2023 Women Of Live: Francesca Bodie

President, Business Development | Oak View Group

Since its inception, Oak View Group has been about long-term vision, and the highest execs at the company see that vision coming to fruition.

“We’ve successfully delivered on our vision to be a positive disruption via the delivery of non-anchor tenant projects in the Coachella Valley (Acrisure Arena), Austin (Moody Center) and Baltimore (CFG Arena),” says Francesca Bodie, president of business development, which has been in overdrive since company’s inception some seven years ago. “The future of our business is in music and non-sports as the anchor tenant, as it’s these events that appeal and attract a much wider audience.”

Bodie, who serves on OVG’s corporate board as well as on the boards for all OVG arenas and Shaquille O’Neal’s Big Chicken, says that while OVG remains committed to the sports-anchored venues it has developed, it has proven the non-sports model works.

“With these three facilities, we’ve validated our thesis that music as an anchor tenant is the future of our business as we continue to grow and develop our owned and operated portfolio in both North America and around the world.”

Overcoming COVID and navigating current economic challenges like interest rates and construction costs, Bodie says the time remains ripe for continued development.

“There’s a significant amount of opportunity for us to continue building and developing around the world on a fully privatized basis, effectively transferring the risk of development and operations from municipalities to someone like us,” said Bodie, who helped raise $950 million in private financing toward Seattle’s Climate Pledge Arena and spearheaded development for the $1.5 billion UBS Arena in Belmont Park and $375 million Moody Center at the University of Texas in Austin.

With new arena projects coming online in the near future such as Co-Op Live in Manchester, England, Arena São Paulo in Brazil, FirstOntario Centre Arena in Ontario, a new arena in Cardiff, Wales and a new $3 billion Las Vegas arena and mixed-use project planning to break ground in 2023, Bodie says to expect more activity.

“I look forward to continuing growing our owned and operated portfolio around the world as we’re only just getting started. Further, I expect us to be active on future M&A in continuing to build, grow, and cultivate our category-leading OVG 360 service platform,” Bodie says of the division formed after the acquisition of Spectra. “My goal for us is to be a fully vertically integrated development company for live entertainment facilities and we’re close to achieving that vision.”