Friday, May 29, 2015

Big 12 Women’s Basketball Championship has a Home at Chesapeake Energy Arena

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK (May 29, 2015) —The SMG-managed Chesapeake Energy Arena will host the Big 12 Women’s Basketball Championships through 2019, in conjunction with the Oklahoma City All Sports Association.
On Thursday, the Big 12 awarded the conference’s women’s basketball championship to Chesapeake Energy Arena from 2017-2019. The arena had previously been selected to host the 2016 championship.

“We’re proud the Big 12 Women’s Basketball Championship has found a home at Chesapeake Energy Arena,” said Chesapeake Energy Arena General Manager Gary Desjardins. “SMG and Oklahoma City All Sports have a proven track record of hosting top-notch sporting events in Oklahoma City and we look forward to continuing to do so.”

At the conclusion of this agreement with the Big 12, Oklahoma City will have hosted the women’s basketball championship seven times. The 2007 and 2009 championships were played at the SMG-managed Cox Convention Center and the 2014 championship was held at Chesapeake Energy Arena. The 2007 championship saw a conference-record average attendance of 8,165.

“It’s an honor and a privilege to be awarded the Phillips 66 Big 12 Women’s Basketball Championship for the next four years,” said OKC All Sports Executive Director Tim Brassfield. “Having the event in one place for multiple years creates new opportunities for us to promote the tournament differently. People begin to recognize and understand the branding message being sent, and then with tickets, it creates a renewal process that we haven’t been able to in the past. We can’t wait to get to work with SMG on growing and elevating the women’s championship to another level like we can here in OKC.”

In addition to the Big 12 Women’s Basketball Championship, SMG and Oklahoma City All Sports have hosted some of the biggest events in college sports at Chesapeake Energy Arena. The venue has played host to the NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships, Division I Wrestling Championship, Division I Women’s Volleyball Championship and the Big 12 Men’s Basketball Championship.

Ticket information for the 2016 Big 12 Women’s Basketball Championship will be announced later this summer. Tickets will be available at the arena box office, by phone at (800) 745-3000, online at or through the Oklahoma City All Sports Association.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Hemispheres Cup is coming to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on August 1, 2015. Tickets go on sale May 22, 2015 via Ticketmaster.

Two of the best rugby clubs in the world, the Saracens from England and the Crusaders Knights from New Zealand will play a historic match, meeting in contest for the first time in either clubs’ history.  This will truly be the very best rugby every played in the USA. 

RugbyLaw, the founders of the NRFL, is proud to present this historic game to the American sports fan.  Whether one already loves elite rugby union, or those new to rugby and passionate about professional sports, will be thrilled to witness this contest.

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu said, "We are happy to announce that New Orleans will host NRFL's premiere event right here in the Dome on August 1, 2015. This will be an unbelievable experience for New Orleans residents and visitors alike. We are a perfect city for world-class sports entertainment and the Superdome is the ideal venue. New Orleans stands ready to host some of the world's best events. NRFL and New Orleans are going to be a great match."

“The Mercedes-Benz Superdome is thrilled to host the inaugural Hemispheres Cup, which will introduce the sport of rugby to many local sports fans on a grand international level” notes Alan Freeman, SMG’s General Manager at the Superdome. “In our role as venue managers, SMG is constantly searching for events that will add variety to our event calendars, and will serve as a draw for our tourism business partners. To have an event of this stature choose New Orleans as the host city speaks very highly on what we have to offer as a tourist destination.”      

Hamish Riach, Crusaders CEO: "The Crusaders are thrilled to be sending a team to New Orleans to play Saracens.  This is an exciting opportunity for us, firstly to play in an amazing international venue like the Mercedes Benz Superdome in New Orleans, and secondly to play a team like Saracens who we would never usually get the opportunity to play.  Saracens and the Crusaders are two teams from opposite ends of the globe, but with similarly proud histories.  It is not often that non-international teams from the southern and northern hemispheres have the chance to pit themselves against each other, and we are honored to be involved in this inaugural hemispheres clash.  I have no doubt that this will be an incredible spectacle and a historic occasion."

Mark McCall, Director of Rugby of the Saracens, added: “It’s a privilege to be able to play against one of the best teams in the world in a fantastic city and to be able to give the people of New Orleans a chance to experience professional rugby. The City of New Orleans is famed for its welcome, vibrancy, history and culture and we are looking forward to being part of what will be a very special occasion. The Superdome is recognized all over the world and our players are already excited about playing at the home of the New Orleans Saints and in front of a City that loves its sport.

The Crusaders are one of the most successful sides in world rugby and as we very rarely get the chance to face teams from the Southern Hemisphere.  We can’t wait to test ourselves in what will be a very hard-fought contest.”

Premiership rugby union – the most exciting challenging game in the world - has finally arrived in the United States of America.  The best rugby to have been ever shown in the USA, presented by RugbyLaw.

"RugbyLaw, LLC will make rugby a major league sport, alongside the NFL, NHL, NBA, and MLB.   This August the first ever professional rugby of major league standards occurs at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The following week, August 8th, The USA’s first premiership rugby team, the NRFL Rough Riders, takes on ten-time Premiership championship team Leicester Tigers, in Philadelphia at Lincoln Financial Field.  2015 is the year the USA enters premiership rugby.”

