News

 
Feldman Agency Sold To Jeff Craib, Tom Kemp
 
Posted: 15 Feb 2019, 9:50 pm
Sam Feldman has sold ownership of The Feldman Agency to company president Jeff Craib and vice president Tom Kemp. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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Lightning In A Bottle Secures 2019 Location, Unveils Lineup Featuring Flying Lotus, Big Gigantic
 
Posted: 15 Feb 2019, 4:18 pm
After postponing its onsale due to a late-in-the-game venue change, Lightning In A Bottle has announced its new location and lineup for 2019.

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ICM Drops Celine Dion For Alleged Non-Payment, Celine Dion Disputes Allegations (Updated)
 
Posted: 15 Feb 2019, 3:21 pm
After initial reports surfaced that ICM Partners is suing Celine Dion for commission on a $500 million touring deal, Queen Celine has released a statement disputing the narrative that she is refusing to pay.

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Lockn' 2019 Topped By Bob Weir and Wolf Bros, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Trey Anastasio Band, Joe Russo's Almost Dead
 
Posted: 15 Feb 2019, 2:03 pm
Bob Weir and Wolf Bros, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Trey Anastasio Band, Joe Russo's Almost Dead and more will play Lockn' this August.

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Khalid, Manager Courtney Stewart Discuss Musician's Meteoric Rise In Pollstar Live! Keynote
 
Posted: 15 Feb 2019, 1:14 pm
Khalid and manager Courtney Stewart discussed the musician's meteoric rise in a Pollstar live! keynote.

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Ryan Adams’ Album Reportedly On Hold, Musician Dropped By Gear Companies As FBI Opens Inquiry Into Sexual Misconduct Allegations
 
Posted: 15 Feb 2019, 12:53 pm
F.B.I. agents from the Crimes Against Children Squad have reportedly began investigating allegations that Ryan Adams sent sexually explicit text messages to an underage fan following a report The New York Times published Wednesday. In response to the claims in the NYT piece, guitar pedal and amp companies have dropped their Adams-related products and a release date for his upcoming album is also apparently being pushed back. 

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21 Savage 'Wasn't Hiding' Being British, Feared Deportation
 
Posted: 15 Feb 2019, 11:44 am
The Atlanta-based rapper 21 Savage said in an interview aired Friday that he didn't talk about his British citizenship before because he didn't want to get deported.

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Eventbrite Opens Office In Spain
 
Posted: 15 Feb 2019, 11:25 am
Eventbrite has reinforced its presence in Spain with a new 2,300 square meter development center in Madrid.

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Spectrum Center Abuzz For NBA All-Star
 
Posted: 15 Feb 2019, 11:00 am

Charlotte's Spectrum Center, home to the NBA's Hornets, will be the site of the league's All-Star Game on Sunday. (Courtesy Charlotte Hornets)

Thirty-four years after starting as a Washington Bullets intern at the old Capital Centre, Donna Julian is working her first NBA All-Star Game.

Donna_Julian.jpgJulian, the Charlotte Hornets’ senior vice president of arena and event operations and the general manager of Spectrum Center, has been employed with Charlotte’s NBA team since early 2005, the year the facility opened. VenuesNow visited with Julian before NBA All-Star Weekend, which gets under way today and culminates with the All-Star Game on Sunday night.

How long have you been working on the All-Star Game from the time you had that first meeting?
We were supposed to have it in 2017 (before the event was relocated to New Orleans after the controversy over North Carolina’s “bathroom bill,” a law that has since been changed), so you’re probably talking about 2015. It could have even been 2014 when we started talking about it. There have been ongoing conversations. The last 12 months we’ve been working with a committee of people to make sure we have our ducks in a row. It has been a long process, but we’re excited to finally have it.

To what extent does the NBA take over the building for the event?
We’re here to get the building ready for them to create what they want that All-Star magic to be. They are in control of putting together what they want. It’s larger than any other event but it’s some of the same changes, such as making sure the floor is ready, which we do on a smaller scale for all events. There’s a large media setup inside the bowl that we have to get ready for.

I imagine there are a lot of pop-up spaces for this event. On the food side, what is Levy’s plan?
You’re going to see some unique things, including three specialty items from around the league. We really want people to taste the food but be able to get it in quick manner and go enjoy what’s going on inside the seating bowl.

(The New York Pastrami Burger Tower from Barclays Center in Brooklyn, Bulgogi Banh Mi Sandwich from Staples Center in Los Angeles and Dynamite Shrimp from Portland’s Moda Center are the three items from Levy’s other accounts.)

Did you lean on the experience of your industry colleagues who have hosted the All-Star Game?
I was in Los Angeles last year and spent some time with (Staples Center’s) Lee Zeidman. I’ve been up to Toronto. The NBA likes you to come to the event the year prior to hosting it. The NBA does a tremendous job making All-Star fit to where it’s going to be, but obviously we’re not L.A. It’s still good to have that support and call somebody to get an idea of what it takes.

Is there one thing you can point to that you learned last year to apply to your building?
We did get a chance to see their (security) zone outside the arena. They had multiple facilities closer together, so that made them a little different compared with our building and Bojangles’ Coliseum (That venue, the site of Friday night’s NBA All-Star Celebrity Game, is about 3 miles from Spectrum Center.)

What’s it been like working with Bojangles’ Coliseum, a city-run building?
It’s been great. It’s that whole (idea) of having an all-star event for the community in different locations. It gives people an opportunity to see what’s going on out there and to see these superstars. It opens up a whole new group that gets to go and participate and spread things out a little bit. The NBA has done the same thing in a few markets, and it seems to make sense for them.

What does it mean for Spectrum Center long term hosting this high-profile event?
We’ve got the Republican National Convention in 2020. We’ve been very fortunate to have some of the biggest events come through the city. It’s something I’m very proud of and the city I’m sure is extremely happy. The impact for the restaurants and hotels, it’s just huge for everybody. We’ve got the ACC tournament coming up in March. Charlotte has proven it can do these big events, and they’ll continue to try and get them.


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Live Nation Acquires Blockfest In Finland
 
Posted: 15 Feb 2019, 8:52 am
Live Nation Finland announced the acquisition of Blockfest, which takes place  in Tampere.

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Sounders FC Becomes First Carbon Neutral Professional Soccer Team in North America
 
Posted: 14 Feb 2019, 2:13 pm

By Sounders FC Communications

Seattle Sounders FC today announced that as part of its ongoing dedication to leading the way in sustainable, green practices, the club is going carbon neutral in 2019 and beyond, marking it as the first professional soccer team in North America to do so. Through this commitment, Sounders FC pledges that its operations will make no net contribution to atmospheric carbon dioxide, the leading cause of the climate crisis.

To begin its path to carbon neutrality, the club worked with Seattle-based Sustainable Business Consulting to calculate its greenhouse gas emissions and develop plans to reduce its impacts where possible. For sources unable to be eliminated ? such as team travel for matches, scouting and other business ? Sounders FC is offsetting the club?s emissions through the Evergreen Carbon Capture(ECC) program of Forterra, a nonprofit that works for regional sustainability. Using the club?s contribution to ECC, Forterra and its partner DIRT Corps are joining with the team and its fans to plant hundreds of trees in a part of the region that needs added tree cover. This not only reduces carbon dioxide, but enhances air and water quality.

?We?re incredibly excited to announce that our club is officially carbon neutral,? said Sounders FC Owner Adrian Hanauer. ?The Sounders have always been committed to investing in our community, and that includes recognizing the immense responsibility we have as environmental stewards. Sustainability is a key pillar of our club and this new step is a logical extension of the efforts we have already had in place. We were pleased to work with Sustainable Business Consulting and Forterra in achieving carbon neutrality and look forward to continuing our partnership going forward.?

In calculating its footprint, Sounders FC worked to be as inclusive as possible, including all of the following emission sources:

  • Pioneer Square business office operations, including energy, waste, paper, shipping, recycling and employee commuting
  • Starfire office operations, including all emissions associated with operating the training facility for Sounders FC?s First Team, Tacoma Defiance and Sounders FC Academy
  • Air travel for First Team
  • Business travel and scouting
  • Emissions generated by fans traveling to and from matches
  • Energy use and waste from home games at CenturyLink Field

Read the full article here.

The post Sounders FC Becomes First Carbon Neutral Professional Soccer Team in North America appeared first on Green Sports Alliance.


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Pitchfork's Adam Krefman Discusses New Event At Art Institute Of Chicago
 
Posted: 14 Feb 2019, 11:22 am
"It doesn't get any bigger or more iconic than the Art Institute," says Pitchfork's Adam Krefman, teasing the brand's inaugural edition of Midwinter, a new festival which will feature artists including Deerhunter, Kamasi Washington and Laurie Anderson performing at the Art Institute of Chicago.

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Louis Messina, Marty Diamond, Foo Fighters, More Highlight 30th Annual Pollstar Awards
 
Posted: 14 Feb 2019, 1:25 am
At the 30th Annual Pollstar Awards, Ed Sheeran won Major Tour while the Foo Fighters accepted the honor for Best Rock Tour in the flesh.

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So These Two Guys Walk Into A Stadium: A Conversation With Arthur Fogel & Louis Messina
 
Posted: 13 Feb 2019, 8:25 pm
You know their artists. You?ve probably seen them a few times over the years. Maybe in a stadium. Probably in a stadium.

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'Stadiums Become Old Quickly': Exploring The State Of The International Venues Business
 
Posted: 13 Feb 2019, 8:21 pm
In his opening remarks on day one of Pollstar Live!, Oak View Group CEO and co-founder Tim Leiweke had already said that music has become the greatest anchor tenant for venues. A panel on day two of the conference talked about how to make sure it remained that way.

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Khalid Announces Headlining Arena Tour In Pollstar Live! Keynote
 
Posted: 13 Feb 2019, 7:47 pm
In a Pollstar Live! keynote, multi-platinum recording artist Khalid and his manager Courtney Stewart announced the musician will embark on his first headlining arena tour this June.

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Selling 20 Million Tickets Per Month In India & Other Challenges Faced in Global Ticketing
 
Posted: 13 Feb 2019, 7:09 pm
An illustrious panel of ticketing experts delved deep into the current ticketing challenges across a variety of territories in the Pollstar Live! panel "Challenges Faced in Global Ticketing".

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Jason Isbell And The 400 Unit, Brandi Carlile Top Moon River Music Festival Lineup
 
Posted: 13 Feb 2019, 6:42 pm
Moon River Music Festival unveiled its 2019 lineup this week, featuring Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, Brandi Carlile, St. Paul & the Broken Bones, Moon Taxi and more. 

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HOT TICKETS: FEB. 14, 2019
 
Posted: 13 Feb 2019, 6:35 pm

Kelly Clarkson performs at BOK Center, Tulsa, Okla., as part of their 10th anniversary programming.

Veteran music star James Taylor took the top spot on our 5,001-10,000-capacity Hot Tickets chart this week after grossing $738,377 at Pensacola (Fla.) Bay Center.  Attendance was 7,448; with a ticket range of $66-$100. Promoted by Beaver Productions.

Number two on that chart is "American Idol" winner and concert diva Kelly Clarkson took the number two spot on our Hot Tickets chart this week with a stop at Landers Center, Southaven, Miss. with a gross of  $469,021. Attendance was 7,391 and a ticket range of $29-$401. Promoted by Messina Touring Group / AEG Presents.

HOT TICKETS is a weekly summary of the top events and ticket sales as reported to VNPulse via Pollstar. Following are the top 20 concerts and events, the top 5 in each capacity category, that took place Jan. 15-Feb. 12.

15,000 or More Capacity

10,001-15,000 Capacity

5,001-10,000
Capacity

5,000 or Less
Capacity

1) Eric Church
Gross Sales:
$3,559,805; Venue: Target Center, Minneapolis; Attendance: 30,426; Ticket Range: $25-$139; Promoter: Messina Touring Group / AEG Presents; Dates: Feb. 8-9; No. of Shows: 2

2) Billy Joel
Gross Sales: $2,430,161; Venue: Madison Square Garden Arena, New York; Attendance: 18,484; Ticket Range: $65.50-$149.50; Promoter: MSG Live; Dates: Jan. 24; No. of Shows: 1

3) Fleetwood Mac
Gross Sales: $2,370,345; Venue: American Airlines Center, Dallas; Attendance: 14,434; Ticket Range: $64.50-$224.50; Promoter: Live Nation; Dates: Feb. 7; No. of Shows: 1

4) Justin Timberlake
Gross Sales: $2,200,054; Venue: Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City; Attendance: 16,810; Ticket Range: $49.50-$250; Promoter: Live Nation Global Touring; Dates: Jan. 26; No. of Shows: 1

5) Metallica
Gross Sales: $2,195,900; Venue: BOK Center, Tulsa, Okla.; Attendance: 17,612; Ticket Range: $65-$135; Promoter: NS2; Dates: Jan. 18; No. of Shows: 1

1) Mumford & Sons
Gross Sales: $1,647,817; Venue: Sidney Myer Music Bowl, Melbourne; Attendance: 21,791; Ticket Range: $69.79-$179.45; Promoter: Secret Sounds; Dates: Jan. 22-23; No. of Shows: 2

2) Florence + The Machine
Gross Sales: $806,245; Venue: Sidney Myer Music Bowl, Melbourne; Attendance: 12,136; Ticket Range: $56.42-$91.68; Promoter: St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival; Dates: Jan. 18; No. of Shows: 1

3) Mumford & Sons
Gross Sales: $736,277; Venue: RAC Arena, Perth, Australia; Attendance: 8,974; Ticket Range: $72.15-$100.36; Promoter: In-house Promotion, Secret Sounds; Dates: Jan. 27; No. of Shows: 1

4) Mumford & Sons
Gross Sales: $688,976; Venue: Brisbane Entertainment Centre, Boondall, Australia; Attendance: 8,673; Ticket Range: $70.17-$98.38; Promoter: In-house Promotion, Secret Sounds; Dates: Jan. 15; No. of Shows: 1

5) “Strictly Come Dancing Live!”
Gross Sales: $622,332; Venue: FlyDSA Arena, Sheffield, England; Attendance: 10,929; Ticket Range: $44.57-$82.77; Promoter: Nigel McIntyre Productions; Dates: Jan. 30-31; No. of Shows: 2

1) James Taylor
Gross Sales: $738,377; Venue: Pensacola (Fla.) Bay Center; Attendance: 7,448; Ticket Range: $66-$100; Promoter: Beaver Productions; Dates: Feb. 10; No. of Shows: 1

2) Kelly Clarkson
Gross Sales: $469,021; Venue: Landers Center, Southaven, Miss.; Attendance: 7,391; Ticket Range: $29-$401; Promoter: Messina Touring Group / AEG Presents; Dates: Feb. 9; No. of Shows: 1

3) A$AP Rocky
Gross Sales: $424,859; Venue: Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, San Francisco; Attendance: 8,583; Ticket Range: $49.50; Promoter: Another Planet Entertainment; Dates: Feb. 2; No. of Shows: 1

4) Timbiriche
Gross Sales: $416,862; Venue: Auditorio Telmex, Zapopan, Mexico; Attendance: 5,436; Ticket Range: $36.64-$162.27; Promoter: OCESA / CIE; Dates: Feb. 9; No. of Shows: 1

5) JAMZ Youth Nationals
Gross Sales: $365,218; Venue: Orleans Arena, Las Vegas; Attendance: 18,868; Ticket Range: $17-$64.75; Promoter: In-house Promotion; Dates: Jan. 25-27; No. of Shows: 3

1) “Cats”
Gross Sales: $1,309,303; Venue: Providence (R.I.) Performing Arts Center; Attendance: 23,712; Ticket Range: $39-$127; Promoter: In-house Promotion, Professional Facilities Mgmt.; Dates: Jan. 22-27; No. of Shows: 8

2) “On Your Feet!”
Gross Sales: $521,464; Venue: Andrew Jackson Hall, Nashville; Attendance: 8,769; Ticket Range: $32.50-$77.50; Promoter: In-house Promotion; Dates: Jan. 15-20; No. of Shows: 8

3) Monty Python’s “Spamalot”
Gross Sales: $514,334; Venue: Hershey (Pa.) Theatre; Attendance: 7,729; Ticket Range: $22.15-$82.15; Promoter: In-house Promotion; Dates: Jan. 29-Feb. 3; No. of Shows: 8

4) Palm Beach Opera “La Traviata”
Gross Sales: $463,573; Venue: Dreyfoos Hall, West Palm Beach, Fla.; Attendance: 4,814; Ticket Range: $39-$245; Promoter: Palm Beach Opera; Dates: Jan. 25-27; No. of Shows: 3

5) “The Lightning Thief”
Gross Sales: $456,322; Venue: Hanover Theatre for Performing Arts, Worcester, Mass.; Attendance: 9,478; Ticket Range: $34-$69; Promoter: In-house Promotion; Dates: Jan. 31-Feb. 3; No. of Shows: 6

The weekly Hot Tickets chart is compiled by Pollstar. For more information, e-mail Teamboxoffice@pollstar.com or click here to submit your Box Office data now.

 


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Bruce Garfield Named Executive Director of Columbus Music Commission
 
Posted: 13 Feb 2019, 6:09 pm
Veteran artist manager and major-label executive Bruce Garfield, who has guided the careers of musicians including Grace Jones, Isaac Hayes, Sinead O?Connor, will next be sharing his expertise with the city of Columbus, Ohio, as the first Executive Director of the Columbus Music Commission. 

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Diversity & Inclusion: What Inclusion Riders Mean for the Touring Community
 
Posted: 13 Feb 2019, 5:44 pm
Several voices from across the music business convened at Pollstar Live! on Wednesday to discuss diversity in the industry.

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Dennis to Memphis
 
Posted: 13 Feb 2019, 5:00 pm

DeanDennis200x145.jpgDean Dennis. 

Memphis Management Group has hired Dean Dennis as general manager of the Memphis Convention Center.

Dennis comes to Memphis from the Atlantic City Convention Center, where he served as senior vice president and general manager. The Memphis center is undergoing extensive renovations, scheduled to be complete by fall 2020. 

 


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Brewers Reopen Spring Training Home
 
Posted: 13 Feb 2019, 4:25 pm

The $60-plus million rebuild of the Milwaukee Brewers’ spring training home in Phoenix has opened. 

When the six gold scissors cut through the blue ribbon at the $60-plus million rebuild of the Milwaukee Brewers’ spring training home in Phoenix, the Major League Baseball team showed off more than a fresh take on a baseball field, introducing a mix of new training center upgrades, updated fan spaces and even highlighting a new sponsorship.

Less than three weeks after announcing that the club’s home stadium in Milwaukee will turn naming rights over to American Family Insurance in 2021, the Feb. 12 unveiling of the spring training and player development complex gives Madison-based American Family a head start on the Milwaukee partnership with an immediate name change at the 56-acre Phoenix facility, now dubbed American Family Fields of Phoenix.

“We initially developed three significant goals for the complex,” said Mark Attanasio, Brewers chairman and principal owner, at the event, “to develop a world-class facility for year-round player development and spring training, to create a dramatically improved fan experience and to demonstrate a commitment to investing in the community. With the complex now complete, we believe we have fulfilled this vision.”

The Brewers invested over $60 million in the renovation of the project with the city of Phoenix adding in $2 million annually for five years and the Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority contributing $5.7 million.

With a design from HKS and construction from Mortensen, the project anchor features a 106,000-square-foot clubhouse with locker rooms and a home for baseball operations. Previously the major and minor league operations were separate, but the 82,000-square-foot expansion brings them under one roof.

Fan enhancements include new concessions, retail stores (the flagship store is now accessible from outside the main stadium during non-game times), a new entry plaza with updated ticketing systems, a shift from metal bench seating to fixed seating in the roughly 10,000-capacity venue, widened concourses on the first-base side, a fresh Daktronics video board in left field and updated viewing areas at the practice diamonds. The third-based concourse was replaced with new ticketing, fan concessions, back-of-house offices, a new commissary and restrooms. The project also expanded parking on site to more than 700 spaces.

In keeping with the effort to build a year-round player development home, American Family Fields of Phoenix now includes a renovated sports science and psychological services area of 24,000 square feet. It comes with an eight-lane batting tunnel, an agility field, new pitching and catching mounds, a high-performance practice field that matches Miller Park’s dimensions in Milwaukee and improvements to each of the seven playing fields on site. All major league practice fields and the main stadium were resurfaced with new turf, clay and foul territory and warning tracks.

Mike Drye, HKS principal, said the architect selected simple forms and materials to improve the flow for players, coaches and executives while keeping the site connected to the outdoors and the fans. The complex will offer a “source of humble pride and a haven for developing athletes and inspiring fans," Drye said.

The Brewers originally moved their spring training facility to the Maryvale area of Phoenix in 1998 after area developer John F. Long and his wife, Mary, donated 56 acres of land. The new home plate entry plaza was named the John F. and Mary P. Long Plaza.

The city retains ownership of the facility, but the Brewers will manage and operate it. In an effort to create a community connection, the Brewers partnered with Phoenix-based Grand Canyon University to create a Learning Lounge, an area inside the clubhouse building where local students have access to free tutoring from college students on most school days.

Spring training kicks off this week with the first full-team workout set for Feb. 19 at the renovated facility. The first of 15 Brewers spring home games is Feb. 26 against San Diego. 

 


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NYC Marathon Ups Its Green Game
 
Posted: 13 Feb 2019, 3:44 pm

By Lew Blaustein, GreenSportsBlog

Caitlin Cunningham of the New York Road Runners stands atop the Staten Island side of the Verrazano Bridge, starting point for the TCS New York City Marathon (Photo credit: NYRR)

The TCS New York City Marathon is, arguably, the highest profile race of its kind on the planet. Managed by New York Road Runners (NYRR), it boasts the biggest field in the world with over 52,000 runners. Managing the event sustainably is a high priority for NYRR. GreenSportsBlog spoke with Caitlin Cunningham, the organization?s Senior Manager, Event Development and Logistics, to dig into the specifics of the greening effort surrounding the marathon.

Marathon Sunday.

If you live in Manhattan like I do, those two words connote the annual, joyous mid-autumn celebration of The Big Apple that is the TCS New York City Marathon.

To Caitlin Cunningham, Senior Manager, Event Development & Logistics for New York Road Runners (NYRR), Marathon Sunday has an entirely different meaning.

She is responsible for managing sustainability for the Marathon. Not surprisingly, that is no easy task. After all, over 52,000 runners race past an estimated one million spectators across all five boroughs on the first Sunday in November, generating many tons of waste, along with carbon emissions associated with getting to and from the event.

?We?re aware of our impact on the city in terms of trash and other environmental issues,? acknowledged Cunningham. ?So we have to be creative and work hard to minimize our footprint.?

GREENING GOES INTO HIGH GEAR DURING MARATHON WEEK

Runners and spectators begin to see the fruits of the sustainability efforts of NYRR, its partner organizations and several city agencies on the Sunday before the big race.

The Poland Spring Marathon Kickoff five-miler features a partnership between NYRR and City Harvest, the nonprofit that helped launch the food rescue movement in 1982. Since then, it has collected and donated massive amounts of unused food from a myriad of events and other sources to charities throughout New York City. In 2018, 800 lbs. of food from the five-miler found its way to soup kitchens and more.

The night before the race, NYRR hosts a pasta dinner for more than 3,000 runners at the TCS New York City Marathon Pavilion, located in front of Tavern on the Green in Central Park. The organization has a Zero-Waste goal for the dinner, meaning it diverts 90 percent or more of its waste from landfill. With a 2018 diversion rate of 79 percent, the organization is closing on the Zero-Waste finish line.

Then, very early on race day, NYRR and the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) spring into action with a comprehensive mass transit operation. Its objectives are to get more than 50,000 runners to the starting line smoothly and on time, while minimizing environmental impact.

?More than 90 percent of the runners take NYRR-provided transportation options, many of which are added for the marathon, from different points in the city, either directly to the start of the race on the Staten Island side of the Verrazano Bridge or to lower Manhattan?s Staten Island Ferry terminal,? Cunningham said. ?About 23 thousand people take the ferry across New York Harbor to the staging area. The nearly ubiquitous use of mass transit is key to getting runners to the starting line on time and also to minimizing our carbon footprint.?

Read the full article here.

The post NYC Marathon Ups Its Green Game appeared first on Green Sports Alliance.


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Europe Lineup Roundup: Exclusives At Lolla Berlin, Stormzy To Curate Snowbombing
 
Posted: 13 Feb 2019, 2:48 pm
Kings of Leon and Swedish House Mafia are going to play their only Germany show in 2019 at Lollapalooza Berlin, Sept. 7-8. What is more, Twenty One Pilots will play their only German festival show, while German band Kraftklub will celebrate its only performance in 2019 at Lolla Berlin.

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Rock Row Venue To Open In Maine In May
 
Posted: 13 Feb 2019, 1:05 pm

The Maine Savings Pavillion at Rock Row is part of a $600 million project in greater Portland, Maine.

The Maine Savings Pavilion at Rock Row is a new outdoor amphitheater under construction as a part of a mixed-use development. It sits on a 100-acre site in the greater Portland, Maine area.

Situated between Portland and Westbrook, Maine, the 8,200 capacity venue is slated to open by Memorial Day. Maine Savings Federal Credit Union signed naming rights for an undisclosed sum.

Rock Row, the name of the overall $600 million, 2.4 million square-foot development, is situated on an old gravel quarry. Plans include retail, restaurants, commercial and residential spaces. It will take five to seven years before completion, said developer Josh Levy, co-founding principal of Waterstone Properties Group and Rock Row's developer.

The entire project, including the amphitheater, is being privately financed.

“We traveled around the county to 15 different cities looking at mixed-use projects. There’s some great examples,” Levy said, highlighting the Toyota Music Factory in Irving, Texas, a $200 million mixed-use entertainment complex that opened last year.

The amphitheater's project cost is between $3 to $5 million. The site man has a sloped lawn that will include premium, general admission and lawn seating.

Levy and his executive team chose Waterfront Concerts to operate and book the venue. Waterfront Concerts partners with Live Nation and also manages Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion in Bangor, Maine. The concert group hosts a summer concert series every year at the Maine State Pier, and that series will move to The Maine Savings Pavilion, which has double the capacity.

“For us and for Waterfront Concerts, we are very focused on the concertgoer experience and creating easy access,” Levy said.

The development sits next to a major interstate and requires substantial off site infrastructure work, including reconstruction of highway exits, said Jennie Franceschi, director of planning and code enforcement at the city of Westbrook.

“We’re actively meeting with Waterstone and with Waterfront Concerts to make this make this a real successful endeavor,” she said, noting that the developer already has invested $10 million in infrastructure upgrades.

Phase one of the project includes a new 80,000-square-foot supermarket called Market Basket. In total, the entire development will have 450,000 square feet of retail, including a 25,000 square foot “brewplex” and food hall. 

The site also include 26 acres of recreational space with a large pond. A 12-screen movie theater, 750 residential units, roughly 300,000 square feet of commercial space and 100,000 square feet of medical and wellness offices are also included in the project.

“We’re thrilled. There’s some really cool history at this site, and it’s a really cool project,” Levy said.

Waterfront Concerts founder Alex Gray has been involved with the development of the amphitheater since day one.

“(Levy) understood that in order to create foot traffic, he needs this type of venue coupled with a few other major attractions,” Gray said.

In the past, Gray has filled the concert series with acts such as ZZ Top, Kip Moore, Ziggy Marley, and the Goo Goo Dolls.

The venue will have a 175,000-pound load capacity, allowing for larger scale performances, Gray said. The amphitheater's slope will have an elevation of 14 feet, ensuring “premium sightlines” for guests at all performances, he said.

The city of Westbrook’s planning board approved the development of the venue and the concert series in December.

“We’re very excited about the possibility of having so many people coming to Westbrook and be a part of our community,” Franceschi said.
 


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Graystone Quarry, Live Nation Team Up
 
Posted: 13 Feb 2019, 1:00 pm

A rendering of the 138-acre site in Franklin, Tenn., where Graystone Amphitheater will open in spring 2020. 

Graystone Quarry, the new amphitheater under construction south of Nashville in Franklin, Tenn., and Live Nation are partnering to program the venue.

The 7,500-capacity amphitheater will sit on a 138-acre site at the base of a former limestone rock quarry surrounded by cliffs up to 100-feet tall. The quarry was active 50 years ago when the limestone was used in the construction of Highway 65 through Williamson County, Tenn.

In addition to the music venue there is a 1.5-acre plaza area for gathering, dining, and retail.

Rick McEachern bought Graystone Quarry in 2014 and opened the site for weddings and private parties in 2016. He did not disclose how much he paid for the site or how much building the amphitheater will cost.

The seating will be a combination of box seats, flip-down stadium-style seats, seats with backs and seats without backs. "We will have a lot of options," McEachern said.

McEachern and Live Nation have been talking for three years. The multi-year deal has already been signed. Programming won't begin until the start of the 2020 season in April.

"We decided Live Nation was the perfect programming partner," he said. "They've been doing this a long time. They will provide programming, artists relations and marketing."

Graystone Quarry will manage and staff the venue as well as concessions.

"We're going to bring in Nashville-style food trucks," McEachern said. "We're also going to pick some local concessionaires and bring them in. We hope to provide a better experience than what you can typically get at a large venue."

McEachern said that the amount of shows they intend to book for season one has not yet been determined and will be put in place closer to the start date.

The venue is slated to operate in the traditional amphitheater season that starts in April and runs through October. "But we have no restrictions in place and can run as many shows as we want at any time of year," he said.

The closest amphitheater to Graystone Quarry is the 6,800-capacity Ascend Amphitheater in Nashville, about 30 minutes away, and also programmed by Live Nation. A third Live Nation venue, the 4,500-capacity Fontanel Amphitheater in Whites Creek, Tenn., is also a 30-minute drive.

Brian Traeger, President of Live Nation Tennessee, saw a story about the Graystone Quarry master plan and contacted McEachern.

"I wondered if it was something we could work on together," Traeger said. "I brought in Bob Roux (president, U.S. concerts), Jordan Zachary (chief strategy officer) and Mark Campana (COO, U.S. Concerts) and took them all to the property and we got with Rick and struck a deal that made sense for everybody."

Traeger said he'll start looking at programming for Graystone Quarry in late summer/early fall and that programming three outdoor venues with similar capacities so close together would not be an issue.

"We will ask an artist what best fits their needs," Traeger said. "The three venues all have different configurations and different demographics."

Traeger also envisions making deals to bring acts to two or even all three of the venues.

"It would be a great market look for an act to play multiple nights at different Nashville venues," he said.

"We thought this was a great space to have an immersive experience," McEachern added. "This used to be dumping ground and it's now a place people can come have a great time."

 

 

 

 

 


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First Direct Arena UK Increases Standing Capacity
 
Posted: 13 Feb 2019, 12:40 pm

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Jennifer Lopez announces 'It's My Party: The Live Celebration' North American Arena Tour
 
Posted: 13 Feb 2019, 12:37 pm
Jennifer Lopez announced today on the Ellen DeGeneres Show her return to the road with the "It's My Party: The Live Celebration" Tour, her first in over six years. 

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Lick It Up: KISS Gets Wicked at Whiskey a Go Go Show
 
Posted: 13 Feb 2019, 12:35 pm
The marquis of the storied Whiskey a Go Go read ?Sold Out: Wicked Lester.? The anticipation rippling through the packed Sunset Strip club Monday night was palpable as Tom Morello took the stage, raving, ?You wanted the best! And you got the best! The hottest band in the land ? KISS!?

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Double Vision: Foreigner Then & Now
 
Posted: 13 Feb 2019, 11:07 am
 ?We joined Atlantic, which had been a dream of mine since I was a teenager, and all of the sudden we?re outselling the Stones, we?re competing with Led Zeppelin, all the other English bands ? Genesis, Yes, a huge roster of great bands,? says Foreigner co-founder and lead guitarist Mick Jones, recalling the exact moment his massive classic rock band broke through. 

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The Conversation: Dave Grohl With Michael Rapino
 
Posted: 13 Feb 2019, 3:53 am
Dave Grohl could have talked all night, but he had to take his daughters to dinner.

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Pollstar Live!: A Conversation With George Clinton
 
Posted: 13 Feb 2019, 2:44 am
When George Clinton takes the stage ? any stage ? his goal is to ?blow them outta here.? And he did just that in his Pollstar Live! interview with Pollstar executive editor Andy Gensler in front of a jammed International Ballroom on Pollstar Live!?s opening day.

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Living In a Post-Warped World: What's Next?
 
Posted: 12 Feb 2019, 10:59 pm
A panel of punk rock vets and enthusiasts discussed how Warped Tour ending its 24-year run of cross-country tours last summer has challenged rock bands and their teams to be more creative with their tours. 

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Pollstar Live! Discussing The Great Slump Of '09
 
Posted: 12 Feb 2019, 9:54 pm
Although there was some disagreement in whether the the slump of 2009 following the U.S. housing financial crisis that kicked off a global recession, really was devastating to the concert business,, the panelists on this discussion did seem to agree that it feels like much longer than 10 years ago.

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The Rainmakers: iHeartMedia's Alissa Pollack In Conversation With Nikki Sixx
 
Posted: 12 Feb 2019, 5:04 pm
Motley Crue?s Nikki Sixx has seen the evolution of music and marketing for more than 30 years, and by staying involved with the process and with new technologies, sees new ways of using data and targeted branding to reach new audiences. 

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Dolphins To Add Gondola At Stadium
 
Posted: 12 Feb 2019, 8:00 am

The Miami Dolphins plan to install a gondola next to Hard Rock Stadium similar to the one pictured here. Doppelmayr, an Austrian manufacturer, will produce the attraction. (Courtesy Miami Dolphins)

The Miami Open tennis tournament is still one month away, but Miami Dolphins Vice Chairman, President and CEO Tom Garfinkel is already thinking ahead to next year's event at Hard Rock Stadium.

The open, which was launched in 1985 and is among the few combined events on the ATP and WTA tour calendars, moves this year to the NFL facility. The Dolphins signed a 30-year deal with event producer IMG to host the tournament.

To further improve the fan experience for 2020, the Dolphins plan to install a permanent sky ride attraction outside the stadium so patrons can get a bird's eye view of the action below.

"I had the idea a year ago, but we didn't get it done in time for this year," Garfinkel said. "It will start going in after this year's tournament. We'll put in a gondola that goes 100 feet above the crowd. It's less of a transportation thing and more of a novelty to be up above the tennis and the crowd. We'll have it in place (first) for Super Bowl next year."

Super Bowl LIV is set for Feb. 2, 2020 at the stadium.

Garfinkel first got the idea from riding the gondola at Summerfest, the big music festival held every year in Milwaukee. 

"Twenty-five years ago, I was up there in the gondola, looking down at the center of the grounds. I thought to myself (for stadium events), 'How do you get above the crowd for people to see and be seen?' It's going to duplicate Summerfest."

The Dolphins will spend about $3 million on the installation and are working with a company called Doppelmayr, an Austrian firm that produces gondolas for ski resorts worldwide.

At Hard Rock Stadium, the gondola will be part of the tennis complex outside the stadium along the south side. It will extend 1,800 feet, said Todd Staley, the Dolphins' vice president of stadium construction. The ride will be about a 10-minute round trip. The project is in the early stages of design, and rider capacity and fees have not been determined, Garfinkel said.

For the Miami Open, Dolphins owner Stephen Ross invested $60 million to convert the stadium into a full-service tennis venue, featuring a 14,000-seat center court inside the seating bowl. The conversion to tennis at an NFL stadium is unprecedented. Some parking lots next to the stadium have been converted to tournament and practice courts, hospitality areas and landscaped spaces.

It's all part of a massive transformation of the stadium and overall property that began with a multiyear, $600 million overhaul of the 32-year-old facility. This year's Miami Open, scheduled for March 18-31, is the latest effort by the Dolphins to position the stadium as a multipurpose venue.

More projects are in the works. The Dolphins plan to build a $100 million practice facility next to the stadium, designed by Rossetti, the same architect involved in the Miami Open retrofit. Construction will start after the tournament, and the practice facility will open by February 2021.

Team officials are close to signing a naming-rights deal for the building, Garfinkel said. The Dolphins' current practice facility and training camp is in Davie, about 12 miles north of Hard Rock Stadium.

On the stadium's west side, the glass block facade, the final piece of the exterior that still has the look of the original design, will be "dressed up to match the rest of the stadium," Garfinkel said. Work starts after the Rolling Stones concert April 20 at the stadium.

In the parking lots, which span a total of 375 acres, pedestrian tunnels and bridges are starting to take shape to help ease congestion on NFL game days. The project should be completed by the coming football season.

Apart from the practice facility, the Dolphins are marketing cornerstone partnerships for Hard Rock Stadium's northwest and southwest entrances. Verizon and University of Miami Health System sponsor the northeast and southeast gates. The stadium's four corners are anchored by videoboards, similar to MetLife Stadium in New Jersey. 

"With the practice facility going in and the tennis tournament, those entrances are a lot more valuable than they were a year ago," Garfinkel said. "It's really been Steve's commitment and vision that's made all this possible."

 

 

 

 


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George Clinton's Farewell To P-Funk
 
Posted: 11 Feb 2019, 6:22 pm
The national treasure that is George Clinton, aka ?Dr. Funkenstein,? aka ?The Prime Minister of Funk,? this week announced the final tour of his illustrious 60-year career. The 77-year-old embodiment of funk has just released the final dates of his 2019 One Nation Under a Groove Tour with Parliament-Funkadelic, the ever-morphing groups he?s helmed concurrently since the late-1960s. It?s a milestone for Clinton and the millions upon millions of fans whose minds and booties he?s set free.

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HOK, Arquitectonica Get Soccer Job
 
Posted: 11 Feb 2019, 8:45 am

Arquitectonica created this rendering of the Freedom Park stadium, released last year. (Courtesy Inter Miami CF via MLS.com)

HOK and Arquitectonica, the design team for AmericanAirlines Arena, are combining forces again to develop a stadium for Major League Soccer expansion club Inter Miami CF.

Multiple sources familiar with the negotiations confirmed the selection.

Jurgen Mainka, Inter Miami CF's chief business officer, did not return emails for comment. HOK officials declined to comment, and Arquitectonica did not respond to a request for comment.

Gensler, designer of Banc of California Stadium, home of LAFC, and HNTB/Manica Architecture, the design team for the new Raiders stadium in Las Vegas, were the other two finalists, sources said.

HOK’s sports, recreation and entertainment group includes the old Heinlein Schrock Stearns/360 Architecture, which teamed with local firm Arquitectonica to plan AmericanAirlines Arena, home of the NBA’s Miami Heat.

The downtown arena opened in 1999 with just 20 suites, by far the fewest in the NBA, in a market saturated with premium product. The suites come with outdoor balconies facing Biscayne Bay.

The arena also features some of the industry’s first bunker suites and loge boxes.

Inter Miami CF, which will begin play in 2020, is owned by former British soccer star David Beckham among other investors. He was officially awarded the team in 2018. Unofficially, Beckham’s group has spent the past six years searching for a site to build a stadium with approval from local government.

Over the past year, Inter Miami CF selected a site to build a 25,000-seat facility on a city-owned golf course near Miami International Airport. It’s part of Miami Freedom Park, a $1 billion, 73-acre mixed-use development that will include 750 hotel rooms and 1 million square feet of office and commercial space.

Arquitectonica has been working for Inter Miami CF on preliminary stadium design for the Freedom Park site, and the team released some initial renderings last summer.

Local voters in November approved the use of city property for the privately funded project. Since that time, though, a lawsuit was filed to stop the project over alleged violation of lobbying rules connected to the disclosure of investors in the development, according to local reports.

City commissioners still must approve the project pending resolution of the litigation. No opening date has been set for the stadium.

In the meantime, Inter Miami CF is searching for a temporary home in South Florida where it can play its inaugural season. The team had considered Marlins Park before recently turning its attention to Riccardo Silva Stadium at Florida International University. The stadium, home to FIU’s football and soccer teams, opened in 1995. It has been expanded over the years and now seats about 20,000.

In addition, Inter Miami CF has submitted a proposal to the city of Fort Lauderdale to build a practice facility on the site of Lockhart Stadium. The old MLS Miami Fusion played there for four years. For more than 10 years, it was home to the old Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the North American Soccer League.

Elsewhere, HOK is designing a $65 million stadium for Louisville FC, which plays in the United Soccer League and has considered moving up to MLS, the top North American professional soccer league.

In Atlanta, HOK was the architect for Mercedes-Benz Stadium, which was designed for both soccer and football. Atlanta United FC, entering its third season in MLS, has been a huge success there, drawing crowds of 40,000 to 70,000. In south Florida, HOK designed $600 million in upgrades to Hard Rock Stadium, which books international soccer matches.

Under 360 Architecture, the firm’s last soccer-specific project was Avaya Stadium, the San Jose Earthquakes’ facility, which opened in 2015.


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Pollstar Live! 2019 Conference Hub
 
Posted: 11 Feb 2019, 12:45 am

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At Minor League Park, 'Garage' Rocks
 
Posted: 10 Feb 2019, 4:00 pm

The Toyota of Redlands Garage group space proved popular with fans in its first year at San Manuel Stadium in San Bernardino, Calif. (Courtesy Inland Empire 66ers)

The Inland Empire 66ers minor league baseball team can’t wait to open the door to their “garage” at San Manuel Stadium again this season.

The Toyota of Redlands Garage is a group space situated behind the first-base dugout at the ballpark, in San Bernardino, Calif. It’s a cool communal setting for 35 people with lounge-style seating.

The retrofit debuted for the 2018 season and the feedback from fans and corporate partners renting the garage was overwhelmingly positive, said Joe Hudson, the team’s general manager.  The 66ers, owned by Elmore Sports Group, are the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim’s Advanced Class A affiliate and a member of the California League.

San Manuel Stadium, a 5,000-seat facility originally designed by the old HOK Sport, opened in 1996 with a dozen suites and company picnic areas common across minor league baseball. The ballpark, though, lacked the kind of space now trending across sports for the average fan to hang out and interact with others apart from their seats, Hudson said.

The team spent $250,000 to build the area, developed in tandem with design consultant Chris Lamberth. The project involved removing 440 seats to build the group area plus a public bar attached to the retrofit. The space itself sells for $1,200 a game which includes a food package. The 66ers signed a three-year sponsorship deal with a local Toyota dealership.

“You’re literally right in the middle of the action,” Hudson said.

The 66ers brought in local contractors and artists to help theme the space with a rustic feel reminiscent of an old auto repair shop.

“What we’ve heard from our season-ticket holders and single-game buyers is that the bar area is a great place to step away from your seat for a while and enjoy a drink with friends,” Hudson said. “We’ve had good success selling (the area). The bar is creating equal to above-average revenue compared to ticket revenue for the same space in previous years.”


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Event Venue Titans AEG Facilities and SMG Announce Merger
 
Posted: 8 Feb 2019, 10:20 am

AEG Facilities and SMG owner Onex announced they will merge to create ASM Global. The new company will be headquartered in Los Angeles and will operate over 300 venues across five continents that include arenas, stadiums, convention centers and performing arts centers.

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AEG Facilities, SMG Announce Merger
 
Posted: 7 Feb 2019, 7:00 pm

AEG Facilities and SMG, the two biggest players in the management of sports and entertainment venues, announced Thursday that they have formed a definitive merger. The name of the new entity is ASM Global.

AEG_SMG.jpgFinancial 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. 

It will be based in Los Angeles, where AEG is based, and will have “key operations” in West Conshohocken, Pa., the Philadelphia suburb where SMG has its headquarters. 

All told, between the two companies, the agreement covers more than 300 facilities worldwide, including multiple NBA and NHL arenas and six NFL stadiums.

Bob Newman, president of AEG Facilities, will be named president and CEO of ASM Global. Wes Westley, SMG’s CEO, will join the new company's board of directors. Wesley will retire pending completion of the merger, SMG officials confirmed.

Newman and Westley declined comment.

AEG Facilities is a subsidiary of AEG Worldwide. The agreement covers venue management services, plus content and services provided by two other divisions: AEG Presents, the world’s second-biggest concert promoter, and AEG Global Partnerships. Those two subsidiaries will operate across all ASM Global properties, sources said.

In addition, SMG, through its senior vice president of entertainment, Jim McCue, brings its own content division to the table.

AEG retains ownership of its venues and entertainment districts in Los Angeles, including Staples Center and L.A. Live, as well as London, Hamburg and Berlin.

The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals. Competitors in the facility management space include Spectra, VenuWorks and Oak View Group, parent company of VenuesNow and Pollstar.

“Our lawyers are studying this, and we’ll let them figure out whether this is anti-competitive,” said Tim Leiweke, Oak View Group’s co-founder and CEO.

"That said, we have a different model and I’ll let OVG’s progress in the next few months speak for itself,” Leiweke said. "The big question here will be if this is an antitrust issue.”

The announcement came as a surprise to industry observers, but one veteran facility manager could see it coming after SMG went through a sales process two years ago. 

“We know that Live Nation was attempting to (buy SMG) in 2017 and it ended up not happening,” said Brad Mayne, president and CEO of the International Association of Venue Managers, a trade group representing public assembly facilities. (Officials with Live Nation would not comment.)

“It’s interesting, you’ve got companies that have changed ownership and you’ve got owners that are hungry for growth in their organizations. It doesn’t surprise me something like this took place,” Mayne said.

“Having done business development for private management firm Ogden back in the day, it’s a smart move to bring two of the behemoths together. As it relates to competition, it gives you more leverage to go after open accounts and renew accounts. It will be interesting to see what the organization is going to look like as they merge the two together.”

A key question is whether ASM Global continues AEG's business model of investing money in facility development. SMG, by comparison, historically has not put equity into arenas, stadiums and convention centers. Instead, its model is tied to collecting management fees to run those venues.

"OVG entered into managing facilities as well as putting their own equity in the venues and diversifying by offering services similar to what Tim did with AEG,” Mayne said. "Obviously, it caught the attention of the industry. There’s a lot of benefits to having control over the project from start to finish."


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Improving Fan Experience with Smart, Safe, Connected and Sustainable Solutions
 
Posted: 7 Feb 2019, 11:25 am

By Lisa Roy, Vice President of Commercial Sales, Johnson Controls Building Technologies and Solutions, North America

Johnson Controls is the Smart Building partner for Quicken Loans Arena, helping to ensure a safer, more comfortable and connected environment for the fans and staff inside the arena today and in the future.

Advanced technologies and integrating multiple building systems for smarter, safer, more efficient operations are creating intelligent, future-ready facilities ? including sports and entertainment facilities. Stadiums and arenas today serve as multipurpose facilities set within entertainment districts. Whether home to multiple sports teams, transformed for concerts, or ready to welcome rodeos and monster truck rallies, these venues must ensure fans not only enjoy the event but are also safe, comfortable and connected. No one wants to sit through a game or concert that?s either uncomfortably warm or cold, too noisy or not loud enough. Meeting these goals requires the implementation of smart, connected building solutions that simultaneously contribute to improved energy and operational efficiencies.

Ensuring a holistic approach to venue operations

A clear goal for stadium and arena management is to provide a high-quality experience for fans, while also improving energy and operational efficiency. Ensuring efficient facility operations can directly affect the experience that fans have, especially when systems are successfully integrated for a holistic view into stadium operations.

The convergence of building, business and venue systems requires that previously siloed entities are connected for a comprehensive systems environment. Systems can then communicate, share and optimize data across technology platforms that are managed on a unified, secured and resilient infrastructure. For example, building automation systems (BAS) can connect HVAC, security, fire protection and lighting systems, which enables more control, better automation, more efficient and sustainable operations, and ultimately increased comfort and safety for fans.

The BAS can help automatically adjust the temperature in the venue based on certain variables, such as the actual attendance at each event, ensuring a comfortable atmosphere in occupied locations while limiting energy usage in unoccupied areas and reducing associated costs. Real-time data of energy consumption levels can then be analyzed to provide predictive analytics and feedback as needed. This information can be leveraged to define sustainability priorities and strategize future updates.

Quantifiable benefits at The Q

In Ohio, Quicken Loans Arena (The Q) ? home to the National Basketball Association?s Cleveland Cavaliers ? is undergoing a major renovation called ?The Q Transformation.? With Johnson Controls as its Smart Building Partner, the nearly 25-year-old venue engaged Johnson Controls  to provide connected and efficient building systems and technologies for the arena?s renovation project, including HVAC equipment and fire systems. These systems will allow the venue to deliver energy and operational efficiencies, enhance the experience of visiting fans, and provide a positive impact for the city of Cleveland, the community, neighborhoods and the region.

Since it?s opening in 1994, the arena has leveraged Metasys® BAS from Johnson Controls to monitor and control building systems and drive energy and operational savings. Metasys provides facility operators with key building performance data, and allows them to identify or correct issues more quickly before they impact building efficiency or fan experience.

As the Q?s Smart Building Partner, Johnson Controls continues to work with the owner, general contractor and mechanical engineers to ensure the transformation is planned and designed to deliver smart, connected and sustainable building solutions that will contribute to the arena?s overall objectives. In addition to Metasys upgrades in the arena, Johnson Controls is providing connected and efficient building systems and technologies. Solutions implemented include:

  • Advanced fire systems
  • More efficient HVAC equipment that offers a quieter, more comfortable environment
  • Chiller Plant Optimization, powered by OptimumEnergy and Metasys®, which ensures the central plant?s major components work optimally together to maximize energy efficiency and help optimize the arena environment.

The arena has also signed a professional service agreement with Johnson Controls to provide lifecycle services, including the maintenance and service of mechanical systems, building controls, and security and fire systems in Quicken Loans Arena and practice facilities. This will help prevent unexpected system downtime for uninterrupted operations, while reducing operational and maintenance costs.

The Q Transformation is modernizing Quicken Loans Arena, ensuring it maintains its world-class status, creating a safer, more comfortable and connected environment for the fans and staff inside the arena today, and far into the future.

By working with a trusted partner early in the process to discuss desired outcomes and strategize on beneficial technology integrations, venues can prioritize fan expectations and energy and operational efficiencies with the implementation of smart, connected and sustainable solutions.

The post Improving Fan Experience with Smart, Safe, Connected and Sustainable Solutions appeared first on Green Sports Alliance.


