Facilities & Event Management 2018-2019 Booking Guide

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Facilities & Event Management 2018-2019

BEDROCK COMMUNICATIONS, INC. 152 Madison Ave., Ste. 802, New York, NY 10016



For Booking Agents, Promoters, Sports Travel Planners & Venue Managers




STAYING AHEAD OF THE CURVE Las Vegas’ Fremont Street Experience



Facilities &Event Management





ak View Group, Spectra and VenuWorks may need to refine their individual value propositions to potential clients in light of a formidable new competitor. ASM Global, the venue management company resulting from the recently announced merger between AEG Facilities and SMG, will boast a portfolio of more than 310 venues across five continents. Bob Newman, current President of AEG Facilities, will serve as President and CEO of the new company, while Wes Westley, current CEO and President of SMG, will join ASM’s Board of Directors. According to Westley, “We plan to accelerate innovation by combining our expertise to deliver increased value and offer enhanced capabilities to municipalities and venue owners worldwide.” SMG’s expertise has been honed over 40-plus years, and it brings a momentum of steady growth that’s detailed in the F&EM 2017 SuperBook cover story. Assuming ASM’s services will represent an enhancement of SMG’s already robust capabilities, clients will truly have a state-of-the-art partner with a massive knowledge base and network of facilities. Unfazed by its blocked attempt to bid for the purchase of SMG in 2017, Oak View Group has continued on an upward trajectory that includes partnering with Elevate Sports Ventures last summer and buying Pinnacle Venue Services last fall. But perhaps most significantly, Oak View Group is leading the renovation of Seattle’s KeyArena, transforming it into Seattle Center Arena, where the city’s new NHL team will play in 2021. Learn about this major project and other Northwest arena developments in this issue’s Regional Spotlight (p. 25). While the impact of the megamerger on the marketplace remains to be seen, venues will still be able to “shop around” when it comes to management companies. Ultimately, these partnerships aim to maximize revenue for the facility, but instrumental to that goal is a guest experience whose quality is on par with the entertainment content. Regarding the guest experience, the venue managers among our readers can gain insight from Lee A. Esckilsen, Associate Professor in the Department of Sports, Entertainment and Event Management at Johnson & Wales University. In this issue, Esckilsen details the various experiential stages patrons undergo, from pre-event through exiting the venue (p. 41), and offers key considerations for improving each stage. The right management company, regardless of the size of its portfolio, delivers the kind of experience that both guests and incoming acts will rave about.

– George Seli Editorial Director, Facilities Media Group gseli@facilitiesonline.com

For Booking Agents, Promoters, Sports Travel Planners & Venue Managers

Volume 26 No. 1

Chief Operating Officer David Korn Associate Publisher Michael Caffin Editorial Director George Seli Contributing Editor Anthony Bilden Creative Direction & Design Scott-Goodman Associates Business Operations David Mermelstein

© Copyright 2018 by Bedrock Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. Opinions expressed in by-lined articles and advertising copy are not necessarily those of the publisher. Advertisers are responsible for all costs, damages and claims regarding advertising insertions. Facilities & Event Management is published twice a year by Bedrock Communications, Inc., 152 Madison Avenue, Suite 802, New York, NY 10016. Telephone: (212) 532-4150. Fax: (212) 213-6382. POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to Facilities, 152 Madison Avenue, Suite 802, New York, NY 10016. Printed in U.S.A. Cover ad space is available by contacting a Facilities advertising account executive at (212) 532-4150.


In Brief................................................................................................................. 4 Concert Watch................................................................................................... 4 Industry Pulse.................................................................................................... 8 Sports Market.................................................................................................. 10 Construction/Renovation................................................................................. 14 Forum R.J. Romeo, Romeo Entertainment Group......................................................... 16 Lucy Lawler-Freas, Rival Entertainment.............................................................. 20 Perspectives Are You Really Meeting Guests’ Expectations?, by Lee A. Esckilsen................. 41 The Age of Digital Media Design, by David Grindle.......................................... 43


Northwest Spotlight.......................................................................................... 25 Q&A: Chris Eberle, Live Nation – Seattle........................................................ 26 Q&A: Howard Zuckerman, Rose Quarter........................................................ 29 Venue Profiles.................................................................................................... 32 Advertiser Index................................................................................................ 42


ON THE COVER R.J. Romeo, IEBA’s 2018 Fair Buyer of the Year, has his finger on the pulse of the fair and festival market. The success of Fremont Street Experience, a Romeo Entertainment Group client, demonstrates his prowess. Romeo’s observations on entertaiment content, new festival development, economic challenges, contract trends and more should interest both agents and venues involved in this segment of the live events industry.





FOR BOOKING INFORMATION Randy L. Brown, CVE • (260) 482-9502 rbrown@memorialcoliseum.com





FORT WAYNE, IN — Thomas Rhett brought his Life Changes Tour 2018 to the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum on Oct. 5.

CHARLOTTE, NC — Justin Timberlake is joined by Donna Julian, Senior Vice President, Arena & Event Operations – General Manager, Hornets Sports & Entertainment. She presents him with shoes designed exclusively for The Man of the Woods Tour by local shoemaker Doug Romer. Timberlake played the Spectrum Center on Jan. 8, 2019.

, JONESBORO AR — The Newsboys United Tour visited First National Bank Arena on Oct. 14, 2018.

INDIANAPOLIS, IN — Prior to their Dec. 5, 2018, performance at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, performers and tour and management personnel from Trans-Siberian Orchestra joined staff from Pacers Sports & Entertainment and event promoter Live Nation. Continued on page 6



The heart of Toronto. The home of Live entertainment. The reimagined Scotiabank Arena is ready for your event. You provide the talent, we’ll provide the world’s best fans in the most diverse city on earth. @ScotiabankArena ScotiabankArena.com


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LUBBOCK, TX — Country singer Chris Young performed at United Supermarkets Arena on Sept. 14, 2018. (L-r): The venue’s Meredith Imes (Associate Director), Cindy Harper (Associate Managing Director) and Kent Meredith (Director) present Young with a gift of local Texas treats and hot sauces.

MOLINE, IL — Jeff Dunham brought his Passively Aggressive tour to the TaxSlayer Center on Jan. 23, 2019. (L-r): Robin Tate, President, Tate Entertainment Group; Dunham; and Scott Mullen, Executive Director, TaxSlayer Center.

— Florence PORTLAND, OR igh as + the Machine’s H the Moda Hope Tour visited , 2018. Center on Sept. 11 the arena, For more news on Regional see the Northwest 25. Spotlight on page



San Jose

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Brittany Flores Live Nation

Amir Mertaban Microsoft Theater

Jeff Nickler Oak View Group

BEVERLY HILLS, CA — Live Nation recently announced two international acquisitions: Mainland Music, one of the leading concert promoters in Switzerland, and DF Entertainment, one of Argentina’s top independent concert promoters. Founded in 2012, Mainland Music promotes over 650 shows 8

annually across a variety of genres. The company will continue all operations, while partnering with Live Nation on tours and other promotion opportunities. Buenos Airesbased DF Entertainment sold more than 500,000 event tickets last year, and oversees a rapidly growing lineup of artists. Regarding Live Nation’s acquisition of a majority stake in DF Entertainment, Michael Rapino, President and CEO, Live Nation Entertainment, commented: “The demand for concerts and live events across South America has never been higher, and the local insight of Diego [Finkelstein, DF Entertainment Founder] and the DF Entertainment team will help us connect more artists and fans throughout Argentina than ever before. DF Entertainment has proven to be an amazing partner and the premier promoter in Argentina, and we’re glad to have them join the Live Nation family after many years working together.” BEVERLY HILLS, CA — Live Nation has recently made several appointments within its U.S. Concerts division, naming Kelly Flanigan President of Washington DC, Wilson Howard Chief Operating Officer of Washington DC / Carolinas, Brittany Flores President of Miami – U.S. Concerts and Neil Jacobsen President of Tampa / Orlando – U.S. Concerts. All will report to Bob Roux, President of U.S. Concerts. BROOKINGS, SD — In January,

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem and South Dakota Secretary of Tourism Jim Hagen presented the Swiftel Center the 2018 George S. Mickelson Great Service Award at the 2019 Governor’s Conference on Tourism. “The Swiftel Center is taking a unique look at motivating and educating their staff to provide high levels of customer service,” said Noem. “Whether a fulltime or part-time employee, they are demonstrating what people-first service looks like and are seeing the benefits of their excellence.” “We are honored to be recognized by the Governor of South Dakota for the George S. Mickelson Great Service Award,” said Tom Richter, Executive Director of the VenuWorksmanaged Swiftel Center. “The Swiftel Center Team takes great pride in consistently putting service first for our customers and patrons.” LOS ANGELES, CA — Amir Mertaban was recently appointed General Manager of Microsoft Theater. He previously held the GM position at Fox Performing Arts Center and the Riverside Municipal Auditorium. Prior to that appointment, Mertaban served as Assistant General Manager at Warner Theatre in Washington, DC. LOS ANGELES, CA — Jeff Nickler recently joined Oak View Group as Senior Vice President of the Arena Alliance. Nickler had been General Manager of the SMGmanaged BOK Center, in Tulsa, OK, for the past six years. In his new position, he leads the efforts of 28 professional venues working together to increase special events as well as sponsorships.

