Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Energy-efficient Improvements at Tulsa Convention Center

SMG's green upgrades have continued with new lighting in the Tulsa Convention Center. The new dimmable fluorescent bulbs are expected to save 700,000 kilowatt-hours annually, a 57% drop in energy use. The bulbs also give a more modern look to the building, and allow for different lighting moods depending on the needs of vendors. The project cost $52,000, and SMG and the BOK Center received a $71,000 incentive payment from the Public Service Company of Oklahoma. The additional money will be spent on further improvements.

Friday, November 18, 2011

SMG Tops 14 Million Square Feet of Prime Space

The Jekyll Island Authority recently selected SMG among three respondents to a request for proposals for management of the new Jekyll Island Convention Center, set to open in the second quarter of 2012. This is the fourth consecutive win for SMG in the past twelve months.
Earlier this year, SMG was selected to manage the McCormick Place Complex, the largest convention center in North America, as well as the Montego Bay Convention Centre, overlooking the Caribbean in Jamaica. Late in 2010, the firm was selected unanimously to manage Detroit's Cobo Center, with major renovations helping to regain positioning of the historic venue.

“We are proud of the reputation we have built in this space, and always appreciate the municipal clients who recognize the value of our brand and our leadership team,” said Wes Westley, SMG president and chief executive officer. “SMG has the proven experience and systems to deliver on the promise of service excellence we have built over the past thirty-four years.”

The diversity of these four recent appointments is indicative of the company's portfolio of 68 convention venues, with a total of over 14-million square feet of prime exhibit space. With the additions of McCormick Place and Cobo Center, SMG now manages nine of the 40 largest venues in North America.

“For years we have noted the parallels of value of the SMG brand with those of the major hotel chains,” said Gregg Caren, senior vice president of strategic business development. “Like the Hyatt roots that launched SMG at the Superdome in 1977, we have built a very specialized hospitality focused business that understands the needs of our municipal owners, destination marketing partners and — most importantly — our national and local event planning clients that have come to trust us.”

Monday, October 24, 2011

SMG to Serve as Management Company of Wagner Noël Performing Arts Center

SMG has recently added the Wagner Noël Performing Arts Center, located between Midland and Odessa, TX, to its extensive network of theaters. The Performing Arts Center includes an 1,800 seat Performance Hall and a 200 seat Recital Hall, with the main hall boasting state-of-the art sound, lighting and technical features.

“We are thrilled to be managing such a beautiful new theater. The citizens of the Permian Basin have contributed so much to make the Wagner Noël Performing Arts Center possible, and we are excited to do our part to support the local arts community,” said Bob Papke, SMG vice president of entertainment — theaters.

Friday, October 7, 2011

SMG Management Contract Extended for Colorado Convention Center

Once again, the City and County of Denver, Division of Arts and Venues has awarded SMG a three year contract extension to manage the Colorado Convention Center and the Wells Fargo Theatre in Downtown Denver; January 1, 2012-December 31, 2014.

Since 1994, SMG has been the exclusive management firm for the Colorado Convention Center. SMG was a crucial partner during the $340 million dollar expansion of the Center, which positioned Denver and the Colorado Convention Center to be among the busiest and most successful event centers in North America.  2011 also marks the Wells Fargo Theatre’s best single year in overall attendance, number of events and was once again listed in Pollstar Magazine’s Top 100 Worldwide Theatre Venues.

John Adams, SMG’s Senior Regional Vice President for Convention Centers and General Manager of the Colorado Convention Center said, “My staff and I are honored to be chosen as the city’s preferred facility management team.”  Adams went on to say, “we take pride in delivering to our customers the highest standard of service, quality, and value.  It is our people who deliver the ‘Denver experience’.”

Thursday, October 6, 2011

John Bolton: Venue Executive of the Year

Congrats to John Bolton, who has been named Venue Executive of the year by the International Entertainment Buyers Association! John is the General Manager of the SMG Tulsa/BOK Center and Tulsa Convention Center and has served in this position since 2007.

Upon accepting the award he said, “This is certainly a tremendous personal honor that I share with all my SMG colleagues in Tulsa.”

Wes Westley, President of SMG also offered his congratulations: “John Bolton exemplifies the quality of General Manager we are fortunate to have at SMG. He has done a terrific job for us everywhere he has been, and we congratulate him on this award.”

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

SMG in the News: Cobo rising: Reconstruction, end to corruption, new leaders form focus of ad campaign

Crain's Business has published an article featuring SMG's role in the transformation of the Cobo Center in Detroit, MI. Some highlights:

The new and improving Cobo Center is also part of the sell now, said Bob Baumgart, general manager of the Detroit office of Dallas-based Freeman, a global exhibit services company.

"Honestly, the facility improvements are helping the whole city, plus the PR going out (saying) things are improving," Baumgart said. "It's been a 100 percent turnaround as far as (Cobo) people working with Freeman."


"In the past, exhibiting at Cobo was difficult and costly. Our experience this year was completely the opposite," said Ropp. "Since SMG and Thom took over, customer service stepped up substantially.

Read the rest of article here.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Savannah Loves SAVOR

SAVOR, SMG's food and beverage division, won big at the recent Taste of Savannah event, which showcases Savannah's best chefs. Chef Debbie Reid's Shortrib Sliders and Stuffed Vidalia Onion Soup not only took the Best Entrée Award, but also the Guests’ Choice Award for the best food item overall! Congrats to the SAVOR Savannah team!

Monday, September 19, 2011

BOK Center's John Bolton Nominated For IEBA Venue Executive of the Year

John Bolton, General Manager of Tulsa, OK's BOK Center has been nominated for Venue Executive of the Year by International Entertainment Buyers Association (IEBA). The award will be presented during the closing ceremony of IEBA's annual conference in Nashville, which runs October 2 – 4 this year.

“This is a great honor for me to be nominated, especially by colleagues who understand the industry and recognize the efforts needed to be successful. I would like to thank the entire staff in Tulsa for their hard work and making BOK Center the great venue that it is,” said Bolton.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

SMG in the News: BOK Center rakes it in

From Tusla World:
The BOK Center posted a profit of nearly $1.6 million in its third fiscal year, financial reports obtained by the Tulsa World show.

The $1,581,571 profit is on par with the $1.6 million earned in the second fiscal year and exceeds the $1.1 million in net income during the inaugural fiscal year when the building was not open for two months.

The venue had budgeted a $200,475 profit margin for the fiscal year, which ran from July 1, 2010 to June 30.

"Going into last fiscal year, I felt like it was almost going to be impossible for us to come close to the number we did before," said BOK Center General Manager John Bolton, noting the continued sluggishness of the concert industry nationwide.

"We're ecstatic at what we achieved. Obviously, hosting the NCAA (men's basketball tournament) in March was a big boost for our year."
Read More

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

American Bank Center Build a Home with Habitat for Humanity

About 50 volunteers from American Bank Center braved the Texas summer heat on Sunday and Monday to help build a home with Habitat for Humanity. Local news clip and photo gallery:

American Bank Center/Habitat for Humanity Gallery

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

SAVOR San Francisco at the Moscone Center Score in the SF Chefs 2011

Chef Jeff Hall and his team representing SAVOR San Francisco had a great time at this past week's SF Chefs 2011 tasting event. They served Five Spice & Tamarind Glazed Pork Belly and it was a huge success! SF Chefs 2011 is San Francisco's premier food and wine event, and celebrates the unique flavor and diversity of food in Northern California. The week-long event featured local products, competitions, and celebrity chefs.

Congratulations to Chef Jeff, Chef Papo, and Chef Brock on their dish!


Genesee Theatre to be Featured on TLC's Four Weddings

The fourth season of TLC's successful Four Wedding kicks off on August 5th, and the historic Genesee Theatre in Waukegan, IL is set to appear in an upcoming episode. The Theatre was the chosen wedding venue of bride and groom Kathryn and James, who live in Hoffman Estates, IL. The Genesee's interior corresponded with the bride's theatre theme with playbills used as centerpieces for each table.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

SAVOR Chosen to Serve McCormick Place

SAVOR the wholly-owned food and beverage subsidiary of SMG has been selected to provide food and beverage service for McCormick Place, the largest convention center in North America. SAVOR was chosen in a competitive bid process. Shaun Beard, Senior Vice President, SAVOR stated, “Being chosen to provide the food and beverage service at the prestigious McCormick Place is a true honor. SAVOR already provides culinary services to many high-profile convention centers such as the Moscone Convention Center and the Hawai'i Convention Center. We will bring our boutique approach of quality food and exceptional customer service to Chicago.”