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Rams Push Boundaries For VR
 
Posted: 7 Feb 2019, 9:00 am

Animation from the new virtual reality experience created by Tangerine Apps shows how prospective buyers will be able to explore the new stadium. (Courtesy Los Angeles Rams)

The Los Angeles Rams came up short in the Super Bowl, but the organization continues to show creativity both on the field and off. It has opened up the playbook, using virtual reality to sell seats and ads at the team’s stadium in a $5 billion Inglewood complex, set to open in 2020.

The VR experience transports fans and brand executives into the venue where they can navigate to any seat or suite. They can even “be” on the field, looking up to view the stadium’s signature two-sided oculus oval video ring and through the clear ETFE roof.

“We’re trying to be cutting edge,” said Chris Hibbs, chief commercial officer and general manager for the L.A. Stadium and Entertainment District project. “Seeing the size and scale of (the venue) in a virtual way, you can put yourself at the 50-yard line and look up and see how massive it is.” The stadium will have 70,240 seats for NFL games, expandable to 100,000, and encompasses 3.2 million square feet.

“It allows people to see what it is really going to look like in (their) seat or suite, or from the sponsor perspective, a chance to light up the stadium in their color or brand,” Hibbs said. “We’ll use it for all those things.” Legends Global Sales is selling season tickets and premium seating for both the Rams and the Los Angeles Chargers, who will also play at the stadium, and sponsorships for the stadium.

He added that the experience was originally designed to help program content on the unique 120-yard-long video ring since there is not expected to be much time to practice after construction ends and before the facility opens.

“It’s two-sided and is a first,” Hibbs said. “One of the challenges in doing a first is how do you program it? This (VR experience) is an exact architectural model. It’s exactly what it will look like and you can design your content. A designer can build all the aspects of a concert based on this model.”

The VR experience was created by Tangerine Apps, a local firm that was hired by L.A.’s Olympic bid group to show off the stadium and other venues to the International Olympic Committee.

Hibbs told VenuesNow, “They had done a simplistic version of our venue and we asked if they could go in deep and do a detailed version of our venue and they said yes. They had a version of our stadium at sunset so you could see the glimmer of sunset in the stadium.”

The experience was unveiled in Atlanta ahead of the Super Bowl and will be installed soon at the Inglewood stadium’s high-tech sales center. One viewer will wear a VR headset, with additional headgear connected to a display so others can join the experience.

Hibbs added that it’s a dynamic work: “(Tangerine Apps) builds on it on a continual basis. We have an open plaza and a 6,000-seat indoor performance venue (as part of the complex). There are nuances: clubs, suites, subterranean parking.”

Hibbs wouldn’t divulge the cost of the project. And while he doesn’t think it will be the deciding factor for fans or brands, he does think it will pay off: “(VR) could be an accelerator. If you can get someone to look at it and say, ‘Wow! This is what it’s like when I’m hosting guests or my brand is on the screen,’ and they can understand it faster … no one is going to make an investment because of the VR, but if they can embrace it faster that’d be a good use of it.”

Michael Pachter, an analyst with Wedbush Securities in Los Angeles who has researched and written extensively about VR, said he has not yet seen the experience but sees its potential for these types of projects. “This is precisely the application that makes the most sense for VR,” he said. “I’ve talked about this a lot, but this is the first real-life application I’ve seen in practice.”


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Some Stadiums Ready For More Football
 
Posted: 6 Feb 2019, 8:00 pm

Stadiums hosting the four inaugural Alliance of American Football games this weekend have been busy prepping fields, changing signs and stocking venues with merchandise.

The start-up pro football league comprises eight teams, all of which play in stadiums that are home to college football programs. It will play a 10-week regular-season schedule starting Saturday before moving to the postseason.

The Alamodome in San Antonio will host one of two games Saturday between the hometown Commanders and the San Diego Fleet.

The 64,000-capacity stadium hosted the AAF training camp and four preseason games that weren’t open to the public, giving the venue an opportunity to test the waters before regular-season games begin, said Andrea DeLaune, marketing manager for the city of San Antonio, which manages the Alamodome.

“We’ve been painting the field, putting up all the logos and prepping for the crowds,” she said. “I’m told that we are leading the league as far as ticket sales and merchandise sales go.”

The AAF was founded by TV and film producer Charlie Ebersol and Hall of Famer Bill Polian, a longtime team executive in the NFL. The league will operate as a single entity, with no team owners.

Last month, the AAF announced Aramark as the league’s official retail merchandise concessionaire and e-commerce provider. Aramark is in charge of stocking each AAF host venue with team merchandise.

Spectrum Stadium in Orlando, Fla., will also host a game Saturday between its tenant, the Orlando Apollos, and the Atlanta Legends. The stadium has 45,000 seats and is on the University of Central Florida campus.

Unlike the Alamodome, which sells alcohol at every event and game, the Orlando stadium does not serve for UCF football games. Spectra is the food and beverage manager of the venue, and the Spectra team is working to stock 26 concession stands with alcohol, said Matt Oberlin, assistant athletic director for event management at UCF.

Spectrum Stadium, as well as the other stadiums, also have to swap out signs for the new league. “We’re taking down all of our signing and branding. Coordinating that has been a pretty big deal. We have events between their events,” Oberlin said.

Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Ariz., is home to the AAF Arizona Hotshots, who will take on the Salt Lake Stallions on Sunday at home. Sun Devil Stadium has 53,500 seats and sits on Arizona State University’s campus. The stadium sells alcohol at every venue event so will not have to make any changes for the league’s arrival, said Victor Hamburger, senior director of ASU 365 Community Union.

The 365 Community Union is a group at Sun Devil Stadium that works to fill the venue with events 365 days a year.

“Having a tenant like the Arizona Hotshots is a good for us as we go for those 365-day goals,” Hamburger said.

Also on Sunday, the Birmingham Iron will host Memphis Express at Legion Field in Birmingham, Ala. Legion Field, home to the UAB football program, did not return calls for comment before this story was published.

CBS is scheduled to broadcast the league’s opening day games. CBS Sports Network will be home to games the rest of the season.


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Pacnet Ready For A Breakthrough
 
Posted: 6 Feb 2019, 8:00 pm

The Paciolan leadership team at Pacnet '18 (from left): Christian Lewis, vice president of business development; Keith White, chief technology officer; Steve Demots, chief revenue officer; Kim Damron, president and CEO; Deana Barnes, senior director of client partners; and Craig Ricks, senior vice president of marketing. (Courtesy Paciolan)

As ticketing company Paciolan finishes preparations for its annual Pacnet gathering of clients and business partners, President and CEO Kim Damron foresees a breakthrough year.

“That means a bunch of different things, breaking through with our clients and collaborating with them to create better solutions,” Damron said, “but also breaking through to new audiences and … helping our clients create and find more customers for their database.”

Pacnet ’19, which will take place Feb. 10-13 in Newport Beach, Calif., packs more than 40 sessions covering everything from optimization strategies to digital marketing and parking to, yes, data, reflecting the fact that ticketing is no longer just about selling tickets.

“It’s about creating the whole experience with your customer from end to end,” Damron said. “It’s about donors and how everyone is focused on donations, whether you’re a performing arts venue or a college athletics organization. … It’s really about how you create your relationship with all those different kinds of consumers and how you get lifetime value out of that consumer.”

One emphasis will be making sure clients know how to get the most out of Paciolan’s partnerships with brands such as Salesforce, StubHub, Facebook and Google.

“Google has to be part of the equation because it’s the No. 1 place to buy tickets, bar none,” Damron said. “They estimate they have over 10 million live event customers that purchase tickets at least once a month. They have active, engaged audiences.”

And StubHub is “a destination whether you’re buying primary or secondary tickets. It’s a destination to buy, so we’ll be covering a lot on our expanded partnership,” she said.

Beyond the nuts and bolts of ticketing, one track on the first day of the event is devoted to leadership, leading off with a panel of three women who are athletic directors at NCAA Division I schools: Heather Lyke of Pitt, Jennifer Cohen of Washington and Desiree Reed-Francois of UNLV. Damron will moderate the panel.

“One of my absolute passions is growing more female leaders in corporate America,” said Damron, who got the idea for the session when she was on a panel with Cohen and Reed-Francois at another conference. “It was so powerful to just hear their candid stories on how they got to where they were and inspired so many people.”

Pacnet has evolved “from a tactical conference to a high-level strategy conference,” Damron said, and Paciolan has done some evolving of its own since its start in 1980. “We are a 38-year-old company, but what we’ve tried to create here is a start-up mentality,” Damron said. 


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HOT TICKETS: FEB. 7, 2019
 
Posted: 6 Feb 2019, 5:40 pm

Elton John performs during his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, Calif. (Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images)

Two music legends that hit it big in the 1970s topped our 10,001- to 15,000-capacity Hot Tickets chart this week.

The Rocket Man, Elton John, whose first U.S. chart hit was "Your Song" in 1970, soared to the No. 1 slot with a stop at Pechanga Arena in San Diego, where he performed on his farewell tour. The show grossed $1,361,249, with attendance of 11,517 and a ticket range of $49.50-$224.50. The show was an in-house promotion with AEG Presents.

Fans continue to "Believe" in Cher, whose first No. 1 hit as a solo artist was in 1971 when "Gypsies, Tramps & Thieves" sailed to the top of the charts, establishing the former Mrs. Bono as a force to be reckoned with all by herself. Now, 48 years later, Cher is once again on the charts for a stop at Infinite Energy Center in Duluth, Ga. The show grossed $1,347,638, with attendance of 9,657 and a ticket range of $47.95-$500. It was an in-house promotion.

Fun Fact: When Cher returned to TV in 1975 with her new variety show sans Sonny, her first guest was ... Elton John.

HOT TICKETS is a weekly summary of the top events and ticket sales as reported to VN Pulse via Pollstar. Following are the top 20 concerts and events, the top 5 in each capacity category, that took place Jan. 8-Feb. 5.

More Than 15,000 Capacity

10,001-15,000 Capacity

5,001-10,000
Capacity

5,000 or Less
Capacity

1) Eric Church
Gross Sales:
$2,922,111; Venue: CHI Health Center, Omaha, Neb.; Attendance: 29,511; Ticket Range: $29-$139; Promoter: Messina Touring Group / AEG Presents; Dates: Jan. 18-19; No. of Shows: 2

2) Eric Church
Gross Sales: $2,879,053; Venue: TD Garden, Boston; Attendance: 28,606; Ticket Range: $30-$139; Promoter: Messina Touring Group / AEG Presents; Dates: Feb. 1-2; No. of Shows: 2

3) Justin Timberlake
Gross Sales: $2,842,220; Venue: Pepsi Center, Denver; Attendance: 17,440; Ticket Range: $49.50-$250; Promoter: Live Nation Global Touring; Dates: Jan. 28; No. of Shows: 1

4) Justin Timberlake
Gross Sales: $2,774,525; Venue: Madison Square Garden Arena, New York; Attendance: 18,522; Ticket Range: $55-$275; Promoter: Live Nation Global Touring; Dates: Jan. 31; No. of Shows: 1

5) Eric Church
Gross Sales: $2,632,660; Venue: Enterprise Center, St. Louis; Attendance: 29,200; Ticket Range: $29-$139; Promoter: Messina Touring Group / AEG Presents; Dates: Jan. 25-26; No. of Shows: 2

1) Elton John
Gross Sales: $1,361,249; Venue: Pechanga Arena, San Diego; Attendance: 11,517; Ticket Range: $49.50-$224.50; Promoter: In-house Promotion, AEG Presents; Dates: Jan. 29; No. of Shows: 1

2) Cher
Gross Sales: $1,347,638; Venue: Infinite Energy Center, Duluth, Ga.; Attendance: 9,657; Ticket Range: $47.95-$500; Promoter: In-house Promotion; Dates: Jan. 25; No. of Shows: 1

3) Justin Timberlake
Gross Sales: $1,064,106; Venue: Bell MTS Place, Winnipeg, Man.; Attendance: 11,959; Ticket Range: $37.68-$171.25; Promoter: Live Nation Global Touring; Dates: Feb. 4; No. of Shows: 1

4) “Grease – The Arena Experience”
Gross Sales: $850,741; Venue: RAC Arena, Perth, Australia; Attendance: 13,496; Ticket Range: $49.30-$105.08; Promoter: In-house Promotion, Harvest Rain Theatre Co.; Dates: Jan. 19; No. of Shows: 2

5) Florence + The Machine
Gross Sales: $714,605; Venue: RAC Arena, Perth, Australia; Attendance: 12,142; Ticket Range: $73.28; Promoter: In-house Promotion, Chugg Entertainment; Dates: Jan. 12; No. of Shows: 1

1) A-Lin
Gross Sales: $641,212; Venue: Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville, Conn.; Attendance: 5,309; Ticket Range: $68-$188; Promoter: In-house Promotion, IEM Group; Dates: Feb. 2; No. of Shows: 1

2) Tyler Perry’s “Madea Goes to Jail”
Gross Sales: $512,660; Venue: Zappos Theater at Planet Hollywood, Las Vegas; Attendance: 6,038; Ticket Range: $67-$168; Promoter: Caesars Entertainment, Live Nation; Dates: Jan. 27; No. of Shows: 1

3) Keith Urban
Gross Sales: $506,495; Venue: Newcastle Entertainment Centre, Broadmeadow, Australia; Attendance: 5,290; Ticket Range: $50.21-$129.24; Promoter: In-house Promotion, TEG Live; Dates: Jan. 23; No. of Shows: 1

4) Greensky Bluegrass
Gross Sales: $334,600; Venue: The Anthem, Washington, D.C.; Attendance: 7,195; Ticket Range: $40-$60; Promoter: I.M.P.; Dates: Feb. 1-2; No. of Shows: 2

5) Anderson .Paak
Gross Sales: $306,434; Venue: Hordern Pavilion, Moore Park, Australia; Attendance: 5,425; Ticket Range: $64.64; Promoter: Live Nation; Dates: Jan. 9; No. of Shows: 1

1) “Miss Saigon”
Gross Sales: $1,493,363; Venue: Durham (N.C.) Performing Arts Center; Attendance: 21,174; Ticket Range: $27.50-$197.50; Promoter: In-house Promotion; Dates: Jan. 22-27; No. of Shows: 8

2) “Fiddler on the Roof”
Gross Sales: $1,405,575; Venue: Durham (N.C.) Performing Arts Center; Attendance: 21,205; Ticket Range: $22.50-$192.50; Promoter: In-house Promotion; Dates: Jan. 8-13; No. of Shows: 8

3) “On Your Feet!”
Gross Sales: $1,281,643; Venue: Orpheum Theatre, Minneapolis; Attendance: 18,341; Ticket Range: $25-$131; Promoter: Broadway Across America, Hennepin Theatre Trust; Dates: Jan. 22-27; No. of Shows: 8

4) Tedeschi Trucks Band
Gross Sales: $551,340; Venue: Ryman Auditorium, Nashville; Attendance: 6,774; Ticket Range: $39.50-$99.50; Promoter: NS2; Dates: Jan. 31-Feb. 2; No. of Shows: 3

5) “Dancing With The Stars”
Gross Sales: $534,280; Venue: Rosemont (Ill.) Theatre; Attendance: 6,876; Ticket Range: $65-$85; Promoter: NS2, FPC Live; Dates: Feb. 2; No. of Shows: 2

The weekly Hot Tickets chart is compiled by Pollstar. For more information, email Teamboxoffice@pollstar.com or click here to submit your Box Office data now.

 


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NFL Makes Use Of New Drone Laws
 
Posted: 6 Feb 2019, 5:10 pm

John Skinner, Major League Baseball vice president of security and facility management, speaks on a panel at the Stadium Managers Association seminar this week in Hollywood, Fla. (Don Muret / Staff)

The NFL, in partnership with the FBI, tested new technology for the 2019 Super Bowl and Pro Bowl that gives outdoor venues the ability to stop potential drone attacks on their facilities.

Andrea Schultz, the NFL’s director of strategic security programs and policy, was principally involved in the counter-drone testing at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta and Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Fla. Schultz worked for the federal Department of Homeland Security before joining the NFL in 2017. She discussed the tests during a panel session on “Concerns and State of the Business” at the Stadium Managers Association seminar in Hollywood, Fla.

The NFL’s pilot program launched after the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act of 2018, which was signed into law in October. The legislation sets additional guidelines for drones, allowing stadiums to redirect unmanned aircraft systems invading their air space. For law enforcement authorities, it’s the first time they can legally counter drones in airspace in real time, Schultz said.

Together, FBI and NFL officials had a busy week leading up to Super Bowl Sunday.

“I had the radio in my ear all day,” she said. “I don’t have the full report, but I know we were constantly getting hits from drones and they were able to redirect them to a prepositioned place and land them safely.”

“For the first time, we had an opportunity to actually address this risk,” she said. “It was very exciting, and I’m looking forward to seeing where this (technology) goes in the future.”

There were no issues with drones on game day itself in Atlanta, according to Peter O’Reilly, the NFL’s senior vice president of special events. One day after the panel, O’Reilly spoke to SMA attendees remotely from league headquarters in New York.

A few drones received waivers on game day, including one affiliated with CBS, which broadcast the game. Others were used for the halftime show to create special effects, all coordinated with the FBI, he said.

“In the press conferences and the lead-up to the game, (the NFL) and Homeland Security were very clear on the procedures in place, and I think that type of communication in advance helped us a ton on game day,” O’Reilly said.

By comparison, the Pro Bowl, held one week earlier in Orlando, was quiet for drone activity because of a steady rainfall throughout the day, which is not conducive for operating drones, Schultz said.

“We had no risk of drones,” she said. “We had technology out there, but [officials] sure had a boring day. They were ready to go.”

As it stands, for teams to mitigate drone activity, they must first get approval from their state governor and the system must be administered through DHS and the FBI, said fellow panelist John Skinner, Major League Baseball’s vice president of security and facility management.

“We can’t arbitrarily get a drone mitigation because the FAA and all the other entities have said you can’t block these activities (without approval),” Skinner said.

Skinner and Cathy Lanier, the NFL’s senior vice president and head of security, recently attended a meeting with Department of Justice officials at the White House. They were told that documentation by teams is critical for strengthening future anti-drone legislation.

“The U.S. attorney looked at us and said, ‘We want data.’” Skinner said. ‘We don’t want to see a video of a drone crashing (at a ballpark). We know it’s a risk, but we want data on how much this issue is prevalent in your stadiums.’ If we’re ever going to institute change, we need the numbers for the federal government.”

It’s a complicated issue for determining a “good” drone, such as one used by broadcast networks to capture aerial video, vs. one with bad intentions. Last fall, for example, four drones came near Dodger Stadium during the World Series, and they appeared so quickly that officials could not determine their intent, Skinner said.

“Is it just a customer, or an individual trying to get YouTube video, or is it somebody with nefarious intent?” he said. “It’s really a challenge for us, and that’s something that, as time goes on, is an emerging risk despite the legislation we presently have.”

On their own, teams can’t implement “no drone zones,” but there is a piece of FAA legislation enacted in 2016 that could bring some relief to teams in their fight against drones. Labeled Section 2209, it’s more commonly called the “fixed site rule,” which allows stadiums to place permanent restrictions on drones and not just during events, Skinner said.

“Section 2209 is something that we’re working on,” he said. “We’re hopeful and have our fingers crossed that we can be able to dedicate that at least for our ballparks in MLB.”

The most recent legislation is a sign of progress in efforts by teams and facilities to keep their fans safe at events, said Russ Simons, a venue operations consultant attending the conference.

“No one could intercept a drone because of some antiquated law,” Simons said. “There was nothing you could do prior to this (law). Now, it’s the first time something can be done. Hopefully, we make more progress … so we can implement (safeguards) before an incident occurs.”


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Savona Returns to Iowa
 
Posted: 6 Feb 2019, 4:50 pm

TimSavona_200x145.jpgTim Savona.

Spectra named Tim Savona to be the new general manager of Sioux City, Iowa's Tyson Events Center and Orpheum Theatre.

Savona started his career with Spectra in 2009 at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines, where he served as an event manager and director of corporate partnerships. Since then he has served in a variety of leadership roles, joining the Budweiser Events Center in Loveland, Colo., as the assistant general manager and director of events and most recently as the general manager at the Ford Idaho Center in Nampa, Idaho.
 


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Like Magic, Cirque Buys Illusionists
 
Posted: 6 Feb 2019, 4:00 pm

An act from The Illusionists, the best-known franchise of The Works Entertainment. Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group paid a reported $40 million to acquire the company. (Courtesy Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group)

Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group has acquired The Works Entertainment, the production company behind the hit stage-show franchises The Illusionists and Circus 1903 — The Golden Age of Circus.

"The shows that The Works have put together are a perfect fit for Cirque," said Daniel Lamarre, Cirque’s president and CEO. "These shows have all the criteria for the type of entertainment that Cirque has built its 35-year reputation on. They have no stars, are very scalable and are mostly visually driven. It's a lot easier to travel and promote shows with no language barrier.”

"Cirque has an amazing distribution platform in 350 cities across the world," he said. "We'll be able to bring these great shows to places they have not been before."

Lamarre said that the two companies "have been courting each other for a year now." The deal was signed Feb. 1 and announced Wednesday.

Financial details were not released, but Lamarre told The New York Times that the price was about $40 million.

"We are a circus of magic," said Simon Painter, The Works Entertainment's founder and creative director. "What we do is right in line with what Cirque has done so successfully for many, many years."

The Works was founded in 2012 by Painter and executive producer Tim Lawson. Their first show was The Illusionists, which ran 10 performances at the Sydney Opera House in Australia. It's grown to five versions that tour theaters internationally. Shows are running now in Australia, China, Europe, the Middle East and Broadway.

The Illusionists shows have five to seven magicians. "The show is the vehicle," Painter said. "The shows are built around having the best magicians, but we don't rely on any particular star."

Thirty to 40 people travel with The Illusionists shows along with two to six trucks. Load-in takes "around a day." Ticket prices run $70-$80 in North America, rising to $125 on Broadway, and are "based on territory norms in international markets."

Painter said he and Lawson had a contract to stay with the company "for the foreseeable future.

"We value their contribution highly and it was key to us that they stay with the productions,” Lamarre said. “What we really acquired here are two amazing entrepreneurs."

Lamarre does not expect any cost-cutting as the The Works is folded into Cirque. "The synergy will come from the revenue base," he said.

It will be a collaboration going forward," Painter said. "We will continue as normal and look forward to input from the Cirque organization."

There has been no discussion of a name change, Painter said.

With The Works shows in its roster, Cirque will produce 10 shows in 2019, Lamarre said. 

This is the third acquisition for Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group in recent years, after acquiring Blue Man Group in 2017 and VStar Entertainment Group in 2018.

"We're becoming quite a big player in the theatrical industry, and with the acquisitions of Blue Man and VStar and now The Works shows we are getting a lot of leverage with the communities we go into," he said. "We're showing up much more often and with more content."

The acquisition was financed using a portion of a new $120 million investment by Fonds de Solidarité FTQ and the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec into Cirque Entertainment Group.

Cirque recently announced its newest show, to be performed at Luxor Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, which will stray from the classic Cirque acrobatic formula and showcase stunts and special effects in movies; a new show in Hangzhou, China; and a new show to make its premiere in Barcelona about international soccer star Lionel Messi.

"This acquisition confirms the company’s position in the industry and clearly shows our commitment to expand Cirque from a company solely focused on circus arts to a live entertainment creator, producer and promoter," Lamarre said. "We are bringing the Cirque brand to another level with this acquisition.


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Post-Super Bowl LIII GSB News and Notes: Eco-Athlete Chris Long Wins Man of Year Award, Budweiser Wind Power Ad 2nd Most Watched Spot Online
 
Posted: 5 Feb 2019, 12:56 pm

By Lew Blaustein, GreenSportsBlog

Chris Long, after winning the 2018 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award (Photo credit: Philadelphia Eagles)

The New England Patriots knocked off the Los Angeles Rams 13-3 in a defensive struggle to win Super Bowl LIII at Atlanta?s LEED Platinum Mercedes-Benz Stadium, their sixth championship of the otherworldly 18 year Tom Brady-Bill Belichick era. The environment played a small but, it sez here, increasingly prominent role vs. recent Super Bowls. So before the pro football world turns its attention to free agency in March, April?s NFL Draft and the race to Super Bowl LIV in Miami¹ next February, here is a quick rundown of the Green-Sports happenings that surrounded yesterday?s Super Bowl LIII

EAGLES? CHRIS LONG, FOUNDER OF WATERBOYS, WINS WALTER PAYTON NFL MAN OF YEAR AWARD

While Eagles stalwart defensive end Chris Long did not win a third consecutive Super Bowl ring last night ? he played important roles in Philadelphia?s championship in 2018 after winning one with the Patriots the year before ? he did earn the prestigious Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award. It honors a player?s volunteer and charity work, as well as his excellence on the field.

Long?s ? and his Chris Long Foundation?s ? main charitable initiative is Waterboys, a program that has united NFL players, professional athletes and sports fans to raise funds and awareness to provide clean drinking water to East African communities in need. By February 2018, Long?s goal of building 32 clean water wells, one for every NFL team, was met. Long has now set a goal of providing clean water to one million people.

?I am honored to be named the 2018 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year and to join the long line of men who have received this prestigious honor,? Long said in a statement. ?I am humbled by the support we have received from my peers who have donated to our various matching-campaigns, the commitment and perseverance displayed by the [military] veterans who have climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro with me each year, and the generosity of our fans who have made vital contributions to our foundation over the years.?

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A-List Panel Discusses the Future of Sustainable Sports Venue Design at Gillette Stadium
 
Posted: 4 Feb 2019, 3:14 pm

By Lew Blaustein, GreenSportsBlog

View from the field at Gillette Stadium during the Leading Edge Sustainable Stadium Design Conference (Photo credit: Excel Dryer)

View from the field at Gillette Stadium during the Leading Edge Sustainable Stadium Design Conference (Photo credit: Excel Dryer)

The New England Patriots have been on the ?Leading Edge? of pro football since 2001. After all, they are about to play in their ninth Super Bowl¹ in the 18-year Belichick-Brady era on Sunday when they take on the Los Angeles Rams in Atlanta.

Thus, it is fitting that the first Leading Edge Sustainable Stadium Design Conference was hosted by Excel Dryer and D|13 at the Pats? Gillette Stadium last month.

The conference?s centerpiece was a discussion among a panel of Green-Sports All Stars.  They took a deep dive into the past, present and especially the future of green sports venue design and operations, with an emphasis on how to make stadiums and arenas as energy efficient and fan-friendly as possible.

The opportunity to earn Continuing Education Unit (CEU) credits along with the chance to throw and catch passes on the same field as Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski were likely what drew architects ? as well as contractors, property managers and more ? to Gillette Stadium on a foggy January night for the Leading Edge Sustainable Stadium Design Conference. 

But it was the panel discussion, moderated by Joe Khirallah of Green Bear Group, on the Green-Sports movement?s past, present and future, that kept the audience?s rapt attention.

?At several points during the discussion, I looked out to the audience and noticed that no one was looking at their cell phones,? observed panelist Scott Jenkins, GM of Atlanta?s LEED Platinum Mercedes-Benz Stadium and Board Chair of the Green Sports Alliance. ?Not one person. I don?t think I?ve ever seen that before, and I?ve been on a lot of panels.?

PATRIOTS, GILLETTE STADIUM: GREEN-SPORTS INNOVATORS SINCE 2002

According to conference host and panelist Jim Nolan, who as COO of Kraft Sports + Entertainment (KSE) is responsible for operating Gillette Stadium as efficiently as possible, sustainability has been a core tenet since the building opened in 2002.

?I am fortunate to work for an owner ? Robert Kraft ? who cares about the environment,? Nolan shared. ?Our number one priority is to reduce fossil fuel consumption. Second is to do as much as we can to reduce our waste stream. Every innovation we consider is examined through both financial and green lenses. We say ?go? on new cleantech innovations when they become economical.?

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Looking for Big Ideas for the World’s Future
 
Posted: 4 Feb 2019, 3:02 pm

By Covestro

2019.02.04-looking for big ideas-IMAGE

Covestro and UN Environment call for young people to take part

Pittsburgh, January 30, 2019 ? Covestro and the United Nations are again calling for nominations for Young Champions of the Earth, the prestigious prize for environmental entrepreneurs aged between 18 and 30, who have big ideas for the world?s future.

Each of seven winners in the 2019 program, the third year of the global competition, will receive $15,000 seed money to invest in their projects, invitations and funding to attend high-level UN meetings to share their ideas with the world, training and mentorship.

Submissions will be accepted now through March 31, 2019. Visit the website to apply: http://web.unep.org/youngchampions/apply.

Covestro CEO Dr. Markus Steilemann says: ?Engaging with the Young Champions from the past two years has demonstrated the concern and commitment they have over the future of our planet. Their passion is very much shared by Covestro, and I am delighted to help launch a further round of this global competition, which is a brilliant platform to help young professionals make their dreams become reality. Together, we can make the world a brighter place.?

Joyce Msuya, UN Environment Acting Executive Director and Assistant Secretary-General of the UN, adds: ?The Young Champions of the Earth prize combines two ingredients that are critical to save our planet ? innovation and the drive of young people. We need both in equal measures to address the planet?s most pressing environmental challenges.?

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Pollstar Live! Gets Grohl-Rapino Pairing
 
Posted: 4 Feb 2019, 12:00 pm

Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl will appear in conversation with Live Nation President and CEO Michael Rapino at this year's Pollstar Live! conference, which takes place Feb. 11-13 in Los Angeles.

The two leading industry figures will discuss their experiences in the music business at the Beverly Hilton on Feb. 12.

Rapino, who has served as Live Nation president and CEO since 2005, is among the industry's most influential figures. Comprising three divisions — Ticketmaster, Live Nation Concerts and Live Nation Sponsorship — Live Nation operates in more than 40 countries and generates annual revenue  exceeding $10 billion. The company annuals sells more than 500 million tickets, promotes more than 30,000 events, partners with more than 1,000 sponsors and manages the careers of more than 500 artists.

And Live Nation's business only continues to grow. In 2018, the company's profit margins and share prices increased. Last October, Live Nation acquired a majority stake in concert promotion company Emporium Presents.

In December 2017, Live Nation extended Rapino's contract through the end of 2022. The executive also participated in a keynote Q&A at the 2018 Pollstar Live! conference.

Grohl and Foo Fighters, meanwhile, remain a formidable force well into their third decade as a band. The alt-rock mainstays appeared on Pollstar's Year End Top 100 Worldwide Tours three out of the last four years — the exception being 2016, when they played only one concert — and grossed $241 million along the way. Their last album, 2017's "Concrete and Gold," debuted at No. 1 on Billboard's albums chart and featured "Run," which won the Grammy Award for Best Rock Song.

Grohl's combined discography — dating back to his time as a drummer in Nirvana — has sold more than 75 million copies, and he has won 16 Grammy Awards. He has also collaborated with legends including Paul McCartney, David Bowie, Neil Young, Motörhead's Lemmy Kilmister and Led Zeppelin's John Paul Jones.

Grohl joins a slate of artists already booked to appear at Pollstar Live! that includes George Clinton, Khalid and Jim James.

Other Pollstar Live! speakers include The Messina Touring Group's Louis Messina, Live Nation Entertainment's Arthur Fogel, William Morris Endeavor’s Greg Oswald, Ticketmaster’s Kathryn Frederick, Artist Growth’s Matt Urmy, Paradigm’s Marty Diamond, Nederlander’s Alex Hodges, Live Nation’s Bob Roux, Kevin Lyman Group’s Kevin Lyman, CID Entertainment’s Dan Berkowitz, WME’s Tony Goldring, Live Nation’s John Reid and C3 Presents’ Leca Guimarães.

The first day of the three-day conference is dedicated to Production Live!, which this year features programming led by production legend Jake Berry (who worked on tours from U2, the Rolling Stones and Beyoncé to AC/DC, Madonna and Motley Crue, among others).

Pollstar and VenuesNow share an owner and are both part of Oak View Group's Media & Conferences Division.


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INTIX Salutes Forlini With Spira Award
 
Posted: 4 Feb 2019, 9:00 am

VenuesNow Ticketing Stars Alex Renfrew of Spectra/Tsongas Center, Jonathan Lack of the Milwaukee Bucks and Christina Allen of the Ottawa Senators/Canadian Tire Centre. (Courtesy INTIX)

INTIX presented Ticket Philadelphia Vice President Linda Forlini with the Patricia G. Spira Lifetime Achievement Award at the ticketing association’s awards luncheon during its 40th annual conference and exhibition last week in Grapevine, Texas.

Linda_Forlini1.jpgLinda Forlini, winner of the 2019 Patricia G. Spira Lifetime Achievement Award. (Courtesy INTIX)

Forlini, who joined Ticket Philadelphia in 2015 after 12 years at the New York Philharmonic, where she was director of customer relations, is a 33-year veteran of the ticketing industry. She received VenuesNow’s Ticketing Star Award at last year’s INTIX convention in Baltimore and was INTIX chairman in 2004.

A standing ovation accompanied Forlini as she made her way to the stage Wednesday, and she was visibly moved as she gave a short speech while accepting the award.  “I don’t know what to say, and I’m usually very talkative,” she joked.

The box office and TOBi Services at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts in San Antonio was named Outstanding Ticket Office. Aren Murray, director of ticketing, and Kevin Stephenson, box office manager, accepted the award.

Murray spoke of a year of extensive turnover among the building’s resident companies and a resulting loss of institutional memory that had new executives looking to the ticketing operation for answers. “I said, ‘Our team can handle it,’” Murray said, “‘because we are your face. We are not the face of our building. We are the face of our clients.'”

John Harig, vice president of ticketing services for the Cincinnati Arts Association, won the Outstanding Ticketing Professional Award. The nonprofit organization oversees the Aronoff Center, Music Hall and the Weston Art Gallery.

“I get so much support here. I get so much support at home,” said Harig, who is preparing for the arrival of the hit Broadway musical “Hamilton” this month. “The people I work with in ticketing services, everybody I work with in the Cincinnati Arts Association is part of this. I could not be successful without them.”

Duncan Moss, associate director of ticketing operations for the Ravinia Festival in Highland Park, Ill., received the FutureTix Young Ticketing Professional of the Year, awarded to an outstanding member of the organization under 35. Presenting the award to Moss was Angus Watson, the festival’s retired director of ticketing operations and one of the people Moss thanked for getting him interested in INTIX.

Moss started with Ravinia in 2003, “never thinking I was going to have a career in ticketing. I’m sure a lot of you probably thought the same,” he said, echoing the sentiment that working in the box office is a calling sometimes discovered through experience rather than instinct.

Gail Anderson, Minnesota State Fair ticket office manager, received the Spirit Award, given to a member representing the organization’s spirit of “enthusiasm, friendship, participation and cooperation.” Anderson has been with the fair since 1994 and won the Ticketing Star Award, then known as the Box Office Star Award, in 2013. 

She advised new members to dive right in. “Take the time to participate in this organization," Anderson said. "You’ll get back a thousand things more than you put in.”

Ticketing_Stars_Throne_270.jpgRebecca Throne of Burning Man accepts her Ticketing Star Award. (Courtesy INTIX)

A day earlier, VenuesNow presented its 2019 Ticketing Star Awards to this year’s winners, who were announced in late November. Christina Allen of the Ottawa Senators and Canadian Tire Centre, Jonathan Lack of the Milwaukee Bucks, Alex Refrew of Spectra and the Tsongas Center and Rebecca Throne of Burning Man were all on hand to collect their awards.

At the end of Tuesday’s luncheon, INTIX Board Chair Kay Burnham, vice president of Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, Calif., presented the inaugural INTIX Impact Award to Venues Today/VenuesNow founder Linda Deckard for her support of the ticketing industry and INTIX during her time at the magazine as well as at Amusement Business.

The award came as a surprise to Deckard (as well as to one reporter who had dessert silverware in hand rather than a pen to take notes from Deckard’s acceptance speech). On her blog,  though, Deckard offered some lessons learned, which included, “Pack light because you might have a heavy award to transport home.”


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TOP STOPS - FEBRUARY 2019 - AVAILABLE NOW
 
Posted: 31 Jan 2019, 10:00 pm

Click here to see February 2019 Top Stops.


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Recycle Track Systems and Philadelphia Union Launch New, Comprehensive Recycling and Sustainability Plan
 
Posted: 31 Jan 2019, 2:32 pm

By Recycle Track Systems

2019.01.31-Recycle track systems-IMAGE

Recycle Track Systems, Inc. (RTS) announced a multi-year partnership with MLS? Philadelphia Union as the exclusive company to manage waste services for the 18,500-seat, Talen Energy Stadium. The collaboration will kick-off with salvaging the existing soccer field?s soil which will provide 93 tons of reuse for composting or fill for construction projects.

In addition to readying the stadium for a brand-new field, RTS? LEED accredited team will work closely with the staff to support proper education and communication on waste separation and diversion practices. RTS will also support Philadelphia Union in fan engagement, including in-stadium signage, proper branding on all waste receptacles and an educational pre-game video to encourage fan participation in recycling during events.

?We?re excited the Philadelphia Union recognizes the need to initiate a recycling plan that will replicate existing green sports stadium waste standards and help mitigate future impacts to the overall environmental footprint,? said Greg Lettieri, Co-Founder and CEO of RTS. ?This is another terrific example of the continuing work of Philadelphia-area businesses and organizations taking steps to be more sustainable.?

As part of the overall sustainability plan, RTS will also manage the waste streams at Philadelphia Union?s state-of-the-art indoor practice facility housed in the historic Annex building adjacent to Talen Energy Stadium. The 16,500 square foot building includes a weight training area, physical therapy and sports science development area, nutrition center, locker rooms, and offices.

?We are thrilled that RTS is a part of the Union family,? expressed Jean-Paul Dardenne, Senior Vice President of the Philadelphia Union. ?Not only are they the leaders in their field, but the Union and RTS share the passion to give back to the community.?

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Inside Super Bowl Music Fest
 
Posted: 30 Jan 2019, 9:00 pm

Cardi B. and Bruno Mars, shown performing at the 2018 Grammy Awards, will be the big attraction on the third night of music at Atlanta's State Farm Arena. (Getty Images)

Music has been an integral part of the Super Bowl since its debut in 1967, when marching bands hit the field at halftime. The relationship intensified in the '90s, when performances by Michael Jackson, Diana Ross and more created the Super Bowl halftime show as we know it today.

This year, music's role in Super Bowl festivities has grown again, with the introduction of a three-night music festival running Thursday through Saturday before the big game in Atlanta.

"Music has always been a big part of the Super Bowl, from halftime to pregame to obviously all the private corporate parties," said John Collins, CEO of On Location Experiences, a premium hospitality company affiliated with the NFL and involved in staging the first Bud Light Super Bowl Music Fest at State Farm Arena, a hop and a skip from Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Collins and his team at On Location — originally a department within the NFL that was spun off four years ago to private equity groups RedBird Capital and Bruin Sports Capital, with the league retaining a "significant piece of equity" — envisioned a music event that could serve "corporate hospitality all the way down to just passionate fans."

Last summer, talks about such an event ramped up among Collins, the NFL, Anheuser-Busch and State Farm Arena. "The idea of being a unifying force at the most unifying of American holidays is really what brought AB, State Farm, the NFL and On Location together," Collins said. "We all fortuitously came together and shared a vision and quickly rallied behind the vision and convinced a bunch of phenomenal artists to be part of this."

All the involved parties brought something to the table. As one of the NFL's biggest corporate sponsors, Anheuser-Busch was a natural partner for the event. Michel Doukeris, North American president and CEO, and Nick Kelly, head of U.S. sports marketing, lent expertise gleaned from working major music festivals and a significant activation at last year's FIFA World Cup. Brian Rolapp, NFL chief media and business officer, wanted to create a new Super Bowl franchise. And Atlanta Hawks CEO Steve Koonin — whom Collins called a "long-term friend" and praises as a "big thinker who really likes to break the mold" — was willing to make State Farm Arena, which reopened last fall after a $193 million renovation, available for the event.

All that remained was booking the talent. For the festival's first night, on Thursday, sponsor EA Sports signed on and helped develop a "Welcome to Atlanta" concept, quickly adding Ludacris, Migos, Lil Yachty and more to the bill. "They really wanted to show guests who were flocking to Atlanta what Atlanta music is all about," Collins said.

For Friday, the festival brought in Aerosmith and Post Malone — who collaborated for a medley at the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards — as a way of bridging the old and the new.

But the buzziest booking is Saturday's combination of Bruno Mars and Cardi B. The two chart-toppers were slated to hit North American arenas last fall for the final leg of Mars' world tour, but Cardi pulled out after the July birth of her daughter.

Mars "wanted to do something unique," Collins said. "It was his vision to say, 'Hey, I want to do something really different and special, so I want to give a glimpse at what we were going to be doing on that tour.'"

Mars' relationships with the NFL — he's performed at the Super Bowl halftime show twice — and Live Nation, which contributed production to his world tour, will play a similar role at the Bud Light Super Bowl Music Fest, cemented that evening's programming.

"It's attracted interest from basically every corporate player who is going to be at the Super Bowl," Collins said. "It clearly is the place to be." Collins described State Farm Arena as "the best of both worlds," with "cushy VIP areas" for high-end patrons and a "pretty good capacity" for general admission tickets; out of the 15,000 heads Collins expects to bring in every night, he says 10,000 will be general admission.

At the renovated State Farm Arena, a marquee headliner such as Justin Timberlake has sold 14,010 tickets with a gross of $2.21 million, according to Pollstar box office data. Over three concerts, Drake sold 14,670 tickets for a gross of $1.92 million a night. Joe Killian, founder of Killian and Co. and a seasoned producer with brand partnerships expertise, estimated that general admission tickets ranging from $70 to $100 a night and pricier VIP packages won’t offset Bud Light Super Bowl Music Fest’s extensive costs, which, all told, could carry a price tag of $8 million or more. Not that he thinks that matters. “The brand essence of Budweiser is that it’s a great American beer,” Killian said. “If they can communicate that to the globe by doing a couple concerts, the dollar amount — whether it’s $8 (million) or $10 (million) or $20 million — is a drop in the bucket. It’s a smart investment.”

Looking ahead, Collins said the NFL and On Location had already started to plot a second edition of the festival, to be held in Miami, the site of next year's Super Bowl. "To be able to launch this in Atlanta with the State Farm guys is phenomenal, but Miami brings a different sort of opportunity," said Collins, adding that his team had started to plot the 2020 festival with representatives from the Miami Dolphins and the Miami Super Bowl host committee.

Among the ideas bouncing around? Hitting the sand. "We've already locked down a bunch of permits to be potentially out on South Beach, which we think would be really fun and phenomenal," he said. "We love the idea of going outdoors in Miami. That'll give it some additional dimension in terms of feeling like a festival. Maybe operating for longer periods of time, with multiple performances over the course of a full day."

Such an expansion matches Killian’s observation that “brands always want to surround the event itself, because there's a limited number of tickets to the Super Bowl.” Experiences carry more weight for consumers than traditional advertising, he said, so it follows that major brands are developing and expanding that type of programming.

With major cities Tampa and Los Angeles hosting the big game in 2021 and 2022, respectively, the event's future appears bright. Said Collins: "We called it the inaugural because we definitely plan on this being a part of the Super Bowl landscape for a long, long time."


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Back In A Familiar Atmosphere
 
Posted: 30 Jan 2019, 8:00 pm

NicolasDuhamel_200x145.jpgNicolas Duhamel.

Nicolas Duhamel has returned to MDG as marketing manager and European business development director. The company provides fog, haze and atmosphere generators to productions and venues.

Duhamel left the company in 2016 to take a job in event management in France and will still be based there. He will be responsible for all of MDG’s marketing activities  worldwide.

 


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Goldstar Adds Eventbrite To Platform
 
Posted: 30 Jan 2019, 7:00 pm

Discount ticket platform Goldstar has chosen Eventbrite to be its ticket support provider.

Goldstar and Eventbrite have formed a partnership that will see Eventbrite embed its ticketing capabilities into Goldstar's platform.

"We thought it would be nice to put a ticketing system within the organizer toolset," said Goldstar founder and CEO Jim McCarthy. "Two-thirds of our organizers have homegrown or simple systems, and we wanted to provide something better for them."

Goldstar has more that 6,000 live entertainment event creators using its platform. It offers discounted tickets to its more than 10 million members.

Simple-to-use tools for the venue managers, ease of scanning at the door and nametag printers were all reasons McCarthy said the ticket system was perfect for Goldstar's users.

The integration will be done in bits and pieces. "It's already there in version 1.0," McCarthy said. "It will be increasingly embedded and increasingly seamless. We are self-serve to a high degree and we wanted a system where anybody could sign up on the spot and start using the features."

Event creators will also be able to take advantage of Eventbrite’s list of 50-plus distribution partners, including Google, Facebook and Instagram.

McCarthy said the contract called for shared revenue from new customers; Eventbrite also cuts a deal with the event organizers and promoters for the costs of using their ticketing system. The contract between Goldstar and Eventbrite is a "long-term contract for the foreseeable future.

"We reach so many organizers who use Goldstar to market their shows, and the event creators are potentially Eventbrite customers," McCarthy said. "By putting the Eventbrite tools inside the Goldstar toolset it makes them more attractive to become Eventbrite users. There's really no other place they can go to find a market like that."

Eventbrite did not make a representative available to VenuesNow for comment but the company did say in a statement that "Eventbrite creators (will) benefit from adding events to Goldstar’s inventory."

"This isn't about a preferential system for Eventbrite because we still integrate with all the other ticketing systems," McCarthy said. "This deal was struck with the many thousand event organizers who don't have a great system in place in mind— but there's no pushing anyone into anything."

Before the Eventbrite embed, Goldstar would have suggested one of the many ticket companies the company works with or sent the organizer a list of names for will-call.

"Many of our people already come with a ticket system," he said. "Eventbrite will be available for people who want to upgrade or expand and having it in our toolbox just makes the whole process a whole lot easier. The last thing you want is to have to go to a million different places to track down your data."


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Clippers Interview Builders For Arena
 
Posted: 30 Jan 2019, 6:00 pm

Temporary offices for AECOM Hunt/Turner Construction at the Inglewood stadium site, seen in 2018. (Don Muret / Staff)

In their effort to hire a construction firm to build their new arena, the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers can find one bidder working across the street from the site of the planned 18,000-seat facility.

The joint venture of AECOM Hunt/Turner Construction is building the new stadium in Inglewood for the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers, which will open in 2020. The stadium sits across Century Boulevard from the Clippers’ site, a lot spanning 27 acres. The two firms have formed a separate joint venture to compete for the Clippers job.

Two other groups with current or recent California sports projects, PCL Construction and the joint venture of Mortenson and Clark Construction, are also bidding for the job. Mortenson/Clark is building Chase Center, the Golden State Warriors’ $1 billion arena complex in San Francisco, which is set to open in September. PCL built Banc of California Stadium, LAFC’s $350 million soccer facility, which opened in April 2018.

The Clippers are interviewing general contractors this week for construction management, sources said.

It’s another sign that Clippers owner Steve Ballmer is serious about building the third major arena in the Los Angeles market, joining Staples Center in downtown L.A. and the Forum, a few blocks away in Inglewood.

Clippers officials declined comment on the project.

Ballmer, who bought the team for $2 billion in 2014, has said publicly he’s committed to building a new arena in Inglewood to open in 2024 and the arena development team has a website, clippersarenainglewood.com, with details on the project. The team plays its home games at Staples Center, where its lease runs through June 2024. The Clippers are third in the pecking order for dates behind the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers and the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings, and Ballmer says a new arena will enable the Clippers to secure better dates for NBA games.

The Clippers’ arena project extends to a practice facility, a sports medicine clinic and retail space. The total project cost has been fluctuating, and to this point, the numbers remain confidential, sources said.

The team is in the midst of a three-year exclusive negotiating agreement with the city of Inglewood after Ballmer paid the city a $1.5 million nonrefundable deposit, according to published reports.

AECOM Hunt/Turner may have a leg up on its competitors to build the Clippers’ arena. The general contractor has been consulting with the Clippers for a few years on arena development, plus AECOM’s sports architecture group is designing the facility, sources said. The Clippers have not publicly announced the designer.

AECOM designed Golden 1 Center, the NBA Sacramento Kings’ arena, which opened in 2016 as the big leagues’ first LEED Platinum-certified building, the highest rating given in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design system used by the U.S. Green Building Council.

For AECOM Hunt, another common thread is Wilson Meany, which is consulting on the Clippers’ project. The company is the developer for the Los Angeles Stadium and Entertainment District, the 300-acre complex that includes the NFL facility.

The Clippers’ project faces legal challenges. One lawsuit was filed by Madison Square Garden Entertainment, owner and operator of the 17,505-seat Forum, which is visible from the Clippers’ site.

Some industry experts question how Ballmer plans to fill the arena with concerts and other special events, given that it would compete against the Forum and Staples Center. MSG has close ties to Live Nation, the world’s top concert promoter. AEG owns and operates Staples Center, and its AEG Presents is the second-biggest promoter. All things being equal, Live Nation and AEG historically book their tours in the buildings where they hold a financial stake and have the strongest relationships.

In September, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a piece of legislation that puts restrictions on environmental litigation under the California Environmental Quality Act. The law effectively streamlines the process for developing the Clippers’ arena.


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Veterans Drive Ballpark Naming Rights
 
Posted: 30 Jan 2019, 5:00 pm

A rendering shows what the Seattle Mariners' T-Mobile Park will look like once new signs and lighting have been installed. (Courtesy Seattle Mariners)

The three Major League Baseball teams that recently signed new naming-rights partners for their ballparks had officials with a wealth of experience working behind the scenes to complete those agreements.

Jason Pearl, senior vice president of partnerships and business development for the San Francisco Giants, and Joe Chard, the Seattle Mariners’ vice president of corporate business and community relations, worked on the original naming rights for Pacific Bell Park and Safeco Field, respectively, in the late 1990s.

Twenty-plus years later, they’ve signed new deals for Oracle Park and T-Mobile Park in San Francisco and Seattle. Both agreements took effect before the 2019 season.