NEW YORK, NY — The Madison Square Garden Company recently appointed Geraldine Calpin Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. “We are pleased to welcome Geraldine to The Madison Square Garden Company,” said President Andrew Lustgarten. “Her significant expertise in marketing and brand development will be important to our efforts to strengthen our visibility in the marketplace and establish innovative ways to engage with our customers, as well as our ambitious plans to expand the MSG brand to new markets.” Calpin joins MSG from WeWork, where she was Chief Marketing Officer – EMEA. Prior to WeWork, she had a 16-year career at Hilton Worldwide. SPOKANE, WA — On Dec. 2, Metallica set a new singleconcert attendance record at Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena: 13,184 guests. Neil Diamond had held the record since Aug. 17, 1999, when he drew 12,526 patrons to the arena. “To break an almost 20year attendance record was amazing, but doing it with a crowd of all ages coming to see a band like Metallica makes it all the more special,” commented Matt Gibson, Spokane Arena General Manager. For more Spokane venue news, see the Northwest Regional Spotlight on page 25. WEST CONSHOHOCKEN, PA — In January, Jamey Hines was appointed National Director, SMG Promotions. He assists the SMG Entertainment Team with generating more offers and events for SMG-managed facilities. Previously, Hines was the General Manager of the Sands Bethlehem Event Center, in Bethlehem, PA.




KANSAS CITY, MO — Ryan Gedney, NCARB, AIA, recently joined HNTB Corporation as National Design Director of Architecture and Vice President. Over the past 20 years, Gedney has focus on innovative master planning of sports and entertainment districts. His projects include Rogers Place Arena for the Edmonton Oilers, the State Farm Arena renovation for the Atlanta Hawks, Little Caesars Arena for the Detroit Red Wings and Detroit Pistons, Mercedes Benz Stadium for the Atlanta Falcons, and Avaya Stadium for the San Jose Earthquakes. According to Chris Migneron, NCARB, AIA, HNTB Architecture National Practice Leader and Vice President, Gedney’s “experience on large-scale stadium and arena projects in particular enhances the services that we offer to both professional sports franchises and university athletic departments to help them meet their goals of creating first-class amenities and modernized experiences for their fans.” LOS ANGELES, CA — In December, the LA Galaxy hired Dennis te Kloese as General Manager. Te Kloese, the former Director of National Teams for the Mexican Football Federation, said, “I am grateful and excited for the opportunity to join the LA Galaxy and look forward to strengthening all soccer 10

operations within this club. The LA Galaxy and its supporters expect to compete for championships year-in and year-out. I am fully committed to putting together a team capable of competing at the highest level.” LOS ANGELES, CA — The XFL launched the weekend of Feb. 8-9, 2020 with teams in eight cities and venues: Globe Life Park in Dallas, TDECU Stadium in Houston, StubHub Center in Los Angeles, MetLife Stadium in New York, The Dome at America’s Center in St. Louis, CenturyLink Field in Seattle, Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay, and Audi Field in Washington, DC. MUMBAI, INDIA and NEW YORK, NY — The NBA announced in December that the Indiana Pacers and Sacramento Kings will play in two preseason games in Mumbai, on Oct. 4 and 5 at the NSCI Dome. The games will mark the first games the NBA has played in India and the first games staged in the country by a North American sports league. BookMyShow and AEG will produce the NBA India Games 2019, which will air live in India and reach fans in more than 200 countries and territories on television and digital and social media. “Our inaugural NBA India Games will help further untap the enormous basketball potential in a country with a thriving sports culture

and a growing, young and engaged population,” said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. “We thank the Kings and Pacers organizations for participating in this historic event.” PORTLAND, OR — The Green Sports Alliance has named former Roger McClendon Executive Director. McClendon previously served as Chief Sustainability Officer for Yum! Brands. The Green Sports Alliance is an international group of sports and stadium executives, as well as sustainability experts, who use sports to promote healthy, sustainable communities. McClendon said that he intends to have the Alliance “engaged beyond just environmental issues, moving to that next level of impact,” including social and economic issues such as eliminating poverty, ensuring quality education and achieving gender equality.

into our next decade here in China Basin,” said Giants President and CEO Laurence M. Baer. “While there were several national and local companies interested in the opportunity, Oracle — a longstanding partner of the Giants — was a perfect fit because of its deep roots in the Bay Area, its position as a global leader in technology and innovation, and its shared commitment to community values of diversity and inclusion, sustainability, education and philanthropy. We look forward to engaging in a model partnership.” As part of the agreement, Oracle will partner with the Giants to invest in a number of improvements to Oracle Park over the next five years, including the addition of a new, stateof-the-art scoreboard and signage. SEATTLE, WA — Per an $87.5 million naming rights deal between the Seattle Mariners

The newly named T-Mobile Park, formerly Safeco Field

REDWOOD SHORES, CA — The San Francisco Giants and Oracle recently signed a 20-year partnership providing Oracle with the naming rights to the ballpark through 2038. As of Jan. 10, AT&T Park is renamed Oracle Park. “We are thrilled to welcome Oracle as our naming rights partner as we move

and T-Mobile, Safeco Field will be known as T-Mobile Park beginning with the 2019 MLB season. “Fans have come to expect a great experience at this ballpark, and we have made a commitment to invest substantial Club revenues over the next 25 years to make sure that continues,” commented Mariners Continued on page 12


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President and CEO Kevin Mather in a statement. “This partnership with T-Mobile will help us meet that obligation so that fans will have a first-class experience at T-Mobile Park for decades to come.” For more Seattle venue news, see the Northwest Regional Spotlight on page 25. WICHITA, KS — The SMG-managed INTRUST Bank Arena celebrated a milestone on Dec. 15 when it reached three million tickets sold, hosting its three millionth ticketed fan, Brian Green, at a Wichita State men’s

basketball game. Arena staff presented Green, and his son Channing, with a prize package that included courtside seats to the game, a commemorative ticket presented to them during the game at halfcourt, and a swag bag full of merchandise from both INTRUST Bank Arena and Wichita State. “We’re thrilled to have reached this significant milestone at the end of what was a historic year for us at INTRUST Bank Arena,” said SMG General Manager AJ Boleski. “Three million tickets sold is a tremendous accomplishment and a

Wichita State basketball fan Brian Green (center) was the three millionth ticketed fan at INTRUST Bank Arena. Arena staff presented Green and his son Channing with a prize package.

huge testament to the support this community shows our facility.” In addition to Wichita State basketball, the arena has hosted NCAA 2011

Women’s Basketball Championship first and second rounds, and the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship first and second rounds.



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IN BRIEF CONSTRUCTION/RENOVATION ATLANTA, GA — The Wi-Fi network has been upgraded at State Farm Arena, thanks to an agreement between Comcast Business and the Atlanta Hawks. The improved system delivers 10 times the previous speed and nearly doubles the number of access points.

million arena on campus that will host Texas Men’s and Women’s basketball games, graduations, concerts and other events. The venue is expected to open in 2021, replacing the 41-year-old Frank C. Erwin Center. “This is a truly wonderful opportunity for

The Jay and Susie Gogue Performing Arts Center at Auburn University, set to open in August

AUBURN, AL — The new Jay and Susie Gogue Performing Arts Center at Auburn University opens in August. The state-of-theart venue includes the 1,200seat Walter Stanley and Virginia Katharyne Evans Woltosz Theatre and the Amphitheatre at the City of Auburn Porch and Lawn, which accommodates over 1,500 guests on the lawn and an additional 1,000 in the surrounding area. AUSTIN, TX — The University of Texas at Austin and ArenaCo (comprised of Oak View Group, Live Nation, C3 Presents and Matthew McConaughey) are building a new $338 14

The University of Texas, our basketball programs and the City of Austin,” said UT Vice President and Athletics Director Chris Del Conte. “We’re building one of the nation’s finest arenas that will provide an awesome home court advantage for our men’s and women’s basketball programs. The 10,000seat facility will bring our fans and students close to the action and provide an exciting and engaging game day experience. On top of that, it will have the capacity to expand to 15,000 when needed and be a big-time concert venue that draws premier performers to our great city.”

COLUMBUS, OH — The 92-year-old Palace Theatre unveiled a full facelift of its 2,691-seat auditorium last fall. The project is part of a $6.5 million investment that constitutes the first major renovation for the Palace since 1984. The completed makeover added a new color scheme, new and refurbished seating, and installed a new LED house lighting system, among other improvements. LAWRENCEVILLE, GA — The Lawrenceville City Council approved the construction of the $31 million Lawrenceville Performing Arts Center, a project that expands the complex of the existing 250-capacity Aurora Theatre. When completed by mid 2020, the campus will include a 500-seat theater and small cabaret theater. NEW YORK, NY — In December, the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded the Ronald O. Perelman Center for the Performing Arts an $89 million grant that enables 82 percent of building costs to be covered. Currently under construction at the

World Trade Center site, the Center is a 90,000-sq.ft., 138-ft.-tall cube-like structure will include three performance spaces accommodating up to 1,200 patrons. It is scheduled to be complete by 2021. Bill Rauch, former Artistic Director of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, will serve as the Perelman Center’s inaugural Artistic Director. SAN DIEGO, CA — In December, the San Diego Sports Arena was renamed Pechanga Arena San Diego per an agreement between the arena’s management and parent company, AEG Management SD, LLC, and Pechanga Resort Casino of Temecula, CA. “The Pechanga name and reputation carries a lot of weight in the entertainment industry,” commented Ernest Hahn, Senior Vice President and General Manager of AEG Management SD, LLC. “This partnership will afford us new opportunities and ensures that San Diego will continue to receive the best in premium entertainment and sporting events.” Planned venue improvements include repaving the guest parking lot and upgrading ticketing.