Beard went on to explain how SAVOR will introduce various processes to improve the quality and variety of food offerings, and speed of delivery. He stated, “It is SAVOR's intention to provide a truly customer-focused operation in keeping with the recent initiatives of the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority. SAVOR is committed to enhancing all aspects of the food service presented to the McCormick Place customers and clients.”

Wes Westley, President and CEO of SMG/SAVOR, also expressed his delight at the selection. “We are extremely pleased with the announcement. SAVOR and SMG will ensure the highest quality of service to our customers. The combination of food and management truly aligns the interests of everyone and allows for a seamless service delivery.”

Parent company SMG was selected to manage the day to day operations of McCormick Place in a separate bid process earlier this year.

Friday, July 22, 2011

SMG Best Practices in Action: Ice School 2011

SMG again exhibited its commitment to Best Practices in Entertainment and Event Center Operations this past week with its 2011 Ice School training program held at the Dunkin' Donuts Center. The two-day course attracted more than 40 participants from the 56 SMG-managed arenas with ice sheets. All attendees successfully obtained certification as an SMG Ice Technician, with an average exam score of 98%.

Subjects were geared towards the advanced ice technician, including ice-painting techniques and Zamboni operation. The classroom and hands-on training were conducted by renowned experts and SMG's vendor partners. The Ice School was lead by Greg Tesone, GM Atlantic City Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, NJ, Tim Vogt, Regional Director of Operations, Ryan Weiss, Operations Manager & Ice Technician based at the BOK Center and Tulsa Convention Center in Tulsa, OK and Phillip Ransford, Director of Operations at the CenturyLink Center in Bossier City, LA. The industry's best-in-class vendors who participated were: Cimco – Toromont, Jet-Ice, ImageOne, Polygon (formerly Munters), Sports Systems Unlimited/Athletica, and Zamboni.

Ice School is an SMG Operations initiative under the Corporate-lead SMG – O.S.C.A.R. (Operations Support through Communications And Resources) program. SMG holds the philosophy that the management and operation of its venues is local, with support from Corporate through defined Best Practices and standards.

Training such as Ice School is one of many ways SMG Corporate Operations supports its venues. “We at SMG strive to excel at venue management. Our Best Practices are derived from experience and knowledge that has been accumulated over the more than 34 years SMG has been operating venues. This knowledge base, along with the constant energy to improve, is a tribute to our staff. The Ice School is one of many ways we challenge ourselves to improve our work in producing and marketing the world's leading events, and providing guests with the best experience attainable,” said Michael Godoy, Executive Director of Operations, who leads the Operations division from SMG's Corporate Headquarters.

SMG is awarded Full Management Contract for Movistar Arena in Santiago, Chile

Hiller Inversiones has selected SMG, the global leader in convention, arena, and stadium management, as private manager of its Movistar Arena. The arena complex with 31,000 square meters of indoor space has a capacity of 16,419 people for concerts, includes two multipurpose sport courts, 23 private suites and boxes, 5 private meeting rooms, 2 exhibition halls, and parking for more than 2,000 cars.

“All of us at SMG are delighted with this decision. We have enjoyed a close and productive working relationship with Hiller Inversiones. We look forward to its continuation and the opportunity to provide world-class events and management for this terrific arena," said Wes Westley, President and CEO, SMG.

SMG was chosen following a highly productive three year consulting contract, during which time the facility acquired a major naming rights deal and in 2010 surpassed more than a 100 days of occupancy.

Movistar Arena is South America´s premiere indoor concert venue, hosting international acts such as WWE, Jamiroquai, John Fogerty, Kenny Rogers, Ennio Morricone, Backstreet Boys, Motley Crue, Seal, and Ozzy Osbourne, during 2011, and is SMG´s first full management account on the continent.

Daniel Hiller: "In the past three years SMG has provided us with a great deal of support and ideas to improve our business and product. The next logical step in our relationship was to pursue the full management agreement and allow SMG the opportunity to fully demonstrate why it continues to be the industry vanguard.”

VP of Business Development, Jochi Davila who has worked on the project since first initiating contact with Hiller Inversiones in 2007, leads SMG´s developmentefforts in Santiago and neighboring areas. “For the past three years SMG has been so proud to have been involved with the Movistar arena and Hiller Inversiones. We look forward to capitalizing on the successes we have achieved and to many successful years together,” said Jochi.

Friday, July 15, 2011

SMG in the News: Rink workers chill out at in Providence at Ice School 2011

"The Dunk is unseasonably cold this week for Ice School 2011, which brought about 50 people from event centers around the country for three days of really cool training.

Phillip Ransford, 36, stood on the ice Tuesday and wished he had brought heavier socks. The director of operations for the Century Link Center near Shreveport, La., has been making ice for 10 years, so this was a refresher, he joked after consulting his smart phone for the current temperature back home: 104 degrees.

It was 107 in Oklahoma City, where Chris Muldrow, 30, works at the Cox Convention Center. He has been making arena ice for 3½ years, but he and three colleagues were seeing “all the new stuff” from such vendors as Zamboni, ice-paint maker Jet Ice and Athletica, which makes the aluminum “boards” that hockey players crash into.

Usually, The Dunk's hockey rink is created in September, removed for Monster Trucks and the circus, reinstalled, painted over for skating shows, and then scraped down to the hockey lines again for the rest of the Providence Bruins' regular season, which usually ends in May, said Lawrence Lepore, The Dunk's general manager.

Lepore works for SMG, a company based in Pennsylvania that operates arenas around the world. Ice School is SMG's in-house training for venue managers, technicians and engineers. The company last held an Ice School in Tampa six years ago, and it was time for another, said Lepore. Providence was chosen because its crews have been making ice every year since 1972."

Read More: Rink workers chill out at in Providence at Ice School 2011

Monday, June 20, 2011

BOK Center Awarded 2011 Top Arena Venue Excellence Award

ulsa, OK – June 10, 2011 – The International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM) has awarded the BOK Center the 2011 Venue Excellence Award.  This prestigious award is given annually to only one arena in the world and recognizes the best arena based on four criteria used to demonstrate the ways in which the venue has excelled in the management and operation of a public assembly venue.  The criteria for the award includes: Operational Excellence, Teambuilding/Professional Development, Safety and Security, and Service to the Community.

“The BOK Center and SMG, in receiving this award, put themselves at the pinnacle of venue management.  What the BOK Center has accomplished in just three short years is truly phenomenal,” said Dexter King, President and CEO of the International Association of Venue Managers.

“As the world leader in venue management we expect the best and I'm happy to say that our management team in Tulsa has accomplished this goal in an amazing fashion,” commented Wes Westley, President and CEO of SMG.

Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett added "The BOK Center under SMG's leadership has truly shown what a successful public/private partnership should look like.  We couldn't have accomplished or received the praise, recognition, and acclaim without SMG, I especially want to give praise and thanks to John Bolton, the General Manager of the BOK Center.  Our receipt of this prestigious award is due in large part to Mr. Bolton's leadership and vision."

In accepting the award, John Bolton, General Manager of the SMG-managed facility, noted “To be recognized as THE BEST takes an amazing team and I'm proud to say we have that team with SMG both here in Tulsa and in our corporate headquarters in Philadelphia.  This award recognizes the hundreds of part-time and full-time employees who work every day to ensure our guests have an amazing experience.”

About IAVM:
Founded in 1924, the International Association of Venue Managers, having significant influence in a global industry, is the acknowledged organization providing superlative leadership, cutting-edge innovation, advanced education, supportive advocacy, opportunities for networking and connection to other venue professionals around the world. Committed to international membership growth and development, the IAVM is the preeminent source for all public assembly related research, information, services, and life-safety issues worldwide. IAVM provides unprecedented member value and is endowed with unlimited opportunities to partner and embrace industry affiliations.

Picture (from L to R): Dexter King, Joe Romano, Mayor Dewey Bartlett and John Bolton.

Friday, June 10, 2011

SMG in the News: SMG is lauded for its efforts in New Orleans

The Times-Picayune highlights SMG's achievements at the Superdome and New Orleans arena:
With the completion of an $85 million renovation project at the iconic  Superdome nearing an end and an onslaught of major events on tap at the building, local officials appear pleased with the job of the stadium's management company.
Ron Forman, chairman of the LSED -- the board appointed by Gov. Bobby Jindal to plan, finance, construct, develop, maintain and operate six state-owned sports facilities (including the Superdome and the adjacent New Orleans Arena) -- said the commission will recommend to the governor's office that SMG, the company that manages the Superdome and the Arena on behalf of the state, continue in its current role. ...

