Friday, April 18, 2014

WrestleMania XXX Sets Mercedes-Benz Superdome Record SMG Leads Local Coordination Efforts

New Orleans. LA –April 10, 2014  - SMG announced this week that WrestleMania XXX shattered the record for the Mercedes-Benz Superdome’s highest grossing entertainment event. World Wrestling Entertainment’s (WWE) annual pop-culture extravaganza grossed $10.9 million from a sold out crowd of 75,167 who travelled to New Orleans from all 50 states and 37 countries. The Superdome’s previous gross revenue record for an entertainment event was held by the 2013 Essence Music Festival.

WrestleMania XXX was the centerpiece of a week long celebration of WWE events that included the WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Monday Night RAW, both held at the SMG managed Smoothie King Center, WWE Axxess at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, Superstars for Kids Auction at the New Orleans Museum of Art, and various legacy projects including construction of a new playground at Woodland West Elementary School. Several members of SMG’s staff volunteered their help with this project.

WrestleMania XXX was the culmination of a five year process that began in April 2009 when SMG formally submitted a bid on behalf of the City of New Orleans to host this event. SMG served as the leader in coordinating the necessary support of community leaders for the bid, and upon being awarded WrestleMania XXX in late 2011, took the lead in facilitating and delivering on the bid requirements. Alan Freeman, SMG’s General Manager at the Superdome and Smoothie King Center noted “We were familiar with WrestleMania, having attended it at our sister venue in Houston - Reliant Stadium. We knew that it would be a perfect fit for New Orleans, and it certainly did not disappoint. I’m sure years from now people will still be talking about what a spectacular experience WWE produced. We are obviously thrilled with the outcome and look forward to the having the opportunity to host WrestleMania again.”  Ron Forman, Chairman of the Louisiana Stadium and Exposition District, underscored the overwhelming local enthusiasm for WrestleMania by stating “This event certainly compares in stature with, and continues our unprecedented success in staging major entertainment events, that in just the past few years have included the BCS Football Championship Game, NCAA Men’s and Women’s Final Fours, the Super Bowl, and the NBA All-Star Game. No city is better suited or does a better job of producing these major events than New Orleans. I want to personally commend our facility manager, SMG, on the wonderful job they have performed in helping to secure and manage these events.” Added John Saboor, WWE Executive Vice President of Special Events, “SMG has served as one of the absolute key principals on behalf of the New Orleans Local Organizing Committee, and has done a magnificent job of supporting the various other local stakeholder groups, which include the Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation, and the Morial Convention Center”.

The New Orleans economy, which is driven by tourism, will realize an economic windfall from this event. Based on independent analysis from previous host cities, it is expected that WrestleMania XXX will have a local economic impact of approximately $100 million. 

Thursday, April 17, 2014


2014 Athletic Business Magazine Facility Madness Tournament Winner

(Lincoln, NE) – SMG-managed Pinnacle Bank Arena was named the ”2014 Best Arena in College Basketball” by Athletic Business, a magazine source for athletic, fitness and recreation professionals. The publication recently set out to find the top college basketball arena in the nation. Lincoln’s Pinnacle Bank Arena, home to the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers men’s and women’s basketball teams, took top honors with more than 50,000 votes throughout the two week tournament.

The 32-arena “Facility Madness” bracket included venues such as UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion, Syracuse’s Carrier Dome and Duke’s Cameron Indoor Stadium.

According to Athletic Business the modern feel and amenities of Pinnacle Bank Arena generated enough votes to overtake Butler University’s historic Hinkle Fieldhouse in the championship round.

Pinnacle Bank Arena General Manager Tom Lorenz said ”This is an honor after capping off such tremendous seasons by both our men and women’s Cornhusker basketball teams. Thank you to our fan base for getting behind the voting effort to push it through.”   