Rendering of the Ronald O. Perelman Center for the Performing Arts, under construction in Lower Manhattan



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By George Seli


ne of the most decorated talentbuying agencies in the country, Romeo Entertainment Group is responsible for the entertainment lineups at long-running fairs and festivals such as Country Jam USA, Cheyenne Frontier Days, North Dakota State Fair and Mississippi Valley Fair. The family-owned agency’s status was further validated when it won IEBA’s 2014 Industry Achievement Award. Several award-winning talent buyers have contributed to this success, including founder Don Romeo, the 2010 Inaugural IEBA Hall of Fame Inductee. Most recently, Don’s grandson R.J. was named IEBA’s 2018 Fair Buyer of the Year and the Academy of Country Music’s 2017 Talent Buyer of the Year. In the following discussion, R.J. Romeo explains some of his best practices as a talent buyer for highly successful fairs and festivals, entertainment content trends at these events, and some of the current challenges festival organizers are facing.


What was your career path leading into the talent-buying field?

get that [business integrity] really appreciate it. And the fact that our company is now celebrating 65 years as a familyowned business is a testament to that core principle that I think we all operate under.


Do you feel the company has influenced the kind of musical entertainment seen at festivals today?



y generation especially listens to multiple genres, and we don’t classify ourselves by one genre. I think that’s something we have to adapt to as talent buyers.”

I started in the production world. When I was 16 I went on the road as a roofing and lighting technician for TMS (Theatrical Media Services). I learned a lot and gained a lot of respect for people in the industry doing that hard work. And then while I was in college I worked for the family business, and I became junior talent buyer and was the rock consultant for our agency. During that time we accomplished a lot. We were the only fair and festival producer to get Evanescence on their first tour, which was the Nintendo Fusion Tour.


Romeo Entertainment Group maintains client relationships that are decades long. What kinds of business practices underlie such relationships? As my grandfather and father taught me early on, relationships are forged and maintained by you keeping your word. You do what you say you’re going to do, and don’t lie to your business partners. I think the managers and artists that 16

In the early 2000s, we forged relationships with Nickelback and 3 Doors Down during one of the most successful times in their respective careers. And that actually broke the ice for getting modern rock acts to look at fairs as not only a place where older rock and country acts play, but also where modern rock acts can find success.


Are you working on any new festivals that you’re especially excited about?

I’m very intrigued by Twin Cities Summer Jam because we’re doing something new and unique: we’re taking country music and pairing it with rock and pop. So on one night we have REO Speedwagon playing with Rascal Flatts as the headliner. Another night we have Tim McGraw as the headliner and then Pitbull in the second slot. The thing that gave us the idea for that one was the success that we had with the Pendleton Whisky Music Fest, where we did Blake Shelton and Pitbull last year. It was the first time those guys had ever been on the same stage together.


In general, do you feel that mixing genres fits the current entertainment market? Continued on page 18 FACILITIES & EVENT MANAGEMENT 2018-19 BOOKING GUIDE








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My philosophy is that people want to consume live music in the same way they consume music in their homes, whether it’s through Spotify, the iHeartRadio app, etc. My generation especially listens to multiple genres, and we don’t classify ourselves by one genre. I think that’s something we have to adapt to as talent buyers. If we just provide cookiecutter lineups over and over again at different festivals around the country, then we’re not helping our clients differentiate themselves and we’re not creating the unique value proposition.


Have you found there are different talent-buying protocols for country versus rock acts?

Sometimes we’re buying a year upfront for an event, and while the rock and pop acts won’t confirm that far out, country will. That’s why the country festivals are already submitting offers for 2020.


Is it a safe bet to book less established acts that far out?

Suppose we’re going to invest a million dollars in artist X and we’re buying a year out. Is X going to have a new album? What’s the plan with singles? When you’re talking about the big headliners, we generally aren’t concerned about new product: you just want to secure the name and you’re basically going off of catalog. Once you get into those second and third slots, however, you’re very concerned about those things because you want added value. If you book an artist that doesn’t have new music, especially in the pop world, they could be gone in a year or their relevance could be significantly diminished. Now that we’re back in the singles economy, artists keep putting out new music, and that’s a great thing for us because it gives us something to promote. You have pop artists that look like they have the momentum going, and you have to take a risk. And if they’re willing to confirm early, they’ll get more shows than their brethren in the pop world.


What are some of the economic challenges festivals are facing today?

Up until four or five years ago, I could count on one hand the number of artists we’ve even offered a million dollars to. Now, to play the game and even talk to a big artist, your starting point is a million. The money that the artist can make in the festival world has just ballooned, and with that has come several issues. You have the problem of festivals going out of business because they can’t make ends meet. You have the problem of the artist wanting more money because they got paid it at one big festival, and they want that across the country. So the uniform pricing model becomes an issue. It’s not equitable to hold a festival that might only be able to do 20,000 people to the same rate as a 40,000- or 50,000-cap festival. I tell my clients that if you can break even off your ticket sales for the artist, you’re doing well. At the end of the day, where festivals make their money is the ancillary revenue: parking, camping, sponsorships, ticketing, F&B, etc. 18


Is it becoming more difficult for newer festivals to succeed some markets?

I definitely feel that in some markets we are very saturated. Look at how many huge events there are in Wisconsin and Minnesota, and yet we’re launching a new one [Twin Cities Summer Jam]. But I think we’re providing a different value and experience than anything else that’s out there in the Minnesota market, so that’s the competitive advantage. The biggest mistake I see new festivals make is that they try to come out of the gate too big and spend way too much money before they’ve been able to establish their brand or give anybody a chance to really plan around the event. And now with festivals going out of business and keeping people’s ticket money or having issues with refunding them, what does that do to the consumer confidence level in new festivals? It’s much more challenging now when we’re trying to get people to buy into a new brand and the legitimacy of a new event.


How has the highly publicized failure of those festivals impacted your business practices?

We’re constantly working to develop new events, but in the post Fyre Festival, post Pemberton Music Festival world, the agencies put a lot of pressure on us to make sure these clients are vetted financially. So we’re very careful about which clients we take on, and we vet them extremely hard.


Can you share any contract trends you’ve seen in recent years?

The biggest trend I’ve seen has been in the language regarding trying to get personal guarantees from talent buyers and agents. And it’s crazy because the major booking agencies are agents as well, agents for a disclosed principal. And a basic tenant of agency law is that an agent for a disclosed principal can’t be held liable for the debts or obligations of the principal. Yet some of those booking agencies want to pass that obligation along to the middlemen, the talent buyers, those people who are also acting as agents for a disclosed principal. Due to the market saturation, the huge money to put on these festivals, artist guarantees and other expenses, they want to know they’ve got their money secure. They’re gathering more information than they’ve ever gathered before about new events. Some of the agencies are now requiring 100 percent of the money upfront before they’ll let you announce the upcoming show. All of these things combined are creating a higher barrier of entry for new events, and the resulting impact on the business will be seen in the years to come.


Will there be new developments at Romeo Entertainment Group this year?

REG has partnered with a company called Beckon Entertainment, and we’re going to be launching a new venture called BERO Entertainment Group. We’ll be providing talent buying, production and concert support for corporate events. FACILITIES & EVENT MANAGEMENT 2018-19 BOOKING GUIDE

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By George Seli Lawler-Freas is a veteran talent L1997,ucy buyer in the Atlanta market. Since she has booked a variety of acts in

Hough, April 12; John Crist, April 14; Judas Priest, May 8; and Greta Van Fleet, May 12 and 13.]

clubs ranging from The Roxy, Cotton Club, Tabernacle and House of Blues Club Network to larger venues such as Georgia State Stadium, where Rival Entertainment booked the Foo Fighters last year. Lawler-Freas helped launch Rival in 2004, and retains her position with the company along with her role as Director of Programming for Atlanta’s Fox Theatre, which she joined in October 2017. The Gainesville, GA native discusses her approach to the talent buying trade as well as trends in Atlanta’s live entertainment market.


What were your programming goals for the theater when you started?



How did you become a talent buyer and what did you find appealing about the profession initially?


I actually kind of fell into the position. I was majoring in English, and I wanted to do creative writing. I wanted to do something art driven. I always loved music and had a few friends that were guitar techs on the road and they are the ones that introduced me to doing production during the Olympics, which is how I got hired to be a runner. And after that started to work as a runner at Chastain Park Amphitheater. Then I came into the office [as a production assistant], which back then was Concert/Southern Promotions, before it was SFX, then Clear Channel and then Live Nation. And I very quickly became a talent buyer.



was excited to try to do more rock ‘n’ roll at the Fox because that’s what it was in the ’70s: Allman Brothers, Lynyrd Skynyrd and shows like that are so memorable for Atlantans.”

What are some of the latest acts you’ve booked at the Fox Theatre?

2018 was an amazing year. We had Nine Inch Nails and David Byrne — acts that probably could play bigger venues but did multiple nights. We do a lot of Broadway here so our dates [for other shows] are a little scarce, but I’m looking forward to 2019. [Editor’s note: Highlights this year include Mariah Carey, March 5; Derek 20


I was excited to try to do more rock ‘n’ roll at the Fox because that’s what it was in the ’70s: Allman Brothers, Lynyrd Skynyrd and shows like that are so memorable for Atlantans. So my goal, after being thrilled to have this as a dream job, was to focus on bringing more of that [kind of music] back into the venue.


How has the Atlanta live music market changed throughout your career? When I was booking the Tabernacle in the late ’90s/ early 2000s, we didn’t do any hip-hop, and now Atlanta is the absolute hip-hop capital of the world. Rival does a ton of hiphop. We’re involved in ONE Musicfest [an urban progressive music festival held in Atlanta in September], and we do a lot of it at Center Stage Theater.

What is your approach to determining if an act is likely to sell well at your venue?