"(SMG) performs at a high level of expertise. Based on what they did after the devastation immediately following the hurricane (Katrina in 2005) and the continuing improvements that are taking place, the feeling of the LSED is that SMG is doing an outstanding job. We have met with the governor's officials, and we highly recommend that we continue to working with them."

Read more.

SMG in the News: Jacksonville Arena earns top honors

From the Jacksonville Daily Record: 
Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena has been named as the best of Venue Today's “Top Stops” for Florida venues in its size category. ...

“SMG Jacksonville and the Veterans Memorial Arena have had an outstanding first quarter this year bringing successful and high-demand events to Jacksonville for the community and visitors to enjoy,” said Larry Wilson, general manager of SMG Jacksonville.

“We are grateful to have one of our facilities recognized by Venues Today and extremely proud to have been ranked No. 1 among other leading Florida venues,” he said.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

SMG in the News: ‘El Choliseo’ poised for its 4-millionth visitor

From Caribbean Business: 
More than one-third of Puerto Rico islanders have visited the José Miguel Agrelot Coliseum— affectionately called "El Choliseo" by Puerto Ricans—according to this week's CARIBBEAN BUSINESS/ WOSO Radio/Gaither International poll, making it one of the most visited entertainment venues in the region. Ranked among the top-25 best arenas in the world, the Coliseum is preparing for its 4-millionth visitor.
In fact, the latest Pollstar report ranked Puerto Rico's Choliseo eighth in attendance among the top- 10 most frequented venues in the world and the second most visited in the Western Hemisphere—even ahead of such renowned venues as the Staples Center in Los Angeles; American Airlines Arena in Miami and the prestigious Wembley Arena in London.

Read more.

Friday, June 3, 2011

SMG-Tulsa Employees Raise Money For Local Pet Charities

On Wednesday afternoon, over 50 full and part-time SMG Tulsa employees participated in ‘Doggy's Day Out' at Joe Station Bark Park in downtown Tulsa to benefit local pet charities. The volunteer staff charity committee, SMG ROCKS This Town, organized the event as part of their mission to “strive to be the leader in both the entertainment industry and in our community to contribute to the quality of life in Oklahoma and create a lasting impact through community service and charitable giving.”  Employees donated funds which will go to the local Tulsa Society to Prevent Cruelty to Animals and other pet charities. In return, they were able to bring their dogs to work and then to the dog park for an afternoon of fun.  Local vendors donated lunch for the staff to kick off the summer with a great charitable event.

“Employees have a passion for their dogs just like their children.  Getting to share them with others in a fun park-like setting while raising money to prevent cruelty to animals is a cause our employee committee felt strongly about supporting,” commented John Bolton, General Manager of SMG Tulsa.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Bookings Booming at Meadow Event Park

From Fredericksburg.com:

When the State Fair of Virginia moved to Caroline County in September 2009, it was risky business to put a popular event in a new location in the midst of an economic downturn.

But that didn't stop the not-for-profit organization from reaching record-breaking attendance numbers two years in a row for its 11-day headlining event at the 360-acre Meadow Event Park.

Now that the economy is recovering and the SFVA has partnered with a facility management company to handle private events, the SFVA is proving to be giving more than its "fair" share.

In just the first five months of 2011, the facility rental business has surpassed what it did in all 12 months of 2010, according to G. William "Billy" Beale, chairman of the SFVA board of directors and CEO of Union First Market Bankshares Corp. ...
Beale and Roberts both credited their success to the partnership they have with SMG...

Read more

Monday, May 16, 2011

Lynnwood CC and Dena'ina Center Nominate for Northwest Meetings & Events Awards

Northwest Meetings & Events has announced the finalists for their first Best of Readers' Choice awards. Lynnwood Convention Center has been nominated for Best Conference Venue in Washington, and Dena'ina Center for Best Conference Venue in Alaska. The Readers' Choice awards honor outstanding venues, attractions, resources and suppliers in the state's meetings and events industry. The winners will be announced on June 22.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

SAVOR Chef Chris Moore Wins Pauly Award

Congratulations to Chris Moore, SAVOR Executive Chef at the Knoxville Convention Center, for winning the 2011 Pauly Award for Community Service. Knoxville Tourism Alliance (KTA) presented the 2011 Pauly Awards to individuals and businesses for their outstanding achievements and commitment to the tourism industry at their annual luncheon on Thursday, May 5, 2011 at the Knoxville Convention Center.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

SMG and Peoria Civic Center Authority Agree to Three-Year Contract Extension

The Peoria Civic Center Authority and SMG, the global leader in convention/conference center, arena, theatre and stadium management, have agreed to an extension of the Civic Center Management Agreement which will allow the Philadelphia-based company to continue operating the Peoria Civic Center until August 31, 2014.

“We are looking forward to continuing SMG's rich history in Peoria,” said Wes Westley, SMG President and Chief Executive Officer.  “The Peoria Civic Center Complex is an extraordinary story of success.”

Peoria Civic Center Authority Chairman Dan Silverthorn noted, “I am extremely happy to be able to extend the management agreement between SMG and the Peoria Civic Center for three years. The work done by SMG to bring professional systems to our facilities is outstanding, and the contributions made to the Civic Center go beyond those of any corporation with which I have ever worked.”

SMG has managed the Civic Center successfully since 1990, and has been involved in each renovation and expansion over the years.  The most recent expansion and renovations, completed in April, 2007, have given Peoria a state-of-the-art facility for artists and entertainers, convention and meeting planners and the citizens of the greater Peoria community.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

SMG Named Private Manager of McCormick Place Complex

CHICAGO, Illinois (April 26, 2011) – The Metropolitan Pier and Exhibition Authority (MPEA) has selected SMG, the global leader in convention, arena and stadium management, as private manager of its McCormick Place Complex. The complex includes 9 million square feet in six buildings and is the nation's largest convention center.

“We are proud to have been selected and look forward to working with the Authority to forward their reform agenda,” explained Wes Westley, SMG president and chief executive officer. “SMG has both the experience and success to enhance Chicago's draw as a world-class convention destination.”

SMG was chosen following a highly competitive bid process for its focus on cost reductions and customer experience enhancements. The company reiterated its large market experience, industry relationships, CVB partnerships and labor relations expertise as hallmarks of its approach to McCormick Place.

Also announced today was the re-appointment of David Causton as General Manager of the facility. “David is an industry leader who has successfully led the most recent efforts to enhance the customer experience at McCormick Place. We are thrilled to have him as part of the SMG team and know that the continuity he will provide will ensure a seamless transition to private management,” noted Westley.

SMG is responsible for the management and marketing of more than 220 public assembly facilities worldwide. The company has built a specialized Convention Center Division, including 67 convention and exhibition centers. SMG's seasoned executive team works actively with municipalities, convention bureaus and hospitality partners in offering first class service and fully integrated management and marketing systems. At 2.6 million square feet of prime exhibit space, McCormick Place is the nation's largest convention facility.

“Chicago is one of the nation's most attractive trade show markets because of its size, space, location and the recent reforms put in place,” said Gregg Caren, senior vice president of strategic business development. “Having the expertise to manage the facility is critical but understanding how to enhance the customer experience through relationships and industry partnerships is where SMG differentiates itself.”

About SMG

Founded in 1977, SMG provides management services to more than 220 public assembly facilities including convention and exhibition cen¬ters, 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 12 million square feet (1.2 million square meters) of exhibition space and over 1.5 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 the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, Houston's Reliant Park and the Louisiana Superdome. 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 www.smgworld.com

Friday, April 22, 2011

Top Nationwide Arenas

Pollstar magazine's current top ten list of arena ticket sales includes three SMG venues: 5)  Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena, 9) BOK Center, and 10) Consol Energy Center.

