Tuesday, July 28, 2009

SMG's Doug Thornton, Senior VP Stadiums and Arenas Named 3rd on Time's Picayune's Most Influential Sports List

SMG Senior Vice President, Doug Tornton has been chosen by the Times-Picayune as the 3rd most powerful/influential person on the south Louisiana sports scene.
The list was selected using a formula that included evaluating a person's capability to effect significant change -- or to prevent significant change -- on sports. Also considered was how the individuals rated versus their peers; how much money they control, generate, or influence; how long people have exercised power; and their long-term impact on a sport or the larger world of sports.Here is what they had to say:

3. Doug Thornton, SMG V.P.
On the surface, Thornton's role seems pretty simple -- manage the Superdome and the adjacent New Orleans Arena, home of the Saints and the Hornets. But since joining SMG in 1997, Thornton, who oversees seven separate municipal accounts in the Gulf Coast area, has become a vital cog in the Louisiana sports landscape.
He was the chief negotiator on behalf of the state in signing lease agreements with the Saints and the Hornets. Both deals appear to be win-win deals for both sides. And he was largely responsible for getting both venues operating after Katrina.
"This has to be one of the greatest comeback stories in American Sports history," Thornton said. "Never before has a city had to face such a broad range of challenges with its market and sports infrastructure. I think what makes this story so compelling is the way our community has rebounded and dealt with those challenges."

SMG offers congratulations to Doug Thornton and the whole SMG team in Louisiana for this achievement.

SMG Regional Vice President Sandie Aaron is Named Venues Today 2009 Woman of Influence

SMG would like to congratulate Sandie Aaron for being named one of Venues Today’s 2009 Women of Influence in the July issue. Ms. Aaron, who is responsible for overseeing 14 buildings in 9 cities, is shown as an able administrator, savvy businesswoman, and a formidable presence among promoters.
The article in Venues Today chronicles her rise from receptionist to one of SMG’s top executives, a long and trying journey which has culminated (though far from ended) with Ms. Aaron’s cherishing, “ the fact that I can get up in the morning and can’t wait to go work.”
For more, see the July 2009 issue of Venues Today, and congratulations to Sandie.

Monday, July 27, 2009

A New Look for Osceola Heritage Park's Website

SMG-Managed Osceola Heritage Park (OHP) has just launched a new website offering a cleaner description of the five venue, 120-acre entertainment complex.

OHP teamed up with one of the leading Central Florida web design companies, Designzillas, to create the new website. The goals for the new website were to create a whole new look, layout and a cleaner directive and navigational approach. This can be seen with the upcoming events, more news and tabbed
sections on the home page. Some other key changes are the highly visual event images, a more user friendly calendar of events, a featured video section and a smoother, and more organized structure for our visitors.

“Our patrons, clients and partners will enjoy our new website. We’re excited about the fresh new look. It brings us up to date with the cutting edge technology that entertainment venue websites are using today,” said Robb Larson, General Manager of Osceola Heritage Park.

To view the new website, or for information on Osceola Heritage Park events, visit www.ohpark.com.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

SMG-Managed BOK Center in Tulsa Will Host Inaugural Rock ‘n Rib Festival

"We invite the community to join us for this celebration of food and music in Downtown Tulsa. We expect the Rock ‘n Rib Festival to bring tens of thousands of visitors to the streets outside our arena for award-winning barbecue and entertainment by thirteen fantastic regional bands."

- John Bolton, General Manager

Bring your appetite and some wet naps! The SMG-managed BOK Center announces a new festival that will fill the streets of Downtown Tulsa with the scent of barbeque sauce and the sound of live music. The Rock ‘n Rib Festival presented by Rib Crib BBQ & Grill will take place on Third Street and Frisco Avenue adjacent to the arena and will feature four days of championship barbeque, mouth-watering concessions, and performances by thirteen regional bands.

The focus of the celebration is ribs. Just steps from the BOK Center’s iconic glass wall, seven award-winning teams from across the country will showcase their championship rib recipes. These entrepreneurs compete around the world and pride themselves on their cooking techniques, unique barbeque sauces, beans, and coleslaw. A major component of the competition is showmanship and vendors decorate their space with everything from thirty-foot high banners and flags, to giant trophies, to enormous inflatable cowboys. Chefs interact with the crowd and often tell jokes, dress in themed attire, and place stickers on new customers with their company logos or slogans (such as "Lick My Ribs" and "I Got Sauced").
After taking care of their appetite, guests can enjoy free live music on the Rock ‘n Rib Festival Outdoor Stage courtesy of ONEOK, Inc. Thirteen regional bands including Admiral Twin, My Solstice, the Fabulous Midlife Crisis Band, and The Red Dirt Rangers will provide daily entertainment. Each evening features a different genre of music- ranging from reggae to classic rock to red dirt/country. On Friday evening at 7:00PM, "Live Bait," a Jimmy Buffett cover band from Tampa, FL will treat the crowd to a beach party atmosphere, complete with beach balls, a limbo stick, and colorful leis. A full list of bands and entertainment schedule is available online.