CenturyLink Center Named in Top 50 of Worldwide Ticket Sales

Bossier City, Louisiana – (April 10, 2014) - Bossier City’s CenturyLink Center has been named among the Top 50 Arena Venues in Worldwide Ticket Sales in for the First Quarter of 2014 by Pollstar Magazine. Nationally, CenturyLink Center attained a ranking within the Top 20 United States Arena Venues in Q1 Ticket Sales.

In addition to these accolades, CenturyLink Center has been designated a “Top Stop” (among venues with a capacity of 10,001 - 15,000) by Venues Today Magazine in their January, February, and March issues.
With events like George Strait, Elton John, Winter Jam, and more – CenturyLink Center is excited to continually offer Bossier City and Shreveport first-rate entertainment. 

Without our community in Northwest Louisiana, CenturyLink Center could not have reached such a distinction. “I and the rest of the SMG staff at the CenturyLink Center are grateful to the Bossier – Shreveport communities that have demonstrated such tremendous support and excitement for the events during the first quarter.  It’s their support that makes these rankings possible and provides the opportunities for continued success.” says General Manager, Brodie McMahon.

For up to date information on events at CenturyLink Center, visit

Thursday, April 10, 2014



(Conshohocken, PA, April 7, 2014)  -- SMG, the worldwide leader of public assembly facility management, commenced management of the Branson Convention Center as of April 1, 2014.  The firm was selected over two other firms in a recent request for proposals by the City of Branson.  In firming up the new on site management team, SMG announced the selection of Marc Mulherin as the Center’s new general manager.
“We are pleased to welcome the Branson Convention Center to our family of SMG-managed properties and are confident the facility will thrive under Marc’s leadership, combined with SMG’s booking network, client base and other resources and generate a greater economic impact for the city of Branson,” said Gregg Caren, SMG executive vice president for convention and exhibition centers. 
“Not only are we pleased to welcome SMG as the new facility management company, we are excited to attract a general manager with the energy and experience of Marc Mulherin’s caliber to direct operations here in Branson,” said City Administrator Bill Malinen, who serves as Branson’s chief executive officer.
SMG assumed managerial responsibility for the facility from Hilton Worldwide Corporation on April 1 and retained the majority of the existing venue staff. 
Mulherin is a hospitality industry veteran with more than 15 years of experience in convention center, arena and hotel management, most recently as the assistant general manager, director of food & beverage operations and director of capital & special projects for SAVOR at the SMG-managed McCormick Place in Chicago -- the largest convention center in the United States -- where he has been based since 2011. SAVOR, as part of the SMG portfolio, has provided retail and catering food and beverage services throughout the United States, Europe and Mexico since 1983.
He also was the food and beverage director for the TD Garden with Delaware North Companies/Sportservice and director of catering convention service and concessions for Interstate Hotels and Resorts’ Lancaster Marriott Hotel & Convention Center in Pennsylvania. Mulherin held managerial positions in catering, convention services and concessions with five convention centers for whom ARAMARK Corporation provides services, and in the hotel sector with the Hyatt Regency Hotels at resorts in Newport and Chicago, and Starwood Hotels and Resorts’ Sheraton Boston Hotel and Sheraton Braintree Hotel.
A graduate of Bryant University with a bachelor’s degree in business management, Mulherin is a member of the International Association of Venue Managers and the Professional Convention Management Association.
The Branson Convention Center, located in the Branson Landing development in a lakeside setting, offers 113,725 square feet of event space, including a 47,172-square-foot exhibit hall attached to a 22,703-square-foot ballroom on the first floor, and a dozen meeting room ranging from 1,000 to 5,000 square feet on the second floor. The technologically progressive venue can accommodate 4,000 guests and is supported by onsite catering, audiovisual, high-speed Internet and event management teams, with a single point of contact for all event-related services.
Founded in 1977, SMG provides management services to more than 230 public assembly facilities including convention and exhibition centers, 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 14.4 million square feet of exhibition space and over 1.75 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 McCormick Place and Soldier Field in Chicago, Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, Houston’s Reliant Park and the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. 

Visit for more information.