Jamie Huckleberry was named Convention Services Manager of the Year for 2015 by Successful Meetings Magazine and the Event Service Professionals Association (ESPA).

Huckleberry joined the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in 2002 as Senior Event Manager before being promoted to her present position as Director of Event Services.  Prior to joining the Convention Center, Huckleberry was an Event Manager at the Atlantic City Convention Center and also the Sheraton Valley Forge Hotel and Convention Center.  Huckleberry has a bachelor’s degree in Recreation and Services Management from East Stroudsburg University.

“This is a tremendous honor for Jamie, especially because Jamie was nominated by one of our clients,” said Tim Muldoon, General Manager, David L. Lawrence Convention Center.  “ESPA and Successful Meetings Magazine now know what we have known for a long time.  Jamie is an excellent ambassador for our facility and for Pittsburgh.”

According to information provided by ESPA, the Convention Services Manager (CSM) of the Year Award winners have demonstrated to the most demanding critics in the business – meeting planners – their ability to provide the highest level of service.  Nominations for CSMs in three categories – Hotel, Convention Center, and Convention and Visitors Bureau – were received from meeting planners and other industry representatives from across North America.  Huckleberry was nominated by a meeting planner for the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States and also a meeting planner for the Society for Science and the Public.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The newly renovated Cobo Center hosts record breaking NAIAS

Detroit, MI (January 25, 2016) - 2016 is off to a great start in the Motor City as the North American International Auto attendance rose again this year. This is the first year the event was held since the completion of the $279,000,000 renovation and expansion of host venue Cobo Center.

“We had a lot of positive comments about the changes here at Cobo from the car companies and the dealers as well as attendees at the show”, said Assistant General Manager Claude Molinari.
Major changes included the addition of a 3rd large format video board on the exterior of the facility – a marquee measuring 160 feet by 30 feet - as well as the addition of an upscale coffee/wine bar called the Cork & Grind.

With 104,263 attendees on the final day of the auto show, the total ticketed attendance was 815,575 which edged out last year's total of 808,775 and realized the highest attendance since 2003.
“That means they averaged nearly 91,000 people attending the auto show each day. In other words, in 14 days we had more attendees than an entire NFL home game season – including pre-season games!” added Molinari.

According to the organizers of the show, the Detroit Auto Dealers Association, more than 70 percent of the displays at the show were new, which represented about $200 million in investments from automakers, suppliers an auto show partners.

This year's show also included a visit from President Obama. Mr. Molinari served as the facility's liaison with the White House and Secret Service to address all security and coordination issues from the facility's side, adding: "It was a challenge to make sure everything ran smoothly. An entire hall of exhibits was closed down for the duration of President Obama's time on site. At the same time we had over 30,000 people in the building looking at the other displays. Parking was shut down and there was some impact on traffic, but everything went off without a hitch and I can honestly say it was one of the highlights of my career at SMG."

In all, the DADA estimates that the show had a nearly $430 million impact to the regional economy, which is up $30 million from last year. “The $430 million in economic impact is nearly equivalent to having two Super Bowls in Detroit every year, a truly astounding figure when you stop and think about it," NAIAS Chairman Paul Sabatini.

More than 13,000 also attended the Charity Preview, raising $5.2 million for eight local charities. Also, 5,068 journalists from 60 different countries were at the press previews on the first two days of the auto show, where 61 vehicles were introduced and six vehicles debuted. “In the five years we’ve been involved with the show this was not only the best attended but also the smoothest running by far,” said Molinari.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Pollstar Ranks 28 SMG-Managed Arenas & 16 SMG-Managed Theaters in Top 200 Venues Worldwide

West Conshohocken, PA (January 11, 2016) - SMG-managed arenas and theaters completed another outstanding year with 28 arenas and 16 theaters appearing on Pollstar Magazine’s annual list of the Top 200 Arena & Theatre Venues.

On the arena side, Manchester Arena took the top SMG spot, finishing the year ranked second in the world with more than 1.1 million concert tickets sold.  Leading the way in the United States was the BOK Center in Tulsa, Okla., which ranked 26th in the continental United States.  The rankings, which were released last week, are determined by tickets sold worldwide for concerts and shows during 2015.

For the theatre rankings, the Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts took the spot for SMG-managed theaters selling over 103,000 tickets in 2015. 

“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 annual lists,” added Westley. 

In all, SMG arenas in the Top 200 Pollstar list accounted for more than 5.2 million concert tickets sold in 2015.  For the SMG theaters in the Top 200 Pollstar list more than 988,000 tickets were sold in 2015.  

