Friday, March 26, 2010

March Madness Reigns at SMG Facilities

West Conshohocken, PA (March 17, 2010) – The sounds of sneakers squeaking on the hardwood of the NCAA tournament will be heard throughout SMG-managed buildings this March. Seven SMG-managed arenas will be home to games in the 2010 NCAA Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments. Continuing the company’s success in bringing the biggest sporting events in the country to its facilities, thousands of basketball fans will converge upon the SMG-managed Ford Center (Oklahoma City, OK), New Orleans Arena (New Orleans, LA), Dunkin Donuts Center (Providence, RI), and Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena (Jacksonville, FL) for Men’s first and second round games. As the tournament intensifies, the Men’s Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight games will be played at Reliant Arena (Houston, TX). For the Women’s basketball fans, the Petersen Events Center (Pittsburgh, PA) will host Women’s first and second round games.

Monday, March 22, 2010

INTRUST Bank Arena Takes Top Honors In CHL Poll

(WICHITA, KS) – In the 2009-2010 Central Hockey League's ‘Best of the Best' poll released this week, the SMG-managed INTRUST Bank Arena received top honors for ‘Best Arena' and ‘Best Locker Rooms'. The Arena also ranked third in the ‘Best Press Box' category. CHL coaches, players and media representatives vote in the yearly poll.

SMG General Manager and former Wichita Thunder General Manager, Chris Presson commented, “I've been to most facilities around the league, and I feel the arena is very deserving of this honor. We are proud of what we have to offer and appreciate the recognition.”

In addition to the venue awards, the Wichita Thunder fans were voted ‘Most Annoying' for the seventh consecutive year.

“Thunder fans take great pride in getting under the visiting team's skin,” added Presson. “Seven straight years of tasteful fun is quite an accomplishment.”

The Wichita Thunder debuted at the Arena January 23 with a franchise-record attendance of 13,412. The Thunder currently ranks second in the CHL in attendance.

INTRUST Bank Arena opened January 9 with a sold out Brad Paisley concert. The venue also recently hosted Elton John and Billy Joel, George Strait and Reba and numerous family shows.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Mobile Convention Center Wins 2010 Prime Site Award

March 17, 2010

The Arthur R. Outlaw Mobile Convention Center, which is proudly managed by SMG, has been awarded a coveted Prime Site Award from Facilities & Destination Magazine.

The 2010 Prime Site Award program selects convention centers that are a cut above and have never lost sight of one of the country’s fundamental principles of conducting business of any kind: “always please the customer.”

Meeting planners chose the Mobile Convention Center for this prestigious award based on the following criteria:

· Most flexible, functional and unique space

· State of the art technology

· Innovative architectural design

· Accessibility

· Great service

“The Mobile Convention Center’s management and staff are honored to receive this notable award,” said Bob Brazier, General Manager of the Arthur R. Outlaw Mobile Convention Center. “Customer service has always been a top priority for our staff and this award enhances our commitment to this goal.”

Voting was conducted in 2009, and the 2010 award was officially announced in the March 2010 Facilities & Destinations SuperBook issue. The Mobile Convention Center has won the Prime Site Award each year since 2001 for a total of ten awards.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

SMG Names New General Manager in Jacksonville, FL

March 12, 2010, (Jacksonville, Florida) – Larry Wilson, has been named General Manager for SMG in Jacksonville, Florida. SMG, on behalf of the City of Jacksonville, manages the Jacksonville Municipal Stadium, the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville, the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena, the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts, the Prime Osborn Convention Center and the Jacksonville Equestrian Center.