“The game they play in heaven.”

Thursday, May 14, 2015

SMG managed, Royal Farms Arena Hits a Home Run with Prince

Baltimore, MD (May 13, 2015) – On Sunday night, royalty descended on Baltimore. The SMG managed Royal Farms Arena welcomed entertainment icon Prince and his band 3rdeyegirl back to Charm City for an epic two-and-a-half hour concert. It’s been over 15 years since Prince graced the hallowed stage of Royal Farms Arena. Playing to a sold out crowd on Mother’s Day, Prince united the crowd with a slew of hits and his newly minted homage to Baltimore.

“This was an absolute home run for SMG, the Arena and Baltimore. For those of us that do this every day, the excitement and sense of accomplishment of seeing a sold out crowd celebrating as one, never goes away. It’s why we do what we do…” Frank Remesch, SMG General Manager

It’s been an all-star year for the Arena; kicking off 2015 with PBR and followed by marquee and perennial events such as Monster Jam, Shogun Fights, Katt Williams, Baltimore Spring Fest, and Stevie Wonder.  The Arena looks forward to continuing its winning streak with Kevin Hart, Eagles, Motley Crue this summer and Marvel Universe Live in December.

SMG Worldwide Entertainment, the Royal Farms Arena and the City of Baltimore…Continuing to Make History.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Johnstown, PA Awarded Title of First-Ever “Kraft Hockeyville USA”

Johnstown, PA (May 4, 2015) – SMG-managed Cambria County War Memorial Arena has been named the first-ever “Kraft Hockeyville USA.” In partnership with the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) and the National Hockey League (NHL), the inaugural Kraft Hockeyville USA contest captured the nation and ultimately named the Johnstown, Pa. arena, as its first recipient.

Tom Grenell, General Manager for the Cambria County War Memorial Arena for facility operator SMG, said “SMG is thrilled to be a part of Johnstown being voted as the inaugural recipient of the title of Hockeyville USA, evidencing the Community’s longstanding commitment to the sport of hockey. Personally, I am proud of the local SMG staff who, along with SMG’s corporate office, has worked tirelessly to revitalize and rebrand an historic and iconic 64-year-old arena with a proud hockey heritage. We continue to strive towards a level of professionalism that sets us apart, and look forward to making the NHL pre-season game a fabulous event for the City of Johnstown.”

Johnstown’s Cambria County War Memorial Arena will receive $150,000 in arena upgrades and the opportunity to host an NHL Pre-Season Game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Tampa Bay Lightning televised live on NBCSN on September 29, 2015. 

Johnstown has always celebrated its passion for hockey, even serving as inspiration for the popular hockey movie “Slap Shot.” Rich in hockey heritage, Cambria County War Memorial Arena will use the winning funds for professional arena enhancements to provide a better game experience for community members.

“The response we’ve seen from these communities and their rallying support for each other has been truly inspiring,” said Jane Hilk, Chief Marketing Officer and President, Kraft Beverages and Snack Nuts Division. “Since the voting period began, we’ve received an astounding 20.4 million votes from passionate hockey fans across the country, and are so proud to award the inaugural ‘Kraft Hockeyville USA’ title to such a well-deserving community.”

Johnstown was named “Kraft Hockeyville USA” through public voting at Alongside Johnstown, hundreds of other communities across the country submitted thousands of stories showing their hockey spirit and passion. The nine other finalist communities will share $275,000 in arena upgrades from Kraft, including runner-up Decatur Civic Center in Decatur, Ill., receiving $75,000.

“The National Hockey League is delighted for everyone connected with the winning effort by Johnstown in the inaugural Kraft Hockeyville USA voting,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said. “Kraft Hockeyville USA makes a lasting contribution to a community that has come together ‘For The Love Of Hockey,’ and we are particularly pleased that future generations of Johnstown players will be able to enjoy skating at an upgraded Cambria County War Memorial Arena.”

“Kraft Hockeyville USA takes players back to a local community arena like the one where they began playing hockey,” NHLPA Executive Director Don Fehr said. “It will be great for the players on the Pittsburgh Penguins and Tampa Bay Lightning to play before passionate local fans in Johnstown this September. We also congratulate these two finalist communities.”

“The Pittsburgh Penguins are excited to come to Kraft Hockeyville USA,” said Jim Rutherford, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Pittsburgh Penguins. “The Cambria County War Memorial Arena in Johnstown has a special place in hockey history and will be a unique and iconic setting for an NHL Pre-Season Game. We congratulate the great fans of Johnstown and Cambria County War Memorial Arena for this well-deserved honor and want to thank all of our fans in Pittsburgh for helping to get out the vote. We all look forward to celebrating Kraft Hockeyville USA in September.”

“We are pleased to be facing off against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Johnstown this fall as part of Kraft Hockeyville USA,” said Steve Yzerman, Vice President and General Manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning. “I played my first-ever professional game in Johnstown on September 17, 1983, and the experience proved to be very memorable for me – so I believe this game will prove to be meaningful not only for the great hockey fans of Johnstown but for the Lightning organization and our players. We are grateful for the opportunity.”