Assistant General Manager, Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, SMG Michael Owens learned early...Read More
Marketing and Communications Manager, U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, SMG When Lisa Niess was a student at Iowa State, she landed an internship at Stephens Auditorium, a 2,700-plus capacity theater on the university’s campus. Before the experience, she’d never considered a career working at venues, but her eyes were soon opened to the possibilities. “It didn’t take me long to realize how cool it was to be there on show night and to see the theater fill up with people excited to be there,” she said. “They’re taking a break from whatever else is going on in their lives to spend time with family and friends and to relax and enjoy themselves. And I realized quickly that that’s where I wanted to be.” Today, Niess, marketing and communications manager for U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, helps create those enduring experiences for fans for the largest events in the business, ranging from the… Continue Reading Generation Next: Lisa Niess
Director of Marketing, BOK Center, Tulsa, Okla., SMG When Meghan Blood was the interim director of marketing at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Okla., the arena was in the middle of managing seven shows with Garth Brooks. She desperately wanted the permanent position as director of marketing, and she believes her leadership during that moment helped her land the job. “One of the things I love about BOK and (arena operator) SMG as a whole is they’re very good about promoting within. I had a good feeling I’d get the job, but I think it played a big part in me getting that promotion,” she said. She’s been the director of marketing for almost five years now and continues to impress her peers, bosses and those who work with her industrywide. “She’s probably one of the calmest senior leaders I have. She’s so calm in the middle of chaos. She never… Continue Reading Generation Next: Meghan Blood
New Orleans’ Mercedes-Benz Superdome recently announced a $450 million renovation. (Getty Images) Two years plus options at Mercedes-Benz Superdome, Smoothie King Center Centerplate has reupped its hospitality contract with New Orleans’ Mercedes-Benz Superdome and Smoothie King Center. Centerplate has been with both buildings since 1999. The Superdome, home of the NFL’s New Orleans Saints, has launched a massive $450 million renovation, the first major upgrade for the property since the repairs that followed Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Additions will include a new large kitchen and food-service area in a space currently being used for parking. “There was no RFP required for this purpose,” said Steve Trotter, Centerplate’s regional vice president. “We have a great working relationship with our clients. We had a chat, made a deal, and we remain.” Great relationship indeed. In an annual evaluation of all 32 NFL teams, conducted by the League Observation Program and third-party audits,… Continue Reading NOLA Venues Extend Centerplate Deal
SMG will take over operations at the Las Cruces Convention Center in New Mexico, pending City Council approval. (Courtesy Las Cruces Convention Center) Council to vote on firm’s taking over management of N.M. convention center Las Cruces, N.M., has chosen SMG over incumbent Spectra to manage the Las Cruces Convention Center, a city spokesman said. “While the decision to replace SMG for Spectra has been made, it still needs to be ratified by the Las Cruces City Council before made official,” said Udell Vigil, Las Cruces’ public information officer. “At the moment it’s still a recommendation to the City Council that SMG be hired. There is no official contract until they sign off, but it would be highly unusual for the City Council to reject the recommendation to hire SMG.” It was not known when the council vote would take place. Spectra has been at the convention center since January… Continue Reading Las Cruces Recommends SMG for Job
Casey Sparks helped open BOK Center in 2008 as marketing director. She replaces Jeff Nickler at Tulsa arena as well as Cox Business Center Casey Sparks will be taking over as general manager at Tulsa’s BOK Center and Cox Business Center, replacing longtime GM Jeff Nickler, who moved to OVG Facilities last year. Sparks opened the SMG-managed BOK Center in 2008 as marketing director, left for a position with Red Light Management in 2010, and returned to BOK Center in 2014 as assistant general manager. Sparks began her career at Colonial Life Arena in Columbia, S.C., and also worked at San Antonio’s 18,500-seat AT&T Center and Pensacola Bay Center in Florida.
AEG, as a corporation, owns and operates Staples Center in Los Angeles. (Getty Images) Food, ticketing and events components could be key as companies with differing strategies combine as ASM Global The blockbuster merger of AEG Facilities and SMG Worldwide should not greatly affect the venue operations side, industry officials said. But they say it’s worth keeping an eye on the evolution of the companies’ ticketing, events and food service businesses, because all three ancillaries provide critical revenue sources. The companies, which are the two biggest players in the private management of sports and entertainment venues, announced in early February that they have formed a definitive merger, creating a new entity that will be called ASM Global. Financial terms were not disclosed. AEG Facilities and Onex, a private equity firm that acquired SMG for $1 billion in 2017, will each own 50 percent of the new company. The merger will… Continue Reading AEG Facilities-SMG Merger: Watch for the Ancillaries