In addition, Jason Hartlund, the Milwaukee Brewers’ chief revenue officer, was principally involved in three naming-rights deals over the past 2 1/2 years. Hartlund took the lead for the Brewers’ deal with American Family Insurance to rebrand Miller Park after the 2020 season.

Jason_Hartlund_web1.jpgJason Hartlund, Milwaukee Brewers.

That came after he filled the same role for the Milwaukee Bucks for naming rights to Fiserv Forum, their new arena, and the Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin Sports Science Center, the team’s practice facility across the street.

“I’m not sure I’ve ever seen that,” Chris Allphin said of Hartlund’s triple play. Allphin is senior vice president for the team advisory group at Van Wagner Sports & Entertainment, which consulted on naming rights for the Brewers’ ballpark and Bucks’ arena.

“Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good,” Hartlund said. He returned to the Brewers in May 2018, two months before the Bucks announced the Fiserv deal.

Hartlund got his start in team sports with the Green Bay Packers. He then worked about 10 years for the Brewers before joining the Bucks in 2015 as managing director of business development and new arena sales. He rejoined the Brewers as chief revenue officer, a newly created position.

“I had not worked on naming-rights deals before joining the Bucks,” Hartlund said. “That was part of the attraction … to be involved with that development and things like naming rights. I got some great experience there and obviously it helped me in the position I’m in now.”

Joe_Chard_web.jpgJoe Chard, Seattle Mariners.

For Pearl and Chard, it’s somewhat unusual for the same marketing executives to revisit high-profile deals two decades apart, but that’s been the case for both of them. They’ve both been employed with their respective teams for more than 25 years. Chard’s tenure with the Mariners dates to 1990.

“We did the Safeco deal in 1998,” Chard said. “To be completely honest, I didn’t really think about being around here to do another naming-rights deal. To some degree, I think (the dynamics) have changed. There are better ways now to demonstrate the value of the properties, just with all the data that we have now and the research you can do.”

Pearl enters his 27th season with the Giants after starting his career in the team’s ticketing department in 1993. He worked on the Pac Bell deal, which was signed in 1996, four years before the ballpark opened in 2000. It was later renamed SBC Park and AT&T Park as a result of consolidation in the telecommunications industry.

Jason_Pearl_web.jpgJason Pearl, San Francisco Giants.

“It feels like we’re now in a generational thing,” Pearl said. “Naming rights have been going on every year with new facilities built, but the wave of initial ones in the 1990s, those 20-year deals are all (expiring) now. To see what the market is for an existing venue is going to be interesting. We’re very pleased with the value we received for our naming rights.”

No financial terms were announced for the three naming-rights deals, but consultants brokering these types of agreements speculated on the value based on their experience and industry connections.

The total value of Oracle’s 20-year deal was reported to run between $200 million and $400 million, a wide gap. “If you split the difference (to $300 million), you’d probably be really close,” Pearl said.

“Like everything else in sports, it’s only worth what someone is willing to pay for it,” he said. “You mix that in with an existing venue that’s 20 years old. You’ve got to believe that the value of putting a name on a new facility is worth more money, but the value of naming rights in general has certainly escalated over the last 15 to 20 years.”

In Seattle, T-Mobile signed a 25-year deal valued at about $75 million, sources said. The term length coincides with the Mariners’ lease extension with the Washington State Major League Baseball Stadium Public Facilities District.

“Opportunities like this don’t come up very often,” Chard said. “There’s only 30 teams in MLB. We had quite a bit of interest. We felt fortunate … and it sounds like based on the number of deals that are being done, that there’s other interest out there.”

In Milwaukee, MillerCoors pays about $2 million annually under the existing deal.

American Family Insurance’s 15-year agreement is most likely in the range of $4 million a year, consultants said.

“They had a lot of success as a kit partner with Atlanta United, which won the 2018 MLS Cup,” Hartlund said. “They have experience in sports marketing, and as you can imagine, an insurance company is full of actuaries and data scientists. They crunch numbers, quite frankly, a lot better than we do. It’s a deal American Family would say is fair and it’s certainly a deal the Brewers feel is fair or we wouldn’t have entered into the agreement.”

All three brands are existing sponsors of the teams and have naming-rights deals at other venues: Oracle Arena in Oakland; T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas; and American Family Insurance Amphitheater at the Summerfest grounds in Milwaukee.


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The GSB Interview: Tim Trefzer, on the Greenness of Atlanta’s Super Bowl LIII
 
Posted: 30 Jan 2019, 2:23 pm

By Lew Blaustein, GreenSportsBlog

Tim Trefzer, sustainability chair of the Atlanta Super Bowl 53 Host Committee (Photo credit: Tim Trefzer)

Tim Trefzer, sustainability chair of the Atlanta Super Bowl 53 Host Committee (Photo credit: Tim Trefzer)

Super Bowl LIII Week is in full swing in Atlanta, complete with red carpet galas, fan-fests, and Media Day, all leading up to Sunday night?s battle between the New England Patriots and Los Angeles Rams. From a sustainability perspective, Atlanta has a leg up on other host cities since the game will be played inside Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the first LEED Platinum professional sports stadium in North America. GreenSportsBlog spoke with Tim Trefzer, the Atlanta Super Bowl LIII Host Committee?s Sustainability Chair, to see what is going on green-wise beyond the stadium.

GreenSportsBlog: Atlanta has been the center of the Mega-Sports event and Green-Sports worlds over the past 18 months. Mercedes-Benz Stadium hosted the 2018 College Football National Championshiplast January and the Green Sports Alliance Summit in June. It also was the site of the Major League Soccer All-Star Game in July and MLS Cup in December. And of course this Sunday, Super Bowl LIIIcomes to town. And Tim Trefzer, you are at the heart of the Green-Sports action as Sustainability Chair of the Atlanta Super Bowl Host Committee. Thanks for talking with us at what must be a crazy busy time.

Tim Trefzer:  My pleasure. And yes, it?s been busy, really going back to the 2018 College Football Playoff National Championship, as I handled a similar sustainability role for that event as well. And we, along with Georgia Tech, will play host to the 2020 NCAA Men?s Final Four so we?ve got more mega-events coming down the pike!

GSB: That is not a surprise, what with Mercedes-Benz being the state of the art in stadium design across all metrics, including sustainability through its LEED Platinum status. So with that as backdrop, how has the Atlanta Super Bowl LIII Host Committee approached the event through a green lens?

Tim: We are working closely with Jack Groh of the NFL ? he?s managed the league?s Super Bowl greening efforts for over two decades ? to make the most of the league?s four sustainability pillars. Number one is Material and Resource Recovery. We are working with local Atlanta organizations on food, textile, and other material donations that will come from the game, the many ancillary events, and participating hotels. Our partners include the Atlanta Community Food Bank, Salvation Army, and Habitat for Humanity. We also assisted Verizon, an NFL environmental sponsor, with their annual E-waste recycling event in the run up to the Super Bowl. Ours was at Zoo Atlanta and it was a big success as 42,446 lbs. of electronics were collected, the most ever from this event!

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Bold and Visionary Leaders Can Make Climate Action a Commercial Strength
 
Posted: 30 Jan 2019, 2:16 pm

By Brian P. McCullough PhD, Sport Sustainability Journal

Sports organisations with an ?authentic and legitimate commitment? to sustainability can attract new fans and deepen relationships with existing fans, says Brian McCullough.

2019.01.30-bold and visionary leaders-IMAGE

The Meeting of the Parties 24 (COP24) concluded this past December with a renewed energy to fulfil the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement and outlined specific ways to achieve those objectives. Most encouragingly was the openness of the UNFCCC to engage specific business sectors, including the sport sector, in the global effort to reduce the effects of climate change.

I was honoured to participate in the initial meetings with the UNFCCC Secretariat and other sport sector and sustainability experts to discuss the parameters of a climate action agreement specific to the sport sector. This work continued up to COP24 in Poland, where the Sport for Climate Action Framework was announced with the initial signatories.

The work done on behalf of all those individuals involved was inspiring. The various opinions and desire to appeal to the broad sport sector from international organisations like FIFA and the IOC, to community or recreational sports organisations, was challenging. The broad perspectives and backgrounds of the individuals in the room provided such a rich and broad assessment of the needed aspects of the Framework to engage the entire sport sector.

Undoubtedly the driving force of motivation for all those involved was a realisation that climate change is real and threatens the way that humanity will consume and participate in sport in the future.

Much like the resulting documents from COP24, the Sport for Climate Action Framework outlines specific actions that sport practitioners can take to contribute to the global effort of the Paris Climate Agreement. Not only does the Framework outline what has been practically demonstrated to work, but it also supports the necessity to base these initiatives and processes on data-driven decisions and transparency.

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How Sport Can Become ‘Systematic’ About Climate Action
 
Posted: 30 Jan 2019, 2:10 pm

By Matthew Campelli, Sport Sustainability Journal

The first step to climate leadership, says the UNFCCC’s Sport for Climate Action Framework, is to ?undertake systematic efforts? to promote environmental responsibility. But what does that mean?

2019.01.30-sport be systematic-IMAGE

At COP24 the UNFCCC unveiled its Sport for Climate Action Framework ? a five-step policy to help the sports sector achieve climate leadership status. Over the next five months, SSJ will look at each step (or principle, as described by the UNFCCC) in more detail, starting with Principle One: ?Undertake systematic efforts to promote greater environmental responsibility?

Becoming systematic about sustainability is challenging for most organisations that don?t have environmental or social goals as core objectives. Many think being sustainable is about developing a recycling initiative or putting their weight behind a philanthropic cause. These ad-hoc projects, although worthwhile, don?t represent an integrated or systematic approach to sustainability.

When the UNFCCC published its Sport for Climate Action Framework in December last year, the first principle it asked signatories to commit to was becoming systematic about sustainability and, more precisely, environmental responsibility.

The call to action was clear: ?move beyond? the ad-hoc and towards the ?comprehensive incorporation of climate change and its impacts into business strategy?, including operations, events, procurement, infrastructure and communications. It?s about creating a process, not doing things in isolation.

Leadership

But how does this look in practice? According to the framework, it all starts with leadership at board and executive level.

Andy Hunt, the chief executive of World Sailing, was among the first framework signatories and spoke as one of the panellists during the COP24 session where it was unveiled. The international sport federation is one of the few to have published a comprehensive sustainability strategy and, more crucially, include sustainability as part of its overall business strategy.

?Leadership in sport? is one of four main pillars referenced by World Sailing in its 2018-2022 strategic plan. Among the strategy?s objectives is the publication of its Agenda 2030 sustainability roadmap (which was delivered in March 2018), the pledge to achieve a number of milestones set out in that document by the end of 2022, and to achieve other social goals, such as gender equity in competition, coaching, race management and governance.

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Strategy For Super Bowl Bookings
 
Posted: 30 Jan 2019, 11:00 am

City Winery Atlanta's concert venue can play host to seated private events for up to 350 people. (citywinery.com)

When the Super Bowl lands in town, so do scores of celebrities, athletes, businesspeople and politicians — and they want entertainment outside of the big game.

While some events, such as the inaugural Bud Light Super Bowl Music Fest, serve both general admission and luxury attendees, others respond to the influx of high-end patrons by walling themselves off from the public.

That trend is in full effect in Atlanta this year, where several noteworthy rooms have empty calendars — for the public, at least — in the days surrounding the Super Bowl. For instance, a Live Nation executive tells VenuesNow that while The Tabernacle and the Coca-Cola Roxy have no announced bookings, "major brands" have rented out those venues for private and semiprivate events.

Other venues have partnered with the NFL itself. The Fox Theatre is an iconic venue — but because it's hosting the NFL Honors the evening before the Super Bowl, its doors will be closed the week prior to prepare.

City Winery's Atlanta location is something of a mixed bag. For some evenings around the big game, it'll be closed to the public. On Thursday, it will host an event by popular football podcast “Around the NFL.” And on Friday, it'll host Tribute, a cover band dedicated to the music of regional heroes The Allman Brothers Band.

To learn more about how a venue like City Winery goes about its Super Bowl weekend programming, VenuesNow connected with City Winery's vice president of programming, Shlomo Lipetz.

Several Atlanta venues are closing for private events on Super Bowl weekend. What has City Winery's strategy been for that weekend?
If we're not announcing anything, it's because we're holding off and trying to capitalize on some of the bigger privates that are coming in that are associated with the Super Bowl. That's a massive business door for the city. All the sponsors are throwing parties and ex-players and musicians are coming into town and throwing private events. We are definitely heavily involved in that. Most of our weekend is really dominated by Super Bowl-related private events with music-related concerts.

One private event brings in more money than three sold-out shows. From our perspective, we love privates. As a 300-seat venue, we're always looking for an angle to bring in artists much bigger than would normally play (City Winery). To partner with Pepsi or Chevron or some other company to bring in an artist to do an afterparty or some other event is a great opportunity for us to showcase the venue.

How does City Winery go about booking Super Bowl weekend?
We did a lot of reach-out to artists we feel have a connection to Atlanta, like CeeLo Green. For routing shows, most agents seemed – rightfully – to want to avoid that weekend, because there was so much to do and so many distractions going on. As a promoter we make sure to remind agents of that, because we want the best success for the show.

Regardless, we have other venues. Even though there is no Super Bowl in New York, Chicago or Nashville, Super Bowl Sundays are specifically programmed around either LGBT or world music or programming we feel would draw people who may not have that big of an interest in the Super Bowl. The Super Bowl affects not only us in Atlanta but our venues all over the country.

City Winery wasn't around when the Super Bowl previously visited Atlanta in 1994 and 2000, but how do you imagine booking around the big game has changed since then?
You're talking about dinosaurs! I think it's pretty clear that it's not the same sponsors and not the same promotions.

We've done large private events. We looked at Grammys weekend this past year in New York City and other large televised events that happened and approached the Super Bowl in Atlanta the same way. A lot of companies are looking to spend a lot of money and provide luxurious experiences. We're an upscale venue and a venue that is able to provide much more than a stage. We have our wines. We can do multiple rooms so you can do multiple activations.


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HOT TICKETS: JAN. 31, 2019
 
Posted: 30 Jan 2019, 10:00 am

Sebastian Maniscalco's four-show run at Madison Square Garden sold the most tickets in a weekend for any comedy engagement in the history of the venue. (Kevin Mazur)

Red-hot comedian Sebastian Maniscalco took the title for most tickets sold ever at Madison Square Garden for a comedy show engagement with four shows of his Stay Hungry tour Jan 19-20, and easily took the top spot on our highest-capacity Hot Tickets chart this week. The new King of Comedy grossed $8,282,629, with attendance of 72,960 and a ticket range of $39-$350. The shows were promoted by Outback Concerts.

English pop rock band The 1975 took the top spot on our 10,001- to 15,000-capacity chart,
grossing $518,302 for one show at FlyDSA Arena in Sheffield, England. Attendance was 13,187 with a ticket range of $35.02-$41.39. 

HOT TICKETS is a weekly summary of the top events and ticket sales as reported to VN Pulse via Pollstar. Following are the top 20 concerts and events, the top 5 in each capacity category, that took place Jan. 1-29.

More Than 15,000 Capacity

10,001-15,000 Capacity

5,001-10,000
Capacity

5,000 or Less
Capacity

1) Sebastian Maniscalco
Gross Sales:
$8,282,629; Venue: Madison Square Garden Arena, New York; Attendance: 72,960; Ticket Range: $39-$350; Promoter: Outback Concerts; Dates: Jan. 19-20; No. of Shows: 4

2) Justin Timberlake
Gross Sales: $2,426,930; Venue: AT&T Center, San Antonio; Attendance: 16,151; Ticket Range: $49.50-$250; Promoter: Live Nation Global Touring; Dates: Jan. 19; No. of Shows: 1

3) Justin Timberlake
Gross Sales: $2,345,203; Venue: Smoothie King Center, New Orleans; Attendance: 16,331; Ticket Range: $49.50-$225; Promoter: Live Nation Global Touring; Dates: Jan. 15; No. of Shows: 1

4) Justin Timberlake
Gross Sales: $2,246,972; Venue: American Airlines Center, Dallas; Attendance: 15,967; Ticket Range: $49.50-$250; Promoter: Live Nation Global Touring; Dates: Jan. 24; No. of Shows: 1

5) Metallica
Gross Sales: $2,213,550; Venue: Bridgestone Arena, Nashville; Attendance: 16,340; Ticket Range: $75-$145; Promoter: NS2; Dates: Jan. 24; No. of Shows: 1

1) The 1975
Gross Sales: $518,302; Venue: FlyDSA Arena, Sheffield, England; Attendance: 13,187; Ticket Range: $35.02-$41.39; Promoter: In-House, SJM; Dates: Jan. 25; No. of Shows: 1

2) André Rieu
Gross Sales: $506,841; Venue: Festhalle, Frankfurt; Attendance: 6,470; Ticket Range: $44.63-$135.04; Promoter: André Rieu Productions; Dates: Jan. 19; No. of Shows: 1

3) Britain’s Strongest Man
Gross Sales: $305,287; Venue: FlyDSA Arena, Sheffield, England; Attendance: 4,686; Ticket Range: $25.47-$222.85; Promoter: In-house Promotion, Giants Live; Dates: Jan. 19; No. of Shows: 1

4) Motorcycle Trials
Gross Sales: $133,490; Venue: FlyDSA Arena, Sheffield, England; Attendance: 3,399; Ticket Range: $28.65-$41.39; Promoter: In-house Promotion; Dates: Jan. 5; No. of Shows: 1

5) Winter Jam: Newsboys United
Gross Sales: $106,443; Venue: Ford Center, Evansville, Ind.; Attendance: 4,129; Ticket Range: $15-$49.99; Promoter: Premier Productions; Dates: Jan. 7; No. of Shows: 1

1) Wobbleland
Gross Sales: $796,160; Venue: Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, San Francisco; Attendance: 15,261; Ticket Range: $49.50-$75; Promoter: Another Planet Entertainment; Dates: Jan. 18-19; No. of Shows: 2

2) A$AP Rocky
Gross Sales: $342,709; Venue: Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville, Conn.; Attendance: 6,043; Ticket Range: $39.50-$59.50; Promoter: In-house Promotion; Dates: Jan. 18; No. of Shows: 1

3) Sarah Brightman
Gross Sales: $312,143; Venue: Auditorio Telmex, Zapopan, Mexico; Attendance: 5,014; Ticket Range: $22.89-$445.10; Promoter: Zignia Live; Dates: Jan. 22; No. of Shows: 1

4) Toto
Gross Sales: $225,518; Venue: Hordern Pavilion, Moore Park, Australia; Attendance: 3,497; Ticket Range: $70.46; Promoter: In-house Promotion, Secret Sounds; Dates: Jan. 3; No. of Shows: 1

5) “Reality Fighting MMA”
Gross Sales: $207,543; Venue: Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville, Conn.; Attendance: 4,035; Ticket Range: $43-$78; Promoter: In-house Promotion; Dates: Jan. 5; No. of Shows: 1

1) “Les Miserables”
Gross Sales: $1,555,788; Venue: Carol Morsani Hall, Tampa; Attendance: 19,977; Ticket Range: $38-$153; Promoter: In-house Promotion; Dates: Jan. 15-20; No. of Shows: 8

2) Greta Van Fleet
Gross Sales: $208,208; Venue: Paramount Theatre, Seattle; Attendance: 5,548; Ticket Range: $37.50-$40; Promoter: In-house Promotion; Dates: Jan. 9-10; No. of Shows: 2

3) The Beach Boys
Gross Sales: $199,233; Venue: Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, Atlanta; Attendance: 2,314; Ticket Range: $47-$120; Promoter: In-house Promotion, National Artists Corporation; Dates: Jan. 20; No. of Shows: 1

4) ZZ Top
Gross Sales: $197,209; Venue: Redding (Calif.) Civic Auditorium; Attendance: 1,968; Ticket Range: $69.50-$89.50; Promoter: In-house Promotion; Dates: Jan. 20; No. of Shows: 1

5) “Porgy & Bess”
Gross Sales: $191,359; Venue: Broward Center, Au-Rene Theater, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Attendance: 2,025; Ticket Range: $40-$200; Promoter: In-house Promotion, South Florida Symphony Orchestra; Dates: Jan. 23; No. of Shows: 1

The weekly Hot Tickets chart is compiled by Pollstar. For more information, email Teamboxoffice@pollstar.com or click here to submit your Box Office data now.

 


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GETTING THEIR FILLMORE
 
Posted: 29 Jan 2019, 10:00 am

Local touches make the seven Fillmore concert venues distinct within the Live Nation chain. New Orleans, opening this month, and Minneapolis, to open early next year, will have their own personalities as well. (All photos courtesy Live Nation unless otherwise noted.)
 

Fillmore_Charlotte_Exterior.jpgTHE FILLMORE CHARLOTTE
CHARLOTTE, NC | CAPACITY 2,000
The Fillmore Charlotte is housed in a historic textile mill, which gives it a unique ambience, feel and tradition. Vintage posters recall legendary live music performances, and the stadium-style tiers create better sightlines from anywhere in the venue.
 

FillmoreAuditorium_DENVER_08.jpegFILLMORE AUDITORIUM
DENVER | CAPACITY 3,600
Located in the Capitol Hill neighborhood, the Fillmore Auditorium is the largest indoor venue for general admission seating in the state. The building opened in 1907 as a roller rink but has been hosting concerts under different names since 1960.
 

Fillmore_Detroit_Architecture.jpgTHE FILLMORE DETROIT
DETROIT | CAPACITY 2,750
As you walk through the grand lobby of the building, a circa-1925 movie theater, you are greeted by the famous chandeliers, hung 80 feet in the air. The venue is on Woodward Avenue in the city’s entertainment district.


Fillmore_SF_Poster_Room.jpg

THE FILLMORE
SAN FRANCISCO | CAPACITY 1,200
The San Francisco Fillmore grew to represent the pinnacle of creative music making in the late 1960s, hosting the most significant musical talent of the day, including Jimi Hendrix, Muddy Waters and The Who.
 

Fillmore_Philly_Live_Art.jpgTHE FILLMORE PHILADELPHIA
PHILADELPHIA | CAPACITY 2,600
The Fillmore Philadelphia features an intimate club within the club called The Foundry, a “LIVE” sculpture based on Robert Indiana’s “LOVE” sculpture, and an American flag made out of a collage of Fillmore posters.
 

Fillmore_Miami_Exterior.jpgTHE FILLMORE MIAMI BEACH at JACKIE GLEASON THEATER
MIAMI BEACH, FL | CAPACITY 2,713
The story of the Fillmore Miami Beach at the Jackie Gleason Theater began in the 1950s, when Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope and Jack Benny were regular visitors. The venue was reborn in 2007, when it underwent a multimillion-dollar transformation.
 

Fillmore_Silver_Spring.jpgTHE FILLMORE SILVER SPRING
SILVER SPRING, MD | CAPACITY 2,000
The Fillmore Silver Spring uses the facade of a 1940s-era J.C. Penney store and sits in the community’s Arts and Entertainment District. (Getty Images)


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RECRUITING TIP OF THE MONTH
 
Posted: 28 Jan 2019, 6:00 pm

As executive recruiters, when we talk about “fit,” that word encompasses the skills needed to match the company culture.  We often discuss the idea of a square peg in a round hole when it comes to hiring and careers. Regardless of the responsibilities or the job requirements, we encourage our clients to take calculated risks on candidates who bring all different types of experiences and backgrounds.

For hiring managers and key decision makers, consider what someone with a nontraditional background can bring to the table. They bring a fresh perspective to your venue, attract new shows, rethink vendor relationships and improve overall customer satisfaction Ask the right questions and conduct your due diligence so that the learning curve is not too overwhelming for you and the unique hire.
As the job seeker, think about what differentiates you from others. What experiences have you had that others may not have? What deals have you negotiated that brought on successful wins?  How do your credentials translate over to a given arena, ballpark or stadium?
Take a moment to evaluate what you haven’t done in either your job search or hiring processes. Employers, how can you make your staff different in order to move forward? Candidates, how can you better position yourself to be hired without being perfect on paper? 
As the industry is ever-changing, finding the best talent and best “fit” should be an evolution process with the focus on benefiting the company as well as the individual’s career, long term.


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ArtsQuest, Eventbrite Partner
 
Posted: 28 Jan 2019, 5:00 pm

ArtsQuest has chosen Eventbrite to be its ticketing partner.

ArtsQuest, the Bethlehem, Pa., nonprofit that puts on the Musikfest and other festivals, and San Francisco-based ticket giant Eventbrite have formed a partnership to support the diverse ticketing needs for ArtsQuest.

ArtsQuest’s programming reaches more than 1.5 million people annually. Each year the company sells more than 225,000 tickets to 2,400 events, ranging from concerts to visual art classes.

ArtsQuest Chief Operating Officer Curt Mosel said that implementing a ticketing solution that fit ArtsQuest’s many objectives was its primary goal in selecting a new ticketing partner and that Eventbrite was the perfect fit. ArtsQuest's former ticketer was TopTix (which was acquired by Seat Geek in 2017).

Musikfest, which has been held the first Friday of August since 1984 in Bethlehem, is the biggest ArtsQuest event.

"We did a formal RFP and Eventbrite offered the technology we were after," he said. "The Eventbrite platform is super easy to use. Our previous system required people to go from one website to another website and sometimes they would have to click eight to nine times before the transaction was complete. With Eventbrite, it's just two clicks."

Mosel is also impressed with the Eventbrite platform's ability to understand data. "Before, all we knew was where a consumer was, not if they eventually bought a ticket."

ArtsQuest has more than 2,000 volunteers, and switching to Eventbrite has made transactions easier to do and quicker.

"Our lines can be quite long. It used to take 30 to 40 minutes to get into our Christmas market, and we've cut that down to five minutes," Mosel said. 

Another plus is ArtsQuest's ability to “automatically plug our shows into all of the big tech platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Spotify. These kinds of integrations really move the needle on ticket sales, make it easy for fans to find shows and help streamline our marketing operations,” Mosel said.

The partnership, which will officially be announced Tuesday, began in November and will run till 2022. Eventbrite gets a cut of every ticket sold.

“While we’ve just scratched the surface as far as the marketing tools and technologies available to us, we’ve already seen a significant bump in new sales since launching the Eventbrite platform," Mosel said.

Ali McCloud, Eventbrite director of sales, said in a statement: “We’re simply delighted to be working with them and recognize that as a nonprofit organization they have a critical need for efficiency, in addition to the raw truth that every single ticket sold helps fuel the free programming they provide for the community.”

The two organizations will share a stage at this week's INTIX conference in Grapevine, Texas, during a panel also featuring representatives from Facebook and Workato.

 


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Q & A: CHARLIE JENNINGS
 
Posted: 26 Jan 2019, 11:05 pm

Brandon Lancaster of Lanco at one of the area’s many festivals, Bonnaroo. (Getty Images)

Charlie_Jennings_140.jpgCharlie Jennings was born in Bristol, Tenn. Before joining Danny Wimmer Presents, he worked for AC Entertainment, which has offices in Knoxville and Nashville, for 11 years.

DWP, which bills itself as the largest independent festival producer in the country, produces 14 annual festivals in 13 U.S. cities. DWP-promoted fests in the Kentucky/Tennessee region include Louisville’s Bourbon & Beyond, Hometown Rising and Louder Than Life.

Although Jennings now lives in Los Angeles, he’s never far removed from his Southeastern roots.

How would you compare the Kentucky/Tennessee market to other markets in the country?
Both states are in major growth mode. In Knoxville there is very robust music programming. Chattanooga is a town that’s exploded over the last 10 years from being a town known for country and Christian music to being a town known for all genres. A lot of people never saw Chattanooga as a strong market, but over time it’s gone through tremendous growth and is now getting some respect.

Across the board all the cities in Tennessee have seen rising revenue and attendance. Louisville is a cool, hip town and right behind Nashville as the premier live event city in the region.

What’s fueling the growth in the region?
The rich history of music in the area has led to a renaissance of live performances in the region. From Elvis to Kentucky bluegrass to Justin Timberlake, there’s a strong history of music here. Nashville had the leadership of the city behind it as far as keeping the live music business strong and vital. When the economy rebounded, people got used to going to live events again and it’s stuck.

Tell us about the festival space in the region.
We’ve got a lot of festivals here. There’s our DWP Louisville festivals, plus AC Entertainment’s Forecastle Festival. Over in Manchester, Tenn., we have Bonnaroo. Nashville has the CMA Fest, and the list goes on and on. The collection helps fuel the artists’ presence in the region and gives them exposure, and when they come back to the market to play individually, business is better because the fans are coming out to see something familiar.

Why is region such fertile ground for festivals?
No. 1 is the geography. The population around Louisville is very big and there’s tons of potential ticket-buyers. Two, it’s a beautiful part of the country. We’ve got a great park system and people want to get out and do things outdoors here. Three would be the amazing spring and summer weather here. We don’t get a lot of highs and lows — it’s consistent.

Do you see country music as the key to the region?
In general, we’re highly country and bluegrass. Certain cities are more rock-oriented or soul-oriented, but our roots are still solidly on the country side, and the live music scene is filled with country artists.

Do touring bands often play in both states?
Most bands will stop in Nashville, Memphis and Louisville. Smaller bands typically add in Knoxville, Chattanooga and Lexington.

Are ticket prices and per caps healthy in the region?
The fans here are enthusiastic and they buy a lot of merchandise and drink a lot and take part in the food offerings, so per caps are strong here. Ticket prices are below other major markets; this is a price-sensitive region, and that helps leave pocket money for the concessions and merchandise.


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SCENE: MEMPHIS
 
Posted: 26 Jan 2019, 11:05 pm

Elizabeth_Cawein_1401.jpgElizabeth Cawein knows Memphis. She founded Signal Flow Public Relations, a boutique music publicity and marketing firm, in 2011 after discovering her passion for music publicity while working as communications and development coordinator for the Memphis Music Foundation. She’s also the founder of Music Export Memphis, a nonprofit that creates showcases, festivals and tour grants to showcase local Memphis artists.

Cawein spent some time with VenuesNow and told us why she thinks Memphis is one the greatest music towns in America.


Tell us about the Memphis music scene.
We have a DIY personality. We’re very entrepreneurial. That spirit runs across every genre of music that’s played here. It’s true of our venues as well; nontraditional venues are really big here. While we have every-size legit rooms here for touring bands, we also have a robust house-concert community here with folks who are constantly activating unexpected music events.

GettyImages_300_-615200332.jpgIn Memphis’ venue mix: The New Daisy Theatre and Cannon Center for the Performing Arts. (Getty Images X2)

That’s changed our venue community over the past few year because there are more venue ladders for people to climb. We have vintage clothing shops that have opened a 25-seat room; distilleries run concerts. We also have Sofar Sounds here (a company that activates concerts in secret locations). All this has upped GettyImages_300-615197368.jpgthe creativity here and changed the notion of where people can enjoy live music.

Where does that leave traditional venues in the marketplace?
They have their place and won’t ever be replaced. There’s very little competition if you are a huge band and able to sell out an arena; the FedEx Forum is the place to go. Minglewood Hall holds roughly 3,000 people. We’ve got lots of rooms with 1,200 to 1,500 capacity. It’s the smaller rooms where the competition exists.

Do touring acts work in Memphis?
We often struggle with touring acts. Where we sit regionally is challenging. I often sit next to fans from Little Rock (Ark.) or Nashville who have driven a few hours to get here — but then we often have to compete with those two cities for the tour. I have definitely seen tours that skip us in favor of those cities and often when we get a big tour it’s on a Tuesday. That’s been true for at least the last 10 years. Luckily, a lot of artists want to come to Memphis just because it’s Memphis.

On the other hand …
We have the most fantastic local live music scene of any city in America. The genres are diverse. We go from hip-hop to Americana to garage rock.

Does country music play a big role?
The perception that we are a country music town is not accurate at all. I can only think of one or two artists who identify as country music artists.

What is your prognosis for the Memphis live entertainment scene?
We’re growing constantly and we know that live music is the No. 1 reason people come to Memphis. They’re coming for the legacy. We’re celebrating our bicentennial in May and there are a ton of events and collaborations going on and a great energy surrounding conversations about what the next 100 years are going to look like.


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CLASSIC FINISH
 
Posted: 26 Jan 2019, 11:00 pm

Five years of construction at Wrigley Field is almost complete. The privately funded upgrades cost $760 million. (2018 photo, courtesy Pepper Construction)

The end is in sight for the massive overhaul of Wrigley Field, the Chicago Cubs’ 105-year-old ballpark.

Four years after the first phase of renovations began with the rebuilding of the bleachers and the installation of a videoboard in left field, Major League Baseball’s Cubs are nearing the finish line, having updated virtually every part of the park. This offseason focuses on the construction of three new premium clubs and completing renovations for the park’s 60 suites.

The current work, called Phase 5, is part of the overall 1060 Project, named after Wrigley Field’s address, 1060 W. Addison St. Over time, it has evolved from a $300 million project into a total investment of $760 million, all privately funded by the Ricketts family, which has owned the Cubs since 2009.

“We knew that Wrigley needed some love,” said Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts. “There’s literally been decades of deferred maintenance. No one had really ever gone in and touched the infrastructure. We knew it would be a big project. It was bigger than we expected, but we knew we had to preserve it for the next generation.”

The renovation plans go back almost 10 years, soon after the Rickettses bought the Cubs for $900 million. It has been close to 20 years since the Cubs, then owned by Tribune Co., first talked about major upgrades outside Wrigley Field, which evolved into Gallagher Way plaza and a six-story office building containing the Cubs’ administration and a team store, plus retail shops, bars and restaurants.  

Copy_of_180404_1914_Club_088_(1)_300.jpgA bartender serves drinks at the American Airlines 1914 Club, which opened at Wrigley Field in 2018. (Steve Green / Chicago Cubs)

Those improvements opened over the past few years. Across the street, Hotel Zachary, named for Wrigley Field’s original architect, Zachary Taylor Davis, opened in 2018. It was developed by Hickory Street Capital, the Rickettses’ real estate group, in a partnership with Starwood Hotels. The hotel, plaza and office building are separate from the $760 million spent inside the park. All told, it adds up to about $1 billion in private development for the ballpark and the Wrigleyville neighborhood.

Phase 5 is a $140 million investment, matching last year’s work to build the American Airlines 1914 Club behind home plate, among other upgrades. That’s according to Tim Romani, CEO of CAA Icon, owner’s representative for the 1060 Project.

Three new clubs on the way
The work is key for the Cubs to keep a competitive team on the field and maintain the historic ballpark. The three new clubs, situated along the first and third baselines and in the upper deck behind home plate, join the American Airlines 1914 Club and the six bunker suites that sell for $1 million a season that opened in 2018.

“It’s absolutely critical. That [incremental] revenue is very important to the team,” Ricketts said. “The number of dollars and resources we can give to our baseball guys … the more we have, the better. Not only does it improve the fan experience but hopefully the team as well.”

Typ_suite_c0100_hightops_200dpi_5k_300.jpgThe new suite interiors feature exposed brick walls and fresh branding tied to the Cubs and firms holding the suites. (Populous)

The mezzanine suites, tucked under the upper deck, are going through a complete makeover for the first time since 1989. Thirty years ago, the retrofit was driven in part by the Cubs playing host to the 1990 MLB All-Star Game, to accommodate the league’s dignitaries and sponsors.

The Cubs are busy renewing suite leases, and the 40 full-season agreements have been extended, said Andy Blackburn, vice president of new business for Marquee Sports & Entertainment, a Cubs subsidiary.

A handful of partial season packages remain to renew, Blackburn said. Suites are priced at $135,000 to $275,000 a season and carry five-, seven- and nine-year terms. The suites have 12 to 15 fixed seats depending on location.

Suite holders will see a dramatic transformation come April 8, when the Cubs’ regular-season home opener is scheduled against Pittsburgh. New elevators in left and right field come online this season to transport suite holders from those entrances as well as the VIP entrance at the main gate that opened for the 2018 season. It’s a big improvement over the series of ramps and staircases that people once had to navigate to reach the mezzanine level, Blackburn said.

The suite retrofit was a tight squeeze in a vintage ballpark, but those units now extend a few feet deeper after the old outdoor corridor leading to the suites was pushed back and enclosed. The new covered walkway has new restrooms, plus kitchens and pantries, vastly upgrading and streamlining the process for Levy, the Cubs’ concessionaire, to deliver food to the suites. The frozen treats served from Levy’s famed dessert cart, for example, will no longer melt from the heat and humidity of a typical Chicago summer before they reach the suites, said Andy Lansing, the vendor’s president and CEO.

“We’re treating it as if Wrigley Field never had suites before, as if it’s a brand-new experience for our guests, and in one sense it will be,” Lansing said. “The environment has completely changed with a much higher level of hospitality. Our chefs did incredible things in the past with limited space, and now that we’ve given them more and bigger ‘sand boxes,’ they’re able to play a whole new game.”

The old suite interiors were mostly drywall and white paint with some historical Cubs photos. Now, they feature exposed brick walls and fresh branding tied to the Cubs and firms holding the suites. There are more televisions. Fixed windows fronting the suites have been replaced with floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors that open to the field, said Adam Stover, a principal and senior interior designer with Populous, the project architect.

“It’s one connected experience for the fans,” Stover said. “They’re closer to the action while not being separated from the interior and exterior space.”

New layout for suites
The suites’ new open feel extends to the concert experience at Wrigley Field. The Cubs have been aggressive in booking concerts, which are exempt from MLB’s formulas that dictate the sharing of revenue among clubs, and last year they celebrated the 50th show on the field over the past 15 years. The new suite layout provides better views and a stronger connection to live music for those patrons, Blackburn said. As part of their deals, suite holders get first rights to buy concert tickets. The mezzanine suites and clubs all have padded seats.

The Cubs’ market research, conducted by The Seurat Group, showed that the suites’ proximity to the field in a smaller ballpark was a key factor in companies’ decision to buy, which influenced Populous’ redesign, he said.

“What kept popping up (in surveys) and what differentiates these suites from anything else in the marketplace is the outdoor seating,” Blackburn said. “People love the ability to sit outside while at the same time taking advantage of having a private indoor space. It became pretty clear that we should make them as open to the elements as we can.”

3rd_base_club_c0200_200dpi_5k_300.jpgThe W Club (top) and the Maker’s Mark Barrel Room, shown in renderings, are along the baselines. (Populous X2)

The two new clubs along the baselines, the W Club (third base), named for the W flag flown at Wrigley Field after home wins, and the Maker’s Mark Barrel Room (first base) are underground on the same level as the American Airlines 1914 Club and underwent First_base_club_c0100_200dpi_5k_300.jpgthe same construction sequence. At the end of the 2017 season, Pepper Construction, the Cubs’ general contractor, removed about 40,000 tons of sand and soil to dig the holes for the baseline clubs before going back in this offseason to finish building those spaces, said Scott Higgins, Pepper’s senior vice president.

The W Club and Maker’s Mark Barrel Room are both tied to about 250 seats in the bowl and are smaller than the American Airlines 1914 Club, which accommodates about 600 season-ticket holders.

The all-inclusive ticket prices for the two new clubs and the Catalina Club in the upper deck run roughly $200 to $500 a game depending on the club and seat location. Food and drink, including alcohol, is folded into the ticket price. The Maker’s Mark Barrel Room and Catalina Club are sold out and a few seats remain to be sold for the W Club, Blackburn said.

The team’s research showed that fans sitting behind the Cubs’ dugout along the third baseline are die-hards who love the history of the team and all things Wrigley, Blackburn said. As a result, patrons of the W Club, which is on that side of the field, get an exclusive view of the Cubs’ batting cages from the 4,600-square-foot lounge, he said.

The Maker’s Mark Barrel Room, by comparison, caters more to the corporate patron entertaining guests at the ballpark. Historically, season-ticket holders sitting behind the visitors’ dugout appreciate seeing great players from other teams competing at Wrigley, Blackburn said.

Inside the 4,100-square-foot barrel room, the Maker’s Mark brand is subtly reinforced through the single red chairs at every four-top table, providing a nod to the red wax topping every bottle of the Kentucky bourbon. The club’s televisions all display in black and white, in keeping with the Chicago speakeasy theme, Stover said.

In the upper deck, the 3,900-square-foot Catalina Club connects to about 400 seats. The design and finishes are more casual compared with the three subterranean clubs, but those patrons have access to a large outdoor deck behind the lounge overlooking the corner of Clark and Addison.

Fans sitting in the upper deck tend to be older season-ticket holders dating to before the Cubs became a national draw on cable superstation WGN in the 1980s. They appreciate the history behind the space, Blackburn said.

“As we looked at the research of who likes to sit up there and what the Cubs’ history of that era really means, we were standing in the space and there was this moment where we looked out toward Lake Michigan and a tiny sailboat went across the horizon,” Blackburn said. “We all looked at each other said, ‘This is the Catalina Club.’”

For now, anyway. The Cubs are marketing naming rights for both the Catalina and W clubs, Blackburn said. 

The Catalina link dates to Cubs spring training from the 1920s to the early 1950s held at Catalina Island off the California coast. William Wrigley Jr., who owned the Cubs at that time, bought the island in 1919 and shipped the team to Catalina on vessels from the Wilmington Transportation Co., which he also purchased. Wilmington flew a flag with the letter W on its ships, a tradition that eventually migrated east to Wrigley Field, as reported by the Chicago Tribune. The Cubs fly a W flag from the manually operated scoreboard in center field after every home victory.

Catalina Club theming includes the nautical alphabet with letters spelling out Cubs, Stover said. It’s among the storylines connecting fans to those three decades of spring training on Catalina Island, which is now largely a vacation resort destination.

“It seems absurd that we would have a nautical-themed club space at Wrigley Field, but there are so many signs within the ballpark that kind of point back to that that history,” Blackburn said. “The flagpoles in center field were built to represent the mast of a ship. This club is built for the fans that love everything about the traditions and the perspective that space provides.”

Ricketts confirmed the Cubs have some more plans on the drawing board for redeveloping the old Audi Club and the DraftKings Fantasy Sports Zone bar, both in the right-field corner. The blueprints call for a potential 15,000-square-foot club, Higgins said. To this point, CAA Icon has not been assigned future projects, Romani said.

“I give the Ricketts family (and Cubs executives) Crane Kenney and Carl Rice an incredible amount of credit,” he said. “The renovations were bold and not inexpensive, but they were committed to preserving Wrigley Field and doing it with historic reverence.”

MORE
Chicago squeeze play: Scheduling, necessary repairs made Wrigley project a special challenge


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KENTUCKY/TENNESSEE: FIGHTING SPIRIT
 
Posted: 26 Jan 2019, 11:00 pm

Revenue was on the rise at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Ky. Also going up: a new facade, as seen in a rendering. (Courtesy NBBJ + EOP)

Fires, cancellations and bad weather were hardly a match for the venue operators in the Kentucky and Tennessee region. Despite obstacles out of their control, most reported bigger grosses and increased ticket sales. All agreed 2018 was a solid year for the live entertainment business in the region and cited a good economy and the sheer number of fan-friendly acts out on the road as the reasons for the bump.

Top Stops: Kentucky/Tennessee


MORE from Kentucky/Tennessee:
The Circuit: What venue managers are saying
Q & A: Charlie Jennings, senior vice president, Danny Wimmer Presents
Scene: Memphis: Elizabeth Cawein, founder of Music Export Memphis


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THE CIRCUIT: WHAT VENUE MANAGERS ARE SAYING
 
Posted: 26 Jan 2019, 11:00 pm

U2 played Bridgestone Arena in Nashville for the first time in 2018. (Courtesy Bridgestone Arena)

Isaac_Thompson[4]_140.jpgAscend Amphitheater, Nashville
Isaac Thompson, general manager

How did you do in 2018?
Last year was a record-breaking year for Ascend Amphitheater. In addition to the fantastic headliners that came through, we collaborated with the Nashville Symphony, Music City’s 4th of July Celebration, CMA Music Fest and the Music City Marathon.

Big shows
Jack Johnson, Willie Nelson, Nine Inch Nails, and Roger Daltrey performing with the Nashville Symphony were big nights.

Changes
In 2018 we enhanced fan-facing public Wi-Fi, partnered with the environmental organization Lonely Whale to remove all single-use straws, and continued our composting and waste diversion programs.

What went right
Attendance in 2018 was a major driver in the overall success of the venue. Fan experience and sustainability initiatives also played a key role. 

What went wrong
Weather is a constant challenge. We experienced inclement weather during 11 of our first 15 events this season. We’re constantly exploring new ways to enhance the fan experience when weather is inevitably involved.  
 

BillOwen_140.JPGRupp Arena, Lexington, Ky.
Bill Owen, president and CEO

How did you do in 2018?
Really well. Revenues were up 15 percent over 2017.

Big shows
Justin Timberlake set our all-time highest gross for a single performance. Chris Stapleton sold out. We also had The Eagles, Foo Fighters, Alan Jackson, Red White and Boom Fest, the Cirque du Soleil show “Corteo” and we had 30,000 guests in during a four-day run featuring Halestorm, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Alabama and Snoop Dogg.

Changes
We kicked off a $300 million project to replace our convention center facilities and completely replace the exterior of Rupp Arena. NBBJ is designing it and it’s the largest construction project the city has ever undertaken. Construction started on Aug. 1 and will be done by November 2021. Rupp Arena will close in June for the replacement of 8,000 bleachers spaces with 5,000 chairs. We’re also updating our concession stands and adding four new clubs.

What went right
Our relationship with Oak View Group; it’s paid a lot of dividends. They’ve really helped us improve our revenue. Not stacking competitive acts together was another thing that went right.

What went wrong
Cancellations. We put a lot of logistics and planning into those shows and the staff does not need practice.


Kim_Baker_140.jpgThe Kentucky Center, Louisville, Ky.
Kim Baker, president and CEO; vice chair, Kentucky Center for the Arts Foundation

How did you do in 2018?
It was a great year for our venues. We were definitely up from 2017.

Big shows
“Les Miserable,” “Harry Potter in Concert,” “The Nutcracker,” and Joe Biden’s American Promise tour was very popular.

Changes
We’ll have a new lobby by the end of the year. We’re also upgrading our concessions and our acoustics. We started a $2.2 million roof repair project. Everything is expected to be completed by fall 2019.

What went right
We purchased the Brown Theatre, a historic theater on Broadway (in Louisville), for $2 million. We also created an equity, diversity and inclusion task force that looks at our programming, staffing and policies.

What went wrong
We had a fire caused by sparks during the roof repair project. It caused a lot of damage. Since our venues are connected by the roof, it impacted all of them. We had to cancel “Waitress.”


David_Kells_140.jpgBridgestone Arena, Nashville
David Kells, senior vice president, entertainment and marketing

How did you do in 2018?
We were up. We’ve gone up every year since 2012; we’re 68 percent higher in gross on non-hockey events since 2012.

Big shows
U2 played the arena for the first time. We had Justin Timberlake, the SEC Women’s (Basketball) Tournament, NCAA Men’s (Basketball Tournament) Rounds 1 and 2, Brad Paisley, Paul Simon, Harry Styles, Maroon 5, two Bruno Mars concerts, Childish Gambino, Elton John and the CMA and CMT Awards.

Changes
We started a two-year project for new in-bowl game presentation equipment. Phase one started in the summer of 2018 and included new ribbon boards and new lighting and a new (point-of-sale) system. Phase two will be in the summer of 2019 when we’re installing a new center-hung scoreboard. On the concourse we put up a carousel that goes up 15 feet above the fans’ heads that delivers team jerseys that fans have bought in the merch store. It’s increased sales of the jerseys dramatically.

What went right
All the projects came together in the end and we didn’t have to close down the venue for any of the upgrades.

What went wrong
We could have scheduled in more time after the new gear came in to train the staff on how to use it.
 

Sally_williams-2011Mar16-7450ps_140.jpgRyman Auditorium, Nashville
Sally Williams, general manager

How did you do in 2018?
Last year was an incredible year. We had a total of 274 ticketed events — that’s 195 concerts and 79 Opry at the Ryman shows. 

Big shows
We saw a slew of really great headliners this year, among them Kelsea Ballerini, Luke Combs, Shakey Graves, Margo Price, Old Dominion, Tony Bennett and Ben Rector. One of my personal favorites of the year was David Byrne. He sounded awesome, and it was one of the most innovative shows I’ve seen in a long time.

Changes
We made some significant production upgrades in 2018. We installed a complete video system capable of producing broadcast-quality linecuts as well as ISO recordings to complement our existing audio broadcast/multitrack recording suite. This video upgrade followed the recent substantial upgrade of the Ryman sound system to a JBL A12 rig. Additionally, we upgraded to Yamaha PM7 consoles. … We also improved our key light system with Ayrton Ghibli fixtures. 

What went right
We continue to see a lot of multishow runs at the Ryman, which have been a big hit. Having acts bring in a different guest star each night of a multiday run was another hit idea. We also increased the number of Amy Grant and Vince Gill Christmas at the Ryman shows from 10 to 12 and added Rodney Crowell as support, which was a fantastic addition to a show that has become a holiday tradition.  

What went wrong
The amount of on-sales going on in the city at once can create ticket traffic. We need to schedule on-sales in a way that gives all shows the room they need.


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BREAKING OUT
 
Posted: 26 Jan 2019, 11:00 pm

The Shed, opening later this year, seen from the High Line in New York City. (Brett Beyer)

Flexibility is the focus both on stage and off in performing arts center construction and renovation as operators seek ways to appeal to both traditional and new audiences while forging strong community connections that infuse their venues with a welcoming atmosphere.

Joshua Dachs, principal at Fisher Dachs Associates, said today’s performing arts centers face “different kinds of demands” than in previous eras.

“Whether you’re approaching a concert hall or an opera house or a Broadway touring venue, there’s increasing pressure to think about having greater flexibility both onstage and in the house,” Dachs said.

Lobbies and gathering spaces
Wendy Pautz, partner at LMN Architects, said her firm always planned for a variety of events, including future potential uses, when designing performing arts center lobbies. The use of the venues for private and public activities is its own reward, she said, but it also offers a potential entryway for new audiences for a center’s regular schedule of events.

