Baylor Club at McLane Stadium is part of Invited’s Stadium Clubs division. (Courtesy Invited)

Venue developer and management company Oak View Group has announced the acquisition of the Stadium Club division from Dallas-based Invited, which owns and operates private clubs at multiple university stadiums.

Invited is a leading owner and operator of private golf and country clubs, with a portfolio of 170 clubs in North America counting nearly 400,000 members. The company’s Stadium Clubs division provide and operate private spaces within university stadiums, giving members access to an exclusive hospitality spaces for social gatherings such as weddings and meetings, often with high-end amenities including private meeting spaces, formal dining rooms and technology-equipped work spaces.

The acquisition makes sense on multiple levels, says OVG360 President Chris Granger.

“One, they help monetize these venues on non-game days. Two, they provide an additional revenue stream to universities, many of whom sorely need an additional revenue stream in a changing environment. And three, it provides them a platform to create greater community and greater connectivity between donors and faculty and alumni in the community,” said Granger. “We can go to our university partners now and have a conversation about how we can help them solve these challenges. And, there are many venues who would say, ‘Hey, we have the same challenges. Even though we’re not a university, we’d like to monetize our building on non-game days.’ So we think this runway goes far beyond the university platform.” Oak View Group is parent company to VenuesNow and Pollstar.

Stadium Clubs, with members in the 1,500 to 2,000 range, are in operation at Baylor University, University of North Carolina, University of Arizona, Texas Tech, Virginia Tech and University of Utah. Granger said the clubs can be in operation up to 200 days per year.

Granger said the investment is “a multimillion-dollar” acquisition and will involve all Invited Stadium Club employees becoming Oak View Group employees, which he said will mean more than 500 employees joining the company. Management teams and employees will remain in their current roles at the clubs, the announcement says.

“Invited’s University Stadium Club division has been a source of great pride for the company and through the years we’ve cherished the opportunity to provide an exceptional experience for our members, their families and friends,” Invited CEO David Pillsbury said in the announcement. “After many discussions and to ensure a strong and viable future, we’ve decided to sell the stadium club line of business to Oak View Group. Together, we will ensure a seamless transition and Invited will stay involved by partnering on offerings in the future.”

Granger said Invited’s membership network, which includes nearly 400,000 members at 170 clubs including high-profile golf and country clubs, will benefit from OVG’s relationships and operations in hospitality, events and music.

“We think Invited does membership better than anybody in the world,” Granger said. “This isn’t just about the acquisition of the Stadium Clubs from Invited, it’s a continued partnership with Invited on how to enhance membership for everybody. All the things that OVG can add to that membership platform, we think make the platform for members particularly interesting and more than just what they might get at their local university.”

Granger said the acquisition continues OVG’s commitment to the premium space, building on acquisitions of Rhubarb Hospitality and a partnership with culinary and wine entrepreneur Christian Navarro.

“We want to continue to do things that really authenticate that we’re serious when it comes to premium and we have more solutions to offer than anybody,” Granger said. “We think this is a real point of growth and a real point of difference in the industry.”