Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The newly renovated Cobo Center hosts record breaking NAIAS

Detroit, MI (January 25, 2016) - 2016 is off to a great start in the Motor City as the North American International Auto attendance rose again this year. This is the first year the event was held since the completion of the $279,000,000 renovation and expansion of host venue Cobo Center.

“We had a lot of positive comments about the changes here at Cobo from the car companies and the dealers as well as attendees at the show”, said Assistant General Manager Claude Molinari.
Major changes included the addition of a 3rd large format video board on the exterior of the facility – a marquee measuring 160 feet by 30 feet - as well as the addition of an upscale coffee/wine bar called the Cork & Grind.

With 104,263 attendees on the final day of the auto show, the total ticketed attendance was 815,575 which edged out last year's total of 808,775 and realized the highest attendance since 2003.
“That means they averaged nearly 91,000 people attending the auto show each day. In other words, in 14 days we had more attendees than an entire NFL home game season – including pre-season games!” added Molinari.

According to the organizers of the show, the Detroit Auto Dealers Association, more than 70 percent of the displays at the show were new, which represented about $200 million in investments from automakers, suppliers an auto show partners.

This year's show also included a visit from President Obama. Mr. Molinari served as the facility's liaison with the White House and Secret Service to address all security and coordination issues from the facility's side, adding: "It was a challenge to make sure everything ran smoothly. An entire hall of exhibits was closed down for the duration of President Obama's time on site. At the same time we had over 30,000 people in the building looking at the other displays. Parking was shut down and there was some impact on traffic, but everything went off without a hitch and I can honestly say it was one of the highlights of my career at SMG."

In all, the DADA estimates that the show had a nearly $430 million impact to the regional economy, which is up $30 million from last year. “The $430 million in economic impact is nearly equivalent to having two Super Bowls in Detroit every year, a truly astounding figure when you stop and think about it," NAIAS Chairman Paul Sabatini.

More than 13,000 also attended the Charity Preview, raising $5.2 million for eight local charities. Also, 5,068 journalists from 60 different countries were at the press previews on the first two days of the auto show, where 61 vehicles were introduced and six vehicles debuted. “In the five years we’ve been involved with the show this was not only the best attended but also the smoothest running by far,” said Molinari.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Pollstar Ranks 28 SMG-Managed Arenas & 16 SMG-Managed Theaters in Top 200 Venues Worldwide

West Conshohocken, PA (January 11, 2016) - SMG-managed arenas and theaters completed another outstanding year with 28 arenas and 16 theaters appearing on Pollstar Magazine’s annual list of the Top 200 Arena & Theatre Venues.

On the arena side, Manchester Arena took the top SMG spot, finishing the year ranked second in the world with more than 1.1 million concert tickets sold.  Leading the way in the United States was the BOK Center in Tulsa, Okla., which ranked 26th in the continental United States.  The rankings, which were released last week, are determined by tickets sold worldwide for concerts and shows during 2015.

For the theatre rankings, the Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts took the spot for SMG-managed theaters selling over 103,000 tickets in 2015. 

“Last year was another outstanding year for SMG as we celebrate the success of our European and American venues,” said SMG President and CEO Wes Westley.  “Congratulations to all of our buildings that made Pollstar’s annual lists,” added Westley. 

In all, SMG arenas in the Top 200 Pollstar list accounted for more than 5.2 million concert tickets sold in 2015.  For the SMG theaters in the Top 200 Pollstar list more than 988,000 tickets were sold in 2015.  

The complete list of SMG-managed venues on Pollstar’s rankings includes:

Manchester Arena

First Direct Arena

Konig-Pilsener Arena
Oberhausen, GERMANY

Coliseo de Puerto Rico

Metro Radio Arena
Newcaste upon Tyne, UNITED KINGDOM

BOK Center
Tulsa, OK

INTRUST Bank Arena
Wichita, KS

Chesapeake Energy Arena
Oklahoma City, OK

Smoothie King Center
New Orleans, LA

Van Andel Arena
Grand-Rapids, MI

Save Mart Center
Fresno, CA

Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena
Jacksonville, FL

Denny Sanford Premier Center
Sioux Falls, SD

Times Union Center
Albany, NY

Pinnacle Bank Arena
Lincoln, NE

CenturyLink Center
Bossier City, LA

Richmond Coliseum
Richmond, VA

Huntington Center
Toledo, OH

DCU Center
Worcester, MA

Laredo Energy Arena
Laredo, TX

Mohegan Sun Arena At Casey Plaza
Wilkes-Barre, PA

Verizon Wireless Arena
Manchester, NH

Santander Arena
Reading, PA

Royal Farms Arena 
Baltimore, MD

ShoWare Center
Kent, WA

Peoria Civic Center Arena
Peoria, IL

Pensacola Bay Center
Pensacola, FL

Stockton Arena
Stockton, CA


Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts
Worcester, MA

DeVos Performance Hall
Grand Rapids, MI

Wagner Noel Performing Arts Center
Midland, TX

North Charleston Performing Arts Center
North Charleston, SC

The Plaza Theatre
El Paso, TX

Bellco Theatre
Denver, CO

Altria Theatre
Richmond, VA

F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts
Wilkes-Barre, PA

Old National Events Plaza
Evansville, IN

Saenger Theatre
Pensacola, FL

Terrace Theatre
Long Beach, CA

Santander Performing Arts Center
Reading, PA

William Saroyan Theatre
Fresno, CA

Peoria Civic Center Theatre
Peoria, IL

Abraham Chavez Theatre
El Paso, TX

Carpenter Theatre at Richmond Center Stage

Richmond, VA

Friday, January 8, 2016


Wichita, KS (January 7, 2016) – Jim Sachs, SMG Director of Ticketing for INTRUST Bank Arena and Select-A-Seat, has been named a winner of the Venues Today Magazine 2016 Box Office Star Award. Venues Today Magazine recognizes outstanding ticketing professionals each year for their newsworthy achievement or outstanding service in their own ticket office or in the ticketing industry at large.

Sachs was honored for the preparation and execution of the Garth Brooks ticket set-up and on sale at INTRUST Bank Arena. Leading up to the announcement of Garth Brooks, Sachs worked tirelessly to ensure a successful on-sale through training new phone operators, writing new phone message scripts based on show information, and increasing the Select-A-Seat website capability in order to accommodate the anticipated higher volume of traffic. On Oct. 23, Sachs orchestrated the selling of 65,000 tickets in 45 minutes for six Garth Brooks concerts, all of which would completely sell out in less than 72 hours. In addition, Sachs was also nominated for overseeing the launch of digital ticketing for Select-A-Seat which included a tickets@home delivery method, an enhanced tickets@phone delivery method that utilizes Apple passbook/wallet, and the My Select-A-Seat platform.

“Jim is extremely deserving of this award and the entire team here at INTRUST Bank Arena is very proud to see him recognized,” said SMG Assistant General Manager & Director of Finance, Chris Kibler. “The industry knowledge that Jim possesses from his years of ticketing experience keeps Select-A-Seat on the cutting edge of ticketing for live entertainment and it is rewarding for all of us at SMG to see his hard work acknowledged through this prestigious industry award.”

Venues Today is a monthly industry trade magazine that tracks industry trends and profiles live entertainment professionals. Winners were determined by vote through Venues Today subscribers and staff and will be honored during the INTIX convention in Anaheim, Calif. Jan. 20-22, 2016 and will also be featured in the January issue of Venues Today.