Tuesday, December 22, 2015


Conshohocken, PA (December 22, 2015) - Billboard Magazine's 2015 Year End Top 10 Lists are out and SMG venues made several of the lists. First - the #l's on the list:

  • Soldier Field (Chicago) - #1 Gross Boxscore for 2015: SMG's Soldier Field hosted the Grateful Dead July 3-5 which grossed $30,683,274 - making it the top grossing show of 2015 in any venue anywhere in the world.
  • Royal Farms Arena (Baltimore) - #1 USA Venue for venues 10,001-15,000 seats. SMG's Royal Farms Arena hosted 347,083 attendees grossing $16,830,878 - making it the #1 Venue in the United States for its capacity.
Also, making Billboard's Year End Lists were:

  • Manchester Arena (Manchester, England) - #3 Grossing Venue in the world for venues 15,001-Plus. SMG's Manchester Arena grossed $79,256,782 with attendance taping 1/132/711 and hosting 112 shows.
  • Solider Field (Chicago) - #2 Grossing Stadium in the world. SMG's Soldier Field grossed $49/312,023 for 7 shows making with the #2 busiest stadium in the world.
Tim LeFevour, GM for SMG's Soldier Field, commented that the "venue was honored to be a part of the historical farewell Grateful Dead concerts this summer in Chicago. It was certainly the hottest ticket of the summer and from the year end rankings by Billboard Magazine it became honored as the hottest ticket of the year!"

"SMG venues in the USA and around the world continue to deliver high grosses and successful events," commented Wes Westley, President and CEO of SMG. "Our team of highly talented professionals continues to achieve great worldwide recognition," added Westley.

Monday, December 21, 2015


(Tulsa, Okla.) December 18, 2015 – Each state in America has its own unique way of celebrating the Christmas season, so People Magazine listed 50 of the best ways to get into the holiday spirit, one for each state. In a story titled "Christmas Across America: A Unique Way to Celebrate the Holidays in Each State," SMG Tulsa's Winterfest was named as the most unique way to celebrate the Christmas season in Oklahoma. Check out the story here.

In seven short years, attendance for this event has soared from 35,000 visitors in 2008 to more than 150,000 in 2014. The seasonal celebration is open to the public for 52 days again this year. The extended season guarantees everyone a chance to enjoy skating beneath Tulsa's skyline while watching free entertainment from the outdoor stage and taking in the beautiful, gleaming holiday lights.

Winterfest includes a 9,000 square-foot outdoor ice rink and Oklahoma's tallest Christmas Tree that stands 44 feet tall and features 35,700 glowing lights.

“Winterfest has become the kick-off for the Holidays in downtown Tulsa,” said Jeff Nickler, SMG Tulsa General Manager. “As Oklahoma's best holiday tradition, we are excited to welcome our guests as they celebrate the season with family and friends." 

Monday, December 7, 2015

Royal Farms Arena's 2016 music lineup is its best in years

Taken from The Baltimore Sun.

After a year that saw a proposal for a new $450 million arena in the Inner Harbor, Baltimore's stalwart — Royal Farms Arena, established in 1962 — has positioned itself for one of its strongest years, musically, in recent memory.

The 2016 lineup — which includes Justin Bieber, Rihanna, Garth Brooks, Luke Bryan,Janet Jackson and Maroon 5 — is as impressive as Frank Remesch has seen since he became general manager in 2004, the Baltimore native said Thursday.

"You almost can't get any more diversified than that," Remesch said.
The arena's music schedule for next year includes: Brooks, for the first time in Baltimore, and Trisha Yearwood (Jan. 22-23; Jan. 29-30); Jackson (Feb. 29); Bryan, Little Big Town and Dustin Lynch (April 8); Rihanna and Travis Scott (April 9); Earth, Wind & Fire and Chicago (April 12); Bieber (July 7) and Maroon 5 (Sept. 16). More concerts are still to be announced, Remesch said.

Beyond music, comedians like Jeff Dunham (Feb.12), Katt Williams (Feb. 14) and Mike Epps (April 1) are scheduled to perform. There are also the usual family-friendly shows ("our bread and butter," Remesch said) like the Monster Jam truck series (Feb. 26-28) and Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus (March 16-27).

Named a top venue for its size byBillboard magazine last year, the arena is no stranger to recognizable music talent. It hosted, this year, concerts by Prince, Motley Crue, the Eagles and Stevie Wonder.

But in other recent years — with exceptions like Kanye West & Jay-Z, Justin Timberlake and the Black Keys — the arena has not been consistent in drawing from the pop-music Zeitgeist.

Remesch said a myriad of factors contribute to why some years pop with relevancy more than others. Timing, good relationships with promoters and luck all matter.
"There's a lot of things at play," he said. "There's history [with promoters] and what you've done for people before, Baltimore supporting diverse events and having a little luck that the tours are out there that we're able to get."

In January, the Cordish Companies — owners of downtown's Power Plant Live entertainment complex — proposed a 15,000-seat arena that would replace Royal Farms Arena. The project, which would be built on Piers 5 and 6 in the Inner Harbor, would cost an estimated $450 million.

There was initial interest, along with questions about finances and traffic, from the city, but little else since. Others have suggested a significant renovation to the current arena instead of building a new one.

On Thursday, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said, via a statement, the city continues to consider the arena's future.

"As a city, we are proud that we have a high-performing, award-winning arena that continues to attract top talent," Rawlings-Blake said. "Baltimore is a proven entertainment and music destination. We continue to explore all options for the future."

For his part, Remesch supports a renovation that he said could transform the arena for $100 million.If a new one were built, he would not want it on the current site. He suggests that $450 million for a new arena might be hard to justify in a city with pressing needs. And the time it would take to build a new arena, Remesch argued, would also impede the momentum and goodwill the manager has built with concert promoters over the years.

"You're pushing a ball up a hill, right?" he said. "We're doing it, though. Once you stop, it's going back down. … We're a success story now. You have to think it through."