We keep really good records here at the Fox [of ticket sales for previous shows], so we can reference that. But I think it’s more important to be familiar with the history of the artist in the market, whether they play the Fox or somewhere else, and their trend [in popularity], whether they’re growing or waning. Continued on page 22 FACILITIES & EVENT MANAGEMENT 2018-19 BOOKING GUIDE





FF OORRU MU M Continued from page 20


Have any contract trends stood out to you in recent years?

There are a lot of new security [contract terms], and I’m really happy to see it. Several artists this year have requested bomb-sniffing dogs. There is more security in hidden places for the bigger shows, “eyes from the sky” so to speak, that I welcome. I don’t think there’s ever going to be an argument about how much the security bill is anymore.


How do you maintain longstanding agent relationships?

Most of my agent relationships go back more than 15 years. I remember the days of Don Muller and Marc Geiger at ARTISTdirect. So I do a lot of business with people that were assistants 10 or 20 years ago that are now big agents. Regularly staying in touch [is important], but I think it’s really about how you treat their artists and doing a good job. You pay attention to the details, you make sure the artist is happy. And if the show is struggling, you work hard to try to save it. If the show is a sellout, you make them feel special. It’s about paying close attention to their artist and being appreciative that you have the business.


Is it especially satisfying for you to be instrumental to an artist’s rise?

If you’re working with an agent or a manager that’s breaking an artist and you take the time to work with that artist all the way through to a stadium or arena, that’s the most satisfying thing. Khalid is a good example. Khalid played a 600-capacity room and then played my 1,100-capacity room. Then it became a Live Nation tour on the arena level. But the agent and the manager were kind enough to make sure Rival was included on the tour date in Atlanta because I had been there from Day One. So that was really special, and I’m grateful for that.


What would you say is your major career accomplishment?

I think the Fox Theatre job is a reflection of the hard work and success of Rival. We worked so hard as an independent promoter to make a mark. You’re doing the bigger shows and making a splash where it becomes noticeable: “Hey, that’s not a Live Nation show or an AEG show, that’s an independent doing that show.” I think that’s how I ended up here at the Fox. I sort of scrapped it out, and I still have that in me.


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Anne Murray Amy Grant Ani DiFranco Ben Harper Bill Burr Blue Man Group Blues Traveler Bob Dylan Carlos Mencia Chicago Chris Tomlin Daniel Tosh Dave Chappelle Dave Matthews Derek and Julianna Hough Emerson Lake & Palmer Experience Hendrix Fitz & the Tantrums Gabriel Iglesias George Clinton & The P-Funk All Stars Glen Campbell Gordon Lightfoot Government Mule Harry Connick, Jr. Home Free Indigo Girls Jackson Browne Jars of Clay Jason Mraz Joe Bonamassa John Prine Jonny Lang Kathy Griffin Little Big Town Lyle Lovett Mannheim Steamroller Matchbox 20 Melissa Etheridge Mercy Me Michael W. Smith moe. Moody Blues Natalie Merchant Norah Jones O.A.R. Prairie Home Companion Ray LaMontagne Red Green Rick Springfield Ringo Starr Rockapella Rodney Carrington Ron White Ryan Adams Santana Sarah McLachlan Second City Touring Co. Sheryl Crow Smashing Pumpkins Steven Curtis Chapman Tedeschi Trucks Band Third Day Tim Allen Tori Amos Tracy Chapman Weird Al Yankovic Widespread Panic Willie Nelson

AMES, IOWA FACILITIES & EVENT MANAGEMENT 2018-19 BOOKING GUIDE *Awarded by the American Institute of Architects, Iowa Chapter in 2004

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NORTHWEST Rendering of the renovated KeyArena, aka Seattle Center Arena

A new home for a new hockey team is among the exciting projects in this evergreen market


By George Seli

not only host NHL hockey, but also Storm basketball, Seattle he Leiweke brothers are making moves in Seattle, University basketball and the returning Seattle SuperSonics. and the result is a bright future for this often-overcast Together with concerts and other shows, the arena is expected to city’s sports industry. In April of last year, former NFL COO Tod Leiweke was named CEO and President of host approximately 140 events annually. Groundbreaking took place on Dec. 5, which Tod Leiweke Seattle’s new NHL team (possible names range from described as “a momentous the Emeralds to the day in the history of sports Sockeyes), which will be the and in the history of the City league’s 32nd franchise. The of Seattle.” The privately appointment represents a financed project was originally return to Seattle for Leiweke, budgeted at $600 million, but who served as Seahawks CEO recent estimates have grown from 2003-2007. Meanwhile, to well over $800 million. Once older brother Tim Leiweke, complete, the arena will feature CEO of the Oak View an external 360-ft.-long glass Group (OVG), is leading the atrium from which spectators renovation of KeyArena, can view the historic venue. The where the new NHL team will new Space Needle Club on play in 2021. The transformed Mayor Jenny Durkan, Seattle City Council members, OVG’s the upper level will showcase venue, to be renamed the Tim Leiweke, NHL’s Tod Leiweke and other community Seattle Center Arena, will leaders break ground for the Seattle Center Arena project Seattle’s iconic tower through an




PRODUCTION MANAGER LIVE NATION – SEATTLE / FLAME PRODUCTIONS Live Nation has been bringing major acts to the Tacoma Dome since 2005. According to Chris Eberle, who also owns production company Flame Productions, Live Nation averages roughly 24 shows a year at the arena. Recent sellouts include Travis Scott, Trans-Siberian Orchestra and Drake. This year, Live Nation brings KISS, Bob Seger, Queen & Adam Lambert and Michelle Obama to the venue, among others. Do you consider the Tacoma Dome a primary routing stop in the Northwest? Yes, especially now with KeyArena under construction for the next couple years. It’s a big play for us in the market, one of the few places over 10,000 capacity. So we route everyone through there that we used to do in Seattle at KeyArena. The Dome really draws the whole Seattle market and then the Tacoma market, which is massive. It reaches to Seattle and nearly down to Portland, inclusive of Portland if the band skips a Portland place. What are your impressions of the arena’s renovation last year? There was definitely some nervous energy with the reopening [on Oct. 1] and putting it back on the map, but we’ve seen nothing but positive results. It’s beautiful, a huge upgrade. It’s needed to happen for many years, and I’m glad they finally got it accomplished. Every [touring act] coming through that’s been there interior glass skylight and afford views of the arena floor action. Widened concourses are also part of Populous’ plans. “We always love a shiny, brand-new facility,” comments Chris Eberle, Production Manager, Live Nation – Seattle. “KeyArena certainly needed it. It was showing its age. It was small, cramped, hard to load in, didn’t have the rooms for VIP experiences and the concourses were small. It was almost like the patron experience was suffering there in the end.” While the KeyArena renovation unfolds, Live Nation, along with other promoters, will be routing more shows through the Tacoma Dome in order to reach the Seattle market. “It’s a great windfall for Tacoma Dome over the next couple of years,” Eberle observes. Both the Tacoma Dome and Spokane’s First Interstate Center for the Arts completed their own multimillion-dollar renovations last year. But due to its sheer scope and connection to a new NHL team, the Seattle Center Arena project has 26

before is really impressed and happy with how it turned out. It has that fresh paint, new carpet smell that the Dome has lacked for years. And it has the creature comforts of home that touring acts are looking for on the road. Can you cite one of the Tacoma Dome’s standout physical features? One of the biggest things is that you can drive trucks into the building. You can line up trucks six across, eight across, and just dump gear. It really expedites the load-in and load-out to have that much gear flowing at once. There is so much space available. On the big tours you get 25-30 trucks, so the amount of space available is invaluable. How has the staff gone the extra mile for you? They know the limitations of working in an older building. So when these tours come in with the latest and greatest and need a setup, they’ve always bent over backward to try to accommodate, whether it’s building extra platforms or renting more gear. One of the biggest challenges of the Tacoma Dome is that their floor is so big that we’ve put upwards of 6,000 chairs on the floor. You can imagine at the end of the night clearing 6,000 chairs when a tour is trying to load out is no small feat. Kudos to them: they’ve always ramped it up, [deploying] ushers, security, their event staff, anyone with two hands to help us attack this. understandably drawn most of the attention in Washington’s live entertainment market.