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

Manchester Arena

First Direct Arena

Konig-Pilsener Arena
Oberhausen, GERMANY

Coliseo de Puerto Rico

Metro Radio Arena
Newcaste upon Tyne, UNITED KINGDOM

BOK Center
Tulsa, OK

INTRUST Bank Arena
Wichita, KS

Chesapeake Energy Arena
Oklahoma City, OK

Smoothie King Center
New Orleans, LA

Van Andel Arena
Grand-Rapids, MI

Save Mart Center
Fresno, CA

Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena
Jacksonville, FL

Denny Sanford Premier Center
Sioux Falls, SD

Times Union Center
Albany, NY

Pinnacle Bank Arena
Lincoln, NE

CenturyLink Center
Bossier City, LA

Richmond Coliseum
Richmond, VA

Huntington Center
Toledo, OH

DCU Center
Worcester, MA

Laredo Energy Arena
Laredo, TX

Mohegan Sun Arena At Casey Plaza
Wilkes-Barre, PA

Verizon Wireless Arena
Manchester, NH

Santander Arena
Reading, PA

Royal Farms Arena 
Baltimore, MD

ShoWare Center
Kent, WA

Peoria Civic Center Arena
Peoria, IL

Pensacola Bay Center
Pensacola, FL

Stockton Arena
Stockton, CA


Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts
Worcester, MA

DeVos Performance Hall
Grand Rapids, MI

Wagner Noel Performing Arts Center
Midland, TX

North Charleston Performing Arts Center
North Charleston, SC

The Plaza Theatre
El Paso, TX

Bellco Theatre
Denver, CO

Altria Theatre
Richmond, VA

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

Old National Events Plaza
Evansville, IN

Saenger Theatre
Pensacola, FL

Terrace Theatre
Long Beach, CA

Santander Performing Arts Center
Reading, PA

William Saroyan Theatre
Fresno, CA

Peoria Civic Center Theatre
Peoria, IL

Abraham Chavez Theatre
El Paso, TX

Carpenter Theatre at Richmond Center Stage

Richmond, VA

Friday, January 8, 2016


Wichita, KS (January 7, 2016) – Jim Sachs, SMG Director of Ticketing for INTRUST Bank Arena and Select-A-Seat, has been named a winner of the Venues Today Magazine 2016 Box Office Star Award. Venues Today Magazine recognizes outstanding ticketing professionals each year for their newsworthy achievement or outstanding service in their own ticket office or in the ticketing industry at large.

Sachs was honored for the preparation and execution of the Garth Brooks ticket set-up and on sale at INTRUST Bank Arena. Leading up to the announcement of Garth Brooks, Sachs worked tirelessly to ensure a successful on-sale through training new phone operators, writing new phone message scripts based on show information, and increasing the Select-A-Seat website capability in order to accommodate the anticipated higher volume of traffic. On Oct. 23, Sachs orchestrated the selling of 65,000 tickets in 45 minutes for six Garth Brooks concerts, all of which would completely sell out in less than 72 hours. In addition, Sachs was also nominated for overseeing the launch of digital ticketing for Select-A-Seat which included a tickets@home delivery method, an enhanced tickets@phone delivery method that utilizes Apple passbook/wallet, and the My Select-A-Seat platform.

“Jim is extremely deserving of this award and the entire team here at INTRUST Bank Arena is very proud to see him recognized,” said SMG Assistant General Manager & Director of Finance, Chris Kibler. “The industry knowledge that Jim possesses from his years of ticketing experience keeps Select-A-Seat on the cutting edge of ticketing for live entertainment and it is rewarding for all of us at SMG to see his hard work acknowledged through this prestigious industry award.”

Venues Today is a monthly industry trade magazine that tracks industry trends and profiles live entertainment professionals. Winners were determined by vote through Venues Today subscribers and staff and will be honored during the INTIX convention in Anaheim, Calif. Jan. 20-22, 2016 and will also be featured in the January issue of Venues Today.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015


Conshohocken, PA (December 22, 2015) - Billboard Magazine's 2015 Year End Top 10 Lists are out and SMG venues made several of the lists. First - the #l's on the list:

  • Soldier Field (Chicago) - #1 Gross Boxscore for 2015: SMG's Soldier Field hosted the Grateful Dead July 3-5 which grossed $30,683,274 - making it the top grossing show of 2015 in any venue anywhere in the world.
  • Royal Farms Arena (Baltimore) - #1 USA Venue for venues 10,001-15,000 seats. SMG's Royal Farms Arena hosted 347,083 attendees grossing $16,830,878 - making it the #1 Venue in the United States for its capacity.
Also, making Billboard's Year End Lists were:

  • Manchester Arena (Manchester, England) - #3 Grossing Venue in the world for venues 15,001-Plus. SMG's Manchester Arena grossed $79,256,782 with attendance taping 1/132/711 and hosting 112 shows.
  • Solider Field (Chicago) - #2 Grossing Stadium in the world. SMG's Soldier Field grossed $49/312,023 for 7 shows making with the #2 busiest stadium in the world.
Tim LeFevour, GM for SMG's Soldier Field, commented that the "venue was honored to be a part of the historical farewell Grateful Dead concerts this summer in Chicago. It was certainly the hottest ticket of the summer and from the year end rankings by Billboard Magazine it became honored as the hottest ticket of the year!"

"SMG venues in the USA and around the world continue to deliver high grosses and successful events," commented Wes Westley, President and CEO of SMG. "Our team of highly talented professionals continues to achieve great worldwide recognition," added Westley.

Monday, December 21, 2015


(Tulsa, Okla.) December 18, 2015 – Each state in America has its own unique way of celebrating the Christmas season, so People Magazine listed 50 of the best ways to get into the holiday spirit, one for each state. In a story titled "Christmas Across America: A Unique Way to Celebrate the Holidays in Each State," SMG Tulsa's Winterfest was named as the most unique way to celebrate the Christmas season in Oklahoma. Check out the story here.

In seven short years, attendance for this event has soared from 35,000 visitors in 2008 to more than 150,000 in 2014. The seasonal celebration is open to the public for 52 days again this year. The extended season guarantees everyone a chance to enjoy skating beneath Tulsa's skyline while watching free entertainment from the outdoor stage and taking in the beautiful, gleaming holiday lights.

Winterfest includes a 9,000 square-foot outdoor ice rink and Oklahoma's tallest Christmas Tree that stands 44 feet tall and features 35,700 glowing lights.

“Winterfest has become the kick-off for the Holidays in downtown Tulsa,” said Jeff Nickler, SMG Tulsa General Manager. “As Oklahoma's best holiday tradition, we are excited to welcome our guests as they celebrate the season with family and friends."