“It’s a win-win to bring more activity into a performing arts center and to generate interest that can make arts centers feel more open, welcoming and accessible,” Pautz said.

Pautz said performing arts centers today frequently seek a hybrid design that is more than just an auditorium and a lobby but that also includes other key spaces. Often, she said, these are flexible spaces connected to the lobby and designed to host meetings, conferences, banquets and other events.

Millie Dixon, principal at Theatre Projects, said performing arts centers can be slow to accept the need for additional spaces beyond the typical lobby and auditorium arrangement, but that a variety of breakout rooms and “special spaces” also can provide key places to host sponsors and donors. In addition, the economic viability of centers can receive a crucial boost from supplementary funding sources such as rentals to private groups.

“Capitalizing on those sorts of things is becoming much more important,” Dixon said.

Pautz said a pending LMN project with this approach is the Port Angeles Waterfront Center planned in Port Angeles, Wash.

“What we find really exciting about this is that it really changes the nature of the performing arts center from something that is just single use to something more than that,” Pautz said. “It helps it become a stronger contributor to the community.”

An eye on the community
Dixon says performing arts centers are more often serving as centerpieces of mixed-use, developer-driven projects than they did in the past. Dixon says the arrangement is more about incorporating different funding sources into the development of a center than creating a community-focused venue, but the arrangement “does reach into the community fabric a little differently that way.”

Pautz said LMN had worked on major renovations for the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts in San Antonio and Marion Oliver McCaw Hall in Seattle that included an emphasis on community engagement and creating spaces that would allow those outside the theater to “feel the vibrancy of the art performance that’s happening inside.”

“For both of those buildings, key components of the design were taking buildings that were very introverted, not really connected to the streets, and to open those buildings up to be connected to the street and urban life and to signal accessibility to broader audiences,” Pautz said.

Pautz said she believes performing arts centers are particularly “well-primed” to forge strong connections with their immediate communities and pointed to the Tobin Center as an example. She said that the building’s stage was oriented to face the city’s Riverwalk and that a public plaza that was part of the project serves to connect the activity of the Riverwalk with the center.

“It’s really valuable to create spaces that can be infused with ordinary city life,” Pautz said.

Flexibility and new venues
Dachs said designers and operators are approaching new buildings and renovations with an eye on the different kinds of work they should be able to feature. With that in mind, Dachs says today’s performing arts center projects include both large, traditional centers that are incorporating nontraditional components, such as flexible auditoriums, sophisticated technology and smaller venues adjoining the center, and “nontraditional venues that are trying to break the mold.”

Dachs points to the Park Avenue Armory and The Shed in New York — the latter set to open in April — as examples of venues taking fresh approaches to accommodate a range of activities with an emphasis on contemporary works and radical new approaches to traditional pieces.

“As people approach new venues, they’re recognizing that even conventional or traditional art forms are approaching their work in a completely new way,” Dachs said.

08_Shed_McCourt_Standing_Rendering_300.jpgA rendering shows The McCourt, a performance space within The Shed. (Courtesy Diller Scofidio + Renfro)

Dachs said an increasing number of performing arts centers were adding a smaller adjoining venue that can accommodate live contemporary music, private events, experimental theater and other activities. The new venues provide intimate, lively atmospheres that are different from the centers’ main stages. Dachs said adding this type of venue can help a performing arts center fill a void in its community and build its market share.

“A different style of venue becoming an accepted piece of a performing arts center is happening now and will happen more,” Dachs said.

Dachs said performing arts centers use the spaces in part to strive to shed the reputation of being stuffy spaces that are “separate and apart” from the rest of the city.

“It’s about creating a sense of welcome, a sense of belonging rather than an elitist or exclusive kind of experience,” Dachs said.

In that vein, Pautz said, LMN is working on the new Octave 9 venue at Benaroya Hall, the concert hall for the Seattle Symphony. The venue will be an experimental immersive space within the building that supports contemporary performances and offers a music research space. LMN Architects aspires to create a new contemporary “participatory sound machine” for the city of Seattle with the space.

Pautz said these efforts help centers become part of a community’s daily life.

“You could say that these sort of additional spaces that are being crafted are very much about supporting the art, but also potentially engaging different audiences in the presentation of the works,” Pautz said. “In that way, they’re reaching out to their communities to invite them to participate in the arts.”


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BETTER BY DEGREES
 
Posted: 26 Jan 2019, 11:00 pm

Boston’s Agganis Arena had a strong concert year mixing up-and-coming acts and established artists. (Courtesy Agganis Arena)

The line between university and non-university venues barely exists these days. Both hold similar events, draw diverse audiences and provide experiences enhanced with updated technology and facility upgrades.

And despite their own set of challenges, university venues are positioned to continue thriving in the year ahead, thanks to eclectic programming that ranges from top musical performers to family entertainment and sporting events as well as lectures and presentations.

One example is Stephens Auditorium at Iowa State University in Ames — a city of almost 70,000 about 30 miles north of Des Moines — which had a stellar 2018.

“We had an 8 percent increase in subscribing households, a 20 percent increase in tickets purchased by subscribers and a 48 percent increase in gross ticket sales accrued from our subscriber base,” said Tammy Koolbeck, the auditorium’s executive director.

In 2018, the venue hosted 26 shows, 14 of them as part of its Performing Arts Series. “In a 10-day period in October and November, we hosted Ray LaMontagne, Jo Koy and the Swedish band Ghost,” she said. Through its University Lecture series, the auditorium hosted Me Too movement founder Tarana Burke, Elizabeth Smart and “Black Panther” costume designer Ruth Carter.

Highlights included a sold out Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band in September and full houses for Tedeschi Trucks Band in January, Steve Martin/Martin Short in September and Home Free in December.

2018 Highlights
Iowa State’s success is not unique to venues in traditional college towns. A big-city case in point: Boston University’s Agganis Arena also had a banner year, thanks to Feld Entertainment, Live Nation, Cardenas Marketing Network and AEG Live/Bowery Presents.

“Last year was incredible for us,” General Manager Kristoffer Brassil said. “In addition to longtime family show partners Feld Entertainment, who bring us Disney on Ice, Sesame Street Live and Cirque Du Soleil, we had a very strong concert year with the return of Jeff Dunham and Andre Rieu. Our big project last year was a full upgrade of our center-hung videoboard and replacement our LED video ribbons.”    

The year also was marked by milestone anniversaries, including Stephens Auditorium’s 50th at Iowa State. To celebrate, patrons and students were asked to share their experiences at the venue either via email or on the auditorium’s website. Winners were featured on the school’s anniversary website.

Celebrating its 40th anniversary, the University of Texas’ Frank Erwin Center in Austin celebrated with a George Strait concert June 3. “We also welcomed back the Trans-Siberian Orchestra for the first time since 2015, which sold out and ended our 2018 on a high note,” said Liz Land, the arena’s associate director.

In addition, the building had a change in leadership: In September, Jimmy Earl became only the third director to manage the facility. A farewell celebration may also be on the horizon for the building after regents announced plans to build a new arena on campus.

The University of Kansas’ Lied Center in Lawrence celebrated its 25th anniversary during its 2018-19 season.

“As part of our anniversary celebration, we were able to raise the necessary funds to install a hearing loop in our auditorium and pavilion,” said Derek Kwan, the center’s executive director. “The Lawrence Otolaryngology Hearing Loop allows individuals with telecoil enabled hearing aids to experience a performance or lecture with high-quality audio.”

Recent Lied Center performances included Trevor Noah, Steve Martin and Martin Short, Joshua Bell, a site-specific spectacle created by Quixotic and the world premiere of the “Rock Chalk Suite.”

“With basketball like a religion at the university, we commissioned the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis to create a new work celebrating 15 KU basketball legends,” Kwan said. “Each member of the orchestra composed a movement that embodied the spirit of a KU legend.”

In addition to serving as the home of Atlantic Coast Conference men’s basketball champions the Virginia Cavaliers, the University of Virginia’s John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville hosted major artists including Luke Bryan, Jimmy Buffett, Pink, Keith Urban, Chris Stapleton and the hometown Dave Matthews Band, who played two nights.

“The arena also launched #JPJAM last year,” said Jason Pedone, the arena’s general manager. The Twitter feed, created in-house, highlights “JAMs” from both Virginia basketball and the arena’s musical performers.

Ranked as one of the top 100 theater venues for worldwide ticket sales by Pollstar, Velma V. Morrison Center at Boise State University was recently cited by the city of Boise as its cultural ambassador for a two-year term.

The biggest highlight of the past year has been the performing arts center’s record-breaking Broadway production of Disney’s “The Lion King.”

“The show played for 24 performances, grossed over $3.7 million and played to more than 44,500 patrons,” said James Patrick, the executive director. “The production generated an estimated $12 million to the local economy.”

Colonial_Life_Arena_300.jpgColonial Life Arena in Columbia, S.C., will be hosting the first two rounds of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. (Courtesy Colonial Life Arena)

Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s On the Run II tour wasn’t the only popular show at the University of South Carolina’s Colonial Life Arena. The Eagles, Imagine Dragons, Chris Stapleton, Journey and Def Leppard also drew big crowds.

“We’ve had great shows over the last three to four years and are constantly improving on gross sales,” General Manager Sid Kenyon said. “We’ve beaten several records during this period.”
The success of both the men’s and women’s basketball teams also has helped build momentum for the venue.

Its recent improvements include new digital displays and trophy cases, in addition to upgraded seats.

New Developments
For Chicago’s DePaul University, 2018 marked the first full year for Wintrust Arena, an off-campus facility that opened in fall 2017. Connected to McCormick Place, North America’s largest convention center, the arena has 10,000 seats and 22 suites. It was created through a public-private partnership between the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority and DePaul University along with the naming-rights sponsorship from Wintrust Financial. 

“The arena has been a game changer for the South Loop community and neighborhood, with two hotels and several restaurants opening up,” said David Kennedy, the arena’s general manager/entertainment.

In the short time it has been open, the facility has hosted President Barack Obama, Gloria Estefan, Chance the Rapper, Keith Urban, Bob Dylan, Mavis Staples and REO Speedwagon, among others. 

Another notable development in the university venue space was the naming-rights deal with brewer D.G. Yuengling & Son that changed the name of the arena at the University of South Florida in Tampa from the USF Sun Dome to the Yuengling Center. The facility also added a beer garden on site.

“We’ve enhanced the event mix and the diversity of events coming to the area, including our mentionable sellouts like Martin Lawrence, Chris Tomlin and Underoath,” said Kelli Yeloushan, director of event management for Tampa Bay Entertainment Properties, which operates the arena. “We also started a student ticket pricing program for events. Being able to combine resources of Amalie Arena and Yuengling Center has changed the way we can create market impressions, cross marketing at both arenas, uses of databases and more.”

In terms of marketing, Iowa State’s Stephens Auditorium focused on its core audience.
“It’s all about data — targeted e-blasts to look-alike ticket buyers and marketing to ticket buyers that have a higher propensity to purchase at a specific time in the sales cycle,” Koolbeck said. “And at the end of the day, it’s really about programming what people want to see.”

Boise State emphasizes the Morrison Center’s flexible seating configurations, venue location, a state-of-the-art d&b line array, full fly system, affordable rental rates, marketing support and talented staff in its marketing plan.

Boise’s growth has helped boost sales, Patrick said. “The center now reaches over 160,000 patrons annually. With the growth of our market and successful shows, the center is able to expand its Broadway offerings, including both the number of performances as well as show selection,” he said.

Accessibility for the disabled was a focus at both the University of Virginia’s JPJ and Iowa State’s Stephens Auditorium, both of which undertook accessibility projects this past year.
“We tripled the number of available accessible seats by expanding two sections and creating a new section closer to the stage,” said Koolbeck at Iowa State. The venue also added handrails in the balconies and loge boxes.

Plans for 2019
With 2019 underway, university venues are preparing for a busy and profitable year.

“We’ve got a few sellouts already on the books, including Why Don’t We, the 1975, and JoJo Siwa, plus the return of Sesame Street Live and a two-week run of Cirque Du Soleil’s ‘Corteo’ in June,” said Brassil at Agganis Arena in Boston. “Our fall concert holds are starting to take shape with what should be a great combination of up-and-coming acts making the leap from theaters to some of those previously mentioned artists who manage to sell out this arena annually.”

JPJ’s spring lineup includes Panic! at the Disco, Luke Combs, Mumford and Sons, “Jersey Boys,” Jeff Dunham, Alabama and Twenty-One Pilots.

Stephens Auditorium has created the Goldfinch Room, a listening room with cabaret seating for 80 to 90 people.

“We will be featuring songwriter showcases focusing on Iowa songwriters this first year,” Koolbeck said. “Opening night Jan. 26 featured Iowa songwriters and artists Chad Elliott and Patresa Hartman with special guest Tommy Lewis from Texas. We sold out of 18 tables in under a week using social media and a press release.”

Boise State’s Morrison Center anticipates increased patronage and facility usage, as well as improved routing and expanded Broadway offerings this year.

“We will also continue to expand our outreach efforts to provide free or affordable programming,” Patrick said. “For example, in 2016 over 30,000 patrons attended free events at the Morrison Center.”

This year, Erwin Center is going into its fifth year as the host venue of the iHeartCountry Festival.

“We anticipate another robust year with major touring acts and athletic events,” Land said
DePaul’s Wintrust Arena will be hosting the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament regional at the end of March, with the winner headed to the Final Four.

In addition to Elton John, Pink and Fleetwood Mac shows, Colonial Life Arena in South Carolina will be hosting the first two rounds of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.

“What’s unique to us is that four members of Hootie and the Blowfish are our alumni, so when they announced their tour, we were able to book two of their many sold-out shows,” Kenyon said.

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WELCOME TO THE CLUB
 
Posted: 26 Jan 2019, 11:00 pm

The Fillmore Charlotte is housed in a historic textile mill, which gives it a unique ambience, feel and tradition. (Courtesy Live Nation)

The Fillmore Theaters are a community, not a brand, said the man in charge of growing the chain of intimate music halls, Ron Bension, CEO of Live Nation’s Clubs and Theatres division.

The latest addition to the community will be the 2,200-capacity Fillmore New Orleans, which will open Feb. 15 with a performance by the Foo Fighters.

“The Fillmore screams rock ’n’ roll, and we’re putting the Fillmores in great music towns like New Orleans and Philly,” Bension said. “We’re really excited about the evolution of the clubs. The Fillmores are not cookie cutter. They each have their own identity in each community. Brands are the same wherever they reside and the Fillmores are not that. They each have their own unique DNA but are part of the Fillmore community.”

Live Nation has been expanding the Fillmore chain since it took over in 2007, first by changing the names of a number of the clubs it owned around the U.S., and later by opening new clubs.

“We have been focusing on the Fillmores as being the pre-eminent club in the 2,000- to 3,000-capacity space for some time,” he said.

There are seven Fillmores at the moment: the Fillmore San Francisco; Fillmore Auditorium in Denver; the Fillmore Detroit; the Fillmore Miami Beach; the Fillmore Charlotte; the Fillmore Silver Spring in the Washington, D.C., area; and the Fillmore Philadelphia. The Fillmore New Orleans will be No. 8, and No. 9 is under construction in Minneapolis near Target Field and is scheduled to open early next year.

Describing how a fan would be able to tell one Fillmore from another, Bension first pointed out the similarities: lots of chandeliers, red velvet curtains, and an emphasis on sightlines, sound and concessions.

“They all have a lounge-like feel; the restrooms are gorgeous; and every one of them has unique appeal that’s really cool,” he said.

“We believe the Fillmore experience is added value. We want the best fan experience. We want people to come away thinking, ‘That was a great environment; that was a really cool show; we had great food; we had a great time.’”

As for the differences, “Every community is distinctive and so are the Fillmores in them,” he said. “They all have unique features and are designed to incorporate the traditional elements of the look of the environments they are in.”

Bension pointed out The Fillmore Philadelphia’s American flag formed by a collage of Fillmore posters and a take on Robert Indiana’s classic “LOVE” sculpture, spelling out “LIVE” in giant letters, and New Orleans’ 10- by 25-foot collage of Fillmore posters of  Louis Armstrong as examples of their individual style.

“All of the decor in New Orleans is very voodoo with a French Quarter vibe,” Bension said. “There is a fleur-de-lis at the top of the stairs. It’s a symbol of New Orleans.”

Bension and his team look first for the right environment, building and location when looking for new cities to grow the Fillmore chain.

“We need a space where we can incorporate the Fillmore style seamlessly,” Bension said. “We’d love to open one a year if we find the right location and right markets.”

Dave Fortin, senior vice president of marketing and business development for Live Nation’s Clubs and Theatres division, said the company is “always looking at cities across the country to find properties where a new venue would make sense. When we find an opportunity there is an internal look at the space, and we discuss whether it should be a Fillmore or if it should be a House of Blues or something else.”

The House of Blues clubs and Live Nation’s assorted theaters are also under Bension and Fortin’s watch.

“As we grow as a division, we’re always looking to serve every size room,” Fortin said.

“Typically, a House of Blues capacity tops out at around 900 in the main rooms. The Fillmores hold 2,000-3,000. After that we look to program our amphitheaters and our arena and stadium partners.”

Building new Fillmores is a “no-brainer” to Fortin. “If a band can play Houston or Dallas and is looking to head east, and the next right room isn’t available in a market, they will skip the market. We’re always looking to have strategic cities with a great live music scene available, so markets don’t get skipped. We want to bring fans’ favorite bands to as many markets as possible.”

After a location is chosen, Live Nation looks at how to get the most out of it. “We bring in state-of-the-art technology. We look at how much space is between seats, how high should the risers should be, where to put VIP areas and how to best serve the fans in that space,” he said.

The Fillmore name first became associated with concerts when Charles Sullivan  started booking performers at San Francisco’s  Fillmore Auditorium in 1954. In December 1965, Sullivan began letting future rock impresario Bill Graham book shows there.

The Fillmore Auditorium went on to host numerous 1960s counterculture icons. The Grateful Dead played 51 concerts at the venue. The Doors, Jefferson Airplane, Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd and The Who played there.

Bension said Live Nation “has international aspirations and we’re looking at other countries. Where it makes sense, we would love to have a Fillmore.”

“I’ve been part of Live Nation and House of Blues for 25 years,” Fortin said. “There is a sense of underlying community and family associated with the Fillmores and it comes from Bill Graham and who he was. He escaped from Europe during World War II and was put in foster care. He would sneak out of his foster home in France to steal apples.

“He was a survivor in every way, and Bill put out apples out at the end of his shows because he wanted everyone to go home with a full belly.”

“That’s what the Fillmores were built on and what we carry and it’s what the Fillmore became,” Fortin said. “It was a real scene at the start with Jerry Garcia, Janis Joplin and Santana and it was all a family with a great communal vibe, and we try to honor that in the way we run it. That history is a really cool piece of what makes a Fillmore a Fillmore.

“We are all about honoring the past in contemporary way.”

MORE
Getting their Fillmore: A tour of the clubs
NOLA gets a Fillmore with its name on it


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REDEFINING ‘PREMIUM SEAT’ AND THE EXPERIENCE THAT GOES WITH IT
 
Posted: 26 Jan 2019, 11:00 pm

As a premium perk at GMHBA Stadium in Australia, fans can look down into the home team’s locker room. (Courtesy Populous)

Has the phrase “premium seat” become a dated term in today’s sports economy?

As the customization of fan experience continues to expand across sports and entertainment and the lines blur for what’s considered a seat upgrade, it’s a good question to ask architects.

“Teams are spending a lot more time wanting their venue to reflect the diversity of clientele that comes to them,” said Byron Chambers, design director and principal with Populous. “I’m not even sure if premium is the right word. Instead of using it to describe a suite or a loge box, you’re seeing social spaces a big part of it as well. It’s not actually a seat. It’s an environment.”

“Social gathering space” has been the buzz phrase for about five years now and even it sounds a bit dated, but standing-room-only hangouts tied to food and drink are still working for teams. For stadiums, whether it’s an extension of a club lounge or a platform in the upper deck, architects say it’s that feeling of exclusivity that teams are increasingly looking for as they split the ticketing market across all demographics.

“Authenticity comes to mind, giving people authentic experiences,” Chambers said. “People want something of and part of the local community. The Heineken rooftop bar at Audi Field is one example. It might actually be the best view of the entire stadium. It’s not associated with a particular seat, and thinking that way is very important.”

Some are taking the next step. In their talks with MLB teams, Populous officials came up with an intriguing concept they call “one ticket, three ways.” Under that scenario, the fan’s game-day experience is split into three-inning increments, say, a prime seat for three innings, followed by a visit to the park’s microbrewery for the middle three innings and culminating with a standing-room perch over the team’s bullpen for the final three frames.

It’s something the Tampa Bay Rays have considered for their potential new stadium as they work with Populous on the project. In the leisurely sport of baseball, the concept is basically driven by people who prefer to roam the park while introducing a variety of premium seat options over the course of time, “so they can kind of see their path to a better experience,” said Gina Stingley, the architect’s marketing director for the Americas.

“We’ve tested it with a few teams,” she said. “It’s kind of like a tasting.”

The taste for getting as close to the players as possible without invading their space, typically a premium perk, is trending to the point where one Australian Football League stadium has a glass ceiling over the home team’s locker room. At GMHBA Stadium, home of the Geelong Cats in a city 75 miles southwest of Melbourne, it’s part of the “Ultimate Fan Experience” package. The team has control over when fans can peer into the locker room, Stingley said.

Along the same lines, big league teams could learn from NASCAR and some of the things it does, such as allowing fans to pay more to rub elbows with drivers in the garages before big races, Rossetti principal Jim Renne said. Over the past five years, his firm has worked for International Speedway Corp. to design major renovations to tracks in Daytona Beach and Phoenix.

“We can do more with that,” he said. “We have the tunnel clubs at stadiums, but is there a way to (create) other activities around players? The drivers go into a sponsor’s hospitality space and talk. It’s hard because coaches want to keep (players) isolated and focused on the game. The unique thing about going to an event is the athletes and how can you bring that culture to the fans? We should make that piece more of a spectacle that you can’t get anywhere else.”

At college football stadiums, social spaces are popular at schools such as Kentucky, where the Keeneland Paddock, a patio deck, sits behind a section of new club seats at Kroger Field.

Elsewhere, field-level suites and clubs in the end zones are trending at Washington, Mississippi State, Louisville and Texas. One sports architect doesn’t understand why athletic departments aren’t focusing on the primary real estate along the sidelines to develop new premium spaces.

“They’re electing for the easy solution in the end zones,” said Gerardo Prado, HNTB’s sports group director and vice president. “The most exclusive and best experience should be the seats closest to the action with the best vantage point. Some schools are deviating from that concept because of the fear of exploring surgical renovations and the complexity of doing it along the west sideline, where the sun is behind you and you’re in the shade for the most part. With the end zones, you’re always going to have that glare during portions of the game.”


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TIMBERLAKE BACK IN BUSINESS, ON THE ROAD THROUGH APRIL
 
Posted: 26 Jan 2019, 11:00 pm

Justin Timberlake resumed his Man of the Woods tour after having to wrap up 2018's shows early. (Getty Images)

Justin Timberlake makes a stand among this month’s top-grossing Hot Tickets, landing on the chart with the first four sold-out performances from the 2019 leg of his Man of the Woods tour.

With a string of 40 performances booked through April 13, the trek kicked off for the year in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 4 at Capital One Arena. The concert, ranked fourth among shows at venues with capacities over 15,000, drew 16,621 fans with a gross surpassing $2.5 million.

The pop star’s Charlotte performance at Spectrum Center on Jan. 8 is his highest-ranked event among the four, topping his D.C. opener by $5,684 to claim the third slot on the chart behind Phish’s four-show run up to New Year’s Eve at Madison Square Garden in New York and rapper Travis Scott’s two-night stint at the Forum in Inglewood, Calif. Timberlake also scores at Nos. 6 and 7 with concerts at PNC Arena in Raleigh, N.C., on Jan. 6 and Atlanta’s State Farm Arena on Jan. 10. The Man of the Woods jaunt launched in March of last year and has racked up $160.4 million in ticket sales so far from 81 concerts in North America and Europe. The total number of sold tickets totaled 1,262,228 as of his Atlanta performance Jan. 10.

The tour’s opening leg was a 12-week stretch through U.S. and Canadian cities that ran from March 13 until June 2, 2018. He returned to North America for a second sweep through 13 cities before wrapping for the year early on Oct. 22 because of bruised vocal cords. Initially the tour was planned to run until mid-December, wrapping for the year just before the holidays.

Between the two North American runs in 2018, he took the tour across the pond and played in 18 cities in Europe between July 3 and Aug. 29. London’s O2 Arena produced the largest attendance on either continent during the first year of the tour, drawing 35,322 fans to the venue on July 9 and 11. The record attendance at a North American venue on the tour is 33,587, set on Sept. 28-29 at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn.


MORE LIVE! HIGHLIGHTS
Electronic dance music artist Kaskade ranks No. 3 on the slate of Hot Tickets at venues in the 5,001- to 10,000-capacity category with his third consecutive New Year’s Eve bash at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco. The 2018 concert earned just over $1 million at the box office from a sellout crowd of 8,863. The annual event by the Chicago-born DJ, produced by Bay Area-promoter Another Planet Entertainment, has earned $3.3 million from four sold-out performances (the 2017 event stretched over two nights) with a total sold ticket count of 34,528.

The Kaskade show also earns Bill Graham Civic Auditorium the No. 7 position on Top Stops in the same size category, but grabbing No. 1 is Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The Manhattan venue takes the top ranking based on a sold ticket count of 64,760 from 20 performances of “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas” that occurred during the Dec. 16-Jan. 15 eligibility period. The production actually ran for a total of 30 shows during the holiday season, from Dec. 13 through 30.
 


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'WHAT WOULD BERNIE DO?'
 
Posted: 26 Jan 2019, 11:00 pm

Bernie Punt retired from Bryce Jordan Center on Jan. 18 after a 23-year career at the arena. (Deb Gray)

Bernie Punt’s energy is infectious. 

“He always has a smile on his face and he really enjoys what he does,” said Jade Ludlow, a former intern of Punt’s at the Bryce Jordan Center, Penn State’s multipurpose arena, who has gone on to a career in live entertainment.

Punt had worked at the arena since it opened in 1996 before he retired last month. He has become a legend in the arena business, said his longtime friend Jim Delaney, CEO and president of Activate Sports & Entertainment.

“We were first-time attendees together at an Event & Arena Marketing Conference 20-plus years ago, and you could tell even then that there was just something very special about this small-market guy with the infectious personality, crazy hair and incredible passion and creativity,” Delaney said in an email. 

Punt feels incredibly grateful that he had a 23-year career at the venue, an occupation he found by default. Before working at Penn State, Punt owned a family entertainment facility called Go Bonkerz.

“I eventually sold my share of (Go Bonkerz),” Punt said, noting that he never looked back.
As time went on at the arena, Punt started teaching the class Introduction to Arena Management. He also ran the internship program at the arena, which is where he met Ludlow.

“Bernie was one of the most influential people in my career,” she said. “He gave me a chance when I was 19 years old when I had no experience. He really set his interns up for success. He really gave you the opportunity to grow as a professional and he empowered you to make your own decisions.”

Ludlow graduated from Penn State in 2013 and is now tour marketing manager at Vector Management in Nashville. “I took whatever I learned from him, and I’ve used that in my career,” she said. “I think Bernie is innovative. He’s bold. His ideas are brilliant. He’s not afraid to take risks. He pushes boundaries and does it while having the time of his life.”

In his time at the arena, Punt also booked acts and often reminisces about hanging out with Billy Joel, Willie Nelson and other artists.

“There is no replacing him, but thankfully his impact on the industry doesn’t end just because he’s left day-to-day arena life,” Delaney said. “It carries on through all of those he has taught and mentored along the way at PSU and far beyond Happy Valley. What greater legacy than to have event marketers across the country sitting in their venues trying to spark new creative ideas or promotions and thinking to themselves, ‘OK, that’s good, but what would Bernie do?’”


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FRAGRANCE INFUSION? TO ARENA, IT MAKES SENSE
 
Posted: 26 Jan 2019, 11:00 pm

Women have noticed the pleasing scent at Alvark Toyko games, a team spokesman says. (Getty Images)

Japanese professional basketball team Alvark Tokyo was winning games but was having trouble attracting women to its home games at Arena Tachikawa Tachihi.

It tried offering free Wi-Fi and apps that showed restroom wait times. The club had a pink jersey giveaway night. 

But those methods didn’t increase the number of women in the crowd. Finally, Alvark Tokyo found something that did: scenting the arena with a pleasing fragrance.

“This smell becomes a trigger for the positive feelings of excitement and joy felt while watching their team win, enticing attendees to return to games in the future,” said Roger Bensinger, vice president of business development for Prolitec, the American company that was brought into the Japanese market to do the scenting job by its Japanese partner Micro Fragrance.

“Despite female fans’ growing interest in watching live and televised sporting events, most female fans report feeling misunderstood by sports brands and left out in fan engagement strategies,” Bensinger said. “Sports stadiums need to enhance the fan experience with the female sports fan in mind, and scenting is one the ways they can get female patrons through the door.”

Sometimes the venue brings Prolitec in. Sometimes an event promoter makes the decision, as the promoter for Japanese pop group AAA did. Prolitec will be on every stop of the group’s tour in Asia later this year, he said.

The process is simple: Prolitec installs scent machines near stadium entrances and inside near the audience.

“When Alvark Tokyo won the game, the scent machines raised the output level so that the smell was stronger,” Bensinger said. “Since scent has been proven to create positive feelings and memories about a brand, game attendees would instantly link that smell to positive impressions of the Alvark Tokyo brand, the venue and the team’s victory.

It takes 24 hours to scent an entire arena. To scent just a small area takes as little as half an hour.

Portable diffusers create microdroplets that turn into a vapor and are dispersed into the air. The scent is delivered throughout the event. An arena space will need multiple diffusers, and they can run while guests are in the building. For permanent clients, the scents go through the HVAC system.

Prolitec’s current clients with long-term contracts include Starwood Hotel group, recently bought by Marriott International; Provenance Boutique Hotels; Abercrombie & Fitch; Adidas; Ecco; Google and Parkway Properties.

Charlotte, N.C.-based Scent-Air is another company that competes in sectors of “scent marketing.”

“Venues are starting to see the value-add of scenting, and we see it as a new market, particularly in the entrances where you are creating a first impression, which are multisensorial experiences,” Bensinger said.

“Although ambient scenting has long been established as a value-add at hotels, restaurants, office buildings and retail stores, it’s only recently that management at sports venues have come to realize that it’s just as good for their sites as well.”

Post-event surveys have been a great tool, Bensinger said. “Guests give the scent high marks in every space we go into, especially women.”

The client picks the fragrance; there are more than 100 scents available. Prolitec gets its fragrances from various fragrance houses. “We can also do specific custom fragrances,” he said.
Prolitec started in 2002, is based in Milwaukee and has 75 employees.

Tanakadate Sho, speaking on behalf of Alvark Tokyo, said the experience that fans get from scenting can be summed up by this exchange between a Japanese reporter and two female fans: “Did you notice anything when you entered?” asked the reporter. “It smelled good,” was the response.

The team chose the hinoki fragrance because “it’s a very popular tree in parks and gardens that gives off an uplifting, cleansing and comforting scent. For centuries it has been believed that hinoki opens up the mind for new perspectives. This is consistent with the basketball team. Uplifting, cleansing, comforting.”

Sho said they’ve used the scent dozens of times and the response from the fans has been overwhelmingly positive, especially from female fans.

Neither Sho nor Bensinger would reveal the cost of the scenting, but Sho did say he was pleased with the ROI. “It’s difficult to measure the financial payback, but it creates excitement with fans and differentiates the experience,” he said. Alvark Tokyo has not yet signed up for a third season.


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THE BIG BEAUTIFUL GAME
 
Posted: 26 Jan 2019, 11:00 pm

Rossetti is working on a way to convert the Detroit Lions’ Ford Field into a soccer venue. (Courtesy Detroit Pistons)

Oh Atlanta! The huge success of Major League Soccer’s Atlanta United FC at Mercedes-Benz Stadium culminated in record attendance for the 2018 MLS Cup. More than 73,000 fans packed the stadium Dec. 8 to see #ATLUTD beat the Portland Timbers and win the cup. It was the largest crowd in the league’s 22-year history.

It’s not an anomaly. Atlanta United recorded crowds of 70,000 for some of its bigger matches over its first two years in MLS, and it has caught the attention of U.S. pro soccer teams developing new stadiums in Austin, Cincinnati, Nashville and Sacramento, among other markets. They’re all taking a closer look at whether the typical soccer-specific model of 20,000 seats best fits their markets.

The upstarts in Atlanta are not alone. The Seattle Sounders, another MLS team playing in an NFL stadium, averaged 40,641 at CenturyLink Field in 2018, placing second in the league behind Atlanta United’s 53,002. The Sounders have consistently drawn crowds of about 40,000 since the team started MLS play in 2009, despite covering the upper deck with a tarp for most matches at the stadium.

MLS attendance was down 1 percent in 2018, the league’s first drop in five years. Still, 10 of the 23 teams averaged more than 20,000 fans, including Los Angeles FC, a first-year club at Banc of California Stadium.

The uptick in MLS is one of several trends to watch in stadium development in 2019, according to sports architects. They also addressed further segmentation of the premium seat market, providing closer access to players at event level, the evolution of videoboard technology and the flexibility to convert stadiums to fit other large-scale sports events such as the Miami Open tennis tournament at Hard Rock Stadium.

In general, downsizing has been the trend for MLB and NFL facilities, both in new builds and renovations. MLS is the exception. No other league is building more new stadiums, and in a sport where most MLS teams debuted in NFL stadiums in the mid-1990s before moving to soccer-specific venues, could there be a shift back to bigger buildings? Perhaps, depending on whom you ask among designers and builders of sports venues.

In the early days of MLS, playing matches in an 80,000-seat stadium retrofit that looked empty was discouraging, said Bill Johnson, a design principal with HOK and leader of the firm’s development of Mercedes-Benz Stadium. In Atlanta, HOK designed a building for both the NFL and MLS with a custom half-house setup for soccer that’s more than just a big black curtain hanging from the roof. It blends into the bowl seamlessly for most Atlanta United games, which draw 35,000 to 40,000. For rivals such as Orlando City SC, the upper deck stays open.

HOK_AMB_MBS_0985_LR_300.jpgAtlanta United FC recorded crowds of 70,000 for some of its bigger matches over its first two years in MLS, drawing the attention of others in the league. (Courtesy HOK)

“Coming off Mercedes-Benz Stadium, a lot of people have looked at it, almost everybody in the NFL,” Johnson said. “The surprise there was Atlanta United; they’ve almost taken it over. We’re getting a lot of questions such as, ‘OK, so in my existing stadium, what can I do to learn some lessons or modify some things to bring it up to this new expectation?’”

“I feel bullish on the whole soccer conversation,” he said. “You’re going to see existing soccer venues start to add seats in some cases. When you start to get up to 30,000 to 40,000 seats and you can block off the upper deck, it feels good. As those lines start to cross somewhere in the middle, it’s going to be more acceptable for soccer to play in NFL venues. If you’re competitive, soccer is going to draw the crowds. The other thing is, it’s more affordable.”

The one thing that sets Atlanta and Seattle apart is the strong cultural aspect to the city and community buying into the sport’s traditions, Johnson said.

“The whole ‘march to the match’ concept in Seattle where you have this organic grid that happens out of the bars and into the streets and into the stadium is something we talk about a lot in terms of development strategy for new buildings,” he said.

In Detroit, design firm Rossetti is working with the owners of a proposed MLS team to find a solution for converting Ford Field, the 65,000-seat home of the NFL’s Detroit Lions, into a soccer venue. To date, MLS Commissioner Don Garber has criticized Detroit’s plan for playing soccer indoors on artificial turf. League officials prefer an open-air facility with natural grass.

“The league is not keen at all on an indoor stadium, but we propose the idea of opening the roof,” Rossetti principal Jim Renne said. “It comes down to making it feel like a soccer stadium that’s not fully indoors. If you look at Atlanta (and its retractable roof), what if somehow this market could do the same thing? At what point do you accommodate these venues where if you’ve got the market, maybe it really makes sense.”

It makes sense, says Dale Koger, vice president and general manager of PCL Construction’s sports group. Over his 40-plus-year career, Koger has worked on five MLS stadium projects, including Banc of California Stadium, plus a dozen NFL facilities spanning both new builds and renovations. The Seattle and Atlanta models are the future of a league still growing in its third decade of operation, Koger said.

“When you think about MLS, it’s still a relatively new league,” he said. “I can see a day where you might build an NFL/MLS combination stadium and make it 50,000 seats.”

For those teams in smaller cities developing soccer-specific stadiums, the tricky part is balancing a boost in capacity against the increased cost to construct bigger, more sophisticated venues. Over the past few years, the price tag for MLS stadiums has jumped from $100 million to a high of $400 million for Audi Field, D.C. United’s new facility, which opened in July.

“I’m a big believer in scarcity,” said Dan Meis, whose firm, Meis Architects, is designing a new stadium for FC Cincinnati, a United Soccer League club that starts play in MLS in 2019. As it stands now, Meis said, the new venue will seat 25,000 to 30,000 for a team that consistently draws those numbers at Nippert Stadium, the University of Cincinnati’s football facility.

“Given that these buildings have become much more expensive than they were five to 10 years ago, we’re a bit careful about that,” Meis said. “Cincinnati is one of those clubs that was able to drive a huge fan base as a USL team. For them, it’s hard not to want to build as big as they can, and we’re pretty confident that it will follow them into the new building.”

EXT06-Day-Allianz_300.jpgAllianz Field, the new home of Minnesota United FC, opens in April with a 3,000-seat supporter section. (Courtesy Populous)

In Washington, Audi Field has 20,000 seats, but building on an urban site and upgraded premium spaces resulted in higher costs. Overall, as the MLS stadium model matures, there’s been a shift to developing a greater variety of club seat and loge box products across the league, starting with Children’s Mercy Park, home of Sporting KC.

Premium seats carry a higher price point, and when tied to long-term contracts, those packages give teams the ability to pay construction debt over time. Sporting KC’s stadium opened in 2011 with five clubs and a field-level lounge tied to the team’s supporter groups. Banc of California Stadium features 114 loge boxes and about 2,000 club seats, plus MLS’s first bunker suites.

In Los Angeles, the finishes in the club lounges at the $350 million facility are on par with NFL stadiums, said Bill Rhoda, president of Legends Global Planning, the owner’s representative for LAFC.

HNTB is studying the capacity issue and the right premium seat mix for a few MLS stadium projects. It’s involved with the Sacramento Republic and the Columbus Crew.

HNTB is also a finalist for the Inter Miami FC project headed by British soccer royalty David Beckham. In South Florida, Inter Miami FC already plans to build a 25,000-seat stadium, matching the size of Orlando City Stadium, which opened in 2017.

“For select markets, higher capacity may make sense, but in discussions we’ve had with several potential MLS teams, they’re still looking at the low to mid-20,000 range for overall seating,” said Gerardo Prado, HNTB’s sports group director and vice president. “What we’re seeing is a higher percentage of premium seating, 14 percent to 16 percent of total seating.”

He said, “If you look at some of the second-generation stadiums, they’re adding more clubs and loges to carve out additional revenue without a significant construction cost. Fans get engaged with the action in club seats with a better product to market [over suites]. Sacramento is asking us to review things in terms of the overall premium strategy and Miami as well.”

For sports architects, the focus is on the MLS general admission customer as well, specifically the supporter sections behind the goals where the team’s most fervent fans congregate. Those spaces are expanding to more than 3,250, which is the case of Banc of California Stadium. Allianz Field, Minnesota United FC’s new stadium, will open in March with 3,000 supporter spaces.

“That’s the heartbeat of the pitch,” Prado said. “Those are the people who elevate the energy level, are always going to be chanting and if they’re not excited and into the game, nobody else really will be. We pay close attention to how we can keep improving the experience for the supporters with their own concourse and club that they can transform into their own space.”

In today’s digital age, where fans can stream more live sports on their mobile devices than ever before, apart from the stadium experience, it’s critical to get those numbers right, Johnson said.

“The buildings can only do so much, and then it comes down to the teams and owners to adapt to the changing market,” he said.

MORE
Stadium construction chart
Redefining ‘premium seat’ and the experience that goes with it


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NOLA GETS A FILLMORE WITH ITS NAME ON IT
 
Posted: 26 Jan 2019, 11:00 pm

The New Orleans location, shown in a rendering, opens this month. The design will feature a voodoo and French Quarter vibe. (Courtesy Live Nation)

The New Orleans Fillmore, opening this month, will fill 35,000 square feet of prime space on the second floor of Harrah’s Casino in the downtown area.

“Harrah’s has had the NOLA space for the last 18 years,” said Dave Fortin, senior vice president of marketing and business development for Live Nation’s Clubs and Theatres division. “The space has always been earmarked for live entertainment but has never had an entertainment partner.”

Harrah’s is the landlord and will have no say in how the venue is run or who is booked. The Philadelphia branch of EwingCole, which works on many of the Fillmore projects, designed the space.

The lease is for 20-plus years. Live Nation did not reveal the cost of the project.

“We have our own entrance off Canal Street, which will allow us to put on shows for any age, including under-21 fans who couldn’t go inside the casino,” Fortin said.

Live Nation picked New Orleans for its eighth Fillmore primarily because it saw a gap in the marketplace.

“We thought a (general admission) space would be a perfect opportunity to serve the market,” he said. “The 2,000- to 2,500-capacity venue is our sweet spot. The last three Fillmores have fallen into that range.”

The Fillmore New Orleans’ capacity is 2,200. It’s divided into the music hall, a lobby bar that holds 300 people, and the VIP room, called BG’s Lounge to honor original Fillmore impresario Bill Graham, which can accommodate 200 people.

The Foo Fighters will play the first shows Feb. 15 and 16. Almost 30 shows have been booked, including Duran Duran, Willie Nelson, the Avett Brothers, Bob Weir and Jason Isbell. Ticket prices range from $25 to $75, and VIP will carry an additional charge.

Concessions are being handled in-house. “The Live Nation team has created a unique New Orleans-based menu that will include charcuterie boxes, cheese boxes, chicken pressed wraps, the Impossible Burger, Cajun poutine and Creole shrimp,” Fortin said.

“We’ve taken great care to make sure the food, the atmosphere and the look will have the underlying sense of the NOLA community,” he added. “This fills a really nice spot in the live entertainment landscape of one of the country’s most vibrant cities.”


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CHICAGO SQUEEZE PLAY
 
Posted: 26 Jan 2019, 11:00 pm

Pepper Construction crews build new club lounge spaces beneath the stands at Wrigley Field. (Courtesy Pepper Construction)

The five-year rebuild of Wrigley Field became a tricky process, tied to intricate sequences for scheduling major construction inside a century-old stadium, project officials said.

In addition, the Cubs have made the playoffs the past four seasons, putting additional pressure on Pepper Construction, the team’s general contractor. In 2016, the year the Cubs won the World Series, the builder had a short 20 weeks of offseason to finish construction, which included clearing space behind home plate to build the 7,200-square-foot American Airlines 1914 Club.

“Opening Day doesn’t change, and depending how well the team does in the previous fall, the end of the season can be anywhere from Oct. 1 to Nov. 1,” said Scott Higgins, Pepper Construction’s senior vice president. “Fortunately for the project team, not (advancing) in the playoffs beyond the wild-card game last fall was a blessing in disguise, because it gave us the extra time we really need this winter to accomplish everything they’ve asked us to do.”

Pepper Construction has restored other Chicago landmarks such as the Chicago Art Institute, the Palmer House Hilton hotel and department store Marshall Field’s, which became Macy’s in 2006. Higgins has been involved with Wrigley upgrades since fall 2010, when he took the Cubs’ first phone call. At the time, the Cubs formed a “dream team” of architects and urban planners that included consultant Janet Marie Smith and DAIQ, designer of restorations to Fenway Park and Rose Bowl Stadium. The Cubs eventually handed the project to Populous to design the premium clubs and suite renovations, among other improvements.

The Cubs hired CAA Icon as owner’s representative, a firm headed by Tim Romani. The central Illinois native and lifelong Cub fan got his start developing a new ballpark for the Chicago White Sox, now called Guaranteed Rate Field, that opened in 1991.

Working on Wrigley upgrades project has been a labor of love for Romani.

“We kind of knew what we were getting into,” Romani said. “The challenge was dealing with the physical aging of the building. It’s like if you bought a 100-year-old home and you need to restore it. Every time you open up a wall to do something minor, you find something that turns it into a major thing. We encountered a lot of that along the way that there was no way to foresee.”

A lot of time and money was spent correcting structural deterioration that wasn’t necessarily in the budget to begin with, he said. In many cases, it meant strengthening the foundations before adding more structural load with new construction.

“If you were to look at the structural cross section of the ballpark, you would never build it like that today with support columns that go through the seating bowl,” Higgins said. “With the help of (structural engineer) Thornton Tomasetti, we had to devise a logistics plan with sequences in every zone. Everything had to start from the bottom up. The project has taken longer than they wanted it to, but after the sequencing plan was worked out, it was going to take (five to six years) to do everything.”

Despite the complications, the Cubs made smart decisions at every turn and it has paid off for the historic venue. The sold-out American Airlines 1914 Club is one of the finest premium lounges in sports, said Romani, whose portfolio covers $8 billion in sports construction over his 27-year career.

“They didn’t make it easy for CAA Icon,” he said. “We had to react very quickly and make a lot of changes on the fly, but every one of them was the right thing to do.”


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AFTER A YEAR OF WILD WEATHER, UNCERTAINTY IN FESTIVAL INSURANCE
 
Posted: 26 Jan 2019, 10:00 pm

Weather forced organizers to send the crowd home from the first day of the Panorama Festival, though the rest of the event went on as scheduled. (Getty Images)

Even staunch climate change deniers had to admit this past summer represented one of weather extremes, with Hurricane Florence making landfall on the North Carolina coast in mid-September and wreaking havoc on the local entertainment scene. The storm rolled in and effectively canceled J. Cole’s Dreamville Festival in his hometown of Raleigh, with a lineup featuring Big Sean, SZA, Young Thug and Nelly, among others.

The hurricane and its aftermath also knocked out all but six hours of September’s Pilgrimage Festival in Nashville, as well as a pair of Danny Wimmer Presents events at Louisville’s Champions Park a week apart, including the second day of Bourbon & Beyond (Robert Plant, Gov’t Mule), and all of Louder Than Life (Nine Inch Nails, Alice in Chains, Godsmack). Other events hampered by inclement weather included Phish’s Curveball in Watkins Glen, N.Y., Aug. 17-19, and part of the first day of the Panorama Festival in New York’s Randall’s Island Park in July. Prior to Dua Lipa’s performance, organizers called off the event and forced the crowd to evacuate. Other scheduled Friday artists, including The Weeknd and Migos, had sets canceled, though the event went on as planned on Saturday and Sunday.

“The weather was a monster issue this year, the biggest I’ve ever seen in all the years I’ve been doing this,” said Paul Bassman, a one-time artist manager for Dallas bands Drowning Pool and Flickerstick and now CEO of Texas-based Ascend Insurance Brokers, a company he founded 12 years ago to specialize in music festival coverage. “In the past, you might have a day or two canceled, but this year, there were whole festivals called off. In my memory, the climate changes have never been more severe or sudden.  I wouldn’t necessarily pin it on global warming, but it’s certainly something you have to consider.”

Among Bassman’s insurance clients was last year’s Pilgrimage Festival, which was set to take place the weekend of Sept. 22 and 23, with headliners Jack White, Lionel Richie, Chris Stapleton, and Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds. Saturday’s concert, which started at 10 a.m., was curtailed and the site evacuated by 4:30 p.m. before either White or Richie could perform, while Sunday was shut down entirely, eliminating sets by Stapleton (who was rumored to have been joined by Justin Timberlake) as well as Matthews and Reynolds, Brandi Carlile and the rest of the lineup.

In canceling the shows, Pilgrimage officials announced the festival would issue refunds “as soon as possible,” as it “finalized details.”  In other words, meeting with insurance company officials and adjusters to work out the claims process.

Pilgrimage_Festival_300_Getty_1038052322.jpgWeather curtailed the first day of the Pilgrimage Festival. The second day was canceled. (Getty Images)

Bassman acknowledged such shutdowns can cost insurance carriers “several million dollars,” as well as create uncertainty in the market.

“We have no idea what rates and coverage will look like in 2019,” he said. “There is certainly increased interest in cancelation insurance, but the carrier rates are rising so high, some clients may just take a risk and go without.”

Nashville-based Peter Tempkins, senior vice president and managing director of entertainment for broker HUB International, witnessed firsthand how an event can be called off while on site at the Watkins Glen International racetrack in August for Phish’s three-day headlining stint at Curveball. It was the jam band icons’ 11th such festival since initiating the tradition with the Clifford Ball in 1996, with two iterations held at the same location — Super Ball IX (2011) and Magnaball (2015).  The venue, of course, was also the scene of the famed 1973 Summer Jam concert that featured The Allman Brothers Band, The Band and the Grateful Dead, drawing upwards of 600,000 fans, at the time the largest gathering ever at a pop music festival, back when it was called Watkins Glen Grand Prix Raceway. 

While the issue was related to the torrential rains that had previously flooded the region, Curveball ultimately was forced to cancel on account of a contaminated water supply the town provided at the racetrack. In fact, fans had already been let into the grounds and set up camping sites while Phish was doing a sound check when the decision came down to call the event off.

“The impurities just couldn’t be filtered out,” said Tempkins, who was at the venue in the middle of the conversations that took place among the promoters, Phish’s team, race track officials and the town. “This was a problem affecting the entire area, not just the concert site. At that point, everyone had done what they could so the show would go on, but we had to pull the plug.”

With millions at stake on the decision whether to proceed or cancel, Tempkins said, if the verdict is to call it off, “I get on the phone with the carriers, an adjuster is appointed to document everything on site and then we go through the claims process until a settlement is negotiated.”