Larry Wilson comes to Jacksonville from the John Paul Jones Arena, in Charlottesville, Virginia, where he served as the Regional General Manager overseeing day to day operations of the John Paul Jones Arena, the Paramount Theater and the Meadows Events Center (Virginia State Fair)... Wilson managed the pre-opening phase of the John Paul Jones Arena, which opened in 2006. Under Wilson’s management, the arena was named Pollstar’s Best New Major Concert Venue 2006. Wilson, is a graduate of Oglebay Facility Management School and the University of Memphis, has been with SMG since 1994. Wilson has been involved in the opening of six buildings over his 15 year career. Prior to John Paul Jones Arena, Wilson was the General Manager of the Richmond Coliseum. He also served as the Assistant GM of the Century Tel Center in Bossier City, Louisiana. Wilson has held several positions for SMG including Director Event Services and Convention Sales at the Gaylord Entertainment Center in Nashville and as Event Services Manager at the Palm Springs Convention Center.

Wilson has served as the President of the ACOM, on the Board of the Charlottesville, Albermarle Convention & Visitors Bureau, and holds memberships in IAAM, ASAE, and PCMA. For information on Wilson, call Nan Coyle at 904-630-4056.

“Larry Wilson is a great addition to the management team in Jacksonville,” commented Hank Abate, Senior Vice President for Stadiums and Arenas/SMG, adding, “SMG takes great pride in developing and obtaining the very best candidates for such an important role in the communities we serve. Wilson has been recognized for his operational and booking expertise and will bring these leadership skills to the Jacksonville Venues.”

Wilson, will be in Jacksonville beginning March 16, 2010, to assist with the 2010 NCAA Men’s First and Second Round Basketball Tournament.

Pedone Named General Manager of John Paul Jones Arena

March 16, 2010, (Charlottesville, VA) -- Jason Pedone has been named General Manager of John Paul Jones Arena, effective immediately. Pedone was hired as Assistant General Manager for John Paul Jones Arena in July 2007 and has been with SMG, the management company that operates the Arena on behalf of the University, since 2002. Prior to working at JPJ, Pedone was Director of Event Services for SMG at Reliant Park, in Houston, TX, one of the world's largest entertainment complexes and home to the Houston Texans NFL team. Pedone, his wife Kelly and daughter Jillian live in Crozet, VA.

"We are pleased that we had a perfect successor to Larry Wilson right here on our JPJ staff. In his three years here at John Paul Jones Arena, Jason has shown that he has all the knowledge and skills it takes to be a top manager for SMG, and I am certain he will do a fabulous job.” said Bob Cavalieri, Senior Vice President - Business Development for SMG.

Rich Kovatch, Associate Vice President for Business Operations for University of Virginia, said, “While the University is sorry to see Larry Wilson go, the opportunity for him to move up within SMG is a testament to the job he did here. We are delighted that the perfect successor to Larry was right here in our midst. We welcome Jason, with whom we have worked for the past three years, to the position of General Manager, certain that he will continue the tradition of excellence that has been established at JPJ.”

Pedone replaces Larry Wilson, who was been named General Manager for SMG in Jacksonville, FL. SMG, on behalf of the City of Jacksonville, manages the Jacksonville Municipal Stadium, the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville, the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena, the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts, the Prime Osborn Convention Center and the Jacksonville Equestrian Center.

Monday, March 15, 2010

K-Rock Centre Named Major Venue of the Year - Again!

Kingston, ON, March 12, 2010 – The SMG-managed K-Rock Centre was once again named the “2010 Major Facility of the Year (under 8000 seat capacity)” at last night’s Canadian Music & Broadcast Industry Awards held in Toronto.

“We are incredibly honored to receive this national recognition. This award is a tribute to the hard work of our staff along with the incredibly supportive entertainment fans we have in Kingston and Southeastern Ontario. In the end, the biggest ‘thank you’ is due to the promoters that bring the events to the facility. Without their belief in the K-Rock Centre we couldn’t possibly be in this position again,” says SMG’s Ken Noakes, General Manager of the K-Rock Centre.

Noakes continues, “These achievements never come to fruition without a lot of hard work from so many different people throughout the community. The Kingston City Council, City of Kingston, our naming sponsor—K-ROCK Radio, Kingston Economic Development Corporation, Tourism Kingston, Kingston Accommodation Partners, Downtown Kingston, and the Kingston Frontenacs all have been invaluable partners along the way.”