BOK Center's General Manager, John Bolton, was thrilled with the news of the latest ranking.  “Our fans really are among the best in the country.  They continue to support our shows, and the industry has taken notice.  Acts are excited to come to Tulsa because they know the fans are eager to have them here. “

SAVOR Scholarship Brings 500 Students to Aquarium of the Pacific

Aquarium Dedicates Classroom in Honor of the Company's Commitment to Ocean Conservation Education

Hundreds of students from area schools visited the nonprofit Aquarium of the Pacific today thanks to a donation from SAVOR…Long Beach. The corporation donated to the Aquarium's scholarship program for the ninth consecutive year, allowing children to visit during the Grand Prix when the facility is closed to the general public. During a special ceremony with these students, Aquarium officially dedicated and renamed its outdoor classroom in recognition of the company's continued commitment to sustainability and education. Wes Westley, president and CEO of SMG, the parent company for SAVOR... Long Beach, was in attendance for the ceremony. The SAVOR Watershed Classroom will serve thousands of students each year.

“We are grateful for SAVOR's crucial role in bringing environmental education to students,” said Jerry R. Schubel, Aquarium of the Pacific president & CEO. Five hundred students from Long Beach schools had the opportunity to visit the Aquarium of the Pacific today to partake in ocean educational programs under the scholarship. The students had the chance to explore the Aquarium's entire facility all to themselves. “We're delighted to be able to introduce the students to the wonders of marine life and to help them learn how they can protect our ocean,” said Schubel. Since 2003, more than 11,000 students have taken part in the SAVOR…Long Beach/Grand Prix scholarship program with more than $128,000 awarded in scholarship funds.

In addition to fulfilling the Aquarium's food service and event and needs, SAVOR…Long Beach has played a crucial role in the development of the Aquarium. “Through our ongoing involvement with the Aquarium, we are able to help further environmental awareness whether it's through empowering students through field trips or supporting educational exhibitions,” said Veronica Quintero, regional general manager of SAVOR... Long Beach.

SMG / Nassau Coliseum Announce an All-Star Schedule for the 2011-12 Season!

SMG, the facility managers of Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, have announced a “hall-of-fame-type” lineup for the 2011-12 concert season. Coming off major successes in February & March with performances by Rascal Flatts and two nights of Lil' Wayne, Tina Suca, General Manager of Nassau Coliseum, releases a spectacular line-up of stars from rock to hip hop to pop to R & B.

The month of April will see Lady Gaga hit the stage on the 23rd with songs from her new album, and May will see two major crowd pleasers with Bon Jovi on the 6th and Usher on the 8th. June will deliver the provocative Katy Perry on the 17th, T.V.'s highly acclaimed & Emmy Award-winning Glee for two shows on the 19th, and closing out the month of June will showcase the soulful sounds of Sade with John Legend on the 21st.

Rihanna will break open July with her LOUD Tour on the 19th featuring special guests J. Cole & Cee Lo Green, followed the very next day by rock-n-roll icons Motley Crue & Poison with N.Y. Dolls on the 20th. Later that week, the parking lots will feature a full day of alternative music outdoors with more than 80 bands at the annual VANS Warped Tour on the 23rd and the month will finish on a high note with, the now all grown-up boy bands New Kids on the Block and Backstreet Boys on the 31st.

The highlight of the season will surely be on August 2nd, when Britney Spears returns to Long Island to take the stage for what is sure to be a memorable night. With new events being added regularly, our guests can also look forward to seeing American Idols Live on August 23rd, Josh Groban on November 4th and tickets are already on sale for the April 7th, 2012 performance of Michael Jackson “The Immortal World Tour” presented by Cirque du Soleil.

“This concert season promises to be one of the very best we have presented in many years. We are delighted that we can bring all of these stars and this rich diversity of music to our fans so we have something for all Long Islanders to enjoy,” commented Ms. Suca.

For ticket information call 1-800-745-3000 or go online to: http://www.ticketmaster.com or http://www.nassaucoliseum.com

Listing of Shows:
Lady Gaga “Monster Ball Tour”; April 23, 2011
Bon Jovi; May 6, 2011
Usher with AKON; May 8, 2011
Katy Perry; June 17, 2011
Glee Live! In Concert!; June 18, 2011
Sade – Live in Concert with John Legend; June 21, 2011
Rihanna: Loud Tour with J. Cole & Cee Lo Green; July 19, 2011
Motley Crue with Poison & NY Dolls; July 20, 2011
VANS Warped Tour; July 23, 2011
N.K.O.T.B.S.B.; July 31, 2011
Britney Spears; Aug. 2, 2011
American Idols Live; Aug. 23, 2011
Josh Groban; Nov. 4, 2011
Michael Jackson-The Immortal World Tour presented by Cirque Du Soleil; Apr. 7, 2012

Friday, April 15, 2011

SMG in the News: More Than Just Hot Dogs On Grand Prix’s Menu

A look at the incredible variety of foods that will be available at this weekend's Long Beach Grand Prix: More Than Just Hot Dogs On Grand Prix’s Menu

SMG in the News: Highest Attendance in 10 Years at Dow Event Center

The Saginaw News writes about the Dow Event Center's fantastic March:

Old-time rock and roll, a winning hockey season and a new focus on the Heritage Theatre added up to the best March attendance records in 10 years at The Dow Event Center in Saginaw.

Events drew 50,712 people to the complex at 303 Johnson, said general manager Matt Blasy, and that's triggering the sort of attention that will bring even more shows to Saginaw in the future.

Read more:  March posts its highest attendance numbers in 10 years at The Dow in Saginaw

Friday, March 25, 2011

The City of Canton, Ohio Contracts with SMG for the Management of the Canton Memorial Civic Center

SMG and The City of Canton have executed a 5-year agreement for SMG to manage the Canton Memorial Civic Center.

SMG's full management began on March 15, 2011. In addition to day-to-day operations, SMG will handle the marketing, event booking, sales, food and beverage, maintenance and financial reporting for the Civic center. SMG has provided consulting and booking services to the City for the Civic Center since May 1, 2004.

“SMG is thrilled to continue and expand our relationship with the City of Canton at the Canton Memorial Civic Center,” stated Wes Westley, President and Chief Executive Officer of SMG. “With our new, full management contract in place, we look forward to working with the City to increase the quantity and quality of programming while continuing efforts to reduce operating expenses and City subsidies.”

“The execution of this contract turns the page and opens an exciting new chapter in the history of the Canton Memorial Civic Center,” stated Warren Price, Canton's Director of Public Service. “This agreement is the result of almost two years of hard work and negotiations between the Office of Public Service, City Council, and our largest labor union, AFSCME 2937. We were only able to move in this direction by working together. The New Year brings with it the promising hope of new life at the Civic Center. This latest evolution in our relationship with SMG is expected to cut costs and make operations at the Civic Center more efficient, thereby helping the City to balance the budget for 2011 and beyond while still providing essential services to hard working Canton families.”

John Bolton, CFE Announced as IAVM’S 2nd Vice Chair 2011-2012

SMG congratulates John Bolton, General Manager of the BOK Center and Tulsa Convention Center, on his nomination for 2nd Vice Chair of the International Association of Venue Managers Board of Directors. This prestigious honor denotes exemplary leadership and dedication to the Sport, Entertainment, and Convention/Exhibition Industry. In this role, Mr. Bolton will become a Senior Officer of the organization, a four (4) year term, ascending to the Chairman position in 2013-14.

Mr. Bolton is the General Manager of the SMG Tulsa/BOK Center and Tulsa Convention Center and has served in this position since 2007. He has been in the industry since 1986, and joined SMG in 2003 as the General Manager of five venues in Evansville, Indiana.

“John Bolton is a great example of the talent we are fortunate to have at SMG. We are extremely proud that his dedication to the industry and local community is being recognized by this honor. The demonstrated success of the Tulsa BOK Center, as displayed by the numerous impressive events and awards for the facility, is evidence of his leadership ability. He has been a dedicated employee of SMG and we're delighted to see him achieve this well-deserved recognition from the industry's premier organization, IAVM,” said SMG President and CEO Wes Westley.

In 2008, Mr. Bolton won Venues Today's magazine “Hall of Headlines Award” for most outstanding bookings in addition to being nominated as “Facility Executive of the Year” by Pollstar magazine (2008 and 2009).  The BOK Center under Bolton's leadership also has been recognized with nominations of New Major Concert Venue of the Year (2008) and Arena of the Year (2009 and 2010) by Pollstar Magazine, IEBA, and the Academy of Country Music. The arena routinely ranks among the best in the country, recently being ranked by Venues Today as the fourth best tour stop, based on concert and event grosses in 2010.