With mass-casualty attacks like the 2017 bombing at Ariana Grande’s Manchester concert, the killings of 58 people at the Route 91 Harvest festival in Las Vegas later in the year, and the 2016 Pulse Nightclub shootings in Orlando, venue insurance coverage has increasingly included violent acts.

That kind of liability coverage, if it is to cover terrorist activity, according to Tempkins, must fall under the dictates of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act, signed into law in 2002, which is specific in what is and what is not defined as a terrorist act. “This doesn’t cover the fear of terrorism, but the actual threat of terrorism,” he said.

Under this definition, America has not experienced a full-on terrorist attack at a live venue. The Las Vegas shootings do not qualify because they were not judged to have been committed to coerce U.S. citizens or influence U.S. government policy.

So, while drone attacks represent one of the latest extremes in risk for today’s venue operators, security precautions have certainly improved, and promise to get even better with such technology as facial recognition software built into ticket sales.

“You can’t walk into a concert today like you did just five years ago,” said Tempkins. “With metal detectors, open bag policies and pat-downs, it’s a lot different. These days, the rules are very specific. … You can bring in a blanket but not a chair; a rain poncho, not an umbrella; and so on.”


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OPENING NUMBER
 
Posted: 26 Jan 2019, 10:00 pm

Rock legend and former Pink Floyd member Roger Waters completed his Us + Them tour early in December, capping a two-decade stretch of global touring. Here are some highlights from the box office totals reported to Pollstar in that time, compiled by Bob Allen.

$835 million
Total sales from major worldwide solo tours by Waters stretching back 20 years.

4
Tours included in that stretch: In the Flesh (1999-2000, 2002), The Dark Side of the Moon Live (2006-08), The Wall Live (2010-13) and Us + Them (2017-18)

$460 million
Total gross from The Wall Live tour, when Waters performed the classic Pink Floyd album in its entirety. It still ranks among the highest-grossing tours of all time and sold 4.1 million tickets.

220
Performances on The Wall Live tour.

$228 million
The overall gross from the just completed Us + Them tour, which sold 2.2 million tickets for 150 performances.

$37.9 million
Top box office gross from the 20-year stretch, collected during a nine-show stint in 2012 at River Plate Stadium in Buenos Aires during The Wall Live tour. The run sold more than 430,000 tickets.

$10.4 million
Waters’ top European gross during the past 20 years, from a six-night run at London’s O2 Arena in 2011, also during The Wall Live.

$7.3 million
Highest gross in a North American venue during the same time period, from two sold-out performances at Yankee Stadium in New York City in 2012.


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POLLSTAR LIVE! PREVIEW: TALKING INDUSTRY ISSUES WITH PANELISTS
 
Posted: 26 Jan 2019, 10:00 pm

Oak View Group co-founder Tim Leiweke, Garth Brooks, Ticketmaster CEO Jared Smith and Bridgestone Arena’s David Kells at the 2018 Pollstar Live! conference. (Waterproof Pictures)

When Pollstar Live! 2019 convenes Feb. 11-13 at The Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, Calif., plenty of topics in the live performance industry will be up for discussion, among them touring, ticketing and adjusting to a marketplace that never stops evolving. We spoke to three expert panel members for a taste of the insights they’ll be adding to the conversation.

DG_Headshot_200_140_121718.jpgDavid Goldberg
Senior Adviser, TPG Growth
Panel: Challenges Faced In Global Ticketing

What is global ticketing’s biggest challenge currently?
Lack of uniformity. In the U.S., you can tour independently and be confident that at least a certain number of venues are going to be Ticketmaster venues, some are going to be AXS venues. By and large there’s a commonality, even if you go to Ticketfly or Etix or wherever — how you do at box offices, how settlements occur, how audits are reported. In some markets, in say Western Europe or Australia, you might have things very similar to how they operate in the U.S. But in most other parts of the world, you’ve got a lot of homegrown ticketing companies and ticketing systems.

What do you see as global ticketing’s biggest opportunity currently?
Everybody is starting to take cues from what artists appear to like to be doing in the States or maybe Western Europe. It used to be fan club presales, now oftentimes it’s VIP programs, it’s dynamic pricing, it’s a number of things that clearly the U.S. always tends to lead on.

Blockchain is a technology with such serious potential. Why do you think it hasn’t become the underlying standard in the industry?
Blockchain is a specific standard that isn’t necessarily necessary. Blockchain is attempting to ensure the provenance of an item that an end user — or anyone somewhere along the chain — ends up in control of, so that the provenance from the original issuer to whoever the holder is at any given time can be insured. That can be done in lots of ways beyond blockchain as the technology protocol. Is it a very good system for ensuring that provenance? Absolutely. Is it the only system that’s capable of insuring that provenance? Not at all.

As smartphones have become increasingly integrated with our daily lives, what’s your analysis of how mobile technology has impacted ticketing?
I think it’s actually impacted it faster outside the U.S. For instance, in India, people don’t use desktop internet. People interact with what we think is the web almost solely on mobile devices. That’s how people are consuming. It brings about certain challenges. What has happened is SMS ticketing, mobile barcodes, mobile access, as well as just the initial transactions and marketing that people learn about events from is almost solely done on mobile devices. The idea of sitting at a computer and transacting to buy tickets, in India and a lot of other countries, is just an anomaly.
 

MikeMarquis-photo-8795OFFWHITE_200_140-credit-RJ-Lewis.jpgMike Marquis
Agent, Paradigm Talent Agency
Panel: Living In A Post-Warped World: What’s Next?

How did Warped Tour impact the careers of the artists you represent?
It impacted them immensely. I know a lot of bands that got started on Warped Tour. And then a lot of bands that felt they should do it every two to three years just to continue connecting with the young audience and make sure that they were relevant still. The Maine and Mayday Parade, who are two of my clients, are bands that always valued it to make them feel like they had the ears of the fresh 16-year-olds who were just starting to get into punk or emo. There was such a brand with the tour and so many kids that are die-hard Warped Tour attendees that don’t even necessarily care who’s playing, they’re just going to go because it’s a staple.

Warped_The_Maine_300_Getty_983172982.jpg

John O’Callaghan of The Maine performs during a stop by the Vans Warped Tour at Shoreline Amphitheater last year. (Getty Images)

How do you think Warped Tour’s absence will impact the careers of the bands who played it and the commercial viability of the genre of music it promoted?
If every band that would’ve done the Warped Tour tries to do their own tour that is going to be really hard, trying to divide the audience up into 20 different shows. If artists can figure out creative ways to package and do something that’s worth talking about and has an X-factor that makes those fans attracted to the show, I think it’ll be fine.

Do you think that traveling festivals have a future?
I think something comparable can and will arise. I don’t know if it gets to the same scale. I don’t know if it becomes 40 dates and seven or eight stages. But traveling festivals with that kind of music, yeah, I do. I also think there’s more and more artist-curated events.

Your client Jack Antonoff curates New Jersey’s Shadow of the City festival. Is the festival market gravitating toward those niche experiences?
I think they’re doing well and people like those kinds of festivals because the vision is honest and unique and speaks to something that people want to take part in. Whereas all the “big festivals” are homogenized just booking all the same talent. Ninety percent of the bill is artists that are also playing two or three other festivals, at a minimum. That’s a lower-tier fan on that. Whereas the artist-curated ones speak to something more specific. And the artists that do it right, I think there’s something special about them because the effort and the work comes through and I think fans realize that too.
 

2012_ALEX_200_140.jpgAlex Hodges
CEO, Nederlander Concerts
Panel: ‘The Great Slump of ‘09’ – What We Learned 10 Years On (And How Do We Stop It From Happening Again?)

Can you speak to how the recession in 2008 and 2009 impacted the live music sphere?
It was a worldwide recession. It was really dramatic. You have to look to your local economy and how it affected your business. And it affected us dramatically in Los Angeles and Orange County and so forth. It was a big hit. In particular, the Greek Theatre probably had a few more cancellations in ’09 and ’10 as tours weren’t necessarily holding up on a cross-the-country basis. And even if we had a good day, if the tour’s not holding up, they may cancel the whole tour, which means even if we had a successful day, we would lose a show. We did some things to try to adjust. Ticket pricing and being careful and a whole host of things. But it was pretty dramatic. You felt lucky that you had enough staying power to move forward into the new year.

How did the 2009 downturn compare to other downturns you’ve seen in the concert industry over your career?
You could always see it and feel it in your ticket counts if there was an energy crisis, whether it be gasoline price or home air conditioning in the summer or heating in the winter, you could always see that there was some trending that seemed to correlate to some energy crisis or period of spikes and high gas prices or spikes or not enough supply or whatever for propane. Whatever elements of energy goes for heating and for the pocketbook, for the bill. Nobody escapes heating and power issues. Generally, I have seen economic questions come into play and dampen ticket sales. Without question. I’ve never personally experienced anything like 2009 and 2010. That was just unbelievable.

What developments did the industry institute to right the ship?
As companies and concert promoters face any troubling moment, it’s not that they overreact — I wouldn’t say people overreact — but they’re struggling to find some kind of magic solution, whether it’s discounting tickets or discounting several shows or discounting on a venue every show. A big company could discount across the board, across the country and do massive amounts of media impact to discounting tickets. That can have a good effect of a spike igniting the interest and it could have a negative effect otherwise. 

For more on the Pollstar Live! 2019 conference, go to https://www.pollstar.live.


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TALKING POINTS: KEITH SHELDON
 
Posted: 26 Jan 2019, 10:00 pm

Sheldon oversees booking at Barclays Center and NYCB Live: Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum and will help reopen Webster Hall this spring. (Courtesy BSE Global)

College: Bucknell University, Lewisburg, Pa.; Brooklyn Law School.

First job in the industry: When I was 13 years old I booked and managed private parties and events at a children’s indoor play space in my hometown.

Favorite part of the job: I love being creative and entrepreneurial to source content opportunities for our venues.

Least favorite part of the job: Early morning meetings after marathon concert nights.

Favorite mentors: My dad; Chuck Steedman (COO, AEG Facilities); and Brett Yormark (CEO, BSE Global and Brooklyn Nets).

Best advice received: “Look at a stonecutter hammering away at his rock, perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred-and-first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not the last blow that did it, but all that had gone before.”

Favorite live event attended: The Kentucky Derby.

Biggest career achievement: I’m particularly proud of the friendships and relationships I’ve been able to build.

Best day on the job: My best memories are of the events I’ve been able to enjoy with my family in attendance.

Worst day on the job: Anytime we don’t live up to the high expectations we set for ourselves with the guest or an artist’s team.


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ATLANTA OFFERS UNIQUE SUPER BOWL CAMPUS
 
Posted: 26 Jan 2019, 10:00 pm

Mercedes-Benz Stadium anchors the compact campus that will welcome fans to Super Bowl LIII in downtown Atlanta. (Getty Images)

The concentrated activity around Mercedes-Benz Stadium ahead of Super Bowl LIII on Feb. 3 offers an atypical take on prepping not only for fan experiences but also for the logistics of the grand event.

The stadium opened in August 2017 in downtown Atlanta adjacent to a wealth of other attractions. That has allowed Populous, organizers of the Super Bowl game and accompanying activities, the opportunity to create a Super Bowl campus that places all activities in the same vicinity but also creates some problems to solve.

“We have so much activity (that’s) going to be taking place on the stadium campus (that) it is something that is not normal,” said Populous’ Todd Barnes, the director of the Super Bowl game day project. “It is more difficult. There are more logistical challenges in terms of staging equipment on the site.”

Barnes juxtaposed this year’s setup with what they’ll see next year at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla., where the stadium sits far from downtown, breaking up the fan experience aspect of the weeklong event away from the stadium. This year, though, fans will flock to the venue for the free Super Bowl Live fan village at Centennial Olympic Park and the ticketed Super Bowl Experience event inside the Georgia World Congress Center, all while contractor crews stage final preparations for the Feb. 3 event.

But come Super Bowl Sunday, that large campus and the oversized perimeter it creates should turn into a benefit for security and crowd flow.

This year’s campus will incorporate the stadium, the convention center and State Farm Arena, a venue that will hold the media day activities, and will abut Centennial Olympic Park. With the stadium tucked into the back of the campus, Barnes said, a nice separation exists between the front-of-house areas for fans and the back of house, especially with an underground service area and loading dock. Still, though, expect a mixture of setups, displays and activations in the front of house making it difficult during the prep stage for contractors to create the compound needed for Super Bowl operations.

In terms of siting the Super Bowl Live event, it will face the city side of the venue, creating an overall crowd flow that has fans accessing venue sites and activations away from the bulk of the preparation work. That doesn’t mean there aren’t challenges in the creation of everything from the media center to hospitality zones to the NFL Tailgate Party to operational functions.

Normally the back-of-house space for everything from broadcast compounds to security stretches up to 700,000 square feet. “That space is just not here on this site,” Barnes said. Instead, they have commandeered neighboring parking lots — but some more than 2,000 feet away — to help with staging, requiring contractors to work off-site before bringing equipment and materials on-site to complete the build-outs. “It has been a different way for us to understand how to work,” he said.

When it comes to Super Bowl Sunday, the Super Bowl Live event, a free fan-facing activation open the entire week leading to the game, will close. Barnes hopes that will help persuade fans without tickets to stay home.

With a large secure perimeter, Barnes said, multiple ticket checks will turn away those not trying to make their way toward the game. Populous also devised a unique pattern of checkpoints, different from those of a typical Falcons game. By having the Super Bowl Experience within the secure perimeter, they hope to attract fans to the venue earlier.

“The goal is to try to have fans arrive to the stadium site earlier in the day to help spread the crowd flow,” he said. With stadium gates open for four hours before game time, anything that can spread the load of fans into the perimeter helps ease the process. By using the Georgia World Congress Center for a larger hospitality area, the event has more game day hospitality inside the stadium perimeter than in the past, which will also attract fans to the site earlier.

The Atlanta Falcons have turned the site where the Georgia Dome once stood into the Home Depot Backyard, all within the secure perimeter, which will serve as an oversized game day plaza for the Super Bowl, full of fan activations.

Barnes said they hope that by an hour to an hour and a half after gates open they are pushing a third of the overall population into the perimeter. “It would be great if that can happen,” he said.

Populous will continue to develop crowd-flow modeling to make projections for different hours of the load-in to understand limitations and weak points and accommodate problems that may arise. “And with a Super Bowl,” he said, “they always do.”


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GIVING THE PEOPLE WHAT THEY WANT
 
Posted: 26 Jan 2019, 10:00 pm

Purdue University began looking at upgrades for Ross-Ade Stadium four years ago. (Courtesy Elevate Sports Ventures)

Purdue University has hired Elevate Sports Ventures to conduct a comprehensive study tied to renovating Ross-Ade Stadium, the Big Ten school’s football venue.

The market research initiative recently began when Elevate started surveying tens of thousands of Purdue football season-ticket holders, donors, corporate clients, single-game buyers and students, said Al Guido, the agency’s CEO and president of the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers, one of Elevate’s owners.

Purdue officials announced the deal in mid-January.

The surveys, a series of multiple choice questions covering all aspects of fan experience, will be distributed by email to participants. Afterward, Elevate, in conjunction with Purdue, will set up hundreds of focus group interviews in Chicago, and Indianapolis and on campus in West Lafayette, Ind.

The goal is to learn which upgrades stakeholders would like to see at the stadium, which opened in 1924 and has undergone multiple renovations over the years. The process should be completed over the next four months, Guido said.

The new study comes about four years after the school’s previous athletic director, Morgan Burke, hired sports architect Populous to complete a master plan for upgrading Ross-Ade Stadium. At that time, the focus was on expanding the south end zone, projected to cost $90 million, and the university surveyed about 5,000 season-ticket holders and members of the John Purdue Club, a donor group.

Burke retired in 2017, and new AD Mike Bobinski and his staff decided to take a step back and research the possibility of renovating other parts of the stadium beyond the south end zone. The school issued a proposal for the study last year and hired Elevate.

“A few years ago, there were some things that we thought we wanted to do, but when our new leadership team got around the table, that’s when we looked at each other and wondered what our fans want to see,” said Tom Moreland, Purdue’s associate athletic director of strategic initiatives.

“Do they want to see premium seating in the south end zone?” Moreland said. “Expanded concourses? Improved ingress and egress? That’s where we hit pause. (The study) will drive the Populous design. We’re going to unilaterally work through this process and get all that input from our fan base.”

Purdue_fans_300_CFJ_1457.jpgPurdue University and Elevate Sports Ventures want to hear what fans have to say about the future of Ross-Ade Stadium. (Courtesy Elevate Sports Ventures)

Moon Javaid, the 49ers’ vice president of strategy and analytics, and Thomas Bernstein, a new Elevate hire, will head the study, organize the focus groups and analyze the data. The agency has already had a few meetings with Purdue and it has office space on campus, Moreland said.

Populous; owner’s representative Chris Nations, head of the Nations Group; and The Aspire Group, the agency selling season tickets for Purdue football and basketball, are also involved in the effort.

Elevate and Aspire compete in the college ticketing space, but in this case they’re working together to help determine the scope of Ross-Ade Stadium renovations, construction costs and funding sources.

“This is a totally different role for us,” Guido said. “We respect the fact that Purdue has Aspire and is happy with their performance. Our job is to knock (the study) out of the park and if there’s any conversation after that (on the sales side), there’s no question we would be willing to have it.”

Purdue officials first crossed paths with Elevate at the 2017 Foster Farms Bowl at Levi’s Stadium, home of the 49ers, when the Boilermakers defeated Arizona 38-35. Purdue coach Jeff Brohm is a former 49ers quarterback, which provided a further connection. At that time, Guido informed Moreland of the pending launch of Elevate Sports Ventures in 2018.  Besides the 49ers, Elevate’s owners are Harris Blitzer Sports and Entertainment, Live Nation/Ticketmaster and Oak View Group, parent company of VenuesNow.

“After we had that leadership meeting about designing with a fan-centric approach, I asked him to give us a presentation on how we could do that together,” Moreland said.

Ross-Ade Stadium has 57,236 seats. The facility has undergone several renovations over the past 20 years, including a $70 million expansion completed in 2003. Three years later, the school added a new videoboard. The south end zone patio, an outdoor hospitality space, opened in 2014.

The time is right to study future stadium improvements, officials said. In Brohm’s first two years, Purdue football attendance has grown from an average of 34,000 to 51,000. Brohm returns for a third season in West Lafayette after considering an offer to coach Louisville, his alma mater.

“They got (Brohm) to stay,” Guido said. “He was a really hot commodity in the marketplace. This is a great time for the university.”


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WILL CONVENTION CENTERS LOOK TO NAMING RIGHTS?
 
Posted: 26 Jan 2019, 10:00 pm

The Lansing Center is situated in the Michigan city’s Stadium District next to the Grand River downtown. (Courtesy LEPFA)

The Lansing (Mich.) Center is searching for a corporate naming-rights sponsor, adding one more convention center to a small list that have looked for such partnerships.

Last month, the city announced its desire to work with a naming-rights partner under a 10-year, $1.5 million deal that includes corporate branding on the convention center. The city owns the 270,000-square-foot center, and last year 250,000 people attended 320 events at the venue.

Lansing Mayor Andy Schor looks forward to the financial stability a sponsor would provide. “If we can find a dedicated revenue source that’s not taxpayer dollars, then we’re interested,” he said.

Not many convention centers across the nation have sought naming-rights deals in the last 20 years, but it could become more popular as time goes on, said Eric Smallwood, president of St. Clair, Mich.-based Apex Marketing Group, which was brought in to help find a naming-rights sponsor for the Lansing Center.

“It’s a growing trend as a way to align a brand with a convention center. The value can be attributed to not only putting a sign out there. … It’s an integrated program unlike other advertising opportunities out there,” Smallwood said.

Convention centers gain exposure through internal and external branding on the building, social media and more, he said.

The Lansing Center is managed by the Lansing Entertainment and Public Facilities Authority, which hired Apex Marketing and M3 Group, a public relations and branding agency, to help with the naming-rights partner search.

“The Lansing Center is a very large part of our downtown. I live downtown, so I get to see firsthand the amazing events there. We can’t wait to see who ends up coming on board,” said Tiffany Dowling, president and CEO of Lansing-based M3 Group, which has worked with LEPFA for about a year now.

LEPFA is a nine-member nonprofit board that also operates the Cooley Law School Stadium and City Market.

The 7,527-seat stadium is home to the Lansing Lugnuts, a Class A minor league baseball team. It has a naming-rights deal worth $1.5 million over 10 years with the law school that will expire in 2020. City Market is a large urban market, and all three venues sit along the Grand River and a major interstate in downtown Lansing.

According to the city, the three venues had a $81 million economic impact on downtown Lansing during the 2017 fiscal year.

“Convention centers are a place of business, and there’s a lot of attraction for branding,” said Scott Keith, president and CEO of LEPFA. “We’re looking to grow. It’s been 12 years since our last renovations.”

Specifically, Keith said the venue needs a new marquee, improved Wi-Fi and upgrades to its interior decor. “We need to refresh our look and feel,” he said.

The Lansing Center is not the only convention center in the market. The convention board in Memphis, Tenn., reportedly decided last month to explore selling naming rights to the Memphis Cook Convention Center.

Among the precedents for such a deal: In 2015, the Cleveland Convention Center searched for a naming-rights partner, a deal that belongs to Huntington Bank after the financial institution acquired FirstMerit Bank, which originally landed the sponsorship deal for $10 million over 20 years.

In Lansing, several corporations have reached out to LEPFA and Apex Marketing about partnering with the Lansing Center, Smallwood said, but he declined to give names.

“They all have a large presence in Michigan,” he said. “Ninety-eight percent of naming-rights deals are going to have a large corporate presence within a 30-mile radius of a venue.”

Smallwood worked for Comcast Spectacor for several years as a senior vice president helping with naming-rights deals and understands the intricacies that go into the process. It’s a process he thinks other facilities will embark on, especially when they read about sponsor deals in the press.

Anytime a new convention center naming-rights deal gets media coverage, “they’re going to think about it,” he said.


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GREEN ROOM
 
Posted: 26 Jan 2019, 10:00 pm

Leno_590.jpgStand-up comedian and former “Tonight Show” host Jay Leno at an appearance at the RP Funding Center in Lakeland, Fla., on Jan. 5. From left: Jason Refermat, marketing direc-
tor; Scott Sloman, assistant director; Leno; and Tony Camarillo, executive director.
(Courtesy RP Funding Center)

Obama_590.JPGFormer first lady Michelle Obama with BSE Global’s Keith Sheldon (left), EVP of program-
ming and development, and Brett Yormark, CEO. She brought her “Becoming” book tour to Barclays Center on Dec. 19 for its second sold-out night in Brooklyn. (Courtesy BSE Global)


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MANAGEMENT
 
Posted: 26 Jan 2019, 10:00 pm

Move of the Month

Meg_Winchester_140_Headshot.jpgMeg Winchester joined Visit Spokane as president and CEO. Winchester was director at the Galveston (Texas) Island Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Tourism is a $1.3 billion-dollar industry in greater Spokane, so her understanding and experience will be invaluable,” said Matt Jensen, Visit Spokane board chair. During her tenure in Galveston, Winchester led her team through 2008’s Hurricane Ike, which devastated the region. She was instrumental in rebuilding and increasing tourism revenue and visitation year over year.

Group One Ltd. named Bryan Bradley president. Bradley was senior vice president and general manager of the Americas for Harman Professional Solutions.

Comcast Spectacor named Valerie Camillo president of business operations for the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers and Wells Fargo Center. Camillo was chief revenue and marketing officer for Major League Baseball’s Washington Nationals.

Stephen Collins will join Oak View Group as chief operating officer in July. Collins is chief operating officer of Chase Center in San Francisco. OVG named Jeff Nickler senior vice president of its Arena Alliance. Nickler was general manager at the SMG-managed BOK Center in Tulsa, Okla.

Oak View Group Facilities named Scott Zimmerman general manager of the UPMC Events Center, under construction on the campus of Robert Morris University. Zimmerman was director of booking at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh.

Red Tail Entertainment named David Denson vice president of Red Tail Productions. Denson was director of programming for Dallas’ AT&T Performing Arts Center.

Live Nation named Brittany Flores president of Miami and Neil Jacobsen president of Tampa/Orlando, both for its U.S. Concerts division. Jacobsen will also assume the role of chief operating officer of Florida. Arthur Mroczek was named vice president of nontraditional entertainment for U.S. concerts.

Events @ No 6 named Aidan Kelly general manager, Andrew Finch head chef and Kit Gallagher sales and marketing manager.

SMG Promotions has hired Jamey Hines as national director. Hines was general manager of the Sands Bethlehem (Pa.) Event Center. 

Altona promoted Blake Jochum to territory manager for Florida.

Liz Johnson joined Visit Seattle as a tourism manager in the international tourism department. Johnson was a Seattle-based account manager for global sales at Icelandair.

L-Acoustics named Scott Sugden product manager. Marcus Ross becomes head of application and Vic Wagner application engineer, both for U.S. and Canada touring.

Steve Tadlock was hired as executive vice president and general manager of Banc of California Stadium. Tadlock was a regional vice president of stadiums, arenas and theaters for SMG based in Fresno, Calif. Banc of California Stadium Entertainment named Jill Przelenski vice president of special event sales and Brian Smith event director. Przelenski was in sales and client development for Star Waggons, and Smith was in event and festival management with SMG Worldwide.

The Baltimore Convention Center named Krystine St. Michael Bussiere director of sales and marketing. She was the national sales manager for the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford.

Passings

Larry_Rogers_139.jpgLarry N. Rogers, 76, former general manager of the Augusta-Richmond County Civic Center (now James Brown Arena/Augusta Entertainment Complex) in Augusta, Ga., and other Southeastern arenas and theaters, Dec. 14 at University Hospital in Augusta. Rogers retired in 2006 after his second stint as GM in Augusta. He also held positions at civic centers in Roanoke, Va.; Huntsville, Ala.; Huntington, W.Va.; and Statesville, N.C.

 


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Super Bowl Live Finds Fit In Atlanta
 
Posted: 26 Jan 2019, 3:00 pm

CeeLo Green performs with Goodie Mob at Super Bowl Live in Atlanta. They were part of Monday's music lineup, which paid tribute to the city's hip-hop scene. (Getty Images) 

This year’s Super Bowl Live, which begins Saturday in downtown Atlanta’s Centennial Olympic Park, brings fans to the doorstep of the Super Bowl campus.

The event serves as the “first beacon as you approach the stadium,” said Bobby Sloan, event manager for Populous, the firm that organized and designed the event for the NFL. Super Bowl Live is filling roughly 80 percent of the park near the site of the Super Bowl LIII, Mercedes-Benz Stadium, with free activities for fans.

The event runs on six days, from Saturday through Feb. 2, taking Tuesday and Wednesday off.

Super Bowl Live faces a different set of logistic challenges each year. Last year, in Minneapolis, the crew not only set up in the tight Nicollet Mall footprint in the heart of the city but also dealt with frigid temps. This year, the park opened up options for the event’s design, but the unpredictable nature of winter in Atlanta played heavily into the design of the space.

Sloan said the team had planned for Super Bowl Live since July, thinking through what it would mean to get a 20-degree day, a 70-degree day or a day full of rain, and how that should determine the organization of the event inside the park. To accommodate, they opted for two 164-foot-wide tents, one to house the main stage, VIP decks and general concert viewing and the other to house the main food hall and NFL team houses.

A variety of programming fills each of the eight days, anchored by the musical acts, each with a theme such as hip-hop, country or electric dance music.

Locating in the park was a natural fit for Super Bowl Live. The space has hosted fan-friendly events for major city sporting events in the past, starting with the 1996 Summer Olympics, for which it was built.

Sloan said it sets up nicely for a concert-led events. The park slopes south to north, creating a natural amphitheater. Recent renovations to the park also create more green space and improve pedestrian flow.

With that in mind, Sloan said locating the Verizon Up Main Stage in the traditional home for stages within the park served as the lynchpin for the rest of the design. “The main stage is the key and the heart of it,” he said. Super Bowl Live includes a second stage themed to look like a large boom box and to pay homage to the Atlanta music scene. An artist cube will feature live art demonstrations, a third key landing point for visitors.

NFL-sponsored areas, sponsor activations and food and beverage options fill out the event. “There are a lot of cool, different experiences as you work your way around the park,” Sloan said. “It should be engaging for a few hours.”

Sloan said once the team identified the stage location, it took the idea of Atlanta’s neighborhoods to heart, using that theory to zone the park. “A lot of thought went into how to experience the flow, but more in a way for it to be a nice organic experience for fans to flow around and stumble upon different things they may not have known were there,” he said.

The tenting situation offers a backup plan in case of bad weather but also creates a more intimate environment around the main stage. “If we have weather, it hubs everyone around there,” Sloan said. “On days it is warm, it still allows for a free flow and openness that you can get and still experience everything in the park.”


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HOT TICKETS: JAN. 24, 2019
 
Posted: 23 Jan 2019, 1:45 pm

The marquee at the Beacon Theatre in New York City advertises one of the sold-out Pentatonix performances in December. (Getty Images)

Pentatonix led the way in the smallest Hot Tickets category with a four-show run at the Beacon Theatre in New York City, grossing nearly $930,000 and drawing 10,846. Top ticket price was $155.50.

In the lead spot of the top capacity category, a tribute concert for the late Chris Cornell, former lead singer of Soundgarden, grossed a little more than $2.6 million. The show took place Jan. 16 at the Forum in Inglewood, Calif.

HOT TICKETS is a weekly summary of the top events and ticket sales as reported to VN Pulse via Pollstar. Following are the top 20 concerts and events, the top 5 in each capacity category, that took place Dec. 18-Jan. 22.

More Than 15,000 Capacity

10,001-15,000 Capacity

5,001-10,000
Capacity

5,000 or Less
Capacity

1) I Am The Highway: A Tribute to Chris Cornell
Gross Sales:
$2,602,894; Venue: Forum, Inglewood, Calif.; Attendance: 13,179; Ticket Range: $75.50-$356.50; Promoter: Live Nation; Dates: Jan. 16; No. of Shows: 1

2) Travis Scott
Gross Sales: $2,602,392; Venue: Forum, Inglewood, Calif.; Attendance: 32,487; Ticket Range: $29.95-$204.95; Promoter: Live Nation; Dates: Dec. 19-20; No. of Shows: 2

3) Justin Timberlake
Gross Sales: $2,211,727; Venue: State Farm Arena, Atlanta; Attendance: 14,567; Ticket Range: $53.50-$254; Promoter: In-house Promotion, Live Nation Global Touring; Dates: Jan. 10; No. of Shows: 1

4) Ozzfest
Gross Sales: $1,219,740; Venue: Forum, Inglewood, Calif.; Attendance: 12,465; Ticket Range: $59.50-$179.50; Promoter: Live Nation; Dates: Dec. 31; No. of Shows: 1

5) Travis Scott
Gross Sales: $921,508; Venue: Talking Stick Resort Arena, Phoenix; Attendance: 15,282; Ticket Range: $45.20-$125.95; Promoter: Live Nation; Dates: Dec. 18; No. of Shows: 1

1) “Walking With Dinosaurs”
Gross Sales: $785,945; Venue: 3Arena, Dublin; Attendance: 16,892; Ticket Range: $41.74-$55.65; Promoter: MCD Productions; Dates: Dec. 19-23; No. of Shows: 6

2) André Rieu
Gross Sales: $357,224; Venue: SAP Arena, Mannheim, Germany; Attendance: 4,010; Ticket Range: $44.63-$135.04; Promoter: André Rieu Productions; Dates: Jan. 16; No. of Shows: 1

3) Mike Epps
Gross Sales: $301,564; Venue: Chaifetz Arena, St. Louis; Attendance: 4,252; Ticket Range: $49-$99; Promoter: North American Entertainment Group; Dates: Dec. 29; No. of Shows: 1

4) “Disney in Concert”
Gross Sales: $286,800; Venue: Hallenstadion, Zürich; Attendance: 3,213; Ticket Range: $57.72-$133.19; Promoter: In-house Promotion, Act Entertainment; Dates: Dec. 20; No. of Shows: 1

5) Fastlove – A Tribute to George Michael
Gross Sales: $75,883; Venue: 3Arena, Dublin; Attendance: 1,551; Ticket Range: $39.18-$50.03; Promoter: In-house Promotion; Dates: Dec. 29; No. of Shows: 1

1) “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas”
Gross Sales: $1,941,494; Venue: Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden, New York; Attendance: 34,964; Ticket Range: $39-$170; Promoter: In-House; Dates: Dec. 26-30; No. of Shows: 11

2) “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas”
Gross Sales: $1,898,743; Venue: Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden, New York; Attendance: 29,796; Ticket Range: $39-$170; Promoter: In-House; Dates: Dec. 19-23; No. of Shows: 9

3) Jorge & Mateus
Gross Sales: $486,228; Venue: Citibank Hall, São Paulo; Attendance: 13,740; Ticket Range: $8.55-$103.61; Promoter: T4F-Time For Fun; Dates: Dec. 21-23; No. of Shows: 3

4) Gabriel Iglesias
Gross Sales: $428,664; Venue: ICC Sydney Theatre, Sydney; Attendance: 7,912; Ticket Range: $57.41-$71.76; Promoter: Adrian Bohm Presents; Dates: Jan. 12; No. of Shows: 1

5) “Dancing With The Stars”
Gross Sales: $394,823; Venue: Radio City Music Hall, New York; Attendance: 5,730; Ticket Range: $44.50-$99.50; Promoter: In-House, The Bowery Presents / AEG Presents; Dates: Jan. 15; No. of Shows: 1

1) Pentatonix
Gross Sales: $928,457; Venue: Beacon Theatre, New York; Attendance: 10,846; Ticket Range: $50.50-$155.50; Promoter: In-House, The Bowery Presents / AEG Presents; Dates: Dec. 18-22; No. of Shows: 4

2) Chris Rock
Gross Sales: $450,161; Venue: Hard Rock Live at the Event Center, Hollywood, Fla.; Attendance: 4,515; Ticket Range: $60-$175; Promoter: In-House; Dates: Jan. 5; No. of Shows: 1

3) “Dancing With The Stars”
Gross Sales: $173,960; Venue: Altria Theater, Richmond, Va.; Attendance: 2,625; Ticket Range: $57.50-$77.50; Promoter: In-house Promotion, NS2; Dates: Jan. 2; No. of Shows: 1

4) “Dancing With The Stars”
Gross Sales: $159,135; Venue: Charleston (W.Va.) Municipal Auditorium; Attendance: 2,348; Ticket Range: $49.50-$79.50; Promoter: NS2; Dates: Dec. 27; No. of Shows: 1

5) “Hip Hop Nutcracker”
Gross Sales: $156,478; Venue: Altria Theater, Richmond, Va.; Attendance: 3,306; Ticket Range: $35-$65; Promoter: In-house Promotion, Red Tail Entertainment; Dates: Dec. 30; No. of Shows: 1

The weekly Hot Tickets chart is compiled by Pollstar. For more information, email Teamboxoffice@pollstar.com or click here to submit your Box Office data now.

 


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Aramark Getting Broncos Food Deal
 
Posted: 23 Jan 2019, 9:00 am

Aramark's new general concessions deal at Broncos Stadium at Mile High in Denver will include some nonexclusive catering at Sports Legends Mall, a tailgating area. (Getty Images)

Aramark is taking over general concessions at Broncos Stadium at Mile High, confirmed Chris Bigelow, the consultant hired by the Denver Broncos to help them select a food provider.

Local caterer Epicurean serves the stadium’s 144 suites, and premium dining is not part of Aramark’s agreement. Epicurean’s deal expires March 31, 2021, according to the request for proposal issued jointly by the NFL’s Broncos and the Metropolitan Football Stadium District, their landlord.

Bigelow deferred further comment to Jay Roberts, Broncos Stadium’s general manager. Roberts did not return an email to discuss the switch. Matt Sugar, the district’s director of stadium affairs, did not return an email for comment.

In a direct message sent through Twitter, Carl Mittleman, president of Aramark Sports & Entertainment, said, “Unfortunately, I can’t share anything at this time.”

Philadelphia-based Aramark replaces Centerplate, which had been in place since the stadium opened in 2001. The transition will take place in February, sources familiar with the agreement said.

Aramark already has a relationship with the Broncos. The vendor runs the team’s merchandise at the stadium and cleans the building through its facility services group. In addition, Aramark has a strong presence elsewhere in the Denver market. It runs concessions and premium dining at both Coors Field and Dick’s Sporting Goods Park and concessions at Pepsi Center.

Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, Pepsi Center’s owner, is going through the same process at the home of the NBA’s Denver Nuggets and the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche.

Aramark’s new agreement runs up to 10 years with two five-year options, according to the Broncos’ request for proposal, issued in August. The contract terms are a mix of commissions and a split of net profits paid to the team, although the team will consider alternative proposals, as spelled out in the RFP.

Innovation using technology, value pricing to reward season-ticket holders and faster service, “even with the severe employee shortages of the metro area,” were among the issues the Broncos want to resolve, the document said.

The concessions deal covers some nonexclusive catering at two tailgating areas: Sports Legends Mall, a green space on the stadium’s south end, and the Mile High Monument in a parking lot.

Broncos Stadium has 74,231 seats, excluding suites. The team has sold out every home game since 1970 and has a wait list of 70,000 fans for season tickets, the proposal said. The no-show rate is historically less than 8 percent.

The Broncos are Aramark’s 11th NFL food account.

For Centerplate, it’s the loss of another NFL account, following the San Francisco 49ers, Tennessee Titans, Minnesota Vikings and Washington Redskins, all of whom switched to competitors to run food operations at their stadiums over the past five years. Centerplate remains the food provider at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome (New Orleans Saints), Lucas Oil Stadium (Indianapolis Colts) and Hard Rock Stadium (Miami Dolphins).

Centerplate is part of Sodexo, which bought its former competitor for $675 million in 2017.


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VenuWorks Puts On A Show
 
Posted: 16 Jan 2019, 1:00 pm

The VenuWorks Theatricals production of "Noel: The Musical" played a 21-date tour running up to the holidays. (Courtesy VenuWorks Theatricals)

Facility management veteran Steve Peters has immersed himself in the business of live theater.

VenuWorks Theatricals, a spinoff of VenuWorks, the Iowa-based building management firm that Peters owns, recently completed a run of “Noel: The Musical,” its first touring production in the three years since Peters formed the subsidiary.

The 21-date tour, which ran Nov. 17 through Dec. 17, played seven theaters run by VenuWorks among the 15 total venues, including the Rialto Square Theatre in Joliet, Ill.; Topeka (Kan.) Performing Arts Center; and Stephens Auditorium in Ames, Iowa, which is part of Iowa State University’s campus.

The theatrical group essentially serves as another content provider for the dozen theaters VenuWorks operates, spanning 500 to 2,700 seats. All told, the facility management firm runs 40 arenas, theaters, convention centers and outdoor venues, most in secondary markets across the Midwest.

InHouse Booking, a New York agency, routed the tour. Jam Theatricals of Chicago booked the musical for five dates at the Pioneer Center in Reno, Nev., a historic 1,500-seat performing arts center, the longest run of the tour.

Peters formed VenuWorks Theatricals in January 2016 in a partnership with Michael Londra, a Broadway performer from Ireland whose own show, Michael Londra and the Celtic Fire, has toured the world. Londra, originally from Wexford, Ireland, a seaside village situated in the country’s southeast corner, originally came to the U.S. as the voice of “Riverdance” as a tenor and narrator, according to Peters.

Peters first met Londra through some friends in Ames, where Londra now lives. Peters and Londra started talking, clicked right away and decided to go in business together with VenuWorks Theatricals.

“I had an interest in being involved in theatrical production and thinking about how we can create more product for our own theaters,” Peters said. “I had already done some investing in New York in shows. I was co-producer on ‘You Can’t Take It With You’ with James Earl Jones. That show played in the fall of 2014 and was Tony-nominated for best revival. That’s sort of where it all started.”

“Noel: The Musical,” was written by best-selling author Eoin Colfer, whose Artemis Fowl book character has been turned into a Disney movie scheduled for release in August. “Noel” is the story of a young girl who is preparing for her first starring role in her school’s Christmas play when her mother suddenly disappears. In her effort to find Mom, she encounters a rogue cast of characters who together must discover the magic of Christmas.

The production originated in Ireland. Shortly after they launched VenuWorks Theatricals, Peters traveled overseas with Londra and saw a few “Noel” songs performed at the National Opera House in Wexford, which is part of a circuit for major opera festivals in Europe. At the time, there was no script, but Peters felt he had something solid to work with to develop a touring show for his new company.

Two years ago, the group produced a concert version of “Noel” at the opera house with a large orchestra and a 32-voice chorus, with actors hired to perform in front of the stage. It was well received and a week’s worth of performances sold out, Peters said.

“We took it from there,” he said.

After script revisions, a cast was hired after auditions in New York and Minneapolis. The show’s director, Sam Scalamoni, has directed “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast” as well as the touring production of “Elf.” Choreographer Charlie Sutton is a performer in “Kinky Boots,” another theatrical show.

Then came two weeks of rehearsals in New York, before “Noel: The Musical” debuted Nov. 17, the first of three performances at Ames Center in Burnsville, Minn., a south suburb of Minneapolis-St. Paul and a VenuWorks account.

For VenuWorks buildings in Ames, Cedar Rapids and Davenport, Iowa, the show is part of a subscription series. Ticket prices run $25 to $55 for stand-alone events, which are a “little tougher sell,” Peters said, “but it’s meeting our expectations and we’re happy with what we’re seeing.”

“The curse of doing a holiday show is you only have about five weeks a year to do it,” he said. “The good part is you can bring it back every year. We anticipate doing that for several years. We hope to have a European tour in 2020. We’re visiting with several people over there about putting together for the U.K. and Germany.”

In addition to “Noel,” the group is developing “JFK & Me” and “Ellis Island,” two new productions revolving around the American songbook and families arriving in the U.S. “JFK & Me,” with Londra performing with his band, is expected to tour in 2019, Peters said.

Producing theater is not cheap. For VenuWorks Theatricals, the total investment behind “Noel: The Musical” is approaching seven figures, Peters said. He’s worked in facility management for 43 years, but running a live theater division has opened his eyes for what it takes to operate that piece of the entertainment business.

“I’m like the basketball fan that goes to all the games and says, ‘Heck, I can coach,” Peters said.  “Hey, I run theaters, so I can produce. Well, it isn’t that easy. It’s all the same things we do [as venue managers] but coming from the other direction, whether it’s production management, contracting for set construction, casting for artists and working as a provider through an agency instead of buying shows. It’s been a real learning process.”


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HOT TICKETS: JAN. 17, 2019
 
Posted: 16 Jan 2019, 10:00 am

Justin Timberlake performs onstage at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. (Kevin Winter)

Justin Timberlake is in da house! Resuming his Man of the Woods tour after a forced two-month break due to a bruised vocal cord, pop's biggest male act is back to form and taking over our Hot Tickets chart.

Three stops landed in the Nos. 1, 2 and 3 slots on this week's top capacity chart, proving that Timberlake's lost no steam as a big draw while he was recuperating.

Timberlake grossed $2,518,529 at Spectrum Center in Charlotte, N.C., with attendance of 17,227 and a ticket range of $53-$228.50. His show at Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C., grossed $2,512,845, and his performance at PNC Arena in Raleigh, N.C., grossed $2,341,846. Timberlake's tour is promoted by Live Nation Global Touring.

"Dancing With the Stars,” the stage show that features the dancers from the long-running TV competition, sashayed into three spots on our charts this week.

Two shows at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., claimed No. 2 on the 5,001-10,000-capacity chart with a gross of $514,980 and attendance of 11,444, with an average ticket costing $45. The show was promoted in-house.

The show's stops at Ovens Auditorium in Charlotte and Township Auditorium in Columbia, S.C., took the Nos. 3 and 5 spots among venues with a capacity of 5,000 or less.

HOT TICKETS is a weekly summary of the top events and ticket sales as reported to VN Pulse via Pollstar. Following are the top 20 concerts and events, the top 5 in each capacity category, that took place Dec. 11-Jan. 15.

More Than 15,000 Capacity

10,001-15,000 Capacity

5,001-10,000
Capacity

5,000 or Less
Capacity

1) Justin Timberlake
Gross Sales:
$2,518,529; Venue: Spectrum Center, Charlotte; Attendance: 17,227; Ticket Range: $53-$228.50; Promoter: Live Nation Global Touring; Dates: Jan. 8; No. of Shows: 1

2) Justin Timberlake
Gross Sales: $2,512,845; Venue: Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.; Attendance: 16,621; Ticket Range: $55-$275; Promoter: Live Nation Global Touring; Dates: Jan. 4; No. of Shows: 1

3) Justin Timberlake
Gross Sales: $2,341,846; Venue: PNC Arena, Raleigh, N.C.; Attendance: 18,445; Ticket Range: $49.50-$225; Promoter: Live Nation Global Touring; Dates: Jan. 6; No. of Shows: 1

4) Christine and the Queens
Gross Sales: $1,109,833; Venue: AccorHotels Arena, Paris; Attendance: 22,890; Ticket Range: $48.83-$68.14; Promoter: Corida; Dates: Dec. 18-19; No. of Shows: 2

5) André Rieu
Gross Sales: $1,039,956; Venue: Ziggo Dome, Amsterdam; Attendance: 11,059; Ticket Range: $71.52-$128.74; Promoter: In-house Promotion, André Rieu Productions; Dates: Jan. 5; No. of Shows: 1

1) André Rieu
Gross Sales: $1,006,360; Venue: SSE Arena, Wembley, London; Attendance: 9,338; Ticket Range: $57.44-$151.89; Promoter: In-house Promotion, André Rieu Productions; Dates: Dec. 12; No. of Shows: 1

2) André Rieu
Gross Sales: $865,961; Venue: Echo Arena, Liverpool, England; Attendance: 8,895; Ticket Range: $57.44-$151.89; Promoter: André Rieu Productions; Dates: Dec. 14; No. of Shows: 1

3) Madness
Gross Sales: $300,273; Venue: Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham, England; Attendance: 5,534; Ticket Range: $47.87-$63.18; Promoter: SJM; Dates: Dec. 13; No. of Shows: 1

4) “A Magical Cirque Christmas”
Gross Sales: $172,866; Venue: NYCB Live, home of Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Uniondale, N.Y.; Attendance: 2,962; Ticket Range: $34-$119; Promoter: In-house Promotion, BSE Global; Dates: Dec. 14; No. of Shows: 1

5) Jason Manford
Gross Sales: $81,141; Venue: Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle upon Tyne, England; Attendance: 2,779; Ticket Range: $17.55-$35.10; Promoter: Phil McIntyre Entertainments; Dates: Dec. 19; No. of Shows: 1

1) Kaskade
Gross Sales: $1,015,871; Venue: Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, San Francisco; Attendance: 8,863; Ticket Range: $99.95-$199.95; Promoter: Another Planet Entertainment; Dates: Dec. 31; No. of Shows: 1

2) “Dancing With the Stars”
Gross Sales: $514,980; Venue: Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville, Conn.; Attendance: 11,444; Ticket Range: $45; Promoter: In-house Promotion; Dates: Jan. 12-13; No. of Shows: 2

3) Cirque Dreams “Cirque Celebration”
Gross Sales: $498,495; Venue: Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville, Conn.; Attendance: 19,965; Ticket Range: $15-$25; Promoter: In-house Promotion; Dates: Dec. 29-30; No. of Shows: 3

4) “New Year’s Eve Comedy Jam”
Gross Sales: $482,419; Venue: Smart Financial Centre, Sugar Land, Texas; Attendance: 6,155; Ticket Range: $59-$150; Promoter: Urban Vibe Entertainment; Dates: Dec. 31; No. of Shows: 1

5) 96.5 TIC All Star Christmas with Backstreet Boys
Gross Sales: $463,390; Venue: Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville, Conn.; Attendance: 7,221; Ticket Range: $50-$75; Promoter: In-house Promotion, Live Nation; Dates: Dec. 14; No. of Shows: 1

1) Jerry Seinfeld
Gross Sales: $485,341; Venue: Saenger Theatre, New Orleans; Attendance: 5,124; Ticket Range: $50-$165; Promoter: JS Touring; Dates: Dec. 14; No. of Shows: 2

2) Smokey Robinson
Gross Sales: $218,837; Venue: Cerritos (Calif.) Center for the Performing Arts; Attendance: 1,602; Ticket Range: $100-$150; Promoter: In-house Promotion; Dates: Dec. 29; No. of Shows: 1

3) “Dancing With the Stars”
Gross Sales: $167,406; Venue: Ovens Auditorium, Charlotte; Attendance: 2,030; Ticket Range: $59.50-$95; Promoter: NS2; Dates: Dec. 31; No. of Shows: 1

4) “Cirque Musica”
Gross Sales: $163,419; Venue: Revolution Arena, Grand Prairie, Alta.; Attendance: 3,161; Ticket Range: $24.82-$69.94; Promoter: Innovation Arts and Entertainment; Dates: Dec. 16; No. of Shows: 1

5) “Dancing With the Stars”
Gross Sales: $163,295; Venue: Township Auditorium, Columbia, S.C.; Attendance: 1,996; Ticket Range: $59.50-$89.50; Promoter: NS2; Dates: Dec. 15; No. of Shows: 1

The weekly Hot Tickets chart is compiled by Pollstar. For more information, e-mail Teamboxoffice@pollstar.com or click here to submit your Box Office data now.

 


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Laatz Is IEG Global Managing Director
 
Posted: 16 Jan 2019, 10:00 am

laatz_2.jpgPeter Laatz.

IEG named Peter Laatz global managing director. Laatz joins the sponsorship valuation and measurement solutions company after seven years with Nielsen Sports (formerly Repucom), where he was most recently executive vice president. He directed and oversaw the North American sports business, including all operations and a 90-person team, and was also on Nielsen Sports’ global executive committee, which oversaw a unit that served marketers in 25 countries.

Before joining Repucom, Laatz held senior positions at Chip Ganassi Racing Teams in Charlotte, N.C., and Miller Brewing Co.

Laatz will be based in IEG’s Chicago headquarters. IEG was purchased last fall by sports and entertainment marketing agency Engine Shop, a Bruin Sports Capital company, and Laatz will report to Engine Shop CEO Brian Gordon and President Chris Handy. 