SMG Senior Regional Vice-President Harry Cann adds, “We believed in the Kingston market from the beginning and are confident of the venue’s continued success as a premier entertainment venue.  Our local operating team has done a great job and this Facility of the Year Award is tangible proof that the K-Rock Centre is on the right track.”

“I am delighted that the K-Rock Centre has, once again, achieved national recognition through this award,” says Mayor Harvey Rosen. “On behalf of the City of Kingston, I wish to thank the Canadian Music and Broadcast Industry for choosing the K-Rock Centre as their ‘Major Facility of the Year.’ The K-Rock Centre’s positive presence in this region is increasing, and consequently, so is the building’s success. The vision for this facility was that it would one day become the premier indoor location for sports and entertainment events in Southeastern Ontario. This award is another example of how we are realizing this goal.”

The nominees and winners of the Canadian Music Industry Awards are chosen by its combined votes of registered Canadian music industry professionals. These registered voters consist of peers within the industry. For more information on the CMIA visit

BOK Center Crowns Its One-Millionth Fan

Tulsa, OK (March 6, 2010) – The BOK Center hit another monumental milestone tonight at the Tulsa Oilers' last regular season home game. During the first intermission, BOK Center staff announced Steven Sides was the one-millionth customer since the grand opening on September 6, 2008.

The lucky fan won an assortment of prizes valued at over $4000, including a suite during the Tulsa Talons season opener game and a suite for an Oilers home game next season. Also included were a variety of concert t-shirts and other memorabilia.

General Manager John Bolton and Assistant GM Jerry Goldman were present and met Steven Sides, who was attending the game with his son, in section 102 to congratulate him for being the winner.

“It's wonderful that we are able to reach this milestone after opening only 18 months ago,” said John Bolton. “We are rewarding this special fan as a tribute to all of the people who have attended events at the arena. I would like to thank the Tulsa for its support and anyone who has attended an event here. Without the fans we wouldn't be able to have such great success.”

Below: Jerry Goldman, Steven Sides, John Bolton, and Tulsa Oilers General Manager Taylor Hall.

Friday, March 5, 2010

SMG announced as operators of Ora Arena and Ora Convention Centre in Istanbul, Turkey

At a press conference in Istanbul on March 2nd SMG were officially announced as project partners in the exciting Ora development. The fist mixed-use real estate development in Turkey this unique destination venue will bring together an arena, convention centre, hotels, theme park and an outlet mall on a 70,000 square meter site in Bayrampasa scheduled for completion on October 29 2010.

Ora Arena – managed by SMG Europe, will be the first purpose built, multi-functional venue of its kind in Istanbul with a capacity of 6,500 and easily accessible to a population of 13 million. Flexible seating arrangements will enable the programming of a wide range of events with an all inclusive appeal such as: family entertainment; musical and theatrical; local, national and international pop and rock concerts, and last but not least sports. The backstage, load-in and production facilities will be incomparable to any other venues in the area surpassing international touring operational requirements. The Arena will feature another first for entertainment venues in Turkey with a dedicated VIP function room and 10 executive hospitality suites. Businesses will now have a credible alternative to sporting venues in which to entertain clients.

John Sutherland – Managing Director / Senior Vice President SMG Europe said, “we are delighted to be part of this exciting project and look forward to developing Ora Arena into a world class venue for the community of Istanbul to enjoy.”

Ora Convention Centre – managed and marketed by SMG’ s convention centre division, will be a multi-purpose, 10,500 square meter centre capable of hosting a wide range of events including: national and international congresses and conferences, medium sized consumer exhibitions; and trade and business to business exhibitions. The venue will be able to offer attendees hospitality services in the 3-star Holiday Inn Express and 4-star Crowne Plaza hotels on site plus the opportunity to enjoy the unique experiences before and after events at the theme park, outlet mall and arena. The 6,500 seat arena will also serve to host general sessions for congresses in a setting ready-made for large meetings.

Gregg Caren – Senior Vice President of Strategic Business Development for SMG said, “Istanbul provides a unique setting that blends one of the richest cultures in history with a thriving contemporary city that must be experienced to be appreciated. We look forward to working with our local partners and event planners in the region and international community.”

