At the Conference
CLIMATE PLEDGE ARENA AS CASE STUDY
Four key executives in the development of Climate Pledge Arena — and, as HOK principal Scott Ralston described himself, one who has “nothing to do with Climate Pledge Arena” — gathered Thursday morning to discuss the renovation of the Seattle arena just a few minutes away and its implications for the venues business.
EXECS TOUT ADVANCEMENTS IN DIVERSITY, OUTLINE TOUGH WORK AHEAD
The American workforce continues to grapple with issues of diversity, equity and inclusion, and the venues, sports and live entertainment sectors are no different. In an unflinchingly honest panel, executives from Oak View Group, Live Nation, and three NBA teams discussed their experiences in the live industry, how their organizations are evolving with the times, and the work that remains ahead.
KEY PLAYERS RECALL TWO-DECADE JOURNEY TO ARENA
The journey that led to the opening of Seattle’s Climate Pledge Arena began long before the shovels hit the ground and started digging 60 feet below grade to create a new venue beneath the historic roof of the former KeyArena.
SAFETY ACT, SECURITY BY DESIGN, EXPANDED PERIMETERS DISCUSSED
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s SAFETY Act remains as relevant as ever, and venues that haven’t availed themselves of its protections would be wise to get the process underway, attendees at a VenuesNow Conference panel discussion on security issues were told Friday.
WHERE IS THE LIVE BIZ RIGHT NOW? ON THE RIGHT TRACK
In a rapid-fire 45-minute panel discussion at the VenuesNow Conference on Thursday, five live industry pros delved into the state of a rapidly evolving live business. One panelist, remarking on the state of touring, described its as the “wild, wild west” which is also an apt description of the panel’s freewheeling conversation that offered loads of insight into a rapidly returning business.
FRICTIONLESS IN SEATTLE: AMAZON TECHNOLOGY IS THE NEWEST LINE-BUSTING MEASURE
Sports venue technology has advanced so rapidly over the past few years that facility operators find themselves stopping midstream in development to incorporate the newest gadgets to help streamline the fan experience.
MARKETING WITH PURPOSE — EVERYONE CAN WIN
The answer to Thursday afternoon’s panel, framed as the question “Can Sports and Entertainment Marketing Create Meaningful Programs That Are Good for Communities?” was a resounding “heck, yeah!”
FOR THESE VENUES, GREEN IS ABOUT THE JOURNEY
Simplicity in messaging, planning and execution was a key theme as members of the VenuesNow Conference panel “Clean & Green: Keys to Operating a Sustainable Venue” on Thursday talked about venues’ “zero waste journey.”
HEALTH, SAFETY PANELISTS: DON’T FORGET LESSONS LEARNED
“When we were talking as a panel, we said what we really want to do is take what we’ve learned and look to the future for COVID-25, God forbid, or SARS-28,” said panel moderator Tim Romani of CAA Icon, “and what are we doing now to prepare ourselves, so our lives and our industry isn’t as devastated as it was before.”
ROLE OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP IN GREENING LIVE INDUSTRY DISCUSSED
As the climate crisis worsens, innovators and entrepreneurs in the live events sector and adjacent industries develop and implement sustainable solutions at an accelerating clip. “Ten years ago, the solutions didn’t exist like they exist today,” said Jaime Nack, president of environmental consulting firm Three Squares Inc.
RUNNING CARBON-NEUTRAL ARENA IS TEAM EFFORT, ONE STEP AT A TIME
The comprehensive sustainability effort at Climate Pledge Arena touches all aspects of facility operations. Rainwater collected by the roof that forms the ice floor for hockey. Electric grills at concession stands. The 200-foot-long “living wall” made up of plant life. They’re all examples of creative thinking to get to that net-zero goal.
TIM LEIWEKE: ‘WE CAN STILL INSPIRE. OUR BEST DAYS ARE AHEAD OF US.’
Oak View Group co-founder and CEO Tim Leiweke kicked off the fourth VenuesNow Conference with a pep talk for the industry tied to the opening of Climate Pledge Arena, the new $1.2 billion home of the NHL expansion Seattle Kraken.
Feld Entertainment is Bringing Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus Back
Feld Entertainment is casting for a new version of the Greatest Show on Earth as it plans an animal-free relaunch of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus in 2023. An official announcement is planned for 2022, but the news was divulged Thursday during a question-and-answer session at the VenuesNow Conference in Seattle featuring Feld Entertainment Chairman and CEO Kenneth Feld and Juliette Feld Grossman, the family entertainment giant’s chief operating officer.
RACE FOR THE PRIZE
For VenuesNow Conference attendees, don’t miss out on the scavenger hunt! Check in at all five checkpoints for a chance to win one of three prizes: 1) Seattle Kraken jersey ($150 value) 2) Gift card for Seattle restaurant ($150 value) 3) VenuesNow Conference 2022 registration ($800 value).
VENUESNOW CONFERENCE STARTS TODAY
VenuesNow Conference 2021 kicks off at 10 a.m. PT today in Seattle with an opening address from Oak View Group co-founder and CEO Tim Leiweke. The two-day conference schedule can be found here. (Photo: Samantha Le / Staff)
Check this page today and Friday for news and panel wrap-ups.
VENUESNOW CONFERENCE 2021 PREVIEW
Ahead of the event, VenuesNow connected with several booked panelists for a glimpse into how they see the state of the venues business today — and what topics they’re most excited to tackle on their panels.
MORE VENUESNOW CONFERENCE PANELS ANNOUNCED
“The Future Is Bright for the Live Biz: But Where Are We Right Now?” and The Role Entrepreneurialism Can Play in Driving Outsized Impact in Live Events” have been added to the schedule of panels.
NBA ARENA GMS PART OF VNC SUSTAINABILITY PANEL
A pair of NBA arena operators, Amanda Mann of Moda Center in Portland, Oregon, and Alex Rodrigo of Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California, are both set to participate in the panel discussion “Clean & Green: Keys to Operating a Sustainable Venue.”
FELDS ANNOUNCED FOR VENUESNOW CONFERENCE Q&A
Kenneth Feld, chairman and CEO of family show giant Feld Entertainment, and his daughter Juliette Feld Grossman, the company’s chief operating officer, have been announced as part of the programming lineup at VenuesNow Conference 2021.