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An Intro To The Japanese Market
 
Posted: 15 Jan 2019, 4:00 pm

Sports Tech Tokyo has announced the latest additions to its roster of sports tech companies competing for a spot in its three-month accelerator program.

Sports Tech Tokyo, a tech incubator setting up shop to introduce worldwide tech companies to the Japanese sports-venue market, announced on Tuesday the names of 36 more companies that will contend for a place in its inaugural three-month mentorship program.

Additions to the list include visual scripting company PlayerMaker; online photo printer Snapfly; customer value analytics platform Partake; Zone7, which makes artificial intelliegence-powered athlete injury predictions; and Monsterful, known for virtual reality baseball performance training technology.

In all, 150 companies will compete for the opportunity to connect with mentors, investors and corporations in the Asian sports tech industry. Ten to 20 companies will make the cut.

Fourteen companies were previously announced as competitors, including ActionStreamer, a wearable live-streaming platform; mobile data firm Jebbit; coaching platform MaxOne; Spalk, which allows content owners and broadcasters to add custom commentary for live games; and data company WaitTime. The remaining contenders will be announced in late February; applications are being accepted until Jan. 31.

Once all the companies have been selected, they will be invited to a multiday symposium in Tokyo in April. The companies that impress Sports Tech Tokyo and their partners in the program will move into the accelerator program, which will consist of webinars and events.

Ultimately, those firms will be invited to Sports Tech Tokyo's World Demo Day event in San Francisco in August, where participants will pitch their innovations to industry leaders.

Sports Tech Tokyo launched in November as a partnership between San Francisco-based Scrum Ventures and Japanese advertising goliath Dentsu.

"We're thrilled to announce 35 more names to the Sports Tech Tokyo competitor list," said Michael Proman, managing director of both Sports Tech Tokyo and Scrum Ventures. “Sports in Asia is huge and the Asian sports tech market is underserved. Sports Tech Tokyo's goal is to give companies a gateway to the highly passionate Asian sports market. The companies that get into the program will benefit from new funding opportunities and exposure in Asia."

Mentors include Michael Shapiro, Major League Baseball's director of innovation and venture investments; Tom Hunt, Sacramento Kings executive vice president of business management; SportTechie co-founder and CEO Taylor Bloom; Samir Desai, Equinox Fitness senior vice president and chief information officer; and Ascent.Ventures founder Jennifer Vescio.

“Sports tech is an extremely fragmented community,” Proman said. “It's divided by geography and language, and we want to solve those problems."

The participants are grouped into three categories: athlete performance, stadium experience and fan engagement.

"The 10 to 20 companies chosen for the incubator will be the ones that are best aligned to address the opportunities and challenges in the market," Proman said. "Our goal here is not selecting the 10 to 20 that have raised the most capital or have the deepest client portfolio or most brand cache, but rather ensuring the best fits."

There is no guaranteed funding for the winning companies built into the incubator, and Scrum will receive no money from it. Intellectual property of a business plan, service or product developed during the program remains with the applicant.

“We're looking at this big picture," Proman said. "This will give us visibility into sectors we want to make investments in. We’re also building a sports tech community and bringing together the best and brightest and that will come back to us in some way.”

Proman also pointed out that the program model can be copied for all other countries in Asia.

“Right now, Japan is really top of mind in sports conversations,” Proman said. “But this type of accelerator program can work in many other Asian markets like Shanghai, Beijing and Singapore."

Major sporting events to be held in Japan soon include the 2019 Rugby World Cup, to be played at 12 stadiums across the country, and the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.


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Giants' Ballpark Is Now Oracle Park
 
Posted: 10 Jan 2019, 9:00 am

A rendering shows the new name for the San Francisco Giants' ballpark, known as AT&T Park since 2006. (Courtesy San Francisco Giants)

One of Major League Baseball’s crown jewels has a new name: Oracle Park. The San Francisco Giants are expected today to announce a 20-year naming-rights agreement with the Bay Area software technology firm for their 19-year-old facility.

Financial terms were not disclosed. Initial reports speculated that the total value of the deal was $200 million, but some sports marketing consultants say it could run as much as $400 million, based on the $20 million a year the Giants were asking for and how quickly they came to terms with Oracle, an existing team sponsor.

Oracle replaces AT&T, which has had its name on the waterfront facility since 2006. It’s the fourth name for the stadium in less than 20 years, thanks to mergers and acquisitions in the telecommunications industry. The ballpark opened in 2000 as Pacific Bell Park before becoming SBC Park in 2003 and, three years later, AT&T Park.

The deal came together just a few months after AT&T told the Giants last fall that it would not renew its agreement, set to expire after the 2019 season, according to local reports. Giants CEO Larry Baer said in published reports that it’s a top-tier deal on par with other big-league stadiums in major markets.

“They just took it to market looking for a deal in the mid-20s in year one, and given the speed (with which it was completed), I’d have to assume they got close to their target,” one source said. “The Giants are notoriously aggressive. I think they got what they wanted.”

But a second source cited Oracle’s reputation for being conservative in its spending on sports sponsorships and said the Giants’ deal is probably valued at $9 million to $11 million annually.

In 2006, the firm signed a 10-year, $30 million deal for naming rights to Oracle Arena, the home of the Golden State Warriors. The arena opened in 1966 and went four decades without a corporate title before Oracle stepped up to the plate to brand the building, the oldest in the NBA. Oracle got a relative bargain considering the Warriors have won three NBA titles over the past four seasons.

The Oracle Arena name goes away after the Warriors move to Chase Center, their new arena in San Francisco, later this year. In 2016, Oracle extended its agreement with an escape clause that kicks in after the Warriors move, said Rob Yowell, president of Gemini Sports Marketing, the agency that worked on the arena deal.

Yowell tweeted, “Let’s hope @oracle brings some of the same magic as it did for the arena! Been a good run!”

Across the bay, AT&T fared pretty well over the course of its 12-year deal in San Francisco. During that period, the Giants won World Series championships in 2010, 2012 and 2014.

Elsewhere, the telecommunications firm has naming rights for AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys, and Texas Tech University’s Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock.


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Denson Moves To Red Tail Productions
 
Posted: 9 Jan 2019, 1:00 pm

DavidDenson200x145.jpgDavid Denson.

Red Tail Entertainment appointed veteran producer David Denson as vice president of Red Tail Productions. Denson will oversee all of Red Tail Production's live shows, including Prehistoric Aquarium, Dinosaur Zoo Live and Double Dare Live.

Denson previously held positions with Theatre Communications Group in New York; the city of Dallas, running the city’s performance venues; and most recently with Dallas' AT&T Performing Arts Center.
 


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Students Help In CFP Cybersecurity
 
Posted: 9 Jan 2019, 11:45 am

Norwich University students joined with Respond Software at the College Football Playoff National Championship at Levi's Stadium. (Courtesy Respond Software)

The College Football Playoff National Championship at Levi’s Stadium on Monday was a winning day for the cybersecurity world monitoring malicious threats at venues.

As 75,000 college football fans cheered the Clemson Tigers or the Alabama Crimson Tide, analysts from artificial intelligence company Respond Software and students from Norwich University, a private military university in Northfield, Vt., worked to protect cybersecurity at the game.

More than 243,000 threats were caught that day, of which 200,097 required further investigation. A total of 431 malicious threats were identified, with 13 of them needing immediate action from the cybersecurity team, according to data from Respond Software.

Officials from Respond Software and Norwich University declined to offer details on those 13 malicious threats, saying only that they were able to thwart them. 

“One of the biggest things is it’s one of the most efficient cyber protections of a game of this size that’s ever been done. It means that there’s an ability to provide much larger cybersecurity at these kind of events,” said Chris Calvert, co-founder and vice president of strategy at Response Software, which develops technology to fight cybercrime. 

Students from Norwich University’s Applied Research Institute were stationed at the stadium in a security situation center. They used Respond Software automated software called Respond Analyst to monitor cyberactivity on Levi’s Stadium’s computer systems.

Norwich University’s Cyber Conflict Research Institute has been working with Levi’s Stadium, the San Fransisco 49ers, the Santa Clara Police Department and Respond Software to find ways to decrease outside threats that aren’t visible to the public, said Phil Susmann, vice president of strategic partnerships at Norwich. 

The stadium and Norwich first worked together in 2016 at Super Bowl 50. “(Initially) the wireless network was not protected,” Susmann said. “Everything in these stadiums operate on control systems with computers, so that’s why the cybersecurity is so important.”

Technology has advanced since that Super Bowl, and Respond Software and Norwich found a way to better streamline threats through new algorithms. That means it takes fewer people and less time to figure out threats, Susmann said.

"We use a virtual security analyst that can consider every factor that is effective in making a decision if something is an actual issue,” Calvert said.

Norwich University is a client of Respond Software and partners with the National Security Administration to find ways to improve all types of security monitoring, including cybersecurity, Susmann said. 

Norwich programs are ranked among the best in the nation for cybersecurity education by Michigan-based Ponemon Institute, according to the school. The university is also recognized as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security.


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5G Stadium 'Journey' Starting At AT&T
 
Posted: 9 Jan 2019, 11:40 am

AT&T announced this week that AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, will be outfitted with 5G technology this year. (Getty Images)

Igal Elbaz, AT&T’s senior vice president for wireless network architecture and design, lives in Dallas. On a personal level, he said he couldn’t be more excited to make the easy trip to AT&T Stadium in Arlington sometime in 2019 to experience firsthand his company becoming the first wireless carrier to outfit a stadium in 5G technology. On a business level, it signifies new opportunities for teams to program fan-friendly experiences.

“It is an exciting time as 5G represents a paradigm shift in how we think about wireless networks,” he said. “We are at the beginning of the journey and it will take some time for all the capabilities to show, but the promise is unbelievable.”

AT&T announced Tuesday at the CES technology show in Las Vegas that it would load the stadium with 5G, saying it would outfit AT&T Stadium, home of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys, in the next few months. AT&T has already brought mobile 5G capabilities — which increase speeds, download times and connectivity over 4G LTE — to 12 cities and plans to expand in 2019. Now, though, Elbaz said it is time to think about expanding wireless services into “use cases,” announcing the addition of 5G not just to the stadium but also to a hospital and a Samsung manufacturing facility in Austin.

For sports, the benefits extend beyond mobile speed to the way fans experience the event. “Obviously the networks need to be in the center of this,” he said. “The stadiums or teams will have to work and create the right experiences for fans.” With the technological capabilities, Elbaz said to expect a heightened use of augmented reality and 360-degree video. AT&T said virtual reality glasses could integrate as part of the in-venue experience, all connected to a user’s smartphone. Of course, the simplicity of watching “crystal clear” instant replays, even while walking the concourse, comes as a basic advantage.

Elbaz said it was a natural fit to launch 5G at a stadium that bears the company’s name and has served as a technological leader since it opened in 2009. “Being the first one was a natural extension for the leadership they have demonstrated,” he said.

While the actual installation and connection of systems inside the venue isn’t new for the company as they layer in 5G technology, AT&T wants to see what they can learn from the process. AT&T said it is too soon to calculate the cost of adding 5G to the venue.

“We definitely believe in the first occasion to do it the right way and iterate through the process of deployment to see in real time how to scale inside the stadium and other stadiums,” Elbaz said. “We definitely think of this as something over time we will see in more and more venues.”

In the end, though, much of the onus on harnessing the power of the technology falls on the teams, both in the way they communicate to fans inside the venue about the 5G capability and in the experiences the technology builds. “I have full trust the Cowboys and the stadium team will know exactly how to do this,” Elbaz said.

“Since opening AT&T Stadium in 2009, our vision and focus was to remain on the cutting edge in every facet of our building,” said Charlotte Jones Anderson, the Cowboys’ chief brand officer, in a statement. “Together with our strong collaboration with AT&T producing the most innovative technology that the world has to offer, we believe this announcement only further enhances the fan experience.”


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CFP Title Game Per Cap Tops $50
 
Posted: 9 Jan 2019, 11:00 am

Levy saluted the Clemson Tigers and fed their fans with Ginger Beef Tiger Sliders. (Courtesy Levy)

Levy generated a per cap exceeding $50 for food and drink sales at Monday night’s College Football Playoff National Championship, sources said. Clemson defeated Alabama 44-16 in the game, played at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., before a crowd of 74,814.

Doing the math, the average fan spend resulted in Levy generating about $3.75 million in gross food and drink revenue, covering both general concessions and premium dining. Levy took over the food at Levi’s Stadium, home to the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers, in 2018.

The game was held in near-perfect weather conditions in the Bay Area, and the number far exceeds the final two BCS title games before the CFP format launched for the 2014 college football season.

It fell short of the first CFP National Championship game in 2015, when Legends reported a $75.60 per cap at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. That number included the Championship Tailgate party staged in a parking lot outside the facility. Ohio State beat Oregon that year before a crowd of 85,689.

Per caps were not available for the past three CFP title games, at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta; Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla.; and State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., then known as University of Phoenix Stadium.

At this year’s event, Levy ran the Championship Tailgate tent outside Levi’s Stadium, but it’s unclear whether the per cap covered that piece of the operation. The big difference, though, is premium food service.

The markup is substantial for catering services, and the Cowboys’ stadium can’t be beat in terms of sheer numbers. It has 300 suites, compared with 176 suites at the 49ers’ facility.

For this season’s CFP semifinals — played at the Cotton Bowl game at AT&T Stadium and the Orange Bowl at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla. — food and drink revenue increased 25 percent over last year’s bowl games, according to officials from the food providers at those two facilities. The games were not host to College Football Playoff matchups last year.

At the Cotton Bowl, the stadium was half-full 90 minutes before kickoff of the Clemson-Notre Dame game, which helped drive Legends’ concessions sales. Suite revenue jumped 40 percent over the 2018 game between Ohio State and USC.

For the Orange Bowl, Centerplate’s concessions were up 30 percent over last year. Catering for private parties and all-inclusive club revenue was up about 13 percent and suite food/drink sales were up 9 percent. The marquee matchup between Alabama and Oklahoma, plus the 8 p.m. Saturday kickoff, drove the increases, officials said.

CFP_Bama_Slamma_200.jpgAlabama Slamma brisket sandwich. (Courtesy Levy)

In Santa Clara, Levy completed its first year of running the food service at Levi’s Stadium after replacing Centerplate, which had been in place since the building opened in August 2014. For Super Bowl 50 at Levi’s Stadium, Centerplate posted a food/drink per cap of $87.57.

For this year’s CFP title game, concession prices for alcohol were $12 for bottled domestic beer, $14 for premium drafts, $14 for wine and mixed drinks and $16 for cocktails on tap. Four years ago at the first CFP national championship game, bottled beer cost $9, wine was $8 and mixed drinks ran $10 to $12.

For high-profile events such as the CFP and Super Bowl, concessionaires typically increase prices with approval from the events’ governing bodies. At Levi’s Stadium, prices went up slightly for alcohol items and remained stable for food for Clemson-Alabama, officials said. School-themed specials, including the Alabama Slamma brisket sandwich and the Ginger Beef Tiger Sliders, both cost $15. Levy’s team, led by senior executive chef Jon Severson, created those customized dishes for the CFP title game.


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FlipTix Pushes Into Empty Space
 
Posted: 9 Jan 2019, 11:00 am

FlipTix's early success at reselling tickets has caught the eye of the venue industry. 

FlipTix's plan to create a tertiary ticket platform to flip tickets midevent is out of the startup stage and already challenging the notion that suddenly empty space can't be resold.

"We are in a unique market in which no one else is providing the service of flipping the remaining time on events when someone has left early," said Jaime Siegel, co-founder and CEO of FlipTix, which he and his brother founded in 2016. "We partner with promoters and venues to take advantage of the vacant seat when they do."

"Market research has shown that 30 percent of fans leave an event early," he said. "People leave events prematurely for a number of reasons. We're here to monetize that empty space. Our average transaction time, from the time we posted a ticket available to the time it's rebought, was 16 seconds at our first event, so clearly there was a void in the marketplace."

Siegel is quick to point out that "we are not a secondary market player. We're creating a new market. We bring value to fans and bring accretive revenue to promoters and venues."

Since June, when the platform went live, FlipTix has had thousands of downloads of its app and the service has been available at more than 50 events, including San Diego’s Kaaboo festival, which drew tens of thousands of attendees to Del Mar Racetrack and fairgrounds in September, and over 40 shows at BLK Live, a concert venue in Scottsdale, Ariz.

"One percent of the attendees preregistered to flip their tickets at Kaaboo," Siegel said. "The participation exceeded our expectations."

FlipTix also has a deal with Stage Left Entertainment, the primary booker for the Orlando Amphitheatre, a 10,000-capacity venue at the Central Florida Fairgrounds, and has filed 16 patents in the U.S., China and Australia. Siegel used to be a patent lawyer and spent 16 years as Sony’s vice president of intellectual property.

The company has also secured $1.1 million in seed round funding, partnered with neighborhood mapping service MapVida and live touring production support company Clair Global to develop and enhance user experiences, and opened offices in Orange County and San Francisco.

The system works like this: Sellers register with an account and payout method on the app. When leaving an event early, sellers indicate to FlipTix electronically that they are leaving, and the space can be resold. At certain events, such as festivals, sellers may be required to stop by the FlipTix booth and turn in their wristband.

Buyers register as well and are notified on the app once tickets are available.

Pricing of the ticket is determined by an algorithm that works on a dynamic pricing model.

"Usually, we price the ticket on a declining-time scale," Siegel said. "If half of the time is left, we cut the original price in half."

Prices are also based on weather, demand or lack of it, popularity, location, and other factors. Typically, prices will decline as the day goes on.

Sellers remuneration package could be anything from cash to gift cards to T-shirts to a discount on another ticketing package.

What the seller gets back varies event-to-event," Siegel said. "Ultimately the people who are leaving have no expectation they will get anything back. It's found value."

FlipTix gets "a revenue share" from every ticket sold, Siegel said.

Flipping a ticket midway also drives another important revenue stream— per caps.

"Every new person that goes in is a new person to sell concessions and merchandise," he said.

Siegel says deal with major ticketing companies are about to be announced. "We should be announcing the integration deals within 30 to 60 days," he said.

Post Kaaboo, FlipTix has signed a letter of intent for the Kaaboo Texas, which will go on for the first time this year May 10-12 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, and the Kaaboo chief financial officer has joined the FlipTix Advisory Board. "I personally think that's a great testament to our value," Siegel said.

FlipTix's main focus right now is growth of brand awareness and marketing.

"We did the Kaaboo event with no marketing help from the organizers at all," Siegel said. "With a little push we'll get people to see we're incentivizing every participant in the ecosystem."

 

 

 

 


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Players Get Aussie Open Upgrades
 
Posted: 9 Jan 2019, 11:00 am

Dining areas in the new eastern annex will serve players during the Australian Open and fans attending concerts. (Courtesy Melbourne & Olympic Parks)

The "Player Pod," underground buggy rides and a new loading dock and rigging system are among the latest changes at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Australia, built in 1988 to host tennis’ Australian Open.

A multiyear $975 million Australian dollar series of renovations at the stadium — which holds 14,800 for tennis and 16,000 for concerts — have not only enhanced the stadium’s tennis pedigree but also provided ample upgrades for Rod Laver Arena’s other emerging specialty: concerts. The stadium is part of Melbourne Park, which plays host to more than 300 events annually.

The latest improvements will make their Australian Open debut when the 2019 edition begins Monday and continues through Jan. 27. Fans will find additional restrooms, increased accessibility and fresh dining and beverage options.

But the tennis players and performing artists were really the center of this year’s phased upgrades. The retractable-roof venue has a new stage setup for larger standing general admission capacity, a larger and more efficient loading dock to hold up to 25 semi-trailers at once for a quicker turnaround of events, an improved rigging system with a 112-ton capacity — the top rigging capacity in Australia and roughly three times stronger than what was previously in place — and a complete renovation of the space under the arena for year-round services for artists and production crews (think: salon).

Andy Murray, formerly the world No. 1 in men’s tennis and still the face of British tennis, called the updates to the player facilities — dubbed the Player Pod — “really, really significant.”

“Players will really appreciate the change and the difference the Aussie Open and the government makes to make this tournament even better for the players,” he said Saturday at a publicity event for the tournament.  “Pretty much every year when we come back here there’s changes and improvements that are made, but this is really, really significant. Huge locker rooms, better recovery facilities, the dining facilities are really, really good and it will be much more comfortable for the players.”

The new four-level eastern annex debuts as the Player Pod for the tournament, increasing player space up to 30 percent with areas for training and recovery in the form of individual treatment rooms, a gym, purpose-built ice baths and massage areas.

Laver_2.JPGThe new four-level eastern annex at Rod Laver Arena. (Courtesy Melbourne & Olympic Parks)

Players also have an expanded Player Café, able to serve 420, full of destination themed-restaurants. The new space includes a cafe with specialized coffee, an Italian eatery, Japanese-style restaurant, ice cream bar and outdoor terrace overlooking the grounds with increased indoor and outdoor lounge areas.

With a focus on privacy and comfort, says a spokesperson for stadium owner Melbourne & Olympic Parks, players have new lounging options and even an “underground tunnel for buggies to transport players from one end of the precinct to the other.”

“We welcome 550 players over the course of the next three weeks, many of which are here already,” said Craig Tiley, tournament director, in a statement. “The comments that we’ve heard from them directly and indirectly make us particularly proud. Creating a five-star service for our players is a priority for the Australian Open, and is a point of difference that makes us the favorite event for so many.”

While the changes to Rod Laver Arena have come in stages — 2018 included the opening of a new bridge to connect fans to the park, updated restroom capacity and new food and beverage options on the floor level of the arena to make it easier for patrons to reach concessions during concerts — the 2019 additions really struck a chord for the players. The Eastern Annex, set for the players during the tournament, opens to fans — including the dining options — after tennis, starting with a Keith Urban performance Feb. 5.

The construction isn’t done, though. Leading into the 2020 Australian Open next January, expect to see a new piazza and grand steps that includes a range of bars and restaurants.

The expansion — Development Victoria oversees the project, designed by Cox Architecture and built by Lendlease — introduces additional corporate entertainment space designed to host a variety of conferences and smaller functions.

The coming annex on the northern side offers additional fan amenities, including fresh food and beverage options. The interior seats will be refreshed with new blue cushions and drink holders in time for the 2020 event.


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Nickler Leaving Tulsa For OVG
 
Posted: 8 Jan 2019, 3:00 pm

Oak View Group has hired Jeff Nickler as senior vice president of the Arena Alliance, a group of 28 big league facilities collaborating to book special events and sell national sponsorships at their venues.

Nickler.JPGJeff Nickler.

Nickler comes from BOK Center in Tulsa, an SMG-managed facility where he spent the past 11 years, dating to before the arena opened in 2008. He worked his way up from premium sales and service to director of booking before becoming the arena’s general manager for the past six years.

At OVG (which also owns VenuesNow), Nickler will serve as an advocate for the alliance and work closely with Eric Gardner, the alliance’s director of booking, to drive more concerts through the more than two dozen NBA and NHL facilities.

“These venues represent the biggest markets in the country, with 50-plus sports teams and 65 million fans,” Nickler said. “I’m here to be a resource for them. In the future, we see opportunities where we can buy in bulk and have preferred vendors.

“It’s about thinking together … the ability to share information on the most important topics of the industry, whether it’s ticketing, security or other innovations.”

In Tulsa, Nickler turned BOK Center into one of the country’s top concert destinations despite being situated in the 49th-largest market. In October, the International Entertainment Buyers Association named BOK Center its Arena of the Year, two years after it won the same honor.

For 2018, BOK Center ranked 23rd among the nation’s busiest arenas with more than 372,000 tickets sold from about 40 shows, according to Pollstar figures. It was among SMG’s highest-ranking concert venues.

During Nickler’s tenure, the arena became the venue of choice for multiple artists to rehearse and launch their tours, including U2, Blake Shelton, Rush and Roger Waters.

“We really created a culture and got aggressive when going after tour rehearsals,” Nickler said. “We had quite a list of bands that kind of set up a little residency in Tulsa.”

The same was true for Fleetwood Mac last fall, and it was during that period in October when Nickler had serious discussions about a potential role with the alliance with Irving Azoff, the band’s manager and OVG’s co-founder.

“That’s what kind of pushed it over the finish line,” Nickler said.

“I got to spend a lot of time with Irving … and that was when I decided this new gig was for me. I did quite a bit of travel in Tulsa, because we had to chase every single show, so I spent a lot of time in L.A., New York and Nashville. Now, I’ll be spending time in those cities and (with those) alliance members at their venues, at least once a year.”

The concert forecast for 2019 looks just as strong as 2018, which was one of the best in decades, according to Nickler. Emerging artists such as Travis Scott and Luke Combs are poised to continue selling out arenas along with legacy acts such as Elton John and Cher, he said.

Stadiums should be active as well with summer concerts. OVG has deals with about a half-dozen MLB and NFL teams to book shows at their buildings, but at this point it’s unclear whether Nickler’s role will extend to those venues.

“We’re still trying to figure out that dynamic,” he said. “I certainly will participate in helping to generate new content for our stadium alliance members. Artists like Ed Sheeran have risen to the stadium level. Taylor Swift has been there for the past five years. The Stones are going out, which is incredible. It’s exciting that we have these tours actively playing stadiums right now because the grosses are unbelievable.”

Nickler said he was recruited directly by OVG co-founders Azoff and Tim Leiweke.


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HOT TICKETS: JAN. 10, 2019
 
Posted: 8 Jan 2019, 2:45 pm

Marc Anthony performs as part of his Legacy Tour at Coliseo de Puerto Rico in San Juan. (Gladys Vega)

International superstar Marc Anthony, who just added nine dates to his blockbuster Legacy Tour, took the top spot on our highest-capacity Hot Tickets chart for this week after two stops at Coliseo de Puerto Rico in San Juan, grossing $2,543,787 and drawing 27,889. Ticket prices ranged from $49 to $177. Shows were promoted by No Limit Entertainment.

Taking the top spot on our 5,001-10,000 chart was Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue,
which grossed $325,525 playing The Anthem in Washington, D.C. Attendance was 3,995 and ticket range was $75-$125. Promoter was I.M.P.

HOT TICKETS is a weekly summary of the top events and ticket sales as reported to VN Pulse via Pollstar. Following are the top 19 concerts and events, the top 5 in each capacity category (4 in the 5,001-10,000 group), that took place Dec. 11-Jan. 8.

More Than 15,000 Capacity

10,001-15,000 Capacity

5,001-10,000
Capacity

5,000 or Less
Capacity

1) Marc Anthony
Gross Sales:
$2,543,787; Venue: Coliseo de Puerto Rico, San Juan; Attendance: 27,889; Ticket Range: $49-$177; Promoter: No Limit Entertainment; Dates: Dec. 14-15; No. of Shows: 2

2) Travis Scott
Gross Sales: $1,066,718; Venue: Oracle Arena, Oakland; Attendance: 15,617; Ticket Range: $49.95-$104.95; Promoter: AEG Presents; Dates: Dec. 16; No. of Shows: 1

3) Shawn Mendes
Gross Sales: $867,699; Venue: State Farm Arena, Atlanta; Attendance: 11,615; Ticket Range: $54.50-$141.50; Promoter: In-house Promotion; Dates: Dec. 14; No. of Shows: 1

4) Bläck Fööss
Gross Sales: $867,344; Venue: Lanxess Arena, Cologne, Germany; Attendance: 16,834; Ticket Range: $62.35-$110.16; Promoter: In-house Promotion; Dates: Dec. 31; No. of Shows: 1

5) André Rieu
Gross Sales: $832,945; Venue: Manchester (England) Arena; Attendance: 7,967; Ticket Range: $68.93-$151.89; Promoter: André Rieu Productions; Dates: Dec. 20; No. of Shows: 1

1) André Rieu
Gross Sales: $990,887; Venue: SSE Hydro, Glasgow; Attendance: 10,009; Ticket Range: $57.44-$151.89; Promoter: In-house Promotion, André Rieu Productions; Dates: Dec. 22; No. of Shows: 1

2) André Rieu
Gross Sales: $807,804; Venue: SSE Arena, Wembley, London; Attendance: 7,604; Ticket Range: $57.44-$151.89; Promoter: In-house Promotion, André Rieu Productions; Dates: Dec. 19; No. of Shows: 1

3) André Rieu
Gross Sales: $684,257; Venue: Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham, England; Attendance: 6,781; Ticket Range: $57.44-$151.89; Promoter: André Rieu Productions; Dates: Dec. 15; No. of Shows: 1

4) André Rieu
Gross Sales: $636,797; Venue: Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle upon Tyne, England; Attendance: 6,473; Ticket Range: $57.44-$151.89; Promoter: André Rieu Productions; Dates: Dec. 21; No. of Shows: 1

5) Anuel AA
Gross Sales: $540,291; Venue: EagleBank Arena, Fairfax, Va.; Attendance: 5,661; Ticket Range: $43-$133; Promoter: The Commission Presents; Dates: Dec. 22; No. of Shows: 1

1) Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue
Gross Sales: $325,525; Venue: The Anthem, Washington, D.C.; Attendance: 3,995; Ticket Range: $75-$125; Promoter: I.M.P.; Dates: Dec. 31; No. of Shows: 1

2) Anuel AA
Gross Sales: $306,560; Venue: Santander Arena, Reading, Pa.; Attendance: 3,720; Ticket Range: $39-$129; Promoter: The Commission Presents; Dates: Dec. 21; No. of Shows: 1

3) Lindsey Stirling
Gross Sales: $233,145; Venue: The Anthem, Washington, D.C.; Attendance: 3,095; Ticket Range: $45-$95; Promoter: I.M.P.; Dates: Dec. 14; No. of Shows: 1

4) K-Love Christmas Tour
Gross Sales: $47,652; Venue: Tucson (Ariz.) Arena; Attendance: 2,482; Ticket Range: $20-$75; Promoter: Awakening Events; Dates: Dec. 13; No. of Shows: 1

1) Pentatonix
Gross Sales: $654,764; Venue: Rosemont (Ill.) Theatre; Attendance: 8,326; Ticket Range: $33-$150; Promoter: Jam Productions; Dates: Dec. 11-12; No. of Shows: 2

2) Greta Van Fleet
Gross Sales: $575,594; Venue: Aragon Ballroom, Chicago; Attendance: 14,572; Ticket Range: $39.50; Promoter: Jam Productions; Dates: Dec. 12-15; No. of Shows: 3

3) John Legend
Gross Sales: $457,351; Venue: Lyric Opera, Chicago; Attendance: 3,531; Ticket Range: $33-$243; Promoter: Jam Productions; Dates: Dec. 13; No. of Shows: 1

4) Straight No Chaser
Gross Sales: $306,982; Venue: Lyric Opera, Chicago; Attendance: 5,381; Ticket Range: $31.50-$86.50; Promoter: Jam Productions; Dates: Dec. 15; No. of Shows: 2

5) Charlie Wilson
Gross Sales: $253,825; Venue: Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, Atlanta; Attendance: 2,424; Ticket Range: $75-$150; Promoter: Twilight Productions; Dates: Dec. 31; No. of Shows: 1

The weekly Hot Tickets chart is compiled by Pollstar. For more information, email Teamboxoffice@pollstar.com or click here to submit your Box Office data now.

 


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Why Lines Got Long At Winter Classic
 
Posted: 3 Jan 2019, 8:00 pm

It was all good in the stands for the New Year's Day game at Notre Dame Stadium, but things didn't go as smoothly on the concourses, according to fans on Twitter. (Getty Images)

Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Ind., welcomed more than 76,000 for the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic outdoor regular-season game Jan. 1, but fans took to social media to call out the venue for long food and beverage lines and stands that ran out of food and beer.

Comments on Twitter told stories of fans missing the entire second period waiting in line, and fans complained about the venue running out of beer early and stands running out of food in the first of the two intermissions. “Forty people deep for a pretzel?” one commenter on Twitter wrote. “They don’t have trouble serving food here for football games.”

Levy, the stadium’s food and beverage provider for all events, had said before the game it planned plenty of hot chocolate and comfort-food items to keep the crowd warm and was already versed in selling beer inside the stadium at concerts, even though it doesn’t sell beer there for Notre Dame football games. It responded after the game that hosting a Winter Classic for the first time at the stadium “presented some unique challenges and attracted a different range of fans.”

Levy said some confusion may have come from converting stands that normally sell food to selling only beer, making it appear those stands were out of food.

Also, per NHL regulations, no beer was sold after the second period. “Stands were restocked as beer was sold,” a Levy spokesperson said. “Some concession stands did run out of an item or two, but none were without food options.”

Levy and Notre Dame Stadium may have also run into a different issue: The timing of food and beverage sales for a hockey game differ greatly from those at a football game. When as many as 80,000 fans fill the stands to watch the Fighting Irish play football, those three-plus-hour games come with multiple breaks in the action, two quarter breaks and a halftime. The meandering nature of a football game leads to plenty of opportunity to hit concession stands. Hockey fans generally stay seated for the action and hit the concourses during one of the game’s two intermissions.

“There are unique challenges when iconic venues host high-profile one-off events as the fan behavior and spending patterns can differ greatly from their existing fan base where they often have detailed data and analysis based on a venue’s historical performance,” said Mike Plutino, founder and CEO of consultancy Food Service Matters.

Plutino says that the ability to “flex” an operation to accommodate capacity and increased consumption is the key to hosting unique events. “We would recommend ensuring that more locations can serve a dual purpose — both food and beverage — as well as adding or enhancing any existing vending programs to significantly increase the current point-of-sale rations while also ensuring that fixed and portable menus are limited in their offering and engineered for speed of service,” he said.

Jim Fischer spent the past 40 years working in big league concessions before retiring from Spectra in October. Weather is obviously key factor at outdoor stadiums and vendors do all they can to prepare for accommodating large crowds for high-profile events such as the Winter Classic. Sometimes, though, you just can’t predict fans’ purchasing habits, Fischer said.

At Super Bowl XXXIII in South Florida, Fischer was general manager for the old Fine Host at the Miami Dolphins’ stadium, now called Hard Rock Stadium. Fine Host had plenty of beer and alcohol to sell, but many fans preferred to buy bottled water, which surprised company officials. The vendor had enough water, but supplies did run low, according to Fischer. In a tropical climate, it wasn’t particularly hot for the game, “but apparently after a long day of parties, people just wanted to drink water vs. more alcohol,” he said.

The age of the facility is also a key factor operationally, Fischer said. College football stadiums are typically much older than NFL venues and space can become an with issue with smaller concourses and concession stands at buildings constructed 80 years ago. Notre Dame Stadium opened in 1930 and underwent a massive renovation over the past three years that included expanded concourses. Some small food stands remained after the upgrades, but it’s unclear what role the retrofit played in the issues Levy experienced during the Winter Classic.

Next year, the Winter Classic moves to Cotton Bowl Stadium in Dallas, another vintage facility that opened in 1930 and has undergone multiple renovations. Most recently, the building played host to the annual Texas-Oklahoma football game in October that drew 92,300 fans. Ed Campbell, owner of the Ed Campbell Co., the stadium’s concessionaire, has worked food service at the venue for 43 years, including a few dozen Cotton Bowl Classic games before the event moved to AT&T Stadium in 2010. Some of those bowl games, such as the one in 1979 played a day after the city’s worst ice storm in 30 years, were staged in less than ideal conditions.

For Campbell, the Winter Classic will be his first time working that event, but he says he knows the building well enough to be prepared for any knuckleballs that come his way.

“If you look at that event, you have to recognize that hockey is unique,” Campbell said. “People eat and drink more during the two intermissions instead of one (halftime) in football. You need portable beer stands and a resupply system where beer can be stored with dried ice. It helps to have a vending program to keep people out of the concourse by selling beer, hot chocolate and water in the stands." 

Streamlining menus with hot dogs, nachos and other snacks on the concourse and selling specialty items along the stadium perimeter also helps cut down on congestion, Campbell said.

It also helps to price items in even dollar amounts to avoid making change and expedite cash transactions, he said.

Most important, never run out of beer.

“For the last Cotton Bowl game we did (in 2009) we emptied two semi truckloads of beer,” he said. “Anything that’s left on the truck, we get a credit."


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Elon Goes For Big-Arena Feel
 
Posted: 3 Jan 2019, 6:00 pm

Elon University's new Schar Center during the Elon-North Carolina game Nov. 9. (Courtesy Elon University)

Schar Center, Elon University’s new arena, captures the big feel that school officials were looking for in a smaller venue while providing a multipurpose space for the North Carolina institution.

The 5,100-seat arena opened in August for women’s volleyball, and it’s also the home of Elon men’s and women’s basketball. On Nov. 9, the Elon men drew an overflow crowd of 5,245 for a game against the University of North Carolina.

Since that time, the men have played eight home games at Schar Center with a high attendance of 2,231 against the University of North Carolina-Greensboro. A check of box scores shows most crowds have been in the 1,500 range.

The project cost ran about $45 million with a lead gift of $13 million from Dwight and Martha Schar, whose two sons have attended Elon. Dwight Schar, a co-owner of the Washington Redskins, owns NVR, the country’s fifth-largest home builder. More than 20 donors contributed money to the project.

Arkansas-based WER Architects, in conjunction with Gensler Sports, designed the arena. WER designed the University of Arkansas-Little Rock’s Jack Stephens Center, which served as a model for Elon’s arena, according to Athletic Director Dave Blank.

Thirteen years ago, Blank took over as AD with the vision of building a new basketball facility to replace Alumni Gym, a 1,700-seat building. It opened in 1949 and has been renovated over the years, but it was time for a new facility for Elon as it sought to elevate its status in the Colonial Athletic Association.

“It served us well, but we wanted something bigger and better,” he said. “The driving force was to build something that we felt would be legitimate for where we want to position ourselves for Division I basketball.”

Officials at Elon, a private institution, first explored building an even bigger arena, Blank said. In the end, 5,100 seats, all cushioned with chair backs, was the right size for both sports and graduation ceremonies, he said.

Elon, N.C., is about 65 miles northwest of Raleigh, the school itself has 6,700 students.

“It’s a convocation center as well, so we wanted something that fit the institution based on our class sizes,” he said. “We had to keep that in mind as we built the project. There’s (little) commercialization in the building and that’s by design as well. It can be academic when we want it to be (and) a lot of that went into development.”

The arena, designed in the same Georgian brick style prevalent across campus, has three levels. The high roof gives it the “big feel” Blank references in describing the building. The concourse circles the arena and has views to the court from the corners. In the southwest corner, fans can watch the game and turn around to look through a window into the practice facility.

“It’s a great (spot) for recruiting,” he said.

The arena has 125 club seats along the east side supported by the Sunbrella Club lounge, which runs the length of the court. Those premium-seat patrons get access to a buffet meal, cash bar, dining tables and televisions. Season tickets are sold out for the club, priced at $170 to $220 a seat, on top of required donations to the Phoenix Club, the school’s donor program, Blank said.

There are two large videoboards in the arena’s north and south ends. Both displays, produced by Daktronics, measure 14.5 feet tall and 60 feet wide. Elon decided on end zone boards over a center-hung structure, which can make it difficult for some fans in the lower bowl to see those screens, he said.

“Daktronics will tell you they’re the largest indoor boards in the state of North Carolina,” Blank said. “We can use them as one big TV or split them into thirds and still have good-size video. You can see any one of these boards from any angle in the building and they’re huge.”

The arena’s technology extends to wireless connectivity run by the school that can be strengthened depending on the event, whether it’s a small breakfast meeting on the concourse to a basketball sellout such as the Tar Heels-Phoenix game. 

In addition, officials ran fiber from Schar Center to other sports venues on campus to allow students in the School of Communications to livestream sports events from a production studio in the arena. Elon created a new full-time position that oversees 25 students working for Maroon Sports, the university group that launched in 2017 to stream events.

“It’s a multimillion-dollar setup for all their equipment,” Blank said. “It’s impressive. We’re still learning it as well, but that’s the kind of involvement we want on campus. It’s a special feature.”

Apart from sports and graduations, Schar Center has played host to the Harlem Globetrotters and a concert with Jesse McCartney, Sean Kingston and Quinn XCII tied to the football team’s homecoming game. The show gave officials a chance to test the sound and lighting systems.

There will be opportunities to book more special events, but for now the school is taking things slow as the arena goes through its first year of operation.

“There will be things that make sense as we go along,” Blank said. “I could see the arena potentially being a site for a presidential debate.”


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HOT TICKETS: JAN. 4, 2019
 
Posted: 3 Jan 2019, 3:00 pm

Childish Gambino performs at the iHeartRadio Music Festival at Las Vegas' T-Mobile Arena in September. (Rich Fury)

Atop the More Than 15,000 chart was "Atlanta" star Donald Glover, who as his alter ego Childish Gambino played to 12,296 people at Oracle Arena in Oakland, grossing $1,262,651. Ticket range was $47.14-$123.33. The promoter was AEG Presents.

Taking the top spot on our 10,001-15,000 chart was Australian comedian Jim Jefferies, who grossed $706,460 at RAC Arena in Perth, Australia, with an attendance of 11,695. Ticket range was $58.38-$94.92, and Frontier Touring promoted the show.

HOT TICKETS is a weekly summary of the top events and ticket sales as reported to VN Pulse via Pollstar. Following are the top 20 concerts and events, the top 5 in each capacity category, that took place Dec. 4-Jan. 1.

More Than 15,000 Capacity

10,001-15,000 Capacity

5,001-10,000
Capacity

5,000 or Less
Capacity

1) Childish Gambino
Gross Sales:
$1,262,651; Venue: Oracle Arena, Oakland; Attendance: 12,296; Ticket Range: $47.14-$123.33; Promoter: AEG Presents; Dates: Dec. 11; No. of Shows: 1

2) André Rieu
Gross Sales: $1,241,846; Venue: Arena Birmingham (England); Attendance: 12,856; Ticket Range: $57.44-$151.89; Promoter: André Rieu Productions; Dates: Dec. 13; No. of Shows: 1

3) Pur
Gross Sales: $983,556; Venue: Lanxess Arena, Cologne, Germany; Attendance: 15,984; Ticket Range: $42.96-$97.67; Promoter: In-house Promotion, Dirk Becker Entertainment; Dates: Dec. 12; No. of Shows: 1

4) Anuel AA
Gross Sales: $862,861; Venue: AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami; Attendance: 10,009; Ticket Range: $49-$139; Promoter: The Commission Presents; Dates: Dec. 8; No. of Shows: 1

5) Kölns Grösste Weihnachtsfeier
Gross Sales: $695,498; Venue: Lanxess Arena, Cologne, Germany; Attendance: 11,823; Ticket Range: $68.14-$164.67; Promoter: In-house Promotion, Arena Management; Dates: Dec. 7; No. of Shows: 1

1) Jim Jefferies
Gross Sales: $706,460; Venue: RAC Arena, Perth, Australia; Attendance: 11,695; Ticket Range: $58.38-$94.92; Promoter: Frontier Touring; Dates: Dec. 8; No. of Shows: 1

2) André Rieu
Gross Sales: $659,072; Venue: SSE Arena, Belfast; Attendance: 7,085; Ticket Range: $62.54-$151.89; Promoter: André Rieu Productions; Dates: Dec. 6; No. of Shows: 1

3) Twenty One Pilots
Gross Sales: $453,012; Venue: RAC Arena, Perth, Australia; Attendance: 5,600; Ticket Range: $76.40-$98.72; Promoter: Live Nation; Dates: Dec. 7; No. of Shows: 1

4) Snow Patrol
Gross Sales: $361,469; Venue: Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle upon Tyne, England; Attendance: 4,861; Ticket Range: $57.44-$95.73; Promoter: In-house Promotion, SJM; Dates: Dec. 5; No. of Shows: 1

5) For King & Country
Gross Sales: $309,820; Venue: Van Andel Arena, Grand Rapids, Mich.; Attendance: 8,042; Ticket Range: $18.50-$80; Promoter: Rush Concerts; Dates: Dec. 9; No. of Shows: 1

1) Luis Miguel
Gross Sales: $3,006,850; Venue: Auditorio Citibanamex, Monterrey, Mexico; Attendance: 27,884; Ticket Range: $24.61-$196.88; Promoter: Showlatin; Dates: Dec. 12-16; No. of Shows: 4

2) Anuel AA
Gross Sales: $455,610; Venue: Microsoft Theater, Los Angeles; Attendance: 4,595; Ticket Range: $64-$154; Promoter: The Commission Presents; Dates: Dec. 16; No. of Shows: 1

3) Florida Georgia Line
Gross Sales: $381,793; Venue: Zappos Theater at Planet Hollywood, Las Vegas; Attendance: 3,692; Ticket Range: $53-$188; Promoter: Caesars Entertainment, Live Nation; Dates: Dec. 11; No. of Shows: 1

4) Luke Combs
Gross Sales: $313,805; Venue: Accesso ShoWare Center, Kent, Wash.; Attendance: 5,687; Ticket Range: $35.50-$143; Promoter: In-house Promotion, Entercom; Dates: Dec. 6; No. of Shows: 1

5) O.A.R.
Gross Sales: $285,750; Venue: The Anthem, Washington, D.C.; Attendance: 6,002; Ticket Range: $45-$75; Promoter: I.M.P.; Dates: Dec. 15; No. of Shows: 1

1) Harry Styles
Gross Sales: $290,787; Venue: Ex Theater, Tokyo; Attendance: 3,600; Ticket Range: $79.30; Promoter: In-house Promotion; Dates: Dec. 7-8; No. of Shows: 2

2) Anuel AA
Gross Sales: $264,848; Venue: Arena Theatre, Houston; Attendance: 2,692; Ticket Range: $59-$149; Promoter: The Commission Presents; Dates: Dec. 14; No. of Shows: 1

3) Jerry Seinfeld
Gross Sales: $230,910; Venue: Stanley Center for the Arts, Utica, N.Y.; Attendance: 2,753; Ticket Range: $40-$145; Promoter: JS Touring; Dates: Dec. 6; No. of Shows: 1

4) Harry Connick Jr.
Gross Sales: $209,471; Venue: Municipal Auditorium, Shreveport, La.; Attendance: 2,857; Ticket Range: $46.50-$116.50; Promoter: In-house Promotion, Red Mountain Entertainment; Dates: Dec. 16; No. of Shows: 1

5) Harry Connick Jr.
Gross Sales: $195,620; Venue: Gaillard Center, Charleston, S.C.; Attendance: 1,682; Ticket Range: $39-$203; Promoter: NS2; Dates: Dec. 7; No. of Shows: 1

The weekly Hot Tickets chart is compiled by Pollstar. For more information, email Teamboxoffice@pollstar.com or click here to submit your Box Office data now.

 


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OVG Adds Collins As COO
 
Posted: 3 Jan 2019, 2:00 pm

Stephen Collins, chief operating officer of the new Chase Center in San Francisco, will also be the COO of Oak View Group come July.

Collins-219.jpegStephen Collins.

An announcement about his new position made last month notes that Collins will join Oak View Group after the completion of Chase Center, the Golden State Warriors’ sports and entertainment complex in San Francisco’s Mission Bay neighborhood, which will be ready to open its doors in time for the start of the 2019-20 NBA season.

As COO of Oak View Group (parent company of VenuesNow and Pollstar), Collins will be responsible for overseeing the construction of and completion of OVG’s Arena Alliance projects. He will also join the executive management team and help oversee the company’s divisions focused on arena and facility management, including Prevent Advisors, Global Partnerships, OVG Facility Management, and Media & Conferences.

 


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RECRUITING TIP OF THE MONTH
 
Posted: 1 Jan 2019, 10:00 am

New Year’s Resolution: Updating your personal brand

Whether it’s the end of the year or the beginning of a new one, it’s the perfect time to start a job search or, at the very least, plan for it. With many companies taking time in the new year to re-evaluate their annual hiring goals, it’s also important to prepare yourself, whether that entails cleaning up your résumé, reaching out to contacts or setting your own objectives for the coming year.

Touch up your résumé or LinkedIn profile, at minimum, once a year.  Even if you’re not looking for a new job, it’s a good idea to think back to what you have accomplished in the past year and write it down.  Did you secure a major event, concert or tour?  Did you exceed revenue goals for your building?

If you made new relationships or strengthened old ones, did you add them as connections on LinkedIn and otherwise keep in touch? This is also the best time to network with old contacts without a motive attached to it. Simply wishing someone a “Happy New Year” keeps you on their radar as an easy ice breaker to stay top of mind going into the new year. Better yet, let them know you're paying attention to what they're doing with a “Congratulations on the strong event season this fall” or “I hope the building renovations are going well.” 

What goals do you have in mind for the new year?  The brief quiet in late December or early January to start the year off strong helps reflect on what you want to accomplish both professionally and personally.  Set S.M.A.R.T. goals — Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound — for yourself and hold yourself accountable. 

You never know when or where that new opportunity may appear, so make updating your personal brand a New Year’s resolution.


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INTIX: JIM WALCOTT
 
Posted: 31 Dec 2018, 7:05 pm

Jim_Walcott_140.jpgJim Walcott
Weldon, Williams & Lick

What were you doing in 1979?
Working out of New Orleans as the traveling salesman for WW&L covering Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida and Georgia.

What drew you to INTIX?
The largest gathering of Box Office Professionals and decision makers as “the computer” disrupted tickets.


Talk about a mentor you met through INTIX and how that person helped better you personally and professionally.
June LeBlanc taught me, after she expressed dissatisfaction with WW&L in a BOMI session, that it is how you respond and learn from failure that makes you better. I made it a point to become a real friend of June’s.

What’s an INTIX membership benefit that has been especially helpful to you?
Reinforcing the value of WW&L as we expanded across the USA and internationally.

What business challenge has kept you awake at night the most over the course of your career?
An engineer who worked for IBM that I had met when we worked for the Naval Oceanographic Office telling me in 1980 that tickets could be dispensed from an ATM or identified by some other device, at that time a credit card. That future is today, what is a “ticket”?

Given the constant advancements in technology, what’s the best way to maintain the human touch and personal service in ticketing?
Keep the human part whenever reasonable.
We are all becoming data points that are being sold and resold.
Things change.
I do believe the human spirit will continue to drive us to attend live events with other likeminded souls.
People like dealing with people that make their day better.