A member of IAVM since 1994, Mr. Bolton has served the industry as a volunteer member in many capacities, including Chair of the Professional Development Committee, Chair of Board of Governors for IAVM's Senior Executive Symposium at Cornell University, and served as the local host for the 2010 Arena Management Conference in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Currently he is the Director for Region 6 and Chair of the Arenas Committee, and serves on the Executive Committee for the Board of Directors of IAVM.

“I am very humbled by the honor of representing an industry I love so much.  IAVM and its programs and services have played a major role in the success I have enjoyed throughout my career. Having the opportunity to give back in a leadership role like this is truly a dream come true for me,” stated John Bolton, CFE.

“John Bolton is one of the rising stars of our industry.  John has demonstrated unique imagination, creativity and drive, in his professional approach to venue management. He has been a valuable and productive member of our association through a myriad of volunteer positions and assignments and is a great choice for Second Vice Chair.  IAVM will benefit significantly from his energy, skill and enthusiasm,” said John Christison, CFE, President & General Manager of the Washington State Convention Center, Seattle, Washington.

John Bolton, CFE follows in the path of a great number of predecessors that, over the past 86 years, have helped to shape the industry, and ultimately, the communities we serve.  IAVM members will vote on this nomination, and, if elected, Mr. Bolton will take office during the Annual Conference & Trade Show, VenueConnect, set for July 2011, in Phoenix, Arizona.

Lewis H. Dawley, III to Receive 2011 APEX Award

Lewis H. Dawley, III, SMG Regional Vice President of Convention Center Operations and Business Development, has been selected to receive the 2011 APEX Award for Distinguished Service. The award is presented by Black Meetings & Tourism Magazine to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to tourism and travel. The award will be presented during the Travel Professionals of Color's (TPOC) 9th annual conference, on Friday, May 13, 2011 at the Galt Hotel in Louisville, KY.

“SMG is really pleased to see Lew receive this industry recognition. Lew is a senior member of our Convention Center Management Team and is very deserving of this award. All of us at SMG congratulate Lew on this accomplishment,” said SMG President and CEO Wes Westley.

Dawley is an accomplished veteran of more than 30 years in the convention center industry. He has been with SMG since 2003, where he serves as a senior consultant of convention center operations and labor relations, and also currently as General Manager of the Albuquerque Convention Center. Prior to joining SMG he was General Manager and CEO of the Washington Convention Center Authority, Washington D.C. Dawley is one of a handful of industry experts to manage the planning, construction and grand opening of four convention centers. Before Washington, he served as the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority's general manager, where he developed a strategic operational plan for the opening of the 1.3 million-square-foot facility and directed day-to-day operations. He also opened and operated the COBO Convention/Exhibition Center in Detroit, where he was General Manager from 1977 to 1989, and the Minneapolis Convention Center, where he was Director of Operations from 1989 to 1991.

Dawley is a member of several professional organizations including the International Association of Assembly Managers, the National Association of Exposition Managers, and the National Coalition of Black Meeting Planners.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

SMG in the News: Cambria Arena Upgrades Improve Handicapped Access

Recent upgrades at the Cambria County War Memorial Arena in Johnstown, PA have made a huge positive impact in handicapped access. The improvements include renovated bathrooms, a new steel ramp, and 21 new seating areas for patrons in wheelchairs. “My goal, as general manager, is to make sure everyone has an equal opportunity to attend events,” said Michael Silva.

“I think these guys really did a fabulous job,” said [Don] Rullman, who uses a wheelchair. “Change is always something that takes a series of steps, and this is a step in the right direction.”

Thursday, March 10, 2011

SMG in the News: Jackson Convention Complex Wraps Up its Second Year with Big Gains on All Fronts

The Mississippi Business Journal just published a feature on the great things happening at the Jackson Convention Complex. Some highlights:

“The Jackson Convention Complex is doing some noticeably important things for the City of Jackson and the state,” [General Manager Linda] McCarthy said. “The numbers tell the story. Event job creation nearly doubled in 2010 compared to 2009. We had an impressive impact on the local economy, and received over a million hits on our website.”

The motto for the complex is “where Mississippi meets the world.” The facility received LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification for green environmental practices. And it is particularly proud of the vibrant colors and captivating designs on its Kinetic Vapor displays.

“The Jackson Convention Complex is truly an innovative, forward-thinking, inspiring, and genuinely friendly place to host an event,” McCarthy said.

The total impact on money spent on goods and services in the local economy was about $28.6 million in 2010, compared to about $21 million in 2009. And the estimated number of visitors in 2010 was 146,635 people.

“We take our obligation to provide the best possible management very seriously,” McCarthy said. “The SMG team has provided our clients and visitors with exceptional customer service, professional sales and event services, and high-quality food service. We have implemented and embraced standard-setting sustainable practices, and through expert operations, have kept this facility in first-rate, state-of the-art condition.”

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Venues Today Names BOK Center #4 Tour Stop

BOK Center has been named one of the Top 10 “Top Stops” by Venues Today magazine, for concert and event gross revenues in 2010.

“We were thrilled about this ranking, which is another feather in our cap for the BOK Center. It’s the fan support that helps us accomplish this and we owe it to every ticket purchaser in Tulsa and the surrounding communities,” remarked General Manager John Bolton. “This year has started strong and we plan to keep bringing A-List entertainment to Tulsa, including this month’s NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament Second & Third Rounds.”

Monday, March 7, 2011

Antiques Roadshow Pulls into Tulsa this Summer

The Antiques Roadshow has announced that it will be stopping at the Tulsa Convention Center on July 23, 2011 to offer free evaluations of antiques and collectibles, and reveal their often surprising history. The program will air on PBS in 2012, as the Roadshow celebrates its Sweet Sixteen. "We won’t be serving cake with candles, but we promise a party atmosphere with lots of surprises,” said executive producer Marsha Bemko.

To apply for tickets, visit the Antiques Roadshow website.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Artist Reception to be Held at the Lynnwood Convention Center

SMG  has once again partnered with the Lynnwood (WA) Arts Commission to showcase artwork from nationally and internationally acclaimed artists at the Lynnwood Convention Center. The exhibition features quilts generously loaned by the members of the Contemporary QuiltArt Association. "The Contemporary QuiltArt Association sees quilts as an exciting, emerging medium of expression and a viable contemporary art form," said Fred Wong, Cultural Arts Supervisor with the City of Lynnwood Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts Department.

The Artist Reception will be held at the Lynnwood Convention Center March 10th from 6pm - 8pm and is free to the public. It will remain on display through June. For more information, visit www.LynnwoodArts.org.

New Children's Expo at the Tulsa Convention Center!

This June 18-19 the Tulsa Convention Center will host the first OK PLAY! Children's Expo, two adventure-filled days of hands-on activities, high-energy entertainment and educational exploration through various exhibits and vendor booths.

John Bolton, General Manager, says of the new event: “With successful events such as the Rock ‘n Rib Festival and Winterfest in the fall and winter months, we identified the need for a fun-filled summer event for families to enjoy. By mid-June, families have often spent hours at the pool or parks and are looking for something new to spike interest –OK PLAY! will be a great addition to the calendar and will serve as a valuable resource for parents to learn about new activities and educational programs for their kids.”

More information about the OK PLAY! Children's Expo, including exhibitor applications and entertainment schedules, can be found at www.tulsaconvention.com/okplay.

Friday, February 25, 2011

SMG Jacksonville Employees Honored at Rose Awards

SMG Jacksonville was proudly representated at the North Florida Hotel & Lodging Association's ROSE (Recognition of Service Excellence) Awards on February 22. Included in the nominations for outstanding customer service were Carla Ross (Savor), Brenda Mallory Small (SMG), Angie Green (SMG) and Lucious Hart (CSC), with Brenda taking home the award for Guest Services - Front Desk. Congratulations to Brenda and all the nominees!

According the North Florida Hotel & Loding Association:
"ROSE Award honorees are true industry champions for their companies and our region. We hope you will take the opportunity to recognize your employees who exemplify service excellence by nominating them for this prestigious award.

The mission of the ROSE Award is to recognize front line hospitality employees who exemplify excellent customer service. These industry champions, through one-on –one or behind-the-scenes contact, create an extraordinary visitor experience in Northeast Florida."