SMG Extended at Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, NH through 2031

Board of Aldermen unanimously approves SMG to continue to provide operational services at Verizon Wireless Arena.

Manchester, New Hampshire, March 5, 2010 – SMG President and CEO Wes Westley announced today that SMG’s contract to provide management services at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, NH has been extended through 2031. The Arena is an 11,000 seat facility that hosts some of the biggest names in entertainment, as well as community events. It is also home to the Manchester Monarchs of the American Hockey League.

Westley commented, “You don’t get this kind of extension from a client who has very high standards without doing something right. This extension is a tribute to the fine job being done by our local management team in conjunction with our corporate team. SMG has been operating the arena since its opening in 2001. Industry accolades, community support, and strong financials have been the pattern at this facility since it opened. We are honored by this clear vote of confidence from the Mayor and by the unanimous vote of the Board of Aldermen.”

Tim Bechert, General Manager for the Verizon Wireless Arena stated, “From SMG’s perspective we view our relationship with the City of Manchester as a partnership, and we are pleased to build on the foundation we’ve set. The Verizon Wireless Arena was opened under SMG management in November 2001 and has hosted over 1000 events, sold out more than 200 events and welcomes more than 5.1 million people.”

Harry Cann, Senior Regional Vice President for the Arena, added, “The Verizon Wireless Arena is clearly established as a premier venue in the industry. We are proud of our efforts and look forward to working closely with the City, the Monarchs, and local business partners for many more years. Our objective is to maximize the potential of the venue for the City and the surrounding community.”

SMG Names Four Regional Directors of Marketing

West Conshohocken, PA - Wes Westley, SMG President and CEO announced today the appointment of Rob Goodman, Casey Sparks, Mitzi Evans and Cheryl Cohen as Regional Directors of Marketing for the company’s Arena and Stadium division. By providing extra support to the venues as it relates to marketing, public relations, media buying and sponsorships, these four talented individuals will support the ongoing efforts and development of the local marketers of our facilities.

Goodman is the Assistant General Manager/Director of Marketing at Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He has been with SMG for more than 10 years. Prior to his Pittsburgh appointment in May, 2006, Rob was General Manager of the Pontchartrain Center (Kenner, LA) and Sr. Marketing Manager of the Louisiana Superdome and New Orleans Arena (New Orleans, LA). Goodman has more than 24 years of sports and entertainment marketing experience, and in August will move over to the new 18,500-seat Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh.

Sparks currently is the Director of Sales and Marketing for the BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma with over eight years in the industry. Her career began at the University of South Carolina where she holds a degree in Sports and Entertainment Management. She joined SMG at the AT&T Center in San Antonio as the Marketing Manager before coming to the BOK Center. She has been a part of the grand opening team for two major arenas and currently serves as a Board Member of the Event and Arena Marketing Conference.

Evans is the Director of Marketing and Sales for the Save Mart Center in Fresno, California and has been part of the SMG team for five years. Her background includes television news reporting and producing, media buying and radio advertising sales. She is also a former Promotion Director for Ice Capades and traveled worldwide with the show for seven years.

Cohen is the Marketing Director of the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode Island. She has been with SMG for more than eight years. Cheryl’s career spans over 25 years in the entertainment industry including theatres, arenas and concert promotions. Prior to joining the arena in Providence, she was a Senior Marketing Representative for World Wrestling Entertainment.

27 SMG Convention Centers Win 2010 Prime Site Awards

W. Conshohocken, Pennsylvania - March 5, 2010 - SMG announced today that 27 of its convention centers received the prestigious Prime Site Award. This award is voted on by meeting/event planners and other industry members. Awards are given to the top convention, exposition and exhibition centers throughout North America and the Caribbean based on venue quality, features and services.

Bob McClintock, SMG Senior Vice President for Convention Centers said, “This is continued validation that SMG Convention Centers 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.”