How do you see INTIX leading the way into the future of ticketing?
Remain relevant to whatever “ticketing” becomes.

What’s your favorite INTIX memory?
Visits to my room at the rehab hospital by attendees of the 1991 Conference.


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INTIX: ANGUS WATSON
 
Posted: 31 Dec 2018, 7:00 pm

Angus_Watson_140.JPGAngus Watson
Ravinia Festival (retired)

What were you doing in 1979?
I was starting in a new position as head of marketing for London’s Barbican Centre. I was not aware of INTIX (then BOMI) at that time or of its first meeting in Milwaukee in 1980; my first contact with the association was in 1982 when our ticketing software vendor sold a pair of Barbican subscription tickets via satellite from the meeting in St Louis; in 1983 BOMI held its fourth annual conference in London. The Barbican was one of the venue tours, and I also had a chance to meet with Richard Carter, who had worked with Pat Spira to found the organization. Richard, a Lifetime Achievement recipient, remains a close friend.

What drew you to INTIX?
I was drawn to INTIX in 1984, specifically the conference in Los Angeles. I was hoping that the conference would provide me with some useful insights with regards to North American ticketing and marketing practices that I could put into effect at the Barbican. Much to my surprise I discovered that we were in many respects ahead of the game, especially with regards to box office computerization, and the integration of our marketing and box office functions; these seemed to be two areas that were very challenging to many U.S.-based organizations at that time. Needless to say, that feedback provided me with a huge professional morale boost!

Talk about a mentor you met through INTIX and how that person helped better you personally and professionally.
Without question the one individual who I met through INTIX who had the most impact on my professional career was Ernie Santi, the ticketing manager of the Ravinia Festival, a founding member of the association and a Lifetime Achievement recipient. I met Ernie at the 1984 Los Angeles conference. Eight years later I sold him Ravinia’s first in-house computer system; a year after that he invited me to take over his position when he took early retirement. I don’t think these events were related! My subsequent career at Ravinia spanned 23 summer seasons!
Personally, the individual who has had the most impact on my life was also a founding BOMI member who I met at the Los Angeles conference: my wife, Chloe! At that time Chloe was subscription manager at Houston Grand Opera. We soon decided that two people in the same family working in ticketing was one too many!

What’s an INTIX membership benefit that has been especially helpful to you?
Without a doubt the annual conference. For various reasons I have had to miss three conferences since 1984; The Texas conference will be the 33rd that I have attended. INTIX is family, and INTIX members include many of my closest friends.

What business challenge has kept you awake at night the most over the course of your career?
There have been several, but the longest running, and seemingly most intractable, was managing Ravinia’s annual season on-sale each April. The entire season went on sale on the same day, and typically we would sell approximately 25 percent of the total season revenue on that first day. Over more than 10 years we went through numerous iterations of bandwidth, server capacity, website design and ticketing system. A new ticketing system in 2014 finally cracked it.

Given the constant advancements in technology, what’s the best way to maintain the human touch and personal service in ticketing?
Regardless of how good the technology is now, or becomes in the future, customers will always want/need to talk with a human being. In many instances the need for that contact will result from some kind of problem with an online purchase. Customer service staff need to understand that the people that they are helping are not buying tickets; they are buying an experience, hopefully an enjoyable, fulfilling, shared experience. The way in which their problem is handled should have a positive outcome on that experience.

How do you see INTIX leading the way into the future of ticketing?
The future of ticketing rests on the shoulders of those starting out in the profession today. They need to be valued and supported.

What’s your favorite INTIX memory?
Many rewarding conversations at the bar!

What’s your proudest INTIX moment?
Being recognized by my peers. I was named Outstanding Ticketing Professional in 1999 at the 20th Anniversary Conference in Nashville, and was the recipient of the Patricia G. Spira Lifetime Achievement award in San Antonio in 2012. Those are two moments that I will never forget.
Additionally I was honored to chair the INTIX Board of Directors for two years, 2000-2001, during which time we implemented significant structural governance changes which I believe have served the association well in the years since.


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INTIX: JO MICHEL
 
Posted: 31 Dec 2018, 7:00 pm

Jo_Michel_140.JPGJo Michel
Michel Consultancy

What were you doing in 1979?
I had just started my first university studies in 1979. I was training to be a diagnostic medical radiographer in my home town of Newcastle, New South Wales. I completed the course, and it wasn't until 1988 that I began to work in a box office.

What drew you to INTIX? 
There was no ticketing organization within Australia, but I had heard stories from colleagues of BOMNet meetings and these had been held in conjunction with INTIX. I was eager to learn and decided that an association that celebrated ticketing might provide me with resources. This was around 1997 or 1998 and I had taken on my first ticketing manager role with Ensemble Theatre in Sydney.

Talk about a mentor you met through INTIX and how that person helped better you personally and professionally.
That's a difficult one as I have met so many inspiring people within INTIX. I remember the person who was influential in me joining INTIX was Keith Robinson, Ticketing Manager at the Sydney Opera House. Keith extolled the benefits of a shared experience and one of his many practical ideas was arranging a small group of people within the Sydney area to meet over lunch and just talk about and share their experiences, stories and ideas. I learnt as much over lunch as in my day to day practice. Keith also introduced me to a number of colleagues across the world through INTIX and Europe Talks Tickets. And as a result of these contacts, I ended up working in the U.K. for a number of years.

What’s an INTIX membership benefit that has been especially helpful to you?
The benefits of INTIX membership for me have been the opportunities to meet new people all of whom are like me, forging a career in this industry.  Having the ability to share experiences with others who are doing a similar job in various places across the world is truly inspiring and exciting. I amazed by the generosity and spirit of my ticketing tribe.

What business challenge has kept you awake at night the most over the course of your career?
The challenge I have faced most in my career is balancing the needs of the organisation with the needs of the customer. The Ticketing department is often referred to as the face of the organisation as they are usually the only people that interact personally with our customers. It is often difficult for management to understand that this means having staff available even when sales are light. The internet and technology do allow us to service our customers outside of business hours, but it shouldn’t mean we reduce our service levels within opening times. Finding that balance is key, monitoring service and calls and being able to show value for the organisation is how I have always managed to maintain this.

Given the constant advancements in technology, what’s the best way to maintain the human touch and personal service in ticketing?
One of the enduring challenges facing our industry is maintaining the front-line services in conjunction with consumer pressure and technology. The face of our businesses has changed, and we are now needing to provide the best customer service opportunities for our customers and internal business partners in a way that is seemingly less personal than in the past. Instead of having face-to-face conversations we now have virtual ones. What is fantastic is that the technology available to us such as chat and AI options that dovetail with our ticketing and CRM solutions allow us to understand our customers preferences and deliver the services in a new way.


How do you see INTIX leading the way into the future of ticketing?
INTIX leads the way by providing a platform for conversation, for education and for access to technology. It is a space for sharing ideas, meeting and revisiting colleagues and friends and exploring the possibilities for growth within our industry. The INTIX membership, which covers all aspects of the live entertainment space and welcomes anyone who contributes to this industry. As an International member, I learn from other members daily and we share the differences in our cultures and ways of working, what better way to ensure the future.

What’s your favourite INTIX memory?
 My favourite INTIX memory was in 2017 at the New Orleans conference, I was one of only three Australians attending the conference and I remember ending up in a conversation with people from several Broadway theatres, Cirque du Soleil and others and it was fantastic as we were all there for the same reason, Ticketing. It was later that night, after the INTIX Bash, when Angela Gahan and I decided to try and bring a conference back to Australia. We formed a company and I am proud to say that in November 2019 the Australian Ticketing Professionals Conference will take place.


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INTIX: JENIFER THOMAS LAMORTE
 
Posted: 31 Dec 2018, 7:00 pm

Jenifer_Thomas_LaMorte_140.jpgJenifer Thomas LaMorte
Disney Theatrical Group

What were you doing in 1979?
Don’t hate me—I wasn’t born yet in 1979.

What drew you to INTIX?
I was fortunate to get introduced to INTIX early in my career by my leader at the time. What kept me was the community.

Talk about a mentor you met through INTIX and how that person helped better you personally and professionally.
I’ve met a lot of mentors through INTIX, but the most influential one to me is Steven Roth. His guidance has been incredibly impactful to me personally and professionally, and I’m so grateful for him.

What’s an INTIX membership benefit that has been especially helpful to you?
The community! It’s a blast to get to see everyone annually at the conference, but it’s such a blessing to be able to pick up the phone and ask colleagues around the country how they’re handling the latest thing, or suggestions they have on this or that topic. I also work on shows that tour the country, so I get to work with people I know through INTIX on a regular basis, which makes the working process much smoother and more fun.

What business challenge has kept you awake at night the most over the course of your career?
I continue to struggle with how to explain to people, inside and outside of the industry, the depth and importance of what we do. “Ticketing” is so much more than just setting up a ticketing system, or selling at a window, and yet that’s the perception of our roles. In truth, we provide the backbone for our organizations.

Given the constant advancements in technology, what’s the best way to maintain the human touch and personal service in ticketing?
There are a lot of answers to this question, but my top thoughts are considering how a real guest would interact with your purchase flow. How can you smooth the discovery and purchase process to make things simpler for someone who’s attending an event for the first time? It’s also incredibly important to make those moments of human interaction impactful and to get to resolution quickly. Moreover, utilizing technology to be more personalized in how you interact with each guest is the next big hurdle.

How do you see INTIX leading the way into the future of ticketing?
I think of INTIX as the forum for thought leaders to come together. It’s a place where vendors and organizations of all sizes can interact and dream about what comes next.

What’s your favorite INTIX memory?
My favorite INTIX memory was receiving the Young Ticketing Professional award from Shawn Robertson, who is someone I greatly admire. Receiving it from him made it even more special to me.


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INTIX: FRED MAGLIONE
 
Posted: 31 Dec 2018, 7:00 pm

Fred_Maglione_140.pngFred Maglione
The Maglione Group

What were you doing in 1979?
I had been head of sales, ticketing and marketing for Philadelphia 76ers. I left the team at the end of the season and went to work for Globe Information Systems (GIS), a subsidiary of Globe Ticket Co. We were selling a computerized ticketing platform (Select-a Seat). Six months later I was part of the management team that bought GIS from Globe.


What drew you to INTIX?
The wonderful Pat Spira, I've always been impressed at what she created. In 1980 I got a call from Pat, telling me about the organization (BOMI, INTIX didn't exist then) and asking me and our company to participate in their inaugural conference. I wanted so much to participate, but I had been traveling straight for over two weeks and my wife would have killed me if I didn't head home. That's the only one I've missed in 40 years.

Talk about a mentor you met through INTIX and how that person helped better you personally and professionally.
That's a very tough one. The true value of the organization is all the great people I've met over the years. People that in addition to being trusted and valuable business colleagues have become true friends.

What’s an INTIX membership benefit that has been especially helpful to you?
By far, the value to me has been the global footprint of the organization. As a vendor, if you want to participate in this space, you have to belong to this organization.

What business challenge has kept you awake at night the most over the course of your career?
Keeping up with technology and the rapid changes. How the box office operated 40 years ago (what's the internet?) and today is dramatically different.

How do you see INTIX leading the way into the future of ticketing?
As time has passed, what you and I call ticketing (manage the inventory, set prices, distribute tickets and collect payment) has morphed into marketing, fan communication, security, ticket resale, the list goes on. More and more I'm seeing vendors from those industries participating at INTIX.

What’s your favorite INTIX memory?
Too many fun nights in the hotel bar after the day's events were completed. Some things are better left unsaid.


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INTIX: RUSS STANLEY
 
Posted: 31 Dec 2018, 7:00 pm

Russ_Stanley_140.jpgRuss Stanley
San Francisco Giants

What were you doing in 1979?
I was just starting high school and watching my second favorite baseball team, the Pittsburgh Pirates, and my favorite football team, the Pittsburgh Steelers, win championships!

What drew you to INTIX?
My first boss at the Giants, Arthur Schulze, was a BOMI member. He told these great stories of hanging out with guys like Walter Nash, Ed Newman and Carl Gordon. I couldn’t wait to be part of that group. Thirty years later I have my own group I hang out with.

Talk about a mentor you met through INTIX and how that person helped better you personally and professionally.
Hands down, Dan DeMato. He took me under his wing, introduced me to some great people, answered all my questions when I called and to this day he still provides guidance as our consultant.

What’s an INTIX membership benefit that has been especially helpful to you?
It is truly the networking. Meeting people, then being able to call with questions is a great benefit. Many of the people I have met over the years are now friends. The meetings are almost like a family reunion for me.

What business challenge has kept you awake at night the most over the course of your career?
When we rolled out dynamic pricing I had a lot of sleepless nights. The concept made sense but was the sports world ready? A lot of work went into preparing systems and educating fans, but in the end it was worth it.

Given the constant advancements in technology, what’s the best way to maintain the human touch and personal service in ticketing?
Nothing beats talking to a customer face to face. We have had weekly focus groups this offseason and have learned a lot from our fans.

How do you see INTIX leading the way into the future of ticketing?
INTIX should continue to be the mechanism for us to share ideas and provide the ability to learn from one another. Typically any new initiative we tackle goes through my INTIX panel for feedback. 

What’s your favorite INTIX memory?
My first INTIX in New York in 1994 I was a red dot. My “Red Dot Leader” was Richie Robbins. What a character. He taught me how to navigate New York. I was nervous because I had seen too many movies about New York. We became fast friends.


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INTIX: GAIL ANDERSON
 
Posted: 31 Dec 2018, 6:45 pm

Gail Anderson
Minnesota State Fair

What were you doing in 1979?
I was working at a multipurpose arena in St Paul, Minn., as the ticket office supervisor.

What drew you to INTIX?
The building manager suggested Intix to my supervisor as a training and networking association she had received information about. My organization joined and sent our manager to conferences for a few years. I was sent in 1987 for the first time and was hooked.

Talk about a mentor you met through INTIX and how that person helped better you personally and professionally.
This question is impossible for me to narrow down to just one.  I could probably name at least 35 members in the course of 5 minutes that fit the above description. However, I will self-limit to three, and strangely enough all three have been women and a president of INTIX.
Patricia Spira, Intix’s founder and first president, taught me that being a professional and a woman in business was acceptable and knowledge was the key to success.
Jena Hoffman’s lessons were about following your dreams, laugh with gusto when you can and be graceful under pressure.
What I learned from Maureen Andersen: Be who you are without fear, with amazing friends you never walk alone, and if you can’t hide it, decorate it.

What’s an INTIX membership benefit that has been especially helpful to you?
Meeting other people who do what I do and are always willing to share what they know. I have friends that I count on for help, get advice and most importantly a good laugh (or cry) as needed.

What business challenge has kept you awake at night the most over the course of your career?
It’s a tossup between keeping up with technology and anything to do with hiring and managing people.

Given the constant advancements in technology, what’s the best way to maintain the human touch and personal service in ticketing?
Get out of my office and away from the technology. Spending time with over-the-counter customers, walking the fairgrounds during events, working the will call window and talking to our guests, is an amazing way to connect and ask what are we doing right and what needs work. 

How do you see INTIX leading the way into the future of ticketing?
I would love to see a certification program similar to what IAFE has developed and continue to bring the best speakers in technology fields to us.

What’s your favorite INTIX memory?
My favorite memory happens every year, when INTIX give out its awards. Seeing all of the amazing and inspiring professionals each year energizes me for my work and makes me proud to be a member. 


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INTIX: PATRICIA G. SPIRA
 
Posted: 31 Dec 2018, 6:25 pm

Pat_Spira_140.JPGPatricia G. Spira
INTIX founder and former president and CEO

40 years!

It seems just like yesterday that a group of ticketing people from Europe, Australia, Canada and the United States came to Milwaukee and unanimously voted “YES, we vote for an association.”

Although it was freezing outside in January 1980, the temperature inside couldn’t have been warmer or more enthusiastic. Talking, in several languages, went on morning, noon and night, and reluctantly stopped only for much needed sleep — and it has continued like that for 40 years.

If there is anything we’ve learned in ticketing, it is that everything changes, but stays the same. Staying the same: The ticket goes out and something of equal value must replace it — a coupon, money, a credit card, I even heard of a Crisco can at one time. Everything changes: The way the ticket is produced, marketed and sold. These changes were introduced, implemented, developed and improved, in a major way, through BOMI/INTIX.

I don’t know what the ticket will look like in 40 years, but one thing I am confident about is that INTIX will be in the forefront of innovation and leadership for the fascinating ticket industry.
 
Congratulations to 40 years of outstanding Boards, Committee Chairs and Members for making ticketing a valued profession, and for providing the expertise, knowledge and experience that moves our industry forward.


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INTIX's Maureen Andersen on conference, milestone
 
Posted: 31 Dec 2018, 6:10 pm

WHAT'S YET TO COME
Maureen Andersen
President, INTIX

Maureen_Andersen_140.jpgWhat a fantastic time of change we are seeing in our industry today! Much has been written this year about the transformative change that is occurring in our industry.  Simply put, we’re in for a real eye opener in the year(s) ahead. There is a feeling of electricity in the air as we prepare for the next great wave of change to sweep over us. And, I’m excited that the INTIX community has once again come together to discuss these and other industry trends at INTIX’s 40th Anniversary Conference and Exhibition.

As entertainment industry professionals we access and manage the backend more efficiently, but we will also do far more on the frontend to engage with the consumer. This extends to events themselves, where the proliferation of Wi-Fi and RFID has led to fully integrated mobile experiences that improve fan engagement — from minimum-click mobile purchasing to VIP package options that get fans closer to the artists, athletes and teams they love. #INTIX2019 is moving to RFID — we’ll have a custom lead-retrieval system to connect attendees and exhibitors provided by Microcom Corp. 

As we look to our future blockchain technology and associated words such as “cryptocurrencies” remain a “distant” and mysterious concept, still not fully understood by most people and likely to raise the question: “Is this real?” Not only is it real, but it’s about to have an impact on everything we do. Just as wireless led to a paradigm shift in our industry, so will the blockchain; a shared public ledger of information that many believe can create efficiencies and build positive fan sentiment and engagement.  While the sports industry is abuzz with the possibilities of blockchain technology, the looming question is how far into the industry will it reach? We’ll find out soon enough.  At INTIX 2019, we’ll help demystify blockchain, with panels on how it and open-source software will revolutionize ticketing plus impacts for the user experience and the ticketing professional.

One thing we must remain focused on is hospitality and service, the hallmark of our long and noble industry. We need to find ways to use all this wonderful technology to better engage, communicate and welcome guests to our venues. In a sense, we are returning to moment-to-moment sales and person-to-person relationships, but we’re doing it in new and exciting ways. Let’s keep doing that in 2019 as we continue to embrace change, ensuring that our venues remain open, accessible, safe and hospitable for all.

It is worth pausing for a moment to reflect on what the 40th anniversary of INTIX means. We gather annually for our moment-to-moment and person-to-person relationships, to share our stories, to learn from each other and to celebrate our elders and our past. We are so grateful for those that have led us to this point; we relish the excitement of today; and we embrace a bright future and all of the  opportunities and challenges with open arms. I am reminded that it takes a village to do this great work of INTIX or in our case a “tribe” of professionals who are collectively driving the Future of Ticketing and Entertainment! 

Celebrate with us in Texas Jan. 29-31 but mark your calendars NOW for our spectacular
#intix2020, back where we belong, in NYC Jan. 21-23, 2020.


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INTIX: BRIAN A S LEISHMAN
 
Posted: 31 Dec 2018, 6:00 pm

Brian_A_S_Leishman_140.JPGBrian A S Leishman
Majoritas, Edinburgh Military Tattoo (retired)

In 1979 I had, after 21 years in the British Army, joined the Edinburgh Military Tattoo with responsibility for the entire business operation of that event.
It took me very little time to realise that the Box Office with its responsibility for ticketing was effectively the engine room for any ticketed event, not, as many would argue, the Marketing Department.
Joining INTIX allowed me to meet many kindred spirits which for me was the organisation's main event.


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INTIX: RALPH BEYER
 
Posted: 31 Dec 2018, 6:00 pm

Ralph_Beyer_140.JPGRalph Beyer
Ticketmaster

What were you doing in 1979?
I was in my 10th year in the ticketing business. I began in ticketing about 50 years ago, 1969, at the age of 18, going to college and working summers in the ticket office of Nederlander’s Merriweather Post Pavilion outdoor amphitheater in Columbia, Md. In 1973, upon graduating from college, I began working in ticketing for Abe Pollin, well respected Construction/Builder in Washington, D.C., and a Sports and Entertainment entrepreneur. Abe had just built his 20,000-seat Capital Centre Arena in Landover, Md., to be a home for his two professional sports teams, the NBA Washington Bullets (now the Washington Wizards) and shortly thereafter the NHL Washington Capitals. In 1973 we had opened the Capital Centre with our own expensive proprietary in-house ticket system. It was revolutionary at the time, but in five years, by 1978, it was clearly outdated. We needed something more powerful, dependable, flexible and reliable. In 1978 Abe purchased the Ticketmaster Franchise for the USA Mid-Atlantic region. We immediately began marketing this amazing new ticketing system to other venues and in early 1979 we opened with our first local Ticketmaster client, the Baltimore Arena, now the Royal Farms Arena/SMG, and they are still with us to this day. I will never forget 1979.
   
What drew you to INTIX?
In 1979 ticketing, for the most part, had two options, hard tickets or computer tickets though either Ticketron, then the industry giant, or with the relatively new, very sophisticated upstart company, called Ticketmaster, and there were a couple smaller in-house ticketing system companies as well. BOMI (Box Office Managers International), now named  INTIX, was this incredible new resource — a gathering of fellow ticketing peers, something we never had before, outside of our own local areas — a way to meet, network, exchange ideas and grow our individual knowledge base about our venues and the industry. It was clear from the start that BOMI/INTIX was something that all ticketing professionals wanted to be part of. 

Talk about a mentor you met through INTIX and how that person helped better you personally and professionally.
There have been so may interesting and knowledgeable people at INTIX, especially in the early days when it was so new — you could feel your mind and world expanding at every annual conference as you listened to fellow ticket peers explain their business. I was inspired by so many, but the four mentors that stand out were Pat Spira, the founder/head of BOMI/INTIX, a huge mentor for me, and because of her leadership, stewardship and vision, INTIX has continued through new capable leadership hands today. Three other “seasoned” ticket managers who knew the business were Roger Loeb from the Royal National Theatre in London, Jim Gatens of the NYC Ticket Sellers Union and the half-price ticket booth in NYC, and of course my dear friend and mentor Albert Leffler, the eloquent master ticketing professional and co-founder of Ticketmaster. All these people had a most positive impact on my professional career  and personally. They brought structure to something new, they helped establish ground rules and set box office and ticketing standards that continue industrywide and worldwide to this day. They helped give our profession direction, substance and respect. INTIX made these wonderful friendships possible. 
   
What’s an INTIX membership benefit that has been especially helpful to you?
One of the most important benefits from the very beginning was you felt you had found a sense of place, a group you could identify with, we shared common stories and experiences and we learned and helped one another. INTIX is a community of professional peers. What I have  learned through my INTIX association has been rich in quality and relevant in work and personal life. I’ve also been lucky enough to have made some quality lifelong friends, for which I am most grateful. 
  
What business challenge has kept you awake at night the most over the course of your career?
The business challenges I fear most now are external. What is someone (who doesn’t understand ticketing) going to dream up and expect it to happen overnight? That said, in today’s world of such advanced technology, just about everything is possible. In almost all cases common sense and great technology are good partners in facing and solving most challenges.  

Given the constant advancements in technology, what’s the best way to maintain the human touch and personal service in ticketing?
Customers love the freedom of the internet / technology to transact business in a non-personal space and at their convenience. While having this powerful tools at their disposal, it’s important we don’t lose touch with them.
Take no customer for granted. Today’s customer is tomorrow's customer. We can use the same technology used by the customer to purchase a ticket, to help us maintain a connection with them. Acknowledge every sale — a simple outreach communication, a simple thank you, through an email, text, etc., helps makes the sale personal again. Communication with customers can’t end once the purchase it made. Ideally, it’s the beginning a lifelong rapport and friendship with them, if we take the time to nurture it. All the advancements in technology are exactly what is giving us the opportunity to make each sale personal again. 
 
How do you see INTIX leading the way into the future of ticketing?
INTIX is an International Ticketing Association — its membership is worldwide and spans all segments of entertainment and sports. As long as we have an association and membership where we can meet, exchange information, ideas and issues, the profession will continue to grow, thrive and move forward and help create the future of ticketing. Dedicated ticketing professionals and great technology will keep INTIX driving our industry forward.  

What’s your favorite INTIX memory?
There are too many favorite memories to share, but I can share that the annual INTIX Conferences enriched my outlook and helped me grow professionally and personally. It’s a wonderful opportunity to be introduced to an amazing group of dedicated peers, many of whom will become some of your best resources, if not your best friends.


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INTIX: RICHARD CARTER
 
Posted: 31 Dec 2018, 6:00 pm

Richard Carter
RDC Consulting

What were you doing in 1979? 
In 1978 had recently taken on the positon Manager of Ticketing Services for the brand new Orchestra Hall and the Minnesota Orchestra. I went to Milwaukee to attend a workshop on ticketing sponsored by IATSE. It was mostly sports oriented and very basic. The new Milwaukee Performing Arts Centre had just opened nearby.  I wanted to see the new venue and asked the box office what the ticket manager’s name was — Pat Spira. I wrote the name down on a ticket envelope and asked to see her. We instantly clicked — both new venues with complex ticketing challenges. I still have that envelope.
We found we had similar problems and compared how we handled them. We continued to communicate, it was realized that the industry would benefit by a meeting with other ticket managers and exchange ideas of management of our box offices and our complex ticketing requirements.  Pat set her mind to it. When Pat set her mind to anything, she got it done. It was our first ticket meeting ever, with 22 attendees from Canada, England, Australia and the United States

What drew you to INTIX?
Ticketing was on a new break forth with new ideas. Telephone ticket sales, the coming dominance of credit cards and of course computerized ticketing. It was like going from silent movies to colour Cinescope in one leap. At the conference we saw the things to come and to share problem, triumphs, and disasters that challenge our industry. 

Talk about a mentor you met through INTIX and how that person helped better you personally and professionally.
Pat Spira. That is all I can say.

What’s an INTIX membership benefit that has been especially helpful to you?
There were a number of benefits: the interaction with other members, learning that we all had problems and many of the problems were the same; the workshops, seeing how other organization concurred problems; and the trade shows, talking to see what our support industry was doing to simplify the box office daily work. The ticketing support industry learned from the attendees what worked and did not, making improvements in their products. 

What business challenge has kept you awake at night the most over the course of your career?
Staffing the box office, phone sales, subscriptions, mail orders.

Given the constant advancements in technology, what’s the best way to maintain the human touch and personal service in ticketing? 
With the advent of computer ticketing the public has replaced much of the work that was processed by staffs … online ticket buying, print at home tickets, etc.  At one time tickets were sold without a service charge. Today we charge the patron to allow him to purchase the ticket, claiming it is a convenience charge. It really it is just a ripoff of our customers.

How do you see INTIX leading the way into the future of ticketing?
INTIX meets once a year. We lose personal contact and open discussion over that span of time.  I would like to see the return of the regional conference. There have been a number of local organizations modeled after INTIX, one being OPTA here in Toronto with 136 members that meet every other month.  

What’s your favorite INTIX memory?
It took place at the Royal York Hotel Ballroom in Toronto. Pat Spira was placed in a thronelike chair of honor for a ceremony of Native American Indians, presenting Pat with a lovely carving, with tom tom drums and all. 
 


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INTIX: LINDA FORLINI
 
Posted: 31 Dec 2018, 6:00 pm

Linda Forlini
Ticket Philadelphia

What were you doing in 1979?
I was a Junior in High School, listening to disco and punk. Excited about the approintment of Margaret Thatcher as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Sid Vicious died — that was tragic for me.  I loved punk and the Sex Pistols were great. The movie "Alien" came out and scared me to death. "Dallas" was on TV, and I know that I wanted to know what was going to happen next to this family in Texas. I spent my summers at the Jersey Shore working at Castle Dracula scaring people to death — it was a blast!

What drew you to INTIX?
In 1985, I was involved in a stage accident that altered my trajectory for life. I was studying Stage Management and Technical Theater — that was what I wanted to do, but it was not my destiny. I was given the job of Box Office Manager at the theater I was working in as a lateral move. I had no idea what I was doing, what happened beyond the proscenium and I needed help. It just so happened that the college had just purchased an automoated ticketing solution called Select Ticketing — PASS — so I also needed to understand what a computer was and how to work it, so the leadership at Select Ticketing turned me on to BOMI. I reached out to Pat and the rest is history.

Talk about a mentor you met through INTIX and how that person helped better you personally and professionally.
The first person that helped me navigate the waters was Aspen Olmsted. He was with Select Ticketing, we were both so young then and he was the programmer for the system. It was and still is a relationship I value, and I feel fortunate to have worked with him from 1985 to 2016.  He is now a professor and has left the industry. Pat Spira was also a mentor that helped me along the way. There are too many to mention that I still lean on, you know who you are and I thank you.

What’s an INTIX membership benefit that has been especially helpful to you?
I used to comb through the membership directory when I needed help. I know I am dating myself, but they were invaluable to me as a newcomer to the industry. I still have some of them, I am sorry that I do not have more — I love going down memory lane, seeing a name and remembering something they did or said and smiling.

What business challenge has kept you awake at night the most over the course of your career?
Keeping up with emails keeps me up at night. I get about 150 a day — it is unrelenting. That on top of everything else just compounds the stress levels of late nights, early mornings.

Given the constant advancements in technology, what’s the best way to maintain the human touch and personal service in ticketing?
I always take time to stop and talk to my staff on a personal level. Ask them about life, check in when they are sick and make sure that they know that I appreciate that they came to work today and that we are in this together. I may not be on the phones or in the trenches with them but I have their back — always. I speak for them, protect them and make sure they feel important and valued every day. I also try and feed them as much as possible — happy staff means happy customers.

How do you see INTIX leading the way into the future of ticketing?
Partnering with our Technology providers — they are on the leading edge and INTIX needs to be there to support and be on the journey with them. Soon our websites are going to go the way of the box office and be used minimally. Watch out for Google and Amazon — they may play a very big part in the future success of the live entertainment business.

What’s your favorite INTIX memory?
The New Orleans conference in 1993. We had a fabulous gala and costume party — we were in NOLA, so we did as NOLA does.  The next day I woke up and there were 10 Hurricane glasses — they had to be 18 inches tall — in my hotel room, the memory is sketchy. I made it down to the conference at lunchtime and came across Pat in the lobby, she was complaining about the attendance at the morning sessions and she vowed in the lobby very loudly — INITX will NEVER host another conference in New Orleans. And that edict held true until 2017. I was much older and wiser this time — I attended the sessions in the mornings. I am not sure why that memory is so clear to me, even to this day. I think I felt that I contributed to the decision Pat made which affected the entire Association.


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INTIX: JOSEPH CARTER
 
Posted: 31 Dec 2018, 6:00 pm

Joe_Carter_140.JPGJoseph Carter
Los Angeles Philharmonic Association

What were you doing in 1979?
I was just starting high school in Indiana.

What drew you to INTIX?
Our company’s ticketing system had their user group meeting at the conference. My first time was when we were thinking we might have to change systems, so why not stay longer and see what is out there. I’ve been going ever since.

Talk about a mentor you met through INTIX and how that person helped better you personally and professionally.
Jena Hoffman — taught me to stand up for myself and my team.
Maureen Andersen — taught me to be open to new opportunities and different voices, and take those risks you believe in. 
Russ Stanley — taught me to try new things, and if they don’t work — try something else.

What’s an INTIX membership benefit that has been especially helpful to you?
Interaction with the membership — I’ve met so many smart, willing and helpful people here.  The ideas they have given me, the encouragement they have shown and the support through tough times has been fantastic!

What business challenge has kept you awake at night the most over the course of your career?
Keeping up with technology changes. As soon as you master the new item, another change comes and complicates the process further.  It’s a great brain exercise — but there have been many a night where I wake up at 3 a.m. thinking about that one item that could make it all go better (or that needs to be fixed before the 10 a.m. on sale).

Given the constant advancements in technology, what’s the best way to maintain the human touch and personal service in ticketing?
Be sure the staff maintains empathy throughout the process. Be it responding in person, via email, phone or chat, people want to be heard.  The art of listening never goes out of style.

How do you see INTIX leading the way into the future of ticketing?
By maintaining its position as the connection within our industry — for actionable education, inspiring innovation and an engaged community. We as companies and employees are constantly having to reinvent ourselves — INTIX helps us watch the trends, learn how to best enact those changes and be surrounded by smart and fun people who inspire and encourage us to keep moving forward.

What’s your favorite INTIX memory?
I have so many great memories. Meeting some of my closest friends. Dealing with some of the most professionally difficult challenges and turning to my INTIX colleagues for advice and support — and using that advice to become a champion for my company. Winning awards — and seeing up-and-coming professionals bloom into amazing leaders.  It’s been quite a ride!


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INTIX: KAY BURNHAM
 
Posted: 31 Dec 2018, 6:00 pm

Kay_Burnham_140.jpgKay Burnham
Segerstrom Center for the Arts

What were you doing in 1979?
I was a ballet and acting student (while attending fourth grade) aiming to make a career on the stage.

What drew you to INTIX?
A longtime friend at another company had been to a summer conference and shared with me her learnings and all the industry connections she made. I knew that INTIX was something I needed to get involved in from that moment. After attending my first conference in Nashville in 1999, I realized I had found a place that was all about people doing the same work and struggling with the same challenges I was and it was uplifting.

Talk about a mentor you met through INTIX and how that person helped better you personally and professionally.
One of my early mentors was John Harig. I’m not even sure he realizes just how much of an impact he made on my career.  I joined the Peer Consulting committee and at the time he was chair of the committee. He took me under his wing and helped me feel comfortable talking with all levels of people working in the industry and helped me learn how to address the board of INTIX. Later, when I first became the Director of Ticketing, he graciously allowed me to come observe his operation in Cincinnati as part of a trip I took to learn how multivenue campuses operate. I am so grateful for his years of friendship.

What’s an INTIX membership benefit that has been especially helpful to you?
For me, the most helpful membership benefit INTIX has to offer for me is the direct access to a wide variety of industry professionals, both in venues and vendor/service providers. I know if I am facing a challenge, I can reach out in any number of directions and find possible solutions and then tailor them to fit my business and patron needs.

What business challenge has kept you awake at night the most over the course of your career?
The most daunting and continual challenge in my career is using technology to improve both the customer experience and internal efficiency. These two areas can often clash, and finding the balance is difficult. Technology changes rapidly and customer expectations are shaped by companies like Amazon and Apple that have more resources to direct to that area than any performing arts organization.  My goal is find the ways we can get as close as possible, on our scale, to what they can do with their purchase and service processes.

Given the constant advancements in technology, what’s the best way to maintain the human touch and personal service in ticketing?
Using technology to truly know your customer allows you to personalize the experience even if they are not interacting with a human. Websites can generate personalized recommendations of events based on past purchase behavior and other data, ticket systems can send messages to event staff scanning tickets to deliver tailored welcome messages, marketing can create communications that speak directly to the individual instead of delivering a generic message, all of these help continue to elevate the level of personal service we can offer if implemented correctly. 

How do you see INTIX leading the way into the future of ticketing?
As there is increased scrutiny on the entertainment ticketing industry, INTIX is uniquely positioned to be a beacon for ethical leadership. INTIX can call on the top industry minds to work on issues of equitable access and provide a neutral forum for discussions that can elevate the entire industry.

What’s your favorite INTIX memory?
My favorite INTIX memory was attending the Denver conference in 2003 and touring Mile High Stadium. As a Broncos fan it was an amazing experience to be able to be in their ticket office and, more importantly, down on the field.


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INTIX: GARY LUSTIG
 
Posted: 31 Dec 2018, 6:00 pm

Gary_Lustig_140.jpgGary Lustig
LusTicks Consulting Services

What were you doing in 1979?
1979 was a few years before I joined INTIX. Ticketing was the farthest thing from my mind at the time

What drew you to INTIX?
I was hired by The Dallas Opera in 1983 to be their ticketing manager. They had lots of service problems after a difficult ticketing system implementation. I was hired to help them recover, but I knew nothing about ticketing. INTIX (then BOMI) gave me access to a group of people with vast knowledge and experience and an amazing openness about sharing it with someone like me.

Talk about a mentor you met through INTIX and how that person helped better you personally and professionally.
For me, there wasn’t one single person as a mentor. I do credit Pat Spira with my career, though.  At my very first Conference, Pat came over, pulled me out of the corner I was hiding in, introduced me to some people who are now lifelong friends and colleagues (Angus Watson and Fred Maglione come to mind) and stuck me on a Committee. I never looked back from there.  Her devotion to the organization and industry were inspirational.

What’s an INTIX membership benefit that has been especially helpful to you?
The ability to make connections. To me INTIX was LinkedIn before there was such a thing, and it still is.

What business challenge has kept you awake at night the most over the course of your career?
Keeping up with technology. Having worked mainly in the nonprofit sector, finding ways to keep up with ever-changing technologies is a challenge. Technology advancements have made some amazing things possible but there’s never a status quo. Once you’ve implemented some new technology, there’s no time to rest. You just move on to the newest advance.

Given the constant advancements in technology, what’s the best way to maintain the human touch and personal service in ticketing?
Technology is great for customers who want to use it, but we should never make it difficult or impossible for a customer to interact with a human if that’s what they want. When I was running Ticket Philadelphia we handled subscriptions for the Philadelphia Orchestra. Most subscribers would order online or by old-fashioned mail  However, every year we would have groups of women who had been subscribing together for years. They would come into the office with their brochures and personal calendars. They’d spread it all out on a desk, sit with one of our team members for hours sometimes while they went through the concert schedule, their calendars and seating until they were all happy. It was a great thing to see.  Bottom line: The key is just to be easily available, empathetic and have no rules in place that keep your teams from satisfying customers.     

How do you see INTIX leading the way into the future of ticketing?
INTIX is a neutral and “safe” place. It’s really the only place to me that all industry sectors can come together and learn from each other in an open environment. It provides “fertile ground” for professionals at all levels of their careers. Everyone from new managers to seasoned veterans will always learn something new and valuable as a result of participating in INTIX. This adds great value to their orgaizations. INTIX is also striving to raise the profile of ticketing professionals in the entertainment and sports industries. The number of ticketing people who now sit at the executive levels of their organizations is growing dramatically. This is partly driven by INTIX leadership over the past few years. The status of ticketing professionals will continue to grow driven by the value that INTIX is providing to its membership organizations.  

What’s your favorite INTIX memory?
It seems like there’s a new memory every year. If I had to choose one it was the San Antonio Conference. 1987. I co-chaired that Conference in only my fourth year in the industry.  It was an amazing experience to see so many people learning and having fun at an event that I helped create.


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INTIX: FRANKIE ACCARDI-PERI
 
Posted: 31 Dec 2018, 6:00 pm

Frankie Accardi-Peri
GDTS TOO Inc.

What were you doing in 1979?
Selling tickets at the haunted Brigantine Castle (voted the scariest attraction in the U.S. at the time).

What drew you to INTIX?
Grateful Dead Ticket Sales. As co-manager of a growing enterprise, we realized early on the value of networking through INTIX. 

Talk about a mentor you met through INTIX and how that person helped better you personally and professionally.
Pat Spira, always raising the bar higher, making me realize I could achieve feats I never thought possible!

What’s an INTIX membership benefit that has been especially helpful to you?
Lifelong friendships/networking with colleagues.

What business challenge has kept you awake at night the most over the course of your career?
Promoters not honoring the agreed upon seat allotments and ticket prices, changing the facts after the remainder of the tickets were sold. Dead Heads are extremely fussy about their seat locations!

Given the constant advancements in technology, what’s the best way to maintain the human touch and personal service in ticketing?
Customer service, having an open connection to "Stay In Touch."

How do you see INTIX leading the way into the future of ticketing?
With the advancement of technology, the face of the ticket industry has completely changed in the decades that I have been involved.  I expect that it will keep changing at an excelled rate.  INTIX will be there on the roller coaster ride as the industry continues into the future.

What’s your favorite INTIX memory?
Wow, so many memories, how does one decide?  Can't really talk about the wild parties with the New Yorkers, Alaskans, British/Scottish, Canadians and the Colorado/Utah folks. Let's see, Jesse with a balloon in his stroller at an Exhibition opening, the bus rides, the museums, the cocktail hours, taking breaks with Liz and Shane, the awards luncheons, the gift committee, the auction, the prizes, etc., etc., etc.
I think my favorite and most memoriable was Chief Leonard George’s keynote address in Vancouver. The humanitarian message that he gave that day has stayed with me as a guide in my personal and business path through life.
Thank you, INTIX.


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INTIX: JACK LUCAS
 
Posted: 31 Dec 2018, 6:00 pm

Jack_Lucas_140.jpgJack Lucas
WestCoast Entertainment

What were you doing in 1979?
For me it was actually 1987, and I was just starting TicketsWest (formerly back then known as G&B Select-a-Seat), so the first conference I attended was 1988, and that was when INTIX was named BOMI (Box Office Managers International).

What drew you to INTIX?
I was drawn to INTIX because I was told that if you were in the ticketing business you had to be in attendance at BOMI (INTIX) conferences, because it provided educational tracks, vendor exhibits, etc.  It was the place to be if you were in ticketing.

Talk about a mentor you met through INTIX and how that person helped better you personally and professionally.
Without a doubt, and I will say that again, without a doubt, it was Patricia (Pat) Spira, one of the founding members of BOMI/INTIX.  Here I am, Jack Lucas, starting a computerized ticketing company from ground zero, with very little actual knowledge of the marketplace, very little knowledge about the ticketing business overall. The only thing I had was a strong will to succeed.  Pat, for whatever reason, decided that she was going to help mentor me, and that started a lifetime friendship, that still is there today. Pat was instrumental in introducing me to many key ticketing personnel, to encouraging me to get involved in BOMI/INTIX, to instill in me to try and make a difference, and from that I became very involved in the association, serving on many committees over the years, and serving in whatever capacity was needed. 

What’s an INTIX membership benefit that has been especially helpful to you?
It may sound elementary, but from my perspective, the ability to network with other ticketing professionals. It is amazing how much information is shared and learned from just networking with “like minds” from the industry. Also, INTIX has had a very strong reputation for providing outstanding educational tracks for the membership at conference time.

What business challenge has kept you awake at night the most over the course of your career?
Anyone that knows me knows the answer to this question, because I’ve said it time and time again. The thing that keeps me up/kept me up over the years is knowing that the team members that are working for me are making important life decisions based on their employment with TicketsWest. Whether that takes the form of deciding to buy their first house, have their first child, get married, whatever it was, it was important to me that I make sure that TicketsWest continued to grow, that revenues continued to grow, and that the business was stable and relevant, because I had people making important decisions based on their employment with TicketsWest. Plus, it was a motivator for me to keep working hard at expanding and building the business.

Given the constant advancements in technology, what’s the best way to maintain the human touch and personal service in ticketing?
You have to be present! You have to ensure you have that “one on one” with your clients. You can’t do that by sitting behind a desk. I believe that is what separates TicketsWest from a lot of the competitors. I make sure that I was out on the road visiting clients. Getting to know them.  Building those relationships. Now the people that I mentored along the way are doing the same thing. You have to maintain that one on one relationship.

How do you see INTIX leading the way into the future of ticketing?
INTIX represents ticketing! INTIX has a responsibility to ensure that it stays relevant, informative, provides the education, and networking, for ticketing professionals around the world. Back in 1987 when I got involved in ticketing, we as ticketing professionals did not have  seat at the table. When big entertainment events were being planned, you had the building managers, the operational managers, food and catering managers, sitting around a boardroom, all talking about how this large entertainment event was going to be planned and executed. The ticketing department was an afterthought. Now, because of BOMI/INTIX, ticketing professionals have a seat in the boardroom along with all of the other departments, when it comes to planning an entertainment event. No one now thinks that we sell tickets out of a show box! We are ticketing professionals. We are in a business that requires exceptional skills and professionalism.  At the end of the day, an event starts with the purchase of a ticket. That ticket is the catalyst for everything that comes after. 

What’s your favorite INTIX memory?
There are so many. So many people I have had the pleasure of knowing. The interactions.  If there is one highlight, I would say that being presented with the Patricia Spira Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013 was the high point of my ticketing career. Because Pat was such an important part of my professional life, this brought my career full circle.  I was humbled then and I am still humbled that my peers would think that much of me, to award me the Lifetime Achievement Award.


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SCENE: PORTLAND
 
Posted: 31 Dec 2018, 11:50 am

Robyn Williams, executive director of Portland'5 Centers for the Arts. (Courtesy Portland'5 Centers for the Arts)

Portland’5’s Keller Uuditorium got “Hamilton” this year, so it’s no wonder Executive Director Robyn Williams had a great 2018. Williams has been active in the Portland live events space for over 18 years. She’s also a former IAVM chairman and a Tony voter.

VenuesNow spoke with the queen of the Portland venue scene about the state of the live event space in one of the Pacific Northwest’s shining-star cities.

Tell us about the Portland venue scene.
From the entertainment side of things Portland is hopping. It’s a solid arts town. It’s a good sports town. It has a really good music scene from small indie clubs all the way up to the Moda Center.

How are ticket sales?
What we’re seeing is that people are buying tickets; shows are selling very well, and I’ve been hearing about a lot of sellouts all over town. People want to get out, be entertained, and see a little bit of everything.

David_Byrne_200.jpgDeath_Cab_200.jpg

Recent Keller Auditorium shows: David Byrne (far left) and Ben Gibbard with Death Cab for Cutie. (Getty Images X2)

Tell us about a typical Portland live eventgoer.
We’re pretty open-minded, on the left-hand side of politics, and a town that likes a good protest. People here are pretty invested in what’s going on locally. We are filled with both hipsters and families.

How competitive is the landscape from a venue perspective?
It’s not that bad because we’re not a city with three or four arenas and multiple midlevel  venues. We’ve got a room for every act, from little clubs to our arena, but there’s not that many venues like Seattle might have. Here, if you’re an arena act, there’s only one arena in town. If you want 3,000 seats, right now we’re that venue. Because of the lack of real competition, the venues here all work together. We’re a cozy bunch.

What’s on the horizon for Portland?
What’s keeping me up at night is a new House of Blues that will open soon. Live Nation is building a House of Blues in a mall in a space that was a Nordstrom. I’m keeping my eye on it. I don’t know if Live Nation intends to be the sole booker of the hall or if they are going to open it up. I’m anxious to know the configuration. The more it looks like us, the more nervous I will be.


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Q & A: JEFF TRISLER
 
Posted: 31 Dec 2018, 11:45 am

Shirley Manson of Garbage on stage at Portland’s Roseland Theater. (Courtesy Roseland Theater)

Jeff_Trisler_140.jpgJeff Trisler has been programming the Pacific Northwest for the last 30 years; he’s been doing it for Live Nation shows for the last 11 years. VenuesNow spoke with the veteran promoter about what’s driving the market.

What makes the Pacific Northwest unique?
Venues aren’t all that far apart, even from state to state. Seattle is in one direction, Bend (Oregon) in another, are both three-hour drives from Portland. Vancouver, Wash., and Vancouver, B.C., are one-hour drives from Seattle. Tacoma and Olympia are all a stone’s throw from one another. That means bands can play one or the other and skip over a whole state if they only have room for one or two Pacific Northwest slots available. A lot of shows sell out here because fans will travel from one state to another to see the band if the band isn’t coming to their city.

The Pacific Northwest has a lot of festivals. Why is the ground so fertile there?
Our summer months are glorious, and after being trapped inside or on rainy, icy roads, the people want to get out. Amphitheaters, like our Gorge Amphitheatre, do extremely well here during the spring and summer months because of this phenomenon.

Which genres work best in the Pacific Northwest?
Rock, country and hip-hop all do well here. We’re developing a market for electronic dance music. And classical music always seems to find an audience here.

What’s unique about programming the region?
When you look on the map, I like to say, “We’re on the road to nowhere.” That means we must have a strong market to attract acts to come here. Acts need to play the right room to make it work.

Does the infamous Pacific Northwest weather play a part?
Absolutely. The weather plays a huge part when programming events. It often rains or snows for around 150 days a year. We really come alive in the spring and summer.

Which factors affected the region this year?
Definitely KeyArena closing for 2 ½ years for renovations is already having a huge impact on the region. Things are getting shook up. Shows that would have played there are going to play in other venues, and you never know what will happen. And then when KeyArena does open back up, the landscape will shift again because they are adding in a lot more seats and competing with venues they didn’t vie with before.

Why is the region so great for live entertainment?
Seattle and Portland are two of the fast-growing markets in the country. There’s a lot of corporate strength here, like Amazon and Microsoft, and the kind of person who works at a tech company is a prime live-event customer.

Where do you see the region in five years?
The region just keeps spreading out and people are pouring in. It’s not projected to slow down. We get a lot of people frustrated with bigger cities like Los Angeles or New York City moving here and they’re bringing their love of live entertainment with them. Live Nation and other companies are investing here, and they would not be if they didn’t think they’d do really well here.


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THE CIRCUIT: WHAT VENUE MANAGERS ARE SAYING
 
Posted: 31 Dec 2018, 11:00 am

Florece + the Machine was part of the lineup at Portland’s Moda Center. (Courtesy Portland Trail Blazers)

Amanda_Mann_140.jpgRose Quarter (Moda Center, Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Theater of the Clouds), Portland
Amanda Mann, vice president and general manager

How did you do in 2018?
We had a phenomenal year and appreciate the recognition. That said between the two venues on the Rose Quarter campus, we had 50-plus shows in our last fiscal year, a record high.

Big shows 
Florence + the Machine, Logic, Luke Bryant.

Changes
We built out a new Rip City Clothing Co. stand. We brought on a new local concession partner, Tamale Boy, as well as expanded the presence of Cha Cha Cha and Ruby Jewel. We created new concepts Bap and Noodle, The Speck, Whole Sum and Low Bar. We activated seat service on the club level. We installed portable vehicle intrusion barriers and planters. We're currently working through bids on new access control software and camera systems and additional cameras.