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Charitable Giving in Tulsa: SMG ROCKS THIS TOWN

SMG Tulsa has set up a great new charitable program involving the staff at the BOK Center and Tulsa Convention Center called SMG Rocks This Town. Some of the organizations they're already planning on helping include:
Big Brothers Big Sisters
Animal Rescue Foundation & Tulsa “Bark Park”
Junior Achievement Program/Tulsa Public Schools
Up with Trees
Habitat for Humanity
Oklahomans for Equality

Monday, February 21, 2011

Tulsa City Council Awards SMG Special Proclamation for Outstanding Service

SMG was honored with a special proclamation during the Tulsa City Council meeting on Thursday, February 17. Councilor Chris Trail presented the award in Recognition of Outstanding Service to John Bolton, General Manager of the BOK Center and Tulsa Convention Center, on behalf of SMG.

During the presentation, Councilor Trail recognized the leadership and organization that has helped the BOK Center consistently rank in the top 10 arenas nationally. This success has extended throughout the Northeastern region of Oklahoma and impacted the quality of life for thousands of Tulsans and citizens in surrounding areas. He also lauded Mr. Bolton's attention to detail and acknowledged the City of Tulsa was fortunate to have someone like him responsible for the venues.

As Mr. Bolton accepted the honor, he thanked the Tulsa City Council for their continued support of SMG. “It has been a truly great experience working with the City of Tulsa. The BOK Center is an amazing venue and I am so proud of the amazing team of SMG employees who work hard every day to make this venue a success."

Friday, February 18, 2011

Hawai'i Convention Center Caps Off 2010 with Three Major Global Events

The Hawai'i Convention Center finished a successful 2010 by hosting more than 20,000 people from nearly 100 countries. These major international events included the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) 2010 Annual Meeting in October, and December’s Pan Pacific VEX Robotics Tournament and the PACIFICHEM 2010 Congress.

The spotlight will continue to shine on Hawai'i in 2011 with Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) 2011 Leaders’ Meeting in November. The Convention Center will also host: The 70th Anniversary Association for Asian Studies (AAS) Annual Conference in March; the 63rd Annual American Academy of Neurology (AAN) 2011 Annual Meeting in April; the 27th Annual Pacific Rim International Conference on Disabilities in April; and the 164th Annual Meeting of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) in May.

Visit the Hawai'i Convention Center site.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

SMG in the News: A Profitable Fall for the BOK Center

SMG management and the staff at BOK Center have worked hard to bring big-name events to Tulsa, and it has paid off, reports Tulsa World.

CONSOL Energy Center Named Best New Venue

CONSOL Energy Center was named the nation’s Best New Major Concert Venue for 2010 at the 22nd annual POLLSTAR Concert Industry Awards in Los Angeles.

POLLSTAR has been the concert industry’s leading business trade publication for 30 years, and voting for the annual awards is conducted by a cross-section of top industry professionals.

“It is a phenomenal honor to receive this award from POLLSTAR because the award-winners are nominated and voted on by the leading executives in the concert industry,” said Jay Roberts, general manager of CONSOL Energy Center. “I think it says a lot for Pittsburgh and our region and all the great people here who have worked so hard to make it all possible.”

CONSOL Energy Center, which opened its doors to back-to-back sold-out shows by the legendary Paul McCartney in August, also hosted sold-out concerts by Lady Gaga, Rush, Roger Waters, the Eagles, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Chelsea Handler and Justin Bieber in 2010. Upcoming shows include Bon Jovi (Feb. 11-12), Lady Gaga, Elton John and New Kids On The Block/Backstreet Boys.

The new arena is home to the Pittsburgh Penguins and also hosts Division I college basketball and a wide range of other events, including family shows. In March, the new Pittsburgh Power franchise of the Arena Football League will begin play here.

“Our goal from the start was to build a dynamic multi-purpose arena that would be an entertainment magnet for Pittsburgh and the region,” said David Morehouse, CEO and President of the Pittsburgh Penguins. “Congratulations to Jay and his staff for all they’ve done to make CONSOL Energy Center the best new major concert venue in the country.”

Record Breaking Bon Jovi Shows Highlight Five Sellouts In Six Days At CONSOL Energy Center

Bon Jovi rocked Pittsburgh this weekend with two sold-out concerts at CONSOL Energy Center, which marked the top two attended indoor concert events ever in Pittsburgh.

The two concerts were part of a streak of five sold-out events in six days at Pittsburgh's new multi-purpose entertainment center.

The Friday, February 11 crowd of 18,571 for Bon Jovi at CONSOL Energy Center also was the highest attended indoor event in Pittsburgh history, breaking the previous record of 18,322 for the Penguins/Atlanta Thrashers game on December 28, 2010. On Saturday, February 12, Bon Jovi drew a crowd of 18,240. The previous indoor concert attendance record was 17,764 for the Jimmy Page/Robert Plant show on March 25, 1995 at the Civic Arena.

Pittsburgh Penguins games against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday, February 8 and the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday, February 10 drew standing-room-only crowds of 18,147 and 18,208 respectively, pushing the Penguins' sellout streak to 196 games.

The Duquesne University Dukes took on the Xavier Musketeers in a battle for first place in the Atlantic 10 Conference on Sunday, February 13 in front of a capacity crowd of 10,509 – the most fans to turn out for a Duquesne home game (except against city-rival Pitt) since 10,042 watched the Dukes take on #3 Maryland at the Pittsburgh Civic Arena on February 23, 1975.

CONSOL Energy Center was recently named the nation's Best New Major Concert Venue for 2010 at the 22nd annual POLLSTAR Concert Industry Awards.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

SMG in the News: "Wonderful Outcome" at Intrust Bank Arena

Wichita's Intrust Bank Arena netted more than $2M profit in its first year in operation, earning SMG praise for their management. “SMG has done a superb job in this first year,” said Assistant County Manager Ron Holt. “They’ve exceeded our expectations."

New Company, Novatour, to Provide Funding for Major Concert Tours

NEW ORLEANS, LA – FEBRUARY 7, 2011 – Today, Film Production Capital, the national leader in tax incentive-based financing for the motion picture industry, announced a joint venture with SMG, the worldwide leader in stadium and arena management, to provide capital for the live touring industry. The new joint-venture, called ‘Novatour’ plans to take advantage of Louisiana’s unique live performance tax incentive, which is designed to grow the state’s live music and entertainment industry as a similar incentive did for Louisiana’s thriving film industry. The name Novatour was coined from the French word “novateur,” meaning “innovative.” Leveraging Louisiana’s Live Performance Tax Credit, the only one of its kind in the country, Novatour intends to stay true to the name by introducing a new model to the live entertainment industry.

Under the program, live touring acts may become eligible for cash advances or operating expense savings, depending on the specific structure and conditions of each deal. Live performances must originate or rehearse in Louisiana to become eligible for the funding.

“This is a critical time for live performance touring,” says Will French, President of both Novatour and Film Production Capital. “We believe this offers a creative solution to reducing the financial risk associated with a tour launch and will provide a significant incentive for the industry to do business in Louisiana.”

FPC’s leadership in tax incentive-based financing and SMG’s worldwide network of venues and industry relationships result in a powerful combination of experience and financial capacity.

Through other strategic partnerships, Novatour will also offer an array of the goods and services needed to develop and produce a concert tour – including fleet operations, rehearsal venues and accommodations, equipment rental, stage design and construction, film and video production and merchandising. Use of these in-house, Louisiana-based services will result in increased dollars available for touring acts.

“Novatour will enable the live touring industry to leverage this unique Louisiana tax credit program and receive valuable economic benefits,” says Doug Thornton, Senior Vice President, SMG. “Our collective expertise, coupled with the ability to offer financial incentives through this program, uniquely positions this region as a perfect place for an artist to begin their North American tour.”

In 2002, the State of Louisiana introduced the first film tax incentive program. Now, having developed a statewide infrastructure around the tax credit, Louisiana’s film industry stands as the third largest in the nation, approaching nearly $1 billion in annual economic impact to the state. Using a similar approach, Novatour sees the live performance tax credit as a tool to transform New Orleans into a launching pad for live performance tours and strengthen New Orleans’ prominence as a music city.

“As the birthplace of Jazz and home to Funk, Blues, and Brass music, New Orleans has always embraced and supported musicians of every genre. With Novatour, we intend to complement the city’s musical core by catering to the business of music as well,” says French. “The region’s growth into a music business epicenter will take time and nourishment, and we believe Novatour will be the catalyst.”

For more information on Novatour, please visit www.novatour.com.