17 SAVOR… Convention Centers Win 2010 Prime Site Awards

W. Conshohocken, Pennsylvania - March 5, 2010 – Shaun Beard, Senior Vice President of SAVOR… announced today that 17 of SAVOR’s convention center food and beverage clients were awarded Prime Site Awards. This award is voted on by meeting/event planners and other industry members. Awards are given to the top convention, exposition and exhibition centers throughout North America and the Caribbean based on venue quality, features and services.

Beard stated, “This is no coincidence. SAVOR works closely with its facility clients, striving to make their goals a reality. At the end of the day, a customer is evaluating the total experience. Every component needs to be first rate if a facility hopes to succeed. SAVOR delivers the food and beverage component that meets its partners needs to be award winning.”

Thursday, March 4, 2010

BOK Center Nominated for the “Venue of the Year” by the Academy of Country Music

Tulsa, OK – March 3, 2010 –

Tulsa’s BOK Center, managed by SMG, has been nominated by the Academy of Country Music for Venue of the Year. In order to be considered for this award, the venue must have bought or promoted at least 5 (five) country concerts during the prior calendar year of January 1 to December 31, 2009 and be in good standing with all agents. Since opening in September of 2008, the BOK Center has hosted the following country artists:

  • Kenny Chesney
  • Rascal Flatts
  • Carrie Underwood
  • Brad Paisley
  • Trace Adkins
  • Keith Urban with Sugarland
  • Taylor Swift
  • Alan Jackson
  • George Strait with Reba
Venue of the Year is an off-camera award presented at the annual “ACM Honors” event held in Nashville at a later date. The award is considered a part of the 45th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards and will be voted on by the professional membership of the Academy.

The BOK Center will be competing for the award against the following venues:

  • Meadowbrook U.S. Cellular Pavilion – Gilford, NH
  • Sommet Center – Nashville, TN
  • Sprint Center – Kansas City, MO
  • Time Warner Cable Music Pavilion – Raleigh, NC

SMG Awarded Management Renewal for Shreveport Convention Center

March 3, 2010

Shreveport City Council unanimously approves SMG to continue to provide top-quality operational services at Convention Center.

Shreveport, Louisiana, March 3, 2010 -- SMG, the Worldwide Leader in Convention and Entertainment Management, is proud to announce that the Shreveport City Council has unanimously approved SMG for an extension of the contract for continued management of the Shreveport Convention Center. The vote occurred during their meeting on the evening of February 23rd. SMG will continue to provide top quality, industry-standard-setting day-to-day operational services for the region’s most prestigious Convention Center.
SMG President and CEO Wes Westley said of the renewal: “The faith shown by the Shreveport City Council in SMG's ability to continue to meet or exceed expectations in facility management and performance of this premiere venue is very gratifying. SMG's continued service to the people of Shreveport is a source of great pride for us.”

SMG Senior Vice President Doug Thornton added: "We are very pleased to be a part of the overall success of Shreveport's hospitality industry. The Convention Center has proven to be a real winner for the Community, which is a real tribute to our strong management team there and great partnership with the City."

The City Council and Mayor were both very complimentary of SMG’s achievements on behalf of Shreveport, and took time to single out SMG General Manager, Sam Voisin, for his ceaseless efforts in improving fiscal performance at the Center; in particular beating the annual budget by close to $300,000 this past year. Voisin shared credit with the facility’s staff: "We have a very committed team at the convention center whose hard work has been validated by a unanimous vote of confidence from the City Council."

Said Cedric B. Glover, Mayor City of Shreveport, LA: “It is without question that SMG has exceeded our expectations in effectively and efficiently managing our city’s largest capital project and major asset, the Shreveport Convention Center. Our relationship with SMG and their ongoing successes have produced untold economic impact for the City of Shreveport. As indicated with a unanimous city council vote, we look forward to a continued and productive relationship with the SMG team.”

SMG has provided full management services, as well as preopening services, for the Shreveport Convention Center since it opened in 2006.