The First Interstate Center for the Arts (formerly the INB Performing Arts Center) is part of the Spokane Public Facilities District, which includes the Spokane Convention Center and the Spokane Arena. The 2,609-seat venue is adaptable for symphony concerts, ballet, comedy, country and rock concerts, musical stage productions, conventions, dance recitals, community events and lectures. Originally built in 1974 for the World’s Fair Expo, the venue completed a six-month, $22 million renovation in November 2018. Major updates include improved ADA access, all new seating throughout the theater, an upgraded sound system, contemporary lobby finishings and a modern FACILITIES & EVENT MANAGEMENT 2018-19 BOOKING GUIDE

First Interstate Center for the Arts

Grand Hotel garage). Street-level and surface lots within walking distance. PROMOTION: The venue serves both rental and copromotion models and offers a list of marketing support items including website event listing, email, social media, and inmarket media buy support and advice.



wine/craft beer lounge. Back-of-house renovations include refinished/additional dressing rooms, a stage elevator, and a more efficient HVAC system, along with various other improvements to enhance the guest experience. CAPACITIES: 2,609 total seats, continental style, on three levels; 1,800 on Orchestra Level; 469 on Terrace Level; 340 on Balcony Level. Balcony can be curtained off for single-level “intimate” venue feel (1,800 seats). Stage curtaining is a full single purchase fly-rail system with 78 battens. STAGING: Maple hardwood floor, 93 ft. wide by 51 ft. deep. Stage proscenium, 66 ft. by 26 ft. 6 in. SOUND/LIGHTING: Meyer Leopard Line Array System complete with subs. Theatrical lighting throughout the house with full LED change-out occurring in 2019, dual control station option with multiple front-of-house catwalks, balcony and boom box options. FOOD & BEVERAGE: One single full-service espresso stand, three general concession/bars, one onsite exclusive newly renovated bistro-type lounge and bar AUDIENCE AMENITIES: ADA/companion seating, assisted listening devices available, elevators, all-new seating PARKING: Two conveniently located parking garages (100 spaces at the Convention Center garage, 400 at the

MetraPark is comprised of the Rimrock Auto Arena, Montana Pavilion and Expo Center. The Arena hosts Montana’s largest concerts, family shows, rodeos, ice shows, motorsports events and more. The Pavilion and Expo Center are each divisible in two, and total 28,800 sq. ft. and 77,400 sq. ft., respectively. Billings is Montana’s largest city and metropolitan area. MetraPark is located within a three-hour drive of more than 36 percent of the state’s population. Touring shows also have convenient access to MetraPark, which is situated at the intersection of Interstates 90 and 94. Upcoming shows at Rimrock Auto Arena include Styx & Larry the Cable Guy, March 23; Breaking Benjamin, April 8; PBR, April 12-14; and “Weird Al” Yankovic, Aug. 25. The arena has the following specs: CAPACITY: Concert, 10,782; center-stage, 12,000; basketball, 10,500; ice show, 9,800; hockey or rodeo, 8,700 STAGING: Custom stage: 64 ft. by 32 ft. by 5 ft. Mitchell Risers can be added to make the stage 64 ft. by 40 ft. by 5 ft., or 64 ft. by 48 ft. by 5 ft. LIGHTING: Six Super Trouper spots that run the length of the arena, plus two on the north end RIGGING: 12,000 lbs. per beam limit on roof; 2,000 lbs. every 12 ft. BACKSTAGE AREAS: Four large dressing rooms, two small dressing rooms, two production offices



Rose Quarter’s Moda Center



Opened in 1995 as the Rose Garden, the Moda Center is a multipurpose arena that is home to the NBA’s Portland Trail Blazers and WHL’s Portland Winterhawks. The arena hosted the first and second rounds of the men’s NCAA basketball tournament in 2009 and 2015, respectively. On the concert side, many classic rock fans know the Moda Center from Roger Waters’ 2000 DVD In the Flesh — Live at Moda Center. Upcoming concerts include P!NK, April 8; Ariana Grande, April 30; Carrie Underwood, May 21; and Ozzy Osbourne, July 16. The arena contains an intimate theater configuration called Theater of The Clouds, which has hosted a variety of concerts and speakers. CAPACITIES: North End: Primary concert configuration, closest to loading dock and power, under added rigging steel (180 sell line, 13,000; 270 sell line, 15,750; 360 sell line, 19,000; Lower Bowl, 8,000; GA floor capacity, 2,000). Theater of The Clouds: An intimate space created by an 85-ft.-high curtain backdrop. Stage is placed in center of arena floor and plays to the west side seating sections. The room is wide and shallow (full, 6,500; upper deck curtain closed, 3,000). Center stage: Stage placed in center of arena and playing to all sides; limited floor seating (360 degrees, 19,000). STAGING: The Moda Center has an inventory of StageRight staging that will accommodate most needs. The load limit is 125 psf. The surface is black fiberglass. There is sufficient inventory to build two 60 ft.-by-40 ft. stages. Concert stages can be built from 4 ft. to 6.5 ft. high in two-inch increments on rolling frames. Fixed stages and platforms can be built from 1 ft. to 4 ft. using another StageRight frame system. SOUND: Six main clusters around the scoreboard. Each 28

cluster is composed of eight JBL cabinets (6-VLA601, 2VLA901). BACKSTAGE AREAS: All dressing rooms are equipped with a full lavatory, including shower. Stage left: Three star rooms (24 ft. by 19 ft.), two chorus rooms (30 ft. by 34 ft.), one officials’ locker room for six people. All are equipped with makeup tables, mirrors and lights, full-length mirrors, TVs, house sound system and intercom; approximately 170 ft. to stage; phone and Internet service can be made available. Stage right: Three team locker rooms (30 ft. by 40 ft.) for 22 people, two of which have two smaller office-type rooms attached. All are equipped with full-length mirrors, TVs, house sound system and intercom; approximately 200 ft. to stage; phone and Internet service can be made available. FOOD & BEVERAGE: 26 concession stands, 30 portables, two restaurants PARKING: 1,050 spaces in Garden Garage, 650 in East Garage, 600 in West Garage, 94 in Benton Lot, 250 in Annex Garage PROMOTION: Full range of marketing/promotions available, from advertising to public relations FACILITIES & EVENT MANAGEMENT 2018-19 BOOKING GUIDE


HEAD OF BOOKING AND ENTERTAINMENT ROSE QUARTER Howard Zuckerman began his career at Rose Quarter 20 years ago as an event coordinator. He had some experience in booking, having worked as an agent assistant at ICM and William Morris prior to joining Rose Quarter. Zuckerman works with major promoters including AEG and Live Nation, but also with local promoters such as Double Tee Concerts. These connections help him maintain a robust programming schedule at Moda Center, which includes Theater of The Clouds, as well as the 12,000-seat Veterans Memorial Coliseum. The venues hosted 52 concerts last fiscal year, and Zuckerman projects 54 this fiscal. Recent sellouts include Michelle Obama on Feb. 9, Metallica on Dec. 5 and Andrea Bocelli on June 23.

arenas. It looks like a pie wedge when you look down, so it’s very unique. We’ve done Green Day there, and recently Boy George & Culture Club, Third Day, Sting and The Killers. We’ve also done Trevor Noah and speaking engagements such as An Evening with Bono, many years back. [The theater also hosted] Al Gore when he came out with his book on global warming. Are you looking to further diversify the entertainment programming at the arena?

What are some of your personal highlights among the shows hosted at the Moda Center? I’m a little biased because I’m a New Yorker, but our last Billy Joel show this past December was a big one. Paul McCartney some years back was another highlight. One of the biggest ones for me was working with Garth Brooks and being the first arena in the Pacific Northwest to get his recent arena tour. He did five sold-out nights in 2015. Can you cite some of the Moda Center’s standout features? To me, the Moda Center is one of the most flexible arenas we have in the country because you can do your standard end stage or [for example] Metallica’s show in the round. And you have the benefit of our curtaining system, which can close off the upper deck. You can do the whole upper deck or you can do a couple of sections at a time. So there could be some acts not looking to do a full NBA/NHL arena of 13,000 to 14,000, but they’re looking at 7,000-8.000. We have the flexibility of doing that. And if the show does better than expected, we have the capability of opening the upper deck. Theater of The Clouds gives you flexibility to do 3,000-seat to 6,500seat shows, and I can actually compete with the theaters downtown. So Moda Center can do anywhere from 3,000 to 18,500 seats. What makes Theater of The Clouds an attractive venue for clients? It’s very flexible; it’s the granddaddy of all theaters set in


Luke Bryan on stage at the Moda Center, Oct. 11, 2018 We try here in Portland to be all things to everyone and bring in as many different types of events as we can. We’re trying to get a little more into the EDM world, and also more of the Latin/Hispanic market. In Theater of The Clouds, for example, we’ve booked [Latin trap and reggaeton singer] Bad Bunny for March, so we’re trying to delve into that world a little more. We do have a good market for that, [although] obviously there are not as many local promoters for the Latin shows here as in Miami or Houston. What kinds of upgrades have been made to the Moda Center in recent times? Every year we’re doing upgrades to the facility. Over the last five years we’ve done renovations including new seats in the bowl and a new LED 360 ring. Recently, all the suites have been upgraded, and we’re always building new restaurants. Most people cannot believe the building is 20 years old.


Metallica plays Spokane Arena, Dec. 2, 2018

media buying/placement, design services, social media management, public relations services, promotion and copromotion services LOCAL MARKET: Spokane is a cultural hub for all of Eastern Washington and parts of Idaho, Montana, Oregon and British Columbia. The city has a population of 230,000; Spokane County is home to 550,000.





