Category: People

Tom Wilson: As They Said It

HAIL, CAESARS: Wilson was part of the development of Little Caesars Arena in downtown Detroit. “Tom built two of the best venues in North America.”  — Rick Franks “At one time, downtown was (considered) the ‘bad guys.’ Chris Ilitch saw what Tom did in helping develop the Palace from the very beginning. They put a deal together for what turned out to be Little Caesars Arena.”  — Franks “Promoters made so much money (at the Palace) that they kept coming back. We kept telling everybody that it had the best acoustics in the country. We had no idea, but it seemed like it would.”  — Tom Wilson  “We used to preach this … if we take care of the arena, so will our guests. We could put a heavy metal band in there and the building would look just as good when they left as it did when they came […]

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Year End: What the …?

Thought leaders address what just happened and what 2021 may look like Tough times require smart people, so VenuesNow and Pollstar went looking for some of the smartest in the business as the idea of the imminent approval of a COVID-19 vaccine in the U.S. began to take hold and asked them these questions:  1. In terms of scale and impact, how would you describe 2020 and the current crisis’ challenges and impact on your business? 2. What strategies have you and your businesses implemented and/or are you considering implementing to address these challenges? 3. With vaccinations reportedly on the near horizon, better testing technology, accrediting organizations, industry sanitization and safety protocols being established, a new presidential administration and more, when and how do you anticipate the industry coming back? Their answers to each of the three questions are below. Answers have been edited for clarity and brevity.   Kenneth FeldChairman and CEO, […]

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Venue Voices: Zakiya Smith-Dore

Event operations manager, University of Florida Performing Arts Zakiya Smith-Dore is an event operations manager with University of Florida Performing Arts. She’s held that position since April 2017. Smith-Dore is a true-blue Florida Gator, with bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the SEC school. Smith-Dore started working at the Stephen O’Connell Center on campus as an undergraduate. Prior to her current role, she served as a changeover supervisor at the 10,133-seat arena for about four years. Former NBA arena manager Sporty Jeralds says she’s a “young, fast-rising star in our business.” Smith-Dore is a Certified Venues Professional and active with the International Association of Venue Managers, where she represents the state of Florida and is vice chair of the trade group’s University Venues Committee. She led research and co-authored IAVM’s pandemic recovery guide and received its 2020 Chairman’s Citation. Smith-Dore spoke with VenuesNow reporter James Zoltak about how she went from studying […]

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Video Interview: How the Live Biz is Rocking the Vote Like Never Before

Tune in Live on Facebook/VenuesNow. Join us for a Pollstar Live! and VenuesNow Digital Session: How The Live Biz is Rocking the Vote Like Never Before, live on Facebook at 1pm ET/10am PT on Thursday, October 29. Confirmed panelists include: Andy Bernstein, Headcount Hannah Gordon, San Francisco 49ers & Levi’s Stadium Patterson Hood, Drive-By Truckers Mary Kay Huse, Mandolin Steve Koonin, Atlanta Hawks & State Farm Arena Kevin Lyman, #iVoted Board Member & Kevin Lyman Group Vernon Reid, Living Colour and Emily White, #iVoted Moderated by Pollstar’s Eric Renner Brown.

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