About SMG
Since 1977, SMG has provided management services to more than 220 public assembly facilities worldwide, including arenas, stadiums, theatres and performing arts centers, equestrian facilities, convention, congress and exhibition cen¬ters, science centers and a variety of other venues. Across the globe, SMG manages more than 12 million square feet (1.1 million square meters) of exhibition space and over 1.5 million arena and theatre 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. SMG also offers food and beverage operations through its concessions and catering company SAVOR, currently serving more than 100 accounts worldwide.

For more information visit

About SAVOR…

SAVOR, the food and beverage division of special event venue management leader SMG, ( currently provides food and beverage services, as well as VIP and catering/special event services, to more than 100 facilities around the world. The company is also an industry leader in introducing green standards and programs to public facilities. SAVOR’s commitment to farm to table freshness and food quality typically features locally grown products for their venue clients whenever possible. SAVOR staff prides themselves on being on the cutting edge of the latest food and beverage trends in addition to searching out the most innovative food technologies available on the market.

Public Relations Office
300 Conshohocken State Rd Ste 770
West Conshohocken, PA 19428


Wednesday, March 3, 2010

SMG is Awarded Dual Management Renewals in Puerto Rico for the Coliseó de Puerto Rico Jose Miguel Agrelot and Puerto Rico Convention Center

For Immediate Release
February 25, 2010

SMG, the Worldwide Leader in Convention and Entertainment Management, and the Board of the Convention Center District Authority for Puerto Rico have reached agreements for continued management of both the Coliseó de Puerto Rico Jose Miguel Agrelot and the Puerto Rico Convention Center. SMG will continue to provided day-to-day operational services for the largest and most technologically advanced meeting facility in the Caribbean as well as the consecutive Prime Site Award-winning Arena. The Coliseo and the Convention Center are widely regarded as two of the most popular and successful infrastructure projects of the government of Puerto Rico.

SMG President and CEO Wes Westley said of the renewal, “the faith shown by the Convention Center District Authority in SMG's ability to continue to meet or exceed expectations in facility management and performance of these premiere venues is very gratifying. SMG's continued partnership with the Convention Center District Authority of Puerto Rico is a source of great pride for us.”

The Coliseo agreement will now include responsibility for food and beverage management encompassing concessions, catering in 26 private suites, party suites and sky boxes, and special events. Major attractions at the Coliseo over the past year have included Celine Dion, WWE Smackdown, Backstreet Boys, Andrea Bocelli, AC/DC, Harlem Globetrotters, Gloria Estefan, Santana, Il Divo, Ringling Brothers Circus, Kenny G, and ESPN's NCAA college Basketball Puerto Rico Tip Off, as well as multiple performances by the Jonas Brothers, Ruben Blades and reggaeton superstars Wisin and Yandel.

SMG has provided full management services for the Puerto Rico Convention Center since its opening in 2005. The staff of the Puerto Rico Convention Center is now also responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the entire Convention Center District as well as operation of the award winning Ficus Café.

The Puerto Rico Convention Center has recently hosted a strong schedule of international conventions including the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association, Le Cumbre Travel Expo, the Association of Latin American Pediatricians (ALAPE).

SMG's development efforts in Puerto Rico and neighboring areas are led by VP of Development Jochi Davila. Our facilities are managed by two dedicated General Managers Wesley Cullen (Coliseo) and Blarys Segarra (PRCC). Jochi, Blarys and Wesley previously served in increasingly important management roles for SMG before being promoted to their current senior positions. Jochi, as the Coliseo's first Director of Marketing and later Assistant General Manager. Blarys was Director of Finance and Assistant General Manager at the Puerto Rico Convention Center. Both were part of SMG's opening teams at the Coliseo. Wesley had previously served as Director of Events and Assistant General Manager at the Coliseo.

Of the Current staff, Thom Connors, Senior Regional General Manager for SMG, has said, “The success of our management team in Puerto Rico is a testimony to SMG's confidence in and commitment to the next generation of managers who will lead the company into the future and new regions around the world. Jochi, Wesley and Blarys have proven to be able leaders not only at their facilities but in the community and local industry as well.”