Opened in 1995, Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena hosts everything from concerts, EDM and family shows to professional/minor league hockey, professional/ collegiate/high school basketball and U.S. Figure Skating Championships. The arena has been upgraded several times in recent years, including a seat upgrade in 2014, installation of a new video wall and concession stand renovation in 2017, and an exterior lighting package upgrade last year. CAPACITIES: End stage 360°, 11,661; center stage 360°, 12,500; end stage 270°, 10,988; end stage 180°, 19,882 (curtain available upon request); 3/4 house, 8,039 (curtain available upon request); half house, 5,962 (curtain: floor to ceiling, side to side); hockey, 9,916; NCAA basketball, 12,204. STAGING: In-house StageRight SOUND/LIGHTING: Center-hung speaker cluster (designed for sports events) with 23 Meyer Sound MSL-4 full range cabinets, 19 Meyer UPA-1C full range cabinets, 12 Meyer Sound HP700 subwoofer cabinets. Lighting: 10 Lycian 2K Long Throw Spotlights (Model 1290); 24 Source 4’s mounted in catwalk; 10 MAC Vipers; eight Clay Parky Sharpys. VIDEO: LED video wall: Outfront Media 6.7mm LED Display. LED ribbon board: 350° LED Display. Main entrance LED, concourse monitors, outdoor marquee BACKSTAGE AREAS: Six team rooms (one or two offices within each team room), three star dressing rooms, one weight room/gym, one green room, two meeting rooms, two show manager offices, one officials’ room FOOD & BEVERAGE: Nine concessions stands, one restaurant, two taprooms/bar, beer portables, food portables AUDIENCE AMENITIES: 17 luxury suites, 144-person VIP Club, complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi for all guests, exterior lighting package PARKING: Approximately 2,000 parking spaces onsite PROMOTION: In-house marketing agency offers 30

Taco Bell Arena has hosted a variety of musical, sporting and community events since it opened in 1982. Among the many high-profile entertainers that perform here are the following upcoming acts: Jimmy Buffett, March 13; Jim Gaffigan, April 27; and New Kids on the Block, June 4. A Live Nation Preferred Venue, the Arena has invested significantly in the fan experience, beginning with audiovisual. A new state-of-the-art video and sound package includes a new center-hung video board, new ribbon boards and a concert-grade L’Acoustic sound system. Restrooms, concourses and concession stands have been upgraded. CAPACITY: 13,390. A variety of half-house configurations are available; also scalable to an intimate theater setting. Main arena floor: 17,472 sq. ft., or 10,228 sq. ft. with the retractable seats in use. STAGING: Wenger Showmaster portable staging, with 30 in. to 60 in. height adjustment. Can accommodate various sizes and configurations through the use of 4 ft.-by-8 ft. platforms. Maximum stage size is approximately 60 ft. by 40 ft. SOUND: Altec Lansing loudspeaker cluster, located over the end-stage area and consisting of 24 high/mid frequency and 10 low-frequency speakers. Panasonic Ramsa loudspeaker cluster, located in the center of the Arena, consists of 20 high/mid frequency and 12 low-frequency speakers. LIGHTING: Two Arena lighting systems can be used

Taco Bell Arena has hosted major shows since opening in 1982 FACILITIES & EVENT MANAGEMENT 2018-19 BOOKING GUIDE

Tacoma Dome with Mount Rainier on the horizon

independently or jointly. Fifty-two metal-halide fixtures provide coverage suitable for color network broadcast of activities on the Arena floor. Six 1.6 KW Xenon Super Troupers. Eight follow spot locations (four corners, four sides) provide 360° coverage, at 65 ft. elevation. Theatrical lighting resources include a 32-channel ETC control console, 96 Berkely Colortran 6KW dimmers, 12 1,000 watt PAR fixtures, four ellipsoidal fixtures and eight Cyc fixtures. BACKSTAGE AREAS: 1,800-sq.-ft. Blue Room (divisible in half), 624-sq.-ft. Green Room, 1,000-sq.-ft. Club Room, two production offices, three dressing rooms, six locker rooms, conference room annex and covered patio



The Tacoma Dome completed a $31 million renovation last summer that included all-new seating, new artists’ quarters, a complete overhaul of all concessions and a threefold increase in number of restrooms on the event level. Revitalization of the Dome continues in January as exterior wood cladding is added to the bottom of the Dome. Upcoming shows include PBR, March 30-31; Michael Bublé, April 6; Carrie Underwood, May 24; Queen + Adam Lambert, July 12; and Iron Maiden, Sept. 5. CAPACITIES: Curtaining system can adjust capacity between 6,000 and 22,000. Full house concert setup, 22,000; theater concert setup, 6,000; exhibition hall, 3,000. FACILITIES & EVENT MANAGEMENT 2018-19 BOOKING GUIDE

STAGING: A stage of any size up to 68 ft. by 64 ft. can be built. BACKSTAGE AREAS: Fifteen total dressing rooms, seven of which are brand new, are located directly behind the stage with laundry facilities. These spacious new dressing rooms all have their own full bathrooms. Two new loading docks are located about 30 ft. from the stage area. FOOD & BEVERAGE: Fifteen concession stands, all modernized in September/October 2018. New point-of-sale system and digital menu boards. New concepts including Taco Ma’s (tacos), CHX (chicken kitchen), Tacoma Dough (pizza), Nourish (fresh salads and bowls), Smoke (barbecue), Fire (grilled classics), Dock St (fish & chips), Crave (ice cream and cookies). The Garage fueled by Heritage Distilling Company is a distinctive bar area. AUDIENCE AMENITIES: Mobilitie Wi-Fi and DAS systems allow more than 20,000 fans to stay in touch or connect to social channels at the venue. Digital menu boards were recently added. The Overlook presented by Stella Artois is a popular VIP suite. PARKING: 1,720 total parking spaces on Tacoma Dome premises PROMOTION: Full marketing support provided, including email database of 325,000; robust presence on FaceBook, Twitter and Instagram; assistance with pitching media for coverage; City of Tacoma-owned TV programming and production; group sales department with extensive contacts; and I-5 marquee with 228,000 cars passing daily. 31






he vision for the ASU 365 Community Union was born out of the realization of a unique problem facing universities, cities and nations across the world: spending big money on stadiums, arenas and other athletic facilities that are ultimately utilized only a few days a year. The ASU 365 Community Union transforms the traditional stadium model into a year-round events center and entertainment district, creating a path for a sustainable stadium/arena environment. Strategically located in the heart of the Valley of the Sun, the ASU 365 Community Union will be a diverse cultural hub where people can converge on campus to enjoy exciting and expansive programming designed for the entire community, with food service as diverse as ASU’s student population and activities that will enthrall audiences of all ages and backgrounds. ASU is building and managing this massive and iconic Community Union that will continue to distinguish ASU as a visionary university. Converting a football stadium with a 2 percent utilization rate into a Community Union serving the entire metropolitan area has never been done before. Arizona State University is turning to an experienced leader of high-profile events to spearhead the effort to transform Sun Devil Stadium into a cultural hub available for use year-round. As the stadium renovation project continues, President Michael Crow has named Colleen JenningsRoggensack, ASU Vice President for Cultural Affairs and Executive Director of ASU Gammage, to lead the new Sun Devil Stadium into the future.

The 365 Community Union will be a dynamic cultural entertainment hub that operates 365 days a year and acts as a model for venues around the world. The 365 Community Union will feature exciting world-class programming, concerts, film festivals, dining and cultural events. The 365 Community Union will also act as the home for Sun Devil Athletics, Pat Tillman Veterans Center, Public Service Academy, Global Sport Institute, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication newsroom and academic classrooms. The ASU 365 Community Union will be the “it” place for cardio and concerts, festivals and farmer’s markets. It will be a place for your morning jog and morning joe; for movies and meals; and a place to showcase the leaders on the field and the leaders of tomorrow. ASU’s goal is to bring the community together in a way that has never been done before. For more information, call (480) 727-2772 or visit asu365communityunion.com.

500 East Veterans Way, Tempe, AZ 85287 • (480) 965-2381 • thesundevils.com 32


Phoenix Metro’s


Best Location

For events big and small,

ASU has a venue

that’s just right for your needs!

The nation’s largest and most innovative university is ready to host your major event!


ASU Gammage outdoor and Wells Fargo Arena photos: Tim Trumble


Sun Devil Stadium | 480.727.2772 | asu365communityunion.com ASU Gammage | 480.965.1749 | asugammage.com




he Allen County War Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne, IN, is now more than one million sq. ft. under one roof and has welcomed at least one million visitors annually for 27 consecutive years. It is one of a few facilities in the United States that can feature two arenas, connected by a shared lobby. The Coliseum Arena has a seating capacity of nearly 13,000 with newly renovated deluxe suites and club seats, while the multipurpose 108,000-sq.-ft. Expo Center has a potential seating capacity of 8,000. Located in Northeast Indiana, Fort Wayne is the state’s second-largest city, and the Memorial Coliseum is the state’s second-largest public assembly facility. Easily accessible from major Midwest cities, such as Indianapolis, Chicago, Detroit, Columbus and Cincinnati, the market offers affordable local media and easy, convenient routing for touring productions and events.


The Coliseum Arena is home to the Komets (ECHL) and the Mad Ants (NBA G-League), and annually hosts major concerts and family show events. A new four-sided, center-hung, highdefinition video scoreboard and new LED ribbon boards were installed in the summer of 2018. The arena features a custom curtaining system to reduce capacity when needed. Updated concourses and restrooms provide a modern feel. New and expanded concession areas offer a great variety of food and beverage options to guests.

Expo Center

The Coliseum Expo Center is 152,000 sq. ft. of multipurpose space with two portable walls and portable telescopic seating units. The main Expo Center room can be used in its entirety of 108,000 sq. ft. or in smaller increments. Ample loading docks and drive-through bays facilitate easy load-in and load-out for sports, concerts, and trade and consumer shows.

4000 Parnell Avenue, Fort Wayne, IN 46805 (260) 482-9502 memorialcoliseum.com

Conference Center

The new, 50,000-sq.-ft. Conference Center includes 27,155 sq. ft. of multipurpose, carpeted event space that can be divided into five smaller spaces with portable walls. The luxurious prefunction lobby space and the state-of-the-art CREATE Tasting Kitchen provide an impressive venue for banquets, corporate meetings, tradeshows and other events. Built-in screens, projectors and intelligent LED lighting make audiovisual planning easy and convenient. 34




The Cabarrus Arena & Events Center is the region’s newest and most innovative exhibition center offering a flexible floor plan and state-of-the-art features. With the 5,000 seat arena, in excess of 150,000 square feet of temperature controlled event space and an 11-acre lawn, the Cabarrus Arena offers more meeting, banquet and exhibition options than any other facility in Cabarrus County. Situated in Concord, North Carolina, the Cabarrus Arena & Events Center is in the heart of an area rich with colorful history and a tapestry of both the old and the new. The facility is only moments away from the historic downtown district, with its stately antebellum homes and specialty shops, and only minutes form the Charlotte Motor Speedway and Concord Mills, the most visited tourist attraction in the state of North Carolina.