The Rock ‘n Rib Festival 2009 is presented by Rib Crib. Live entertainment on the outdoor stage is compliments of ONEOK, Inc. Plaza sponsors include Anheuser-Busch, Frontier International Trucks, Crowne Plaza Hotel, US Foodservice, Cargill Meats, and Downtown Tulsa Unlimited. The official media partners are FOX23, Urban Tulsa Weekly, and Cox Radio, Inc.

More information on the Rock ‘n Rib Festival and profiles of all of rib vendors are available at www.bokcenter.com. Questions may be directed to Jeff Nickler, Special Events Manager at (918) 894-4254.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Florence Civic Center Hosts Three Month Military Tribute

Pee Dee Region Has Rare Honor Of Hosting Three-Month Military Tribute

Florence, South Carolina (July 7, 2009) - Florence has been selected as the only South Carolina city to host The American Soldier: A Photographic Tribute from the Civil War to Iraq. Coinciding with the passionate and graphic traveling exhibit will be several individual Armed Forces appreciation days throughout the November 2009 to February 2010 display period. More than two hundred thousand citizens, veterans and active duty military personnel are
expected to visit the SMG-managed Florence Civic Center and the adjacent Veteran’s Park Memorial during the three month calendar of appreciation. Honoring events include The American Soldier exhibit, five scheduled specific Armed Forces dates, multiple military concerts, United Service Organization (USO) Shows and various military tactical movement displays.

“We are proud to honor our current, retired and fallen soldiers of all United States Armed Forces,” said Dennis Smith, Sales Manager of the Florence Civic Center and Air Force veteran. “We have been proactive in seeking out these individual groups, military entertainers and The American Soldier exhibition. This is our way of showing our appreciation to those who protect the U.S. and to genuinely say, Thank You.”

A listing of these individual Armed Forces appreciation dates include the American Legion Day on November 21, 2009, Veteran’s of Foreign War Day on December 5, 2009, Marine Corps League Day on December 19, 2009, Vietnam
Veteran’s of America Day on January 9, 2010 and the Disabled American Veteran’s and Purple Heart Society Day on January 23, 2010. Each specific military tribute day will be held at the Florence Civic Center where guests will have the
opportunity to view The American Soldier: A Photographic Tribute. An array of highly decorated military men and women along with influential guest speakers, have been invited to share their stories with attending guests.

In addition, plans are underway to host military concerts, USO Shows, tactical marching displays and military instrumental performances throughout the timeline. For more information, please frequent FlorenceCivicCenter.com
for updates and details.

Contributing organizations include EADS North America, Business of Entertainment Inc., STETSON An American Spirit, Nesmith Insurance Agency, Gilbert Construction, Pee Dee Kiwanis Club, City of Florence, Florence County, Pee Dee
Tourism, Florence Convention and Visitor's Bureau, Mr. B’s, Florence Civic Center and Blue Cross/Blue Shield of South Carolina-Tricare Prime.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Exhibition Place at the SMG-Managed Direct Energy Centre receives Pollution Prevention Award

The Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME) honoured City of Toronto’s Exhibition Place at the SMG-Managed Direct Energy Centre with a Pollution Prevention Honourable Mention in the Greenhouse Gases Reduction category.

The Ontario Government is committed to pollution prevention and energy efficiency and appreciates public facilities such as Exhibition Place for the great work that is accomplished. Exhibition Place at the SMG-Managed Direct Energy Centre demonstrates great environmental leadership and is focused heavily on reducing greenhouse-gas emissions and energy conservation across its grounds. The Exhibition Place GREENSmart program encompasses all environmental initiatives and lays the groundwork for Exhibition Place to serve as a model for other organizations and municipalities across the province.

Exhibition Place at the SMG-Managed Direct Energy Centre is committed to be a world leader in energy-efficient technologies and implemented a goal of energy self-sufficiency by 2010. Initiatives include: waste-diversion recycling, and composting programs rendering the site 80% waste-free by 2010; a wind turbine producing 1.2 million kilowatt hours of energy annually; geothermal and photovoltaic arrays; an urban forestry program including lake-water irrigation of the site; venue naming rights for Direct Energy Centre with fees earmarked for energy conservation projects.

About Exhibition Place at the SMG-Managed Direct Energy Centre

Exhibition Place is Canada’s largest entertainment venue, attracting over 5.2 million visitors a year. The 192-acre site is an integral component of Toronto and Ontario’s economy, particularly with respect to sport, festivals, recreation, culture and tourism. The SMG-Managed Direct Energy Centre is located at Exhibition Place, owned by the City of Toronto and governed by the Board of Governors of Exhibition Place. Direct Energy Centre’s over 1 million square feet of space available is the largest exhibition and convention centre in Canada and the sixth largest in North America. Designed for maximum efficiency, hi-tech service delivery and the optimum range of configurations, the venue is supported by a regional population of seven million in a diverse and dynamic economy. Exhibition Place has won several awards such as the Platinum Waste Minimization Award from the Recycling Council of Canada. Exhibition Place is a member of Ontario's Environmental Leaders (OEL) Program. The OEL program is a voluntary leadership program that offers incentives to leading companies that commit to beyond compliance environmental improvements."