Monday, February 7, 2011

BOK Center Receives Second Nomination for "Venue of the Year" by the Academy of Country Music

For the second year in a row, Tulsa’s BOK Center, 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, 2010 and be in good standing with all agents. The BOK Center hosted these country concerts last year:
• George Strait with Reba
• Tim McGraw
• Hank Williams Jr.
• Brooks & Dunn
• Carrie Underwood
• Brad Paisley

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 46th 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:

First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre - Chicago, IL
Meadowbrook U.S. Cellular Pavilion - Gilford, NH
Ryman Auditorium - Nashville, TN
Sprint Center - Kansas City, MO

Friday, February 4, 2011

SMG Names Mike Cera General Manager of Stockton, CA Venues

Stockton, CA (February 4, 2011) – SMG is proud to announce the appointment of Mike Cera as General Manager of the Stockton Arena, Stockton Ballpark, the Bob Hope Theatre, and the Oak Park Ice Arena.

Since joining SMG in 2000, Mr. Cera has worked in a series of advancing positions in the sports and entertainment facility management industry including tenures at SMG facilities in Florida, Georgia, and most recently as the General Manager at CenturyTel Center in Bossier City, LA. Prior to CenturyTel Center, Mr. Cera served as Director of Booking at the Gwinnett Center in Gwinnett, GA, and as Director of Event Services at the now named Bank of Atlantic Center in Sunrise, Florida.

“I am extremely excited and honored to have been selected as the General Manager of the Stockton Arena, Bob Hope Theatre, Stockton Ballpark and Oak Park Ice Arena. They are outstanding facilities and I look forward to working with the community to help these facilities realize their full potential. The SMG staff and I will work diligently to bring quality entertainment to Stockton,” stated Cera.

SMG reached an agreement with the City of Stockton to provide booking, programming and general operations for the Stockton venues, effective February 25, 2011. The Stockton City Council unanimously (7-0) approved the five-year Management Agreement, with a five-year renewal option, on January 25, 2011. "We are so pleased that SMG is moving quickly to get the right people in place to make our facilities a success," said Mayor Ann Johnston. "We welcome Mr. Cera to Stockton and look forward to working with him."

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

2010 Record Year for the Lynnwood Convention Center

LYNNWOOD, WA (February 2, 2011)  -  SMG, the world leader in venue management, marketing and development, announced that the 55,000 square foot Lynnwood Convention Center had its most successful year ever in 2010. SMG's Kelvin D. Moore, General Manager of the Lynnwood Convention Center, made the announcement earlier this week at the Lynnwood Public Facilities District Board Meeting.

The more than $2 Million in gross revenues was the highest in the Center's history, 10% more than 2009 and 23% growth since 2006. Facility users also gave SMG their highest customer satisfaction ratings in the Center's history."SMG has really done an outstanding job," said Mike Echelbarger, Board Chair for the Lynnwood Public Facilities District. "The fact that they were able to exceed the $2 Million mark for the first time and simultaneously increase customer satisfaction is testament to the skill and professionalism of their local management team," Echelbarger added.

"As the economy headed south in 2008, we had to find a new way of doing business that would minimize the impact of the recession while maintaining our focus on providing a first class guest experience," said Moore. "We embraced the challenge and our success in 2010 is a result of the creativity and dedication of every member of our team. I am very proud of them."

Convention centers across the country are designed and programmed to generate positive economic impact. In 2010 over 80,000 people attended 447 events at the Lynnwood Convention Center, generating an estimated $17.3 Million in direct and indirect economic impact for the local economy. "The Lynnwood Convention Center is a catalyst of Lynnwood's economic development and revitalization of our City Center," said David Kleitsch, Lynnwood's Economic Development Director. "The City commends SMG and the Lynnwood Public Facilities District on their success."

The Lynnwood hotel community has seen the positive impact of the Center first hand. "Our hotel experienced tremendous growth in 2010, and a big part of our success is attributable to the Lynnwood Convention Center and SMG," said Ernest G. Matthews, Jr., Director of Sales for the Courtyard by Marriott Lynnwood. Snohomish County Lodging Association president, Julie Horrigan added, "We have seen some really positive steps by the SMG staff towards bringing in additional conventions and meeting business to Lynnwood, and we congratulate them on a banner year."

The Lynnwood Convention Center hosts a wide range of events including, conventions, corporate meetings, auctions, weddings, Quinceañeras, bar mitzvahs, product launches, consumer shows, community gatherings, religious services, and memorial services. Through five full years of operation, the Center has hosted 2,255 events and over 383,000 guests, generating an estimated $70 Million in direct and indirect economic impact for the local economy. The Lynnwood Public Facilities District owns the Lynnwood Convention Center and contracts with SMG to manage the facility.

About Lynnwood Convention Center

Opened in 2005 in Lynnwood, Washington, The Lynnwood Convention Center is situated in the heart of Washington's aerospace, high tech and bio-med corridor.Conveniently located near I-5, I-405 and Hwy 99, the Center offers individualized meeting spaces with full onsite audiovisual and electrical support, and first class, 5-star resort quality in-house catering.The facility has adopted green/sustainable initiatives that include composting, an extensive recycling program, and transitioning to the use of all green chemicals.The Lynnwood Convention Center is owned by the Lynnwood Public Facilities District and is managed by SMG. For more information, visit www.lynnwoodcc.com. Frontier is the official Wi-Fi partner and Media Lounge sponsor of the Lynnwood Convention Center.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

SMG Prepares To Begin Operation Of Stockton, CA Venues

SMG to Manage Stockton Arena, Bob Hope theatre, Banner Island Ballpark and Oak Park Ice Arena

West Conshohocken, PA (February 1, 2011) – SMG has reached an agreement with the City of Stockton, CA to provide booking, programming and general operations for the Stockton Arena, Stockton Ballpark, Bob Hope Theatre and the Oak Park Ice Arena, effective February 25, 2011. The Stockton City Council unanimously (7-0) approved the five-year Management Agreement, with a five-year renewal option, the evening of January 25, 2011.

“We are excited to have a professional management company with such great enthusiasm working in our City, helping us fulfill our vision for a thriving downtown,” said Mayor Ann Johnston. “This is a new day in the City of Stockton.”

“SMG is thrilled to have the opportunity to begin its partnership with the Stockton City Council and the City of Stockton for the management of these wonderful sports and entertainment facilities,” said Bob Cavalieri, SMG Senior Vice President of Business Development. “We are ready to hit the ground running, and we look forward to a long and successful relationship.”

The Arena, which can accommodate up to 12,000, and the Theatre, which seats 2,042, along with the 5,200 fixed seat Ballpark, are state-of-the art facilities capable of accommodating any event.

“All of us at SMG’s Sports and Entertainment Division are anxious to begin booking these fine facilities,” said Jim McCue, Senior Vice President at Sports and Entertainment. “We are optimistic about the future of the Stockton facilities and our ability to provide more entertainment and sporting events for the community. We believe Stockton is a strong entertainment market, as evidenced by recent, sold out concerts and the Stockton Thunder which, since entering the League, have enjoyed ticket sales amongst the highest of any ECHL team in the country.”

The facilities will benefit from SMG’s leverage and experience, and their already substantial presence in the region, which includes the Rabobank Arena in Bakersfield, the Save Mart Center in Fresno, the Long Beach Arena and Convention Center, Oakland-Alameda’s Oracle Arena and Stadium and the Moscone Center in San Francisco.

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 centers, 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.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

SMG in the News: Superdome getting spruced up, upgraded

The AP gives an update on the Louisiana Superdome's extensive renovations:
A giant excavator on Wednesday demolished metal risers that had supported the second-tier seating inside the Louisiana Superdome since the huge stadium's opening in 1975, part of the last phase of an $85 million renovation to spruce up the arena and add more concession stands and thousands of new seats.

Workers with huge saws and crowbars busily reduced the risers into piles of debris to be hauled away.

The Superdome will present a totally new look to those attending the 2012 BCS Championship game, the men's NCAA Final Four in 2012, and the Super Bowl in 2013, said Doug Thornton, vice president of SMG, the company that manages the Superdome.

"There is definitely going to be a wow-factor," Thornton said. "When you come in the door you are going to see a completely different Dome. The entire configuration on the lower bowl will be changed from an oval to a rectangle."

Friday, January 21, 2011

BOK Center’s Winterfest Welcomes Over 120,000 Visitors

“Winterfest gave families another reason to visit Downtown Tulsa during the holiday season.
Downtown is the heartbeat of a city and we hope the BOK Center is a catalyst for growth, innovation, and commerce in our area. Winterfest, with its open-air ice rink and magical tree is just another way to help downtown glow."