4751 HIGHWAY 49 NORTH CONCORD, NC 28025 (704) 920-3976 CABARRUSARENA.COM For booking information call: Debbie Shields (704) 920-3988 dshields@cabarrusarena.com Kenny Robinson (704) 920-3986 klrobinson@cabarrusarena.com

Just a few laid-back miles from Charlotte and worlds away from the hassle of the city.






rovidence mixes the urban sophistication of a big city with the graceful charm of a small town. At the heart of Providence’s bustling downtown is the Dunkin’ Donuts Center (DDC), part of the Rhode Island Convention Center & Entertainment Complex, which also includes the Rhode Island Convention Center (RICC) and The VETS. The 14,000-seat DDC offers 31,000 sq. ft. of arena space with a ceiling height of 86 ft., a 25,000-sq. ft. concourse, a 9,000-sq.-ft. lobby, 20 luxury suites and five additional meeting/hospitality rooms. Other amenities include a pedestrian bridge connecting the arena to the RICC, a state-of-the-art video scoreboard, as well as concessions and restaurant facilities. There are 5,500 hotel rooms in the Greater Providence area, 1,800 located within walking distance of the Center. The Center’s Marketing Department staff is comprised of advertising, marketing and public relations specialists, who in turn operate a full-service in-house agency. This in-house agency affords complete professional coordination of event marketing campaigns including advertising production and placement, media and retail promotions, sponsorships, public relations and publicity. Providence is known for its thriving arts scene and is recognized as one of the nation’s hottest culinary destinations. There are nine colleges and universities located in the Providence market, most of which are within a five-mile radius of the Center — Brown University, Johnson & Wales University, RI School of Design and Providence College, just to name a few. The students at these local colleges and universities add to the diverse population of the city.


One LaSalle Square Providence, RI 02903 (401) 331-0700 (401) 621-5987 dunkindonutscenter.com





ith more than 30 years in providing excellent customer service, First National Bank Arena, formerly known as the Convocation Center, is the Northeast Arkansas hub that serves a tristate market of more than 500,000, including more than 14,000 students at Arkansas State University. First National Bank Arena has the versatility to host events ranging from small lectures to large conventions to even larger concerts, sporting events and other activities. The center seats 10,174 for concerts (more than 10,500 for concerts in the round) and 9,536 for basketball games. First National Bank Arena is uniquely designed so that its four entrances share equal prominence, and can accommodate three basketball courts, seven volleyball courts, one tennis court, and even a seven-lane, 200-meter indoor track with facilities for field events. All courts are regulation size, while the floor capacity can change based on stage size, front-of-house size and the pit area. The arena is frequently used by academic institutions and is also designed to accommodate rodeos, horse shows, circuses, sport shows, tradeshows, concerts and a wide variety of indoor athletic events. First National Bank Arena is conveniently located near major cities, including Nashville, St. Louis, Birmingham, Jackson and Memphis. The 207,507-sq.-ft. facility hosted its first event for Arkansas State’s Commencement in May 1987, and held its first A-State Athletics volleyball match on Sept. 28, 1987, versus Southeast Missouri State. Some notable events in the last few years include: Dwight Yoakam,

Newsboys, Paw Patrol LIVE, Miranda Lambert, RAIN – A Broadway Tribute to the Beatles, Keith Urban, Third Day, the Johnny Cash Music Festival, Blake Shelton, The Band Perry, Chris Tomlin, Casting Crowns, Lady Antebellum, Gaither Vocal Band, Little Big Town, Nelly, Trace Adkins, Carrie Underwood, The Fray, Kelly Pickler, Sugarland, Hawthorne Heights, Relient K, Reba and Kelly Clarkson. The Northeast Arkansas facility is also the hub for annual events including the Arkansas Sport Show, sponsored by the Rotary Club of Jonesboro; the University Heights Lions Club Jonesboro Auto Show; St. Bernard’s HMG Health & Fitness Expo; Jonesboro Regional Chamber of Commerce Business Expo; summer sports camps; high school graduations; A-State Commencements; Lit’l Bita Christmas arts & crafts show; and the NEA Basketball Tournament. In 2010, First National Bank Arena received the Betty T. Sloan Promotional Award from the Jonesboro Regional Chamber of Commerce, recognizing the arena for the “outstanding promotion of Jonesboro through numerous events.” In addition to its excellent customer service, the arena strives to promote Jonesboro and its community. At the end of 2017, First National Bank announced a $5 million gift, one of the largest in A-State Athletics history, guaranteeing the naming rights to the facility through Dec. 31, 2019. The naming rights became effective Jan. 1, 2018. First National Bank Arena looks forward to the changes and growth 2019 will bring to Jonesboro, the surrounding community and Arkansas State University. For bookings, call (870) 972-3870 or visit www.fnbarena.com for details.

217 Olympic Drive, Jonesboro, AR 72401 • (870) 972-3870 • fnbarena.com FACILITIES & EVENT MANAGEMENT 2018-19 BOOKING GUIDE



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n the center of the Entertainment Capital of the World, T-Mobile Arena shines as the pillar of breathtaking events, creating astonishing moments for artists and fans alike through every guitar riff, knockout and goal. Drawing sell-out headliners such as Guns N’ Roses, Rolling Stones and U2, and hosting major UFC, NBA and college basketball, and boxing events, T-Mobile Arena’s lineup continues to impress. The NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights raised the bar once again at T-Mobile Arena, breaking records in professional performance and attendance. Unbelievable energy and unwavering passion filled the arena game after game, spreading camaraderie throughout the city, all heralding the Vegas Golden Knights, and T-Mobile Arena, as the epicenter of greatness. VIP Experiences For those wanting an elevated experience or hosting clients or business meetings, T-Mobile Arena sets the stage beautifully with luxurious suites and terrace tables offering private and semi-private seating, inseat service and total comfort. In addition, T-Mobile Arena offers the most impressive pre-event experiences perched high above the arena in one of three exclusive lounges. For more information, e-mail premium@ tmobilearena.com.

Features • Hosts 100-150 events annually • Concert capacities: 20,000 (center stage) 8,000 (end stage) UFC®/Boxing – 20,000 Basketball – 18,000 Hockey – 17,500 • World-class, Las Vegas-style design with unrivaled Premium Seating products including 54 suites and over two dozen private loge boxes • Toshiba Plaza – two-acre outdoor space available for pre- and post-event functions • Sustainable design: Designed for U.S. Green Building Council LEED Gold Certification PARK THEATER AT PARK MGM 3770 South Las Vegas Boulevard, Las Vegas, NV 89109 • (702) 692-5308 • Parktheaterlv.com Nestled in the dynamic neighborhood between The Park, T-Mobile Arena and Park MGM, Park Theater continues to change the landscape of small-venue entertainment. State-of-the-art technology allows artists to craft larger-than-life experiences in an intimate space, building a pure and sincere connection with fans. World-renowned performers are drawn to the magic of Park Theater and hold extended

engagements that inspire fans night after night. Bruno Mars, Cher and Stevie Wonder have all called Park Theater home, and most recently, Lady Gaga has announced her ENIGMA show with select jazz and piano performances as well. Features • Capacity scalable from 2,600 to 3,500 5,300 (seated) 6,300 (GA) • 14,000 sq. ft. of flat-floor event space with flexible configurations • Five outdoor terraces • Seven bars including reception areas • One private reception area (meet & greet room); 560 sq. ft. • Retractable orchestra seating • Banquet configurations with full catering available for up to 1,100 guests Technology • 240 ft.-by-50 ft. immersive, high-definition projection surface surrounds the 135 ft.by-40 ft. proscenium opening • On-stage 80 ft.-by-40 ft. proscenium opening • On-stage 80 ft.-by-40 ft. LED wall with 4k resolution – the largest and highest resolution LED wall in a theatrical venue • Two 24 ft.-by-12.5 ft. I-MAG projection screens with 4k resolution

3780 South Las Vegas Boulevard, Las Vegas, NV 89158 • (702) 692-1600 • t-mobilearena.com FACILITIES & EVENT MANAGEMENT 2018-19 BOOKING GUIDE





print Center is Kansas City’s home for live entertainment and sporting events. Anchor to more than $7 billion of reinvestment in a revitalized downtown Kansas City, the award-winning venue has welcomed more than 11 million guests and generated more than $1.01 billion in economic activity since opening in 2007. Having exceeded attendance and financial projections in each year of operation, Sprint Center annually hosts more than 100 ticketed events and is a unique public/private partnership between AEG and the City of Kansas City, MO. Located in the 33rd largest DMA, Sprint Center is annually recognized among the Top 12 arenas in the United States based upon ticket sales. Home to the College Basketball Experience, Sprint Center is the host venue for the Big 12 Men’s Basketball Championships through 2024, numerous games of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament including first- and second-round action as well as regionals, and has set the all-time attendance record for the NCAA Volleyball Championships. Sprint Center has recently hosted world-class artists for a variety of sold-

out shows, including Garth Brooks, Bruno Mars, Coldplay, Roger Waters, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Def Leppard, Eric Church, Queen+Adam Lambert, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Ariana Grande and Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Total seating capacities: 17,297, hockey; 18,482, basketball; 14,356, end stage; and 19,246 center stage. Back-ofhouse facilities include six locker rooms, five star dressing rooms, green room, team family room and broadcast interview room. Partnering with Levy Restaurants, Sprint Center boasts 14 concession stands with a variety of food and beverage offerings. In addition, more than 20,000 parking spaces are available within a five-block radius of Sprint Center. The guest experience continues to improve with the installation of a new six-display center-hung video system, backstage operational refinements, modifications to premium areas and additional club spaces, new technology elements and televisions, enhanced food and beverage offerings and event-level improvements.

