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

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: or

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