- John Bolton, General Manager

Move over Rockefeller Center! Tulsa, Oklahoma’s BOK Center wrapped up the third annual installment of a holiday festival that welcomed an estimated 121,300 visitors to the city’s central business district for ice skating beneath the skyline and photo opportunities beside Oklahoma’s tallest Christmas Tree. Winterfest operated daily from November 26, 2010 through January 3, 2011 on Third Street and Frisco Avenue outside of the arena.

Arvest Winterfest presented with Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation took over an entire city block to fit the ever-growing special event. The focal point was a 60’ x 150’ ice rink built in the middle of 3rd Street beside the arena. The ice rink’s 9000sf surface was open daily to the public and drew 43,096 skaters. Weekly rink promotions on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays benefitted local charities including the Salvation Army Holiday Toy Drive, the Tulsa Day Center for the Homeless, and the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma.

New enhancements for this year’s celebration included four iconic amusement rides like a Ferris Wheel and Carousel, an indoor holiday market that attracted 3,300 shoppers, a 5K Turkey Trot and Fun Run, and a pet-themed day called “Pupsicles” at the outdoor ice rink.

A fan favorite, Winterfest’s towering 44’ Christmas Tree glowed nightly with over 50,000 lights. The massive structure had 109,534 tips and a diameter at the base of nearly 25 feet. The magically-lit tree provided Tulsans with the perfect backdrop for hundreds of holiday photographs and caroling, and even a winter wedding.

A variety of outdoor entertainment on the ONEOK Stage offered guests free live music every weekend for the duration of the festival. In all, over 400 performers from local nonprofit groups, school choirs, marching bands, and churches took the stage.

Winterfest’s continued success can be attributed to the fact that it fills a space for much needed family activities. Whether it was delicious holiday concessions like gingerbread lattes and warm funnel cake, or an old-fashioned carriage ride through the streets of the city, visitors of all ages were entertained.

Winterfest 2010 was presented by ARVEST Bank and the Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation and owes a special thanks to all community partners who helped make it an even bigger and better event than before.

Charity Night sponsors were Magellan Midstream Partners and Kum & Go. Gold sponsors Osage Million Dollar Elm Casino and Groves Family Dental. Live entertainment on the plaza was compliments of ONEOK. Silver sponsors included the Downtown Doubletree Hotel, Orthopaedic Center of Oklahoma, Reasor’s, Fat Guy’s Burger Bar, Bank of Oklahoma and Frontier International Trucks. The official media partners were KTUL-TV NewsChannel 8, Tulsa Business Journal, Hispano de Tulsa, Urban Tulsa Weekly, La Semana del Sur, and Cox Radio, Inc.

For more information, contact Jeff Nickler, Booking & Special Events Manager at (918) 894-4254.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

SMG in the News: American boss is thrilled his firm will be running Baths Hall

THE boss of the new £14.4 million Baths Hall in Scunthorpe has given a thumbs-up to the project.

Wes Westley, the president and chief executive officer of SMG, was at the Doncaster Road site during a whistle-stop tour of the north of England.

His company will take control of the 2,000-capacity venue from North Lincolnshire Council in September, ready for the opening in November.

Mr Westley, who is based in Philadelphia, USA, made it clear he was impressed by the work being carried out by the local firm of Clugston Construction.

He said: "The Baths is going to be a great venue and one the people of North Lincolnshire will take pride in.

"We are planning to bring some of the top names in showbiz to Scunthorpe.

"We have already appointed a general manager to be based in Scunthorpe from March and the rest of the staff will be recruited in the summer.

"For the opening week we are planning a top programme of music, dance and comedy to show the versatility of the Baths. "There will be shows for the whole community to enjoy."

More of the article here.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

BOK Center Finishes 2010 As #10 Arena In The Nation

Tulsa, OK (January 11, 2011) – The year-end rankings of the top arena venues worldwide based on ticket sales for 2010 have been released by Pollstar magazine, a leading industry publication. The BOK Center ranked #10 in the United States and #23 in the World. In both full years of operation for the arena, 2009 and 2010, BOK Center has finished in the top ten of the Pollstar rankings.

“We are very grateful for the continued success after two and a half years. The support and interest in the building from Tulsa and the surrounding communities is remarkable, and I'd like to thank the ticket purchasers who helped us accomplish this ranking,” remarked General Manager John Bolton. “2011 is shaping up to be another strong year with great tours and we look forward to sharing the excitement with our fans.” Top 10 nationwide arenas (with ticket sales):

1. Madison Square Garden Arena – New York, NY – 1,152,792
2. Staples Center – Los Angeles, CA – 650,553
3. American Airlines Center – Dallas, TX – 518,646
4. Philips Arena – Atlanta, GA – 508,267
5. Sprint Center – Kansas City, MO – 482,842
6. Bridgestone Arena – Nashville, TN – 447,099
7. Well Fargo Center – Philadelphia, PA – 412,594
8. The Palace of Auburn Hills – Auburn Hills, MI – 398,694
9. Oracle Arena – Oakland, CA – 374,640
10. BOK Center – Tulsa, OK – 360,871

The BOK Center's success is fueled by the number and variety of the entertainment coming to Tulsa. More than 175 events ranging from C-USA Men's Basketball Tournament to Brooks & Dunn to Yo! Gabba Gabba Live! and the Second Anniversary Concert featuring Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers were part of the lineup in 2010. In addition, the BOK Center continues to garner national industry recognition not just for itself, but for staff members as well. The most recent nomination for Arena of the Year will be awarded in early February by Pollstar. Sharon Dunaway, Box Office Manager for BOK Center and Tulsa Convention Center was voted in by the ticketing industry as VenuesToday magazine's 2011 Box Office Star. For a full list of events since the Grand Opening in Fall 2008, please visit www.bokcenter.com.

SMG Signed for Montego Bay Convention Centre

Montego Bay, Jamaica (January 11, 2011) - Montego Bay Conference Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Jamaica’s Urban Development Corporation (UDC) has signed an agreement with the international company SMG to market and manage the Montego Bay Convention Centre, located in Rose Hall, St. James. The agreement which was signed on January 5, 2011, after months of negotiations will be in effect for a seven year period in the first instance, with the option to renew for an additional three years.

Miss Joy Douglas, general manager of the UDC has expressed confidence that SMG, based on its worldwide operations and its track record for marketing and managing convention facilities is the right fit for the state on the art convention centre. The Convention Centre is the first in the English speaking Caribbean facility to be added to the fold of SMG, joining Puerto Rico, the only other facility from the region. SMG, in addition to its US based operations, is also engaged in Europe, Turkey, Canada, Mexico and Chile.

SMG for its part noted that the company was particularly pleased to have extended its operations to Jamaica, where as they have stated, “The Elegant Corridor needs a first class curator.” The company is prepared to place its considerable expertise and experience as well as investing to ensure the success and viability of the Jamaican convention facility. According to Senior Vice President Gregg Caren, “we have been tracking the development of this stunning new complex for a number of years, and are excited to add it to our portfolio.”

SMG president and CEO Wes Westley announced that Dittie Guise, a long time member of SMG’s management team, has been named general manager of the MBCC. “Born in Jamaica, educated in England and with SMG training in the U.S., this is a wonderful homecoming for Dittie who will have a unique perspective to ensure the project’s success,” Westley noted.

The contract will see SMG involved in the reviewing of interior furniture and fixtures, developing operational plans, recruiting and training staff, developing sales, marketing, advertising and promotional programs in cooperation with the Jamaica Tourist Board. SMG will also be responsible for booking and event management and all related services for the Centre.

The Montego Bay Convention Centre was constructed by the UDC through the China National Complete Plant Import Export Corporation (COMPLANT), to enhance the country’s competitiveness in the meetings and conventions market. Prime Minister the Honorable Bruce Golding will on Friday, January 7, 2011, open the Centre, ahead of the first event, the Caribbean Market Place scheduled for January 16-18, 2010.

(Photo: SMG's Gregg Caren and Dittie Guise (second and third from right), in front of the Montego Bay Convention Centre construction site in November. From left, they are joined by local partner Wayne Sinclair of MSE, Jerry Braud of SMG's team at the Broward/Fort Lauderdale Convention Center, and Nicholette Wade of the Jamaica Conference Centre in Kingston.)