1407 Grand Boulevard, Kansas City, MO 64106 • (816) 949-7100 • sprintcenter.com 40


ARE YOU REALLY MEETING GUESTS’ EXPECTATIONS? Consider these 7 touchpoints that impact their event experience


By Lee A. Esckilsen, CVE

he experience of attending an event is as important as the event itself. We all have had good and bad experiences when attending events at public assembly venues. The unpleasant ones can include, but are not limited to, poor or nonexistent Internet connectivity, cold hot dogs, warm beer, long lines at the concession stands, messy bathrooms without paper supplies, long lines at the box office, and grumpy or indifferent guest service and security staff. With substantial competition among venues for events and the guests to attend them, understanding how our guests perceive their venue and event experience is critical to our success. For more than 30 years, I have had the opportunity to attend sports and entertainment events in many venues all over the world. These experiences, in addition to my 20 years of international experience as a venue manager, have enabled me to understand both the event-day challenges venue staff encounter as well as the guest’s expectations and perception of the event experience. In my last article for F&EM (2015-16 Booking Guide, p. 49), I focused on three key aspects to managing guests’ facility and event experience. Venue managers must strive to “provide each and every guest a safe and secure environment to enjoy an exceptional event experience using operational transparency.” That has not changed or become any easier. If fact, with the increased use of social media, our guests constantly connect with family and friends to tell them about their experience, and often do so while they are at the event. This puts venue management under scrutiny to get the experience right the first time and every time. Indeed, one of the best forms of feedback venue management receives from their guests is through social media platforms. As we know, the perception of our venue and events that guests express via social media becomes the reality.


What determines how are venues are perceived? Often, it’s the incidental things that have little to do with the event they are there to see. Here is an important principle to remember when FACILITIES & EVENT MANAGEMENT 2018-19 BOOKING GUIDE

striving to meet guests’ expectations: The venue’s services and operations (such as parking, Internet connectivity, food & beverage, concessions and overall cleanliness) may not be the reasons guests attend, but the perception of unacceptable services may be the reason they don’t come back. Meeting and exceeding guests’ expectations by preventing issues that they would perceive to be unusual, out of place or unavailable in the venue is what I refer to as operational transparency. We want our guests, in every generation, regardless of what they paid for their ticket, to perceive that everything they see, touch, smell and feel meets and exceeds their expectations. Some of the more conspicuous venue and guest service “touchpoints” that impact their perception of the event experience are as follows:


Before the event: Is the venue’s website easy to navigate? Is the price for the event ticket and related service charges “good value for money”?


As guests arrive at the venue: Is there ample parking that is close to the venue, fairly priced, safe and clean? Does the perimeter of the venue have clean stairs, walkways and walls without graffiti? Are the scalpers and panhandlers beyond the venue’s perimeter sidewalks or preferably nonexistent? Do the lines at the box office move quickly?


As guests enter the venue: Do the lines move quickly through the security searches and ticket scanning process? Are all the exterior and interior lights of the venue working? Are the wayfinding signs easy to read and follow?


As guests walk to their seats inside the venue: Is there Internet connectivity throughout the venue? Are the concourses kept clean throughout the event? Do the concourses have easily distinguishable trash and recycling receptacles? Are the escalators and elevators staffed with friendly, knowledgeable staff? Are the bathrooms continuously cleaned and well stocked throughout the event? Is the event staff congenial, courteous and dressed appropriately, including nametags?


As guests use the services: Does the food & beverage in the concession stands, as well as in the premium seating Continued on page 42



areas, offer a variety of selections, including specialty foods such as gluten free and vegan? Are the menu items served at the correct temperature and at a price that the guests feel is fair? Do the food service employees have appropriate and clean uniforms and hats, and do they wear gloves when handling food? Is the merchandise selection plentiful and fairly priced?


As guests watch the event: Is there good Internet connectivity in the seating areas? Are the seats clean, dry and comfortable with unobstructed sightlines? Are the acoustics acceptable based on the event? Is the temperature comfortable in the seating areas of the venue? Does the venue staff manage walking and standing in the aisles during the event? Are there hawkers in the seating areas and do they block guests’ view? Does the venue manage alcohol consumption and guest behavior in the venue? Does the event staff actively enforce the venue’s nosmoking policy?


As guests exit the venue after the event: Does the event staff thank the guests for attending the event as they



exit? Is it easy and expeditious to exit the parking lots? Are ride-sharing signs and locations easy to find? It is essential to understand that these venue and service elements are expected not only by ticket-buyers that enter through the front door, but equally by the teams and performers that enter through the loading door and stage door for the game or performance. Successful venue managers must strive to understand the guests’ expectations and perceptions to determine if they have provided them with the exceptional event experience they deserve. Lee A. Esckilsen, CVE is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sports, Entertainment and Event Management at Johnson & Wales University, Providence, RI. He is also the Principal of Entertainment and Sports Venues (ESVenues). An IAVM Certified Venue Executive, Esckilsen has co-authoed the IAVM textbook Public Assembly Venue Management: Sports, Entertainment, Meeting and Convention Venues.

Advertiser Index Allen County War Memorial Coliseum...............................................3 ASU Gammage..................................................................................33 Bell MTS Place..................................................................................C3 Cabarrus Arena.................................................................................35 Coliseo de Puerto Rico......................................................................13 Dunkin’ Donuts Center......................................................................36 First National Bank Arena................................................................11 Frank Erwin Center............................................................................38 Iowa Rotocast Plastics......................................................................C2 Iowa State Center.............................................................................23 MGM Resorts International..............................................................C4 Morris Performing Arts Center.........................................................19 Payne-Sparkman...............................................................................12 San Jose Theaters..............................................................................7 Scotiabank Arena................................................................................5 Smoothie King Center.......................................................................21 SMG..................................................................................................15 Sprint Center.......................................................................................1 Straz Performing Arts Center............................................................17 United Supermarkets Arena.............................................................38 Wintrust Arena/Arie Crown Theater..................................................9 FACILITIES & EVENT MANAGEMENT 2018-19 BOOKING GUIDE

THE AGE OF DIGITAL MEDIA DESIGN This new creative tool is but one element of production By David Grindle


rojected scenery has arias became background music for the ever-changing images. gone from a novelty to A lone human on stage singing beautifully was no competition commonplace in the for the 16-foot tall image of his beloved that had constantly world of production. changing facial expressions and wind-blown hair. (Let us not It has evolved from even discuss the fact that the woman in the video was very “projected” to digital much not the woman he was in love with on stage.) When the display, and is now more commonly stage was full, the lack of levels made for a stunning “Where’s referred to as digital media design. Waldo” moment as singers who were herded between the The technology has become a screens couldn’t see around one another. The balance sheet may discrete body of knowledge and a have looked better, but the stage composition that the audience unique art, enabling any surface to paid to see suffered. be transformed into myriad alternate realities. This production is shared to illustrate that the idea of saving People are turning to digital media design for money through the use of projection is usually fallacious. entertainment. “Mapping” of surfaces effectively makes There are certainly plenty of productions that could be singled buildings and vehicles canvases for art. The technology out to show the harmonious use of digital media design, can be used to excite audiences before a sporting event or such as Aaron Rhyne’s design for the 2015 Broadway show A even to create an interactive game to engage people. On the Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder. In such examples, the corporate side, Boeing recently had a tribute show projected technology is used as just one part of a larger whole. onto their planes as they were You can’t create actual towed across the tarmac to levels that people can stand ust as an adjustable wrench commemorate the company’s on with digital media. You doesn’t negate the rest of a toolkit, still need scenery, along anniversary centennial. Digital media design is lighting, sound and digital media design is not a panacea with an amazing collaborative costumes. Therefore, I must for rising costs. tool that can do many things. disagree with Terracini; the In the world of production, cost savings he seems to be however, it is but one tool yearning for will likely not and must be used along with physical scenery, costumes, materialize. We have an exciting tool to add to production. But lighting and sound to create an environment. While any just as an adjustable wrench doesn’t negate the rest of a toolkit, one of these design elements may “take the lead,” each one digital media design is not a panacea for rising costs. must still work in concert with the others to create the overall As part of theater production, digital media design is experience. It was therefore disturbing to read a review with exciting and we should all be engaged in how it can be used Opera Australia’s General Director, Lyndon Terracini, in The to help tell the stories we are telling, be they full-length Australian in which he extolled digital media design as the dramas or short shows to excite and rev up a stadium crowd. economic savior of production budgets. The technology That is what entertainment does. It evokes emotions. It would eventually eliminate the need for the other elements, engages the viewer to see things differently. Digital media Terracini predicted, noting that “one day, even costumes may design gives us yet another way to do that. But anyone who be projected … ” Onto what!? says it is your solution to the rising costs of production is I saw the Opera Australia production of Aida that was complimenting the proverbial emperor on his fine garments. promoted as “all digital.” It had essentially no scenery save two small step units and a small circular rolling pedestal, along with David Grindle is the Executive Director of the United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT). 10 screens, each 23 feet tall, tracking laterally back and forth The nonprofit serves the entertainment design and across the stage. It was bold attempt at achieving the first step toward Terracini’s vision, and a visual failure in my opinion. The technology community with lifelong learning. Grindle has a background in production management with Indiana audience’s attention was always drawn to the images on the University Bloomington and The Atlanta Opera. screens. It was like watching a music video from the ’80s as the







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