Joining were Richard Fedesco assistant general manager; Aaron Shapiro, director of guest experience; Calvin Brennan, guest experience manager; Dan Nielsen, director of security; and Cody Tassin, security and safety manager. In addition to these new hires, we promoted Alli Stangel to senior manager of event services; Justin Pierson to event manager; and Tyrone Stillwell and Colin Chiles to ESS supervisors.

We established a part-time ambassador program and it's helped increase part-time retention by 10 percent.


Stephanie_Curran_140.jpgSpokane Arena and First Interstate Center for the Arts, Spokane, Wash.
Stephanie Curran, CEO of Spokane Public Facilities District

How did you do in 2018?
We're going to end up strong.

Big shows
We just had Metallica in the arena, and we broke every record for attendance and per caps. Productions "Waitress" and "Finding Neverland" were big in the PAC.

Changes
We renovated our First Interstate Center for the Arts performing arts center. We added new seating and made it more ADA-friendly. We added a quick-fire pizza concept, an Asian stand and a specialty grilled cheese stand. On the way is a new sport complex with a 200-meter, six-lane track.

What went right
The new food concepts have worked great and people now come here to eat instead of eating before they arrive. The renovations have brought a tremendous amount of economic impact to the community.

What went wrong
The raise in the minimum wage in Washington has impacted us and there is a labor shortage. Construction costs are higher — for instance, Amazon just built a fulfillment center here and they bought up all the concrete in the area and the price of what concrete was left was higher.


Jimi_Biron_140.jpgMcMenamins Edgefield Amphitheater, Troutdale, Ore.
Jimi Brion, director of entertainment and venue programming

How did you do in 2018?
We shot up the chart this year mainly because we put on a lot more shows in 2018 —
27 more. Bands playing two nights helped.

Big shows
Avett Brothers; Ween; the Decemberists; Portugal. The Man.

Changes
We spruced up our ADA area.


Roseland Theater, Portland
Dave Leiken, owner and president

How did you do in 2018?
We have done better year-over-year for the past 10 years, and this year was no exception. We sold over 175,000 tickets and did 190 shows.

Big shows
Snarky Puppy, Miguel, Stone Temple Pilots, Flatbush Zombies, Social Distortion, Garbage.

Changes
New sound system and upgraded lighting.


Kim_Bedier_140.JPGTacoma Dome, Tacoma, Wash.
Kim Bedier, director for Tacoma Venues & Events

How did you do in 2018?
Considering we were closed almost four months this year for renovations, the venue is doing great. We're up in revenues about 8 percent. We were ranked No. 28 worldwide and No. 12 in the U.S. in the midyear Pollstar rankings.
 

Big shows
Katy Perry, Miranda Lambert, Jeff Dunham, Bass Academy, Chris Young, Maroon 5 and Shania Twain. This year’s Tacoma Guitar Festival, an annual self-promoted event in April, was the biggest ever. The 2019 version is selling out even faster. Post-reopening, Drake sold 20,000 tickets, Joe Walsh’s VetAid raised more than $1.2 million, and Eddie Vedder dropped by to record “Bathroom Jams” with Mike Campbell and Crowded House’s Neil Finn in our new artist quarters.

Changes
We spent $31 million to renovate the seating, concessions, artist quarters, restrooms and loading docks.

Aramark took over this fall as concession operator and all the stands have been overhauled with a new look, branding, digital menu boards and point-of-sale system.

A new website was launched to coincide with the reopening.

What went right
Renovations are ongoing and going great. The new seats have been well received, the new restrooms are spacious, the artist quarters have been busy and per caps are up.

What went wrong
Justin Timberlake took ill and had to postpone his two November shows to February.


Andrew_Nash_140.jpgAbbotsford Centre, Abbotsford, British Columbia
Andrew Nash, general manager

How did you do in 2018?
There was strength in our market. We were up in 2018 in gross, up 30,000 people — mostly because we did more shows.

Big shows
Joe Rogan sold the most tickets ever for a show here this year. Eight performances of Cirque Du Soleil broke their old record for a multiday run. The Thank You Canada Tour featuring the Steve Miller Band and Peter Frampton was huge. Shows by John Mellencamp, Santana, WWE and Jeff Dunham all outperformed.

Changes
We rebranded the concession areas and bought new seat covers. We also created two new positions, guest experiences coordinator and operations/F&B manager.

What went right
Our partnerships and relationships, and our diverse event calendar.

What went wrong
There was an extreme labor shortage this year in the area. When the Thank You Canada Tour came to rehearse, their load-in was the same day as Beyoncé and Journey at competing venues. We had to wait for a load-in crew to get cut from B.C. Place in Vancouver and come up here. We wound up six hours off schedule.


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GREEN ROOM
 
Posted: 30 Dec 2018, 4:00 pm

Barry_Manilow.jpg

Barry Manilow is presented with a customized Tampa Bay Lightning jersey to sign for the Lightning Foundation. Gathered Dec. 7 at Amalie Arena. (from left): Bobby Rossi, Ruth Eckerd Hall; John Valentino, AEG Presents; Samantha Nemeroff, Amalie Arena; Barry Manilow; and Kim Seeley and Kevin Preast, Amalie Arena. (Courtesy Amalie Arena)

 

TTE_RainbowCarpet.jpg

NBCUniversal and Feld Entertainment executives visit DreamWorks Trolls The Experience for the Rainbow Carpet Grand Opening in New York City on Nov. 14 (from left): Vince Klaseus, president, Universal Brand Development; Jeff Shell, chairman, Universal Pictures Filmed Entertainment Group; Alana Feld, executive vice president, Feld Entertainment; Nicole Feld, EVP, Feld Entertainment; Kenneth Feld, chairman and CEO, Feld Entertainment; Ron Meyer, vice chairman, Universal Pictures Filmed Entertainment Group. (Courtesy Feld Entertainment) 

 

Lynyrd_Skynyrd_SMG_Huntington.jpg

SMG-managed Big Sandy Superstore Arena welcomes Lynyrd Skynyrd's Last of the Street Survivors Farewell Tour. The band played at the arena in Huntington, W.Va., on Nov. 17. With Lynyrd Skynyrd (from left): Veronica Ratcliff, SMG, arena director of marketing; Cindy Collins, SMG, arena general manager; and Kaleena Johnson, SMG, arena assistant GM. (Courtesy Big Sandy Arena)


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DRIVING BEAT
 
Posted: 29 Dec 2018, 10:55 pm

Tacoma Dome was closed for four months in 2018 for renovations but reported strong results. (Courtesy Tacoma Dome)

The Pacific Northwest live event industry keeps growing in size and shape. It's a region where fans will drive hours to see their favorite artist, often through the kind of weather that would prompt live-event goers from other regions to stay home.

Pacific Northwest venues had many triumphs in 2018: Spokane (Wash.) Arena renovated its performing arts center and got funding for a new sports complex. Abbotsford Centre sold 20,000-plus more tickets. Tacoma Dome got its first makeover in 35 years. Portland’s Roseland Theater and McMenamins Edgefield Amphitheater reported more tickets sold and more shows.

That said, the venue grosses on our Top Stops charts from the region were actually down 16 percent from the previous year, going from roughly $197 million to about $165 million. Part of the downturn can be explained by Rogers Arena in Vancouver, B.C., reporting 20 fewer bookings in 2018. Also, Seattle’s KeyArena closed in October for a massive overhaul to accommodate an NHL expansion team. The arena will reopen in 2021.

Other challenges included a severe labor shortage, the region’s notorious weather and, in one high-profile case, development. Reports in the summer indicated Seattle music club the Showbox would be replaced by an apartment tower, but the news was met with resistance and the issue is now in court.

The venue operators VenuesNow spoke with, however thought 2018 was a  good year for live entertainment. They expressed high hopes for 2019, with big names headed out of the road like Ariana Grande, Ed Sheeran and Elton John; a good economy; and venue makeovers wowing the fans.

Top Stops: Pacific Northwest

MORE FROM THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST:

The Circuit: What venue managers are saying.
PNW Q & A: Jeff Trisler, Live Nation Northwest president.
Scene: Portland: Robyn Williams gives a tour of Rose City.


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KEEPING THEM HAPPY
 
Posted: 29 Dec 2018, 10:00 pm

Christina Allen: "It’s kind of fun going from that high school kid who slept outside for tickets to sitting at the desk at a box office in a venue." (Mandy D’Aloisio Photography)

In high school, Christina Allen slept outside the box office for tickets to see her favorite performers — Foo Fighters, Counting Crows and Alanis Morissette among them— at the venue that now employs her.

Ticketing_Star_Awards.png“It’s kind of fun going from that high school kid who slept outside for tickets to sitting at the desk at a box office in a venue, on the other side,” said Allen, who is the box office manager for the NHL’s Ottawa Senators and Canadian Tire Centre.

That was before the internet, she said with a laugh.

She grew up in Ottawa but spent years in Toronto, attending the University of Toronto and working in her first ticketing job at Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment. Her second big gig in the industry is her current position,  which Allen has held since 2010.

Allen’s “yes” attitude, lighthearted spirit and ability to make employees feel important have allowed her to establish herself in the industry, and all those qualities helped her earn recognition as a Ticketing Star Award honoree.

“I’m very speechless. I’ve been in the industry for 15 years. It’s pretty flattering to win something that’s voted on by your peers,” Allen said. “I’ve always been surrounded by very strong leaders.”

Patti-Anne Tarlton is perhaps her most important mentor, Allen said. Tarlton worked with Allen at MLSE. Tarlton is now the chief operating officer  of Ticketmaster Canada.

The vice president and executive director of Canadian Tire Centre, Tom Conroy, is another strong leader, Allen said. “(He) just let me go when I got here and let me become my own manager,” she said.

The Canadian Tire Centre is a multipurpose indoor arena with a capacity of 18,600 capacity and home to NHL Senators. Allen manages two full-time managers and 25 to 30 part-time employees.

“It’s always very important to her to motivate her staff,” said Jody Thorson, director of ticket operations at the arena. “She gets the best out of them.”

Allen started a reward and recognition program for her employees when she was the assistant manager of ticket operations for Live Nation at Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment in Toronto.

She gives her staff $10 coffee gift cards if they’re having a bad day or if they do something well, and each month she picks a Player of the Month and rewards a $25 gift card. At the end of every season, she hosts a barbecue for staff, recognizing team members as Player of the Year or Rookie of the Year or with one of four spots on an All-Star Team.

“I bribed them with this, and it worked,” Allen said. “Managing them is a big part of keeping them happy. Happy them, happy me.”

That means happy customers, Thorson said.

“She’s the only one I’m aware of that does something like that for her team,” she said, highlighting that Allen’s broad base of knowledge in the ticketing industry is also a strength.

Allen also collaborates with industry peers outside of the Canadian Tire Centre. After starting her current position, she launched a ticketing professionals networking group in Ottawa with two others called the Ottawa-Gatineau Regional Ticketing Group, which meets quarterly to share best practices in the industry.

“I just think career and growth is very important to her,” Thorson said. “I just think she’s done so many great things over the last couple of years.”

When she’s not working, she loves to travel to Los Angeles to visit her best friend from college, Lauren Zaklikowski, a production agent at Innovative Artists.

“She’s extremely selfless, which makes her great at her job and it makes her a great friend. She likes the people she works with and she likes the company she works for, so I’m happy for her,” Zaklikowski said.

Christina Allen
Box office manager
Ottawa Senators Hockey Club and Canadian Tire Centre

College: University of Toronto
First job ever: I worked on a farm in the summers, picking corn and strawberries.
First ticketing job: Administrative assistant at the box office MLSE.
Mentors: Patti-Anne Tarlton, Ticketmaster Canada; Jody Thorson, Canadian Tire Centre.
Thing you love to do at work: Working with part-time staff and working on event days.
Pet peeve at work: When people complain and don’t do anything about it.
What’s the next event that you have bought tickets to? Cher in April, here.


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TOURING GREATS GEAR UP FOR A ROBUST '19
 
Posted: 29 Dec 2018, 10:00 pm

The Rolling Stones are one of many big acts going out on the road in 2019. (Getty Images)

The live experience in 2019 promises big names and big stories with new tours set to launch and existing runs entering their homestretch, some poised to smash box office records when all sales are tallied. Touring titans from 2018 such as Ed Sheeran, The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney and Fleetwood Mac will resume their road efforts in 2019 with final legs booked.

Sheeran and the Stones both kicked off stadium treks in 2017. The former’s Divide tour will resume in February with jaunts planned in Latin America, Africa and Asia before a final three-month stretch in Europe. With sales already topping $554.6 million, the final year on the road could potentially make Sheeran’s run the top grossing tour of all time (U2’s 360 tour holds the record with $735 million in sales). The Rolling Stones’ No Filter trek played 12 European stadiums in 2017 and 13 more in its second year. With a final 13-city North American leg on the horizon, the band will wrap in late June. The tour’s two-year gross stands at $236.5 million.

McCartney kicked off his tour in September in support of his most recent album, “Egypt Station,” covering markets in North America, Asia and Europe during the first three months. He will return in March with shows booked into July through North America and South America. Fleetwood Mac began the first tour with its new lineup after the departure of Lindsey Buckingham on Oct. 3 and took in $42.1 million from 25 shows through the end of November. The first series of shows in 2018 were staged in North American cities, and the band will remain on the continent in 2019 through mid-April. A five-city stint in Europe will complete the tour in June.

Although hundreds of artists will launch new tours in 2019, here are just a few who have already announced plans. Country star Carrie Underwood is set to return to the road for with her first headlining effort since 2016’s Storyteller tour, which drew 845,681 fans to 80 performances and earned $58 million. The new tour, titled The Cry Pretty Tour 360, will be staged in the round at arenas in 55 North American cities.

Michael Bublé will also be on the road for much of 2019, his first outing since the To Be Loved trek that ran almost two years starting in summer 2013. That tour drew more than 1.7 million fans and grossed $166.3 million.

Hootie and the Blowfish announced a reunion tour in December that will kick off in May, ending a 10-year hiatus from the road. Dubbed the Group Therapy tour, it will hit 44 cities in 2019 and commemorate the 25th anniversary of the band’s 1994 debut album, “Cracked Rear View.” Country group Alabama will also celebrate an anniversary — the band’s 50th — with a 2019 North American trek set to begin Jan. 10.

Rock giants Kiss and Ozzy Osbourne will each tour in 2019 with farewell jaunts. Kiss is set to kick off its End of the Road run at the end of January, and Ozzy will continue his No More Tours 2 run that began in 2018.


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San Francisco’s Moscone Center Nearly Doubles in Size
 
Posted: 19 Dec 2018, 5:45 am

As the new year approaches, so does a new beginning for San Francisco’s meetings business. The long-awaited opening of an upgraded Moscone Center came in early January, as the convention complex debuted a $551 million expansion.

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Q&A With David Gibbons, Executive Director, Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA)
 
Posted: 20 Nov 2018, 8:45 am

Meetings Today Senior Contributor Jeff Heilman touched base with Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA) Executive Director David Gibbons on the MCCA’s increase in group business and the future of the facility.

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Orlando Continues Convention Center Expansion
 
Posted: 25 Oct 2018, 8:00 pm

Orlando's Orange County Convention Center is moving forward with a $605 million campus improvement plan. The project will bring expansions and new meeting and exhibit space in the North and South concourses, further increasing the center’s seven million square feet of total function space.

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IACC Set to Double European Members
 
Posted: 16 Oct 2018, 9:00 pm

IACC, the association that represents the global conference center segment, is set to more than double its number of European facilities within the next four months if a deal to add the supplier members of two conference center groups comes to fruition, according to IACC CEO Mark Cooper.

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St. Louis Convention Center Plans Extensive Renovation
 
Posted: 7 Oct 2018, 8:00 pm

The America’s Center Convention Complex in St. Louis will undergo an expansion and extensive renovations. The AC Next Gen Project, which will include the addition of 92,000 square feet of exhibit space, a 65,000-square-foot ballroom and meeting area, a new outdoor pavilion and 26 new loading docks, was announced during a press conference held on October 3.

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How to Cope With a Convention Center Renovation
 
Posted: 26 Sep 2018, 8:00 pm

On a recent tour of the Greater Columbus Convention Center, Meetings Today spoke with John Page, general manager for SMG for the Greater Columbus Convention Center (GCCC). Page shared his advice for navigating a convention center renovation or expansion.

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5 Things You May Not Have Known About the Chattanooga Convention Center
 
Posted: 18 Sep 2018, 8:00 pm

Once you’ve seen one convention center you’ve seen them all, right? A recent visit to the Chattanooga Convention Center left me surprised to find some nice touches that many of its bigger—and smaller—city counterparts lacked. Following are five standout features I noticed during my tour of the Chattanooga Convention Center led by Executive Director Mike Shuford, during a press trip with the Chattanooga CVB.

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Convention Center Reopens in Louisville
 
Posted: 5 Aug 2018, 8:00 pm

The Kentucky International Convention Center (KICC) hosted a grand opening ceremony, Monday, Aug. 6, 2018 following a two-year, $207 million renovation and expansion project. State and local government officials, along with KICC facility officials and staff welcomed meeting clients, local stakeholders, interested citizens, and media to an open house that showcased how the new facility will host small to large-scale events.

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Caesars Forum Conference Center Breaks Ground in Vegas
 
Posted: 16 Jul 2018, 8:00 pm

Caesars Entertainment broke ground on its $375 million, Caesars Forum conference center on Monday, July 16, during a ceremony for trade press, industry executives and Caesars staff members. The ceremony was also livestreamed by Caesars so that people could tune in from all over the world.

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Q&A With Jennifer B. Davis on Greater Columbus Convention Center Updates
 
Posted: 30 Jun 2018, 8:00 pm

Meetings Today contributor Carolyn Blackburn interviewed Jennifer B. David, Senior Marketing & Communications Manager with the Greater Columbus Convention Center (GCCC), to discuss recent updates to the facility. The GCCC, which features 373,000 square feet of contiguous exhibit space, wrapped a two-year $140 million renovation and expansion project in July 2017 to improve the overall guest experience, including the installation of an impressive art collection and local F&B concepts.

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5 Campus Conference Centers That Will Enhance Any Event
 
Posted: 1 May 2018, 8:00 pm

College towns are happening hubs of activity, where the arts, sports and culinary delights thrive. All that and more is on deck for planners who book a university setting for a conference.

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Vegas Convention Center Expansion Design Unveiled
 
Posted: 9 Apr 2018, 8:00 pm

Architects have submitted their designs for the phase two expansion of the Las Vegas Convention Center.

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Creativity Takes Center Stage at Convention Centers
 
Posted: 26 Mar 2018, 8:00 pm

The artwork installed at an increasing number of popular convention centers transforms these necessarily utilitarian buildings into magnificent galleries that rival some of the most inspired museums in the world.

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Arlington Unveils Plans for Massive Esports Stadium
 
Posted: 18 Mar 2018, 8:00 pm

The City of Arlington announced plans for Esports Stadium Arlington, an esports-specific venue designed to draw competitive gamers and fans from around the world. The proposed venue will be built within the existing Arlington Convention Center in collaboration with architecture firm Populous.

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Q&A With Michele Hughes, Director of Sales, Connecticut Convention Center
 
Posted: 24 Jan 2018, 7:00 pm

Meetings Today checked in with Michele Hughes, Director of Sales & Marketing with the Connecticut Convention Center (CTCC).

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Convention Centers Are Making Bold New Statements
 
Posted: 1 Jan 2018, 7:00 pm

Goodbye big-box, bunkeresque venues. Hello green rooftop micro-environments, wellness spaces and hip street-party-scapes.

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Conference centers revamp to provide connectivity
 
Posted: 1 May 2017, 8:00 pm

Addressing profound changes in how their customers are approaching learning, many conference centers are in a process of reinvention

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Convention centers design for a sense of place
 
Posted: 4 Apr 2017, 8:00 pm

Many convention centers are striving to reflect and showcase their locations.

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Groups in Greater Boston utilize college campuses
 
Posted: 31 Oct 2016, 8:00 pm

An exceedingly intelligent choice for meetings and events.

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CEIR Releases Third Report in Attendee Retention Insights Series
 
Posted: 24 May 2016, 1:00 am
DALLAS, 24 May 2016 ? The Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) announced today the release of the third report in its newest series, 2016 Attendee Retention Insights Part Three: Education Content that Builds a Loyal Alumni Attendee Audience. This landmark body of research offers organizers a comprehensive resource to help understand the profile of attendees that visit an exhibition repeatedly and the content that turns them into loyal customers.

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............................................................



CEIR Releases Second Report in Attendee Retention Insights Series
 
Posted: 10 May 2016, 1:00 am
DALLAS, 10 May 2016 ? The Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) announced today the release of the second report in its newest series, 2016 Attendee Retention Insights Part Two: Exhibition Floor Features that Build a Loyal Alumni Attendee Audience. This landmark body of research offers organizers a comprehensive resource to help understand the profile of attendees that visit an exhibition repeatedly and the content that turns them into loyal customers

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............................................................



Fourth Annual IAEE Women’s Leadership Forum Another Sold Out Event
 
Posted: 4 May 2016, 1:00 am
DALLAS, 4 May 2016 ? The International Association of Exhibitions and Events? (IAEE) celebrates another successful Women?s Leadership Forum on 26 April 2016 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. More than 200 attendees sold out this year?s event which featured education sessions for women at all stages of their career.

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IAEE Now Accepting Applications for 2016 Bob Dallmeyer Education Fund Grants
 
Posted: 3 May 2016, 1:00 am
DALLAS, 3 May 2016 ? The International Association of Exhibitions and Events? (IAEE) has opened the application process for the 2016 Bob Dallmeyer Education Fund Grants, which aid qualified professionals in their pursuit of continuing education and career development in the exhibitions and events industry.

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IAEE Now Accepting 2016 Helen Brett Scholarship Applications
 
Posted: 2 May 2016, 1:00 am
DALLAS, 2 May 2016 ? The International Association of Exhibitions and EventsTM (IAEE) has opened the application process for the Helen Brett Scholarship awards in 2016. The scholarship serves to promote the exhibitions and events industry by attracting college-level students into the field of study and encouraging their pursuit with financial support.

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Conference center education shifts dramatically
 
Posted: 30 Apr 2016, 8:00 pm

The times they are a changin’, and all for the better from this reporter’s perspective.

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CEIR Debuts New Report Series Focusing on Attendee Retention
 
Posted: 28 Apr 2016, 1:00 am
DALLAS, 28 April 2016 ? The Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) announced today the release of the first report in its newest series, 2016 Attendee Retention Insights. Reports from this exciting new, landmark study offers organizers a comprehensive resource to help understand the profile of attendees that visit an exhibition repeatedly and the content that turns them into a loyal fanbase. The series consists of five reports, beginning with Part One: Basics for Creating Your Attendee Retention Strategy: Tracking, Profiling and Why They Come Back.

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IAEE Public Events Council Releases 2016 Survey Report
 
Posted: 26 Apr 2016, 1:00 am
DALLAS, 26 April 2016 ? Today, the International Association of Exhibitions and Events? (IAEE) Public Events Council released its Public Events Industry Report: 2015 Results. In 2009, the Public Events Council distributed a survey to public event organizers across 22 public events industry sectors to examine overall industry performance. The report identified which public events industry sectors fared well, which sectors struggled and their expectations for the future. As a follow-up to the benchmark report, the survey is repeated annually with subsequent reports detailing individual and comparative statistics over the years.

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Your Industry - Your Voice!
 
Posted: 22 Apr 2016, 1:00 am

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CEM Week - Register Now!
 
Posted: 18 Apr 2016, 1:00 am

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2016 CEIR Index Report Now Available
 
Posted: 13 Apr 2016, 1:00 am
DALLAS, 12 April 2016 ? Today, the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) released the 2016 CEIR Index Report. The CEIR Index analyzes the 2015 exhibition industry and provides a future outlook for the next three years. Despite widespread pessimism and deceleration of activity during the fourth quarter, the U.S. economy still displayed significant signs of strength in 2015, led by personal consumption and residential construction. These strengths were offset partially by deterioration in energy development and net exports to produce real GDP growth of 2.4%. According to CEIR?s current projection, 2016 growth will be about the same, or perhaps slightly weaker as the trade gap widens further, before GDP accelerates in 2018 (see Figure 1).

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IAEE Renews Reciprocity Agreement with JEXA
 
Posted: 5 Apr 2016, 1:00 am
DALLAS, 5 April 2016 ? The International Association of Exhibitions and Events? (IAEE) and the Japan Exhibition Association (JEXA) announced the renewal of a reciprocity agreement to benefit members of both organizations. Originally signed in 2012, the agreement renews the commitment of IAEE and JEXA to promote and develop the exhibitions and events industries in their respective countries through membership collaboration.

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IAEE Announces New Chapter in India
 
Posted: 4 Apr 2016, 1:00 am
DALLAS, 4 April 2016 ? The International Association of Exhibitions and Events? (IAEE) announces the addition of its latest chapter in Asia, the IAEE India Chapter. The IAEE Board of Directors approved the creation of this new chapter during its meeting held 31 March 2016 at the HITEX Exhibition Center in Hyderabad, India.

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Convention centers transform to meet attendees’ needs
 
Posted: 1 Apr 2016, 8:00 pm

Generic big-box convention centers seem to be going the way of the buggy whip and typewriter.

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IAEE MATSO Council Adds New Content for May Meeting
 
Posted: 31 Mar 2016, 1:00 am
DALLAS, 31 March 2016 ? The International Association of Exhibitions and Events? (IAEE) MATSO Council?s program for this year?s MATSO Spring Program on 23-24 May 2016 at McCormick Place in Chicago, Ill. will focus on exchanging information that address challenges, share best practices and understand the changing landscape of Tier 1 cities.

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IAEE Awards Jacqueline Russo with 2016 Woman of Achievement Award
 
Posted: 30 Mar 2016, 1:00 am
DALLAS, 30 March 2016 ? The International Association of Exhibitions and Events? (IAEE) proudly congratulates Jacqueline Russo, Vice President of Kuehne + Nagel, Inc., as this year?s recipient of the IAEE Woman of Achievement Award. This award recognizes a woman who has led the way in the advancement of women in the exhibitions and events industry, exhibited outstanding leadership, and made significant contributions to the industry and her community.

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CEIR Releases New Industry Insight Series Report Written by Candy Adams
 
Posted: 29 Mar 2016, 1:00 am
DALLAS, 29 March 2016 ? Today the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) announces a new Industry Insight Series report, 99 Cost-Savings Tips and Tricks for Exhibit Managers written by Candy Adams, CTSM, CME, CEM, CMP, CMM, a revered and well-known exhibition industry veteran and owner of ?The Booth Mom®? Trade Show Consulting.

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IAEE Announces 2016 Krakoff Leadership Institute
 
Posted: 28 Mar 2016, 1:00 am
DALLAS, 28 March 2016 ? Registration is now open for the International Association of Exhibitions and Events? (IAEE) Krakoff Leadership Institute (KLI) to be held 7-9 August 2016 at The Waterfront Beach Resort, A Hilton Hotel in Huntington Beach, Calif. The program is open to IAEE members interested in enhancing their strategic skills, and broadening their knowledge as current and future leaders in the exhibitions and events industry.

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IAEE Congratulates its 2016 International Excellence Award Recipient
 
Posted: 17 Mar 2016, 1:00 am
DALLAS, 17 March 2016 ? The International Association of Exhibitions and Events? (IAEE) congratulates Edward J. Krause III (Ned), President and CEO of E.J. Krause & Associates, Inc. (EJK) as this year?s recipient of the IAEE International Excellence Award. The IAEE International Excellence Award recognizes an individual or organization that has made exceptional strides in creating, launching and managing an international event in the exhibitions and events industry on an international scale.

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CEIR Releases Final Digital Toolkit Report
 
Posted: 15 Mar 2016, 1:00 am
DALLAS, 15 March 2015 ? Today, the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) announced the release of the final report in the CEIR Digital Toolkit series. The new report, entitled Focus Report on Exhibition Organizer Onsite and Post-event Offerings provides an in-depth look at attendee preferences compared to business-to-business exhibition offerings for show mobile apps, as well as other onsite digital amenities and post-event digital communications.

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IAEE MATSO Council Announces City Working Group Initiative, Finalizes Governance Procedures
 
Posted: 9 Mar 2016, 1:00 am
DALLAS, 9 March 2016 ? The International Association of Exhibitions and Events? (IAEE) MATSO Council announced it will resurrect city task force updates following a recent council meeting that focused on future programming and governance procedures.

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IAEE Announces 2016 Call for Nominations for Individual Awards
 
Posted: 8 Mar 2016, 1:00 am
DALLAS, 8 March 2016 ? Today, the International Association of Exhibitions and Events? (IAEE) has opened the Call for Nominations for its annual awards program to recognize exceptional professionals in the exhibitions and events industry. Industry professionals who meet the outlined criteria may be nominated for any of the awards listed below, and recipients will be honored at Expo! Expo! IAEE?s Annual Meeting & Exhibition to be held 6-8 December in Anaheim, Calif.

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Conference center experts weigh in on five hot trends
 
Posted: 30 Apr 2015, 8:00 pm

Here is the top feedback when it comes to staging cutting-edge conference meets.

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Convention center tradeshows focus on interaction
 
Posted: 31 Mar 2015, 8:00 pm

Are you fully engaging your attendees?

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............................................................



State College brims with entertaining endeavors
 
Posted: 30 Oct 2014, 8:00 pm

When it comes to putting fun on the agenda, State College is one smart choice.

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............................................................



Earl R. Williams
 
Posted: 16 Oct 2014, 2:57 pm
Earl was employed with Kimble Glass Co. and later Ball State University as Conference Director and General Manager of Emens Auditorium.

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The Marvel Experience lets you save the world
 
Posted: 16 Oct 2014, 2:57 pm
The event will incorporate augmented reality, multiperson gaming, and RFID tracking for full fan immersion.

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Upcoming webinars
 
Posted: 16 Oct 2014, 2:57 pm
These two, free webinars next week will focus on becoming a CFE and the Mentor-Connector Program.

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Ebola and the venue industry
 
Posted: 16 Oct 2014, 2:57 pm
IAVM is actively monitoring the impact of recent Ebola incidents. At the direction of Chair Kim Bedier, CFE ? in collaboration with our Industry Affairs Council and key IAVM staff ? an Ebola task force has been formed to work on relevant communications to the IAVM community.

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Wesley Burtch Dickson
 
Posted: 16 Oct 2014, 2:57 pm
Wes founded his business, Advanced Equipment Corp., in 1957. In 1959, the business moved to Orange County, California.

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Close encounter of the third kind with Google Glass, part 2
 
Posted: 16 Oct 2014, 2:57 pm
More from Portland?5?s Joe Durr about this ?cool? technology product.

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VenueConnect's environmental impact was minimal
 
Posted: 16 Oct 2014, 2:57 pm
VenueConnect's is the first conference that the Oregon Convention Center has measured the water, waste, and energy statistics.

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Watch: Hugh Jackman talks about ticketing
 
Posted: 16 Oct 2014, 2:57 pm
Hugh Jackman and the show's producer are making sure pricing allows anyone that wants to see his new play will not have to worry about scalpers.

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Yarra, Australia, creates venue soundproofing fund
 
Posted: 16 Oct 2014, 2:57 pm
The city house 500 venues, 50 of them live music venues.

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Session proposals wanted
 
Posted: 16 Oct 2014, 2:57 pm
Please submit your session ideas for IAVM?s conferences. Presentations cannot be sales pitches, and if your topic is selected, IAVM will contact you concerning the coordination of the session speaker/panelists.

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New Miami convention center and hotel approved
 
Posted: 16 Oct 2014, 2:57 pm
The new development will be on the site of the old Miami Arena.

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Shared activities make experiences more intense
 
Posted: 16 Oct 2014, 2:57 pm
Here?s some scientific support on the value of live experiences.

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............................................................



Can a team have too much talent?
 
Posted: 16 Oct 2014, 2:57 pm
Yes, and here?s why having too much talent on a team is bad.

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The Firestation Centre launches its neo-ticketing project
 
Posted: 16 Oct 2014, 2:57 pm
With its new project, the venue wants to find out if it will sell more tickets, if guests will get better deals, and if artists will earn more.

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AEG Live acquires two historic Virginia theatres
 
Posted: 16 Oct 2014, 2:57 pm
Those theatres are The National Theatre in Richmond and The NorVa Theatre in Norfolk, Virginia.

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............................................................



Elmer Randolph 'Randy' Pugh
 
Posted: 16 Oct 2014, 2:57 pm
Randy was employed with the City of Virginia Beach as the Operations Supervisor of the Pavilion Convention Center from 1980-1999.

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Take 10 - Invigorate Your Large Events!
 
Posted: 13 May 2014, 8:00 pm

Dana Freker Doody answers questions from Meetings Focus' Invigorate Your Large Events webinar.

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Cookie-cutter conference centers are a thing of the past
 
Posted: 30 Apr 2014, 8:00 pm

Today's conference centers are more about standing out than fitting in.

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Scheduling events at Florida colleges and universities is a smart choice
 
Posted: 31 Mar 2014, 8:00 pm

Educational facilities throughout Florida give attendees a chance to relive the college experience.

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Convention centers adapt to tradeshows of today
 
Posted: 31 Mar 2014, 8:00 pm

Modern convention centers are about experience as much as setting.

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............................................................



Selecting the perfect convention venue
 
Posted: 31 Mar 2014, 8:00 pm

Eight easy steps to picking the perfect convention venue.

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Five U.S. convention center highlights
 
Posted: 31 Mar 2014, 8:00 pm

A look at major convention center projects in Green Bay,  King of Prussia, New York, San Antonio and San Diego.

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IACC Americas Conference Sees Attendee Uptick
 
Posted: 18 Mar 2014, 8:00 pm

The 2014 IACC Annual Conference reported it has attracted the most registered attendees since 2008.

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............................................................



State College, Pennsylvania, is a happening, business-savvy hub
 
Posted: 27 Oct 2013, 8:00 pm

State College, home to Pennsylvania State University, welcomes groups with its vibrant ambiance and excellent on-campus (and off-site) facilities.

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A quick take on recent openings and upgrades in the world of conference centers
 
Posted: 24 Apr 2013, 8:00 pm

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A Q&A with Mark Cooper, new CEO of the International Association of Conference Centres
 
Posted: 24 Apr 2013, 8:00 pm
IACC's new CEO shares his insights on the events industry

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............................................................



Areas of Study
 
Posted: 17 Feb 2013, 7:00 pm
University meetings think outside of the classroom

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............................................................



Get Smart
 
Posted: 17 Feb 2013, 7:00 pm
On the fence about booking a college venue? These benefits might convince you.

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............................................................



School Spirit
 
Posted: 17 Feb 2013, 7:00 pm
College stadiums and arenas are a classic choice for large groups

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............................................................



Billboard.biz Has Moved! Here's How to Get to Our New Site
 
Posted: 26 Jan 2013, 4:00 pm
On Saturday, January 26, Billboard.biz took a bold step forward in its evolution: Along with Billboard’s fully revamped magazine, newly launched iPad app and the relaunched Billboard.com, the all-new Billboard.biz has exciting new features and functionalities that will allow us to lead the essential conversations around the music business and its community in better and bigger ways than ever before. But we've moved servers -- here are details on where to find us while until our migration is complete.

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............................................................



A Preview of This Week's Billboard
 
Posted: 25 Jan 2013, 6:29 pm
Justin Bieber has granted only one major interview for the Jan. 29 release of his new album Believe Acoustic. Billboard got it. In his fourth cover story for us, Bieber opens up to editorial director Bill Werde.

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Exclusive: HSN Partners With Las Vegas' Venetian On Concert Series
 
Posted: 25 Jan 2013, 3:33 pm
HSN is taking its Live music division on the road with a Las Vegas residency at the Venetial Resort Hotel Casino.The series kicks off Feb. 8 with Michael Bolton, who will debut his new studio album, "Ain’t No Mountain High Enough: A Tribute to Hitsville U.S.A." with Motown greats Smokey Robinson, Valerie Simpson and Martha Reeves as well as Kelly Rowland and Melanie Fiona

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............................................................



Exclusive: HSN Partners With Las Vegas' Venetian On Concert Series
 
Posted: 25 Jan 2013, 3:33 pm
HSN is taking its Live music division on the road with a Las Vegas residency at the Venetial Resort Hotel Casino.The series kicks off Feb. 8 with Michael Bolton, who will debut his new studio album, "Ain’t No Mountain High Enough: A Tribute to Hitsville U.S.A." with Motown greats Smokey Robinson, Valerie Simpson and Martha Reeves as well as Kelly Rowland and Melanie Fiona

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............................................................



Coachella 2013 Lineup: Blur, Phoenix, Red Hot Chili Peppers Headlining
 
Posted: 25 Jan 2013, 12:35 am
Blur, the Stone Roses, Phoenix and Red Hot Chili Peppers top the lineup for the 2013 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, which was unveiled late on Thursday night (Jan. 24). The annual fest is set to once again take over Indio, Calif. on consecutive weekends, this year from Apr. 12-14 and Apr. 19-21.

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............................................................



Ticketmaster Canada Names Patti-Anne Tarlton SVP/COO
 
Posted: 24 Jan 2013, 6:09 pm
Ticketmaster Canada has appointed Patti-Anne Tarlton senior VP and chief operating officer. In turn, current COO Tom Worrall will become chairman of Ticketmaster Canada.

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............................................................



Exclusive: Flaming Lips to Star in Hyundai Super Bowl Commercial
 
Posted: 24 Jan 2013, 4:32 pm
When the Flaming Lips formed nearly 30 years ago, the notion that the group would be performing a song called "Sun Blows Up Today" in a Super Bowl ad would have been as surreal some of their lyrics. But that's exactly what will happen when the group stars in one of Hyundai's four spots during the big game,  a 60-second commercial that will feature the band on-camera performing a brand-new, custom-written song bearing that name.

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............................................................



Exclusive: Flaming Lips to Star in Hyundai Super Bowl Commercial
 
Posted: 24 Jan 2013, 4:32 pm
When the Flaming Lips formed nearly 30 years ago, the notion that the group would be performing a song called "Sun Blows Up Today" in a Super Bowl ad would have been as surreal some of their lyrics. But that's exactly what will happen when the group stars in one of Hyundai's four spots during the big game,  a 60-second commercial that will feature the band on-camera performing a brand-new, custom-written song bearing that name.

Read the full article

............................................................



Pepsi, Vevo to Spotlight Best New Artists, 'X Factor' Winner Tate Stevens During Grammys
 
Posted: 24 Jan 2013, 12:54 pm
Pepsi has announced collaborations with Pandora and Vevo for the Grammy Awards. With Vevo, Pepsi will produce a video series based around the Best New Artists nominees; and with Pandora the company will curate a Best New Artist mixtape as well as genre stations.

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............................................................



Mnet America Hosting Grammy-Week Party With K-Pop Star Ailee
 
Posted: 24 Jan 2013, 9:43 am
Billboard can exclusively reveal when, where and who will be at Mnet America's 1st Annual Pre-Grammy Party featuring a K-pop starlet, YouTube sensation and "The Voice" contestants.

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............................................................



13 Points to Watch at MIDEM 2013
 
Posted: 24 Jan 2013, 8:00 am
As the world's largest trade fair for the music industry, MIDEM can be daunting to navigate. Last year's gathering drew more than 6,850 attendees from 77 countries, representing 3,120 companies, including 155 startups. So, how best to manage MIDEM?

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............................................................



13 Points to Watch at MIDEM 2013
 
Posted: 24 Jan 2013, 8:00 am
As the world's largest trade fair for the music industry, MIDEM can be daunting to navigate. Last year's gathering drew more than 6,850 attendees from 77 countries, representing 3,120 companies, including 155 startups. So, how best to manage MIDEM?

Read the full article

............................................................



13 Points to Watch at MIDEM 2013
 
Posted: 24 Jan 2013, 8:00 am
As the world's largest trade fair for the music industry, MIDEM can be daunting to navigate. Last year's gathering drew more than 6,850 attendees from 77 countries, representing 3,120 companies, including 155 startups. So, how best to manage MIDEM?

Read the full article

............................................................



Downtown Sells Label to Cofounders, Focuses on Publishing
 
Posted: 24 Jan 2013, 7:00 am
Downtown Music LLC, the privately held parent company of Downtown Records and Downtown Music Publishing, today announced the sale of its recorded music business to cofounders Josh Deutsch and Terence Lam.

Read the full article

............................................................



Justin Timberlake Sets Live Return for Super Bowl Charity Show
 
Posted: 23 Jan 2013, 6:54 pm
Less than one month after the singer-turned-actor exploded back onto the music scene with "Suit & Tie," featuring Jay-Z, Timberlake will perform his first solo concert in several years during Super Bowl weekend.

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............................................................



Black Keys File Third Lawsuit Against 'Soundalikes' in TV Commercials
 
Posted: 23 Jan 2013, 6:50 pm
After settling two lawsuits with Pizza Hut and Home Depot in December over alleged use of its songs in commercials, the Black Keys have filed a third lawsuit -- this time, against Pinnacle Entertainment, which runs casinos throughout the United States, and Manhattan Production Music, a company that creates music for commercial advertising.

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............................................................



Exclusive: Verizon Teams With Jill Scott for Black History Month Campaign
 
Posted: 23 Jan 2013, 6:24 pm
Verizon has teamed with Jill Scott for a multi-tiered print, TV and online advertising campaign to coincide with Black History Month, a rare artist endorsement deal for both parties, Billboard has learned.

Read the full article

............................................................



Madonna's 'MDNA' Tour Makes Billboard Boxscore's All-Time Top 10
 
Posted: 23 Jan 2013, 6:05 pm
The globe-trotting "MDNA" tour marks Madonna's ascent into the elite ranks of touring acts -- and makes her the top touring female artist of all time.

Read the full article

............................................................



Ultra Music and Sony Announce Partnership, Patrick Moxey Named President of Electronic Music
 
Posted: 23 Jan 2013, 3:48 pm
Sony Music and Ultra Music -- the electronic/dance record label, publishing house, management company and media platform owned and operated by Patrick Moxey -- have announced a globe-spanning strategic partnership between the two companies. As part of the deal Moxey was named president of electronic music for Sony Music Worldwide.

Read the full article

............................................................



Ultra Music and Sony Announce Partnership, Patrick Moxey Named President of Electronic Music
 
Posted: 23 Jan 2013, 3:48 pm
Sony Music and Ultra Music -- the electronic/dance record label, publishing house, management company and media platform owned and operated by Patrick Moxey -- have announced a globe-spanning strategic partnership between the two companies. As part of the deal Moxey was named president of electronic music for Sony Music Worldwide.

Read the full article

............................................................



Searching For The Next 'Sugar Man'? Try 'Twenty Feet From Stardom'
 
Posted: 23 Jan 2013, 1:30 pm
This year's Sundance had a half-dozen music-driven docs, including: Dave Grohl's "Sound City," "History of the Eagles, Part One," "Pussy Riot -- A Punk Prayer," "Narco Culturo" and "Mussel Shoals" -- all fine films. But the power of Morgan Neville's "Twenty Feet From Stardom," a story chronicling of the lives of background singers who sang on era-defining records from the 1960s into the 1990s, is such that it transcends the typical music documentary ecliciting gasps of disbelief, spontaneous applause and tears. It's a winner.

Read the full article

............................................................



Exclusive: SFX Acquires ID&T, Voodoo Experience
 
Posted: 23 Jan 2013, 8:05 am
SFX Entertainment has added five new companies to its portfolio, including Voodoo Experience and ID&T -- the largest dance-event promoter in the world -- according to its president Robert F.X. Sillerman. While recent chatter has hinted that Insomniac Events, the producer of Electric Daisy Carnival, would imminently announce a sale to Sillerman, the ID&T news might make that less likely -- although Sillerman didn't rule it out...

Read the full article

............................................................



Building the $100 Billion Dollar Music Business: Guest Post by Tom Silverman
 
Posted: 23 Jan 2013, 8:00 am
In this guest post, New Music Seminar/Tommy Boy Entertainment founder Tom Silverman describes how we can grow the music business into one that reaches $100 billion in annual retail revenue in the next decade.

Read the full article

............................................................



Three Directors Step Down at Sirius XM Radio as Liberty Media Takes Control
 
Posted: 22 Jan 2013, 4:50 pm
Leon Black, Lawrence Gilberti and Jack Shaw resign from the board of the satellite firm.  

Read the full article

............................................................



Billboard's New iPad App: Try It Now for Free!
 
Posted: 22 Jan 2013, 3:59 pm
Along with our fully revamped glossy magazine, which we unveiled today, Billboard has also introduced the new iPad edition of Billboard -- the complete weekly magazine reinvented for your iPad with interactive extras. Subscribe today to experience this week’s issue absolutely for free!

Read the full article

............................................................



Exclusive: Lionel Richie Signs With Red Light Management
 
Posted: 22 Jan 2013, 3:08 pm
Legendary hit maker Lionel Richie has signed with Red Light Management for representation, Billboard.biz has learned. This is the second major signing of the young year for RLM, which recently added Tiesto to its growing list of clients.

Read the full article

............................................................



Exclusive: Lionel Richie Signs With Red Light Management
 
Posted: 22 Jan 2013, 3:08 pm
Legendary hit maker Lionel Richie has signed with Red Light Management for representation, Billboard.biz has learned. This is the second major signing of the young year for RLM, which recently added Tiesto to its growing list of clients.

Read the full article

............................................................



Exclusive: Kobalt Launches Label Services Division, Preps New Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds Release
 
Posted: 22 Jan 2013, 2:07 pm
Not only did Kobalt sign a deal with Dave Grohl this week ( the company is also formally introducing a new Label Services division that will handle digital and physical releases for independent artists as well as Kobalt clients. Though the division has quietly released several albums in recent months, it will gain major attention next month with the release of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds’ “Push the Sky Away,” due out Feb. 18 through Kobalt Label Services  and Cave’s Bad Seed Ltd.

Read the full article

............................................................



Clive Davis To Speak At SXSW
 
Posted: 22 Jan 2013, 12:34 pm
Clive Davis will speak at South by Southwest (SXSW) Music and Media Conference and Festival on Thursday March 14, the festival announced today. His speech comes shortly after the release of his new autobiography “The Soundtrack of My Life.”

Read the full article

............................................................



Live Nation Strikes Deal to Host Concerts at London Olympic Stadium
 
Posted: 22 Jan 2013, 11:00 am
Live events giant Live Nation has struck a deal that gives it exclusive rights to organize concerts and music festivals in the British capital's Olympic Park and Olympic Stadium this summer.

Read the full article

............................................................



Two Voices of the Rolling Stones Meet for the First Time at Sundance Screening
 
Posted: 22 Jan 2013, 10:32 am
Lisa Fischer has sung female lead parts for the Rolling Stones on every tour since 1989, but it wasn't until film director Morgan Neville assembled a meeting of backup singers at Sundance that Fischer and Merry Clayton, a crucial vocalist in the music of Mick Jagger and the boys, would be in the same room together.

Read the full article

............................................................



Welcome to the New Billboard
 
Posted: 21 Jan 2013, 7:00 pm
The Jan. 26 edition of Billboard features a cover-story interview with Prince, but that world exclusive is accompanied by something else: A whole new magazine. This week, Billboard relaunches, and from the new logo on the front cover to the information packed graphic on the back page, the magazine is dedicated to the delivery of business journalism that leads and informs the essential conversations around the music and businesses it covers.

Read the full article

............................................................



Beyonce, Kelly Clarkson Add Soaring Voices to Obama's Inauguration
 
Posted: 21 Jan 2013, 4:22 pm
The inauguration of the President of the United States is a celebrated event indeed, even if it's effectively the follow-up to what was a landmark occasion four years ago. But if there's anyone who can bring the (white) house down, it's one of America's most beloved singing ladies, the first "American Idol," a songwriting legend and a showstopping choir.

Read the full article

............................................................



Warner Music, NMPA Reach Agreement on Royalty Rate for Music Videos
 
Posted: 21 Jan 2013, 2:43 pm
The Warner Music Group has become the second major label to agree to pay songwriters and publishers a royalty from revenue they derive from music videos, in a deal negotiated by the National Music Publishers' Association.

Read the full article

............................................................



Tim Leiweke on AEG Sale: 'We're Getting Down to the Final Straws'
 
Posted: 21 Jan 2013, 2:42 pm
The sale of Anschutz Entertainment Group is “taking longer” than expected, AEG CEO, Tim Leiweke told Billboard.biz, but not due to lack of interest. While Leiweke declined to mention who the serious bidders were, he did indicate that the field has narrowed.  “We’re getting down to the final straws here,” he said.

Read the full article

............................................................



Tim Leiweke on AEG Sale: 'We're Getting Down to the Final Straws'
 
Posted: 21 Jan 2013, 2:42 pm
The sale of Anschutz Entertainment Group is “taking longer” than expected, AEG CEO, Tim Leiweke told Billboard.biz, but not due to lack of interest. While Leiweke declined to mention who the serious bidders were, he did indicate that the field has narrowed.  “We’re getting down to the final straws here,” he said.

Read the full article

............................................................



'Pussy Riot - A Punk Prayer,' 'Twenty Feet From Stardom' Sell At Sundance
 
Posted: 21 Jan 2013, 6:17 am
Add “Pussy Riot — A Punk Prayer” to the growing music-centric documentaries sold at the Sundance Film Festival. HBO Docs acquired U.S. TV rights to the political documentary that received its world premiere Jan. 18. "Twenty Feet From Stardom," which tells the stories of several prominent backup singers, sold on Thursday to Radius and the Weinstein Co.

Read the full article

............................................................



Kim Dotcom Launches Mega, New File-Sharing Service
 
Posted: 19 Jan 2013, 4:09 pm
Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom has unveiled a new file-sharing website called Mega. "As of this minute one year ago #Megaupload was destroyed by the US Government," Dotcom tweeted on Saturday, along with a link to the new site.

Read the full article

............................................................



Dave Grohl's Sound City Players Tear It Up at Sundance
 
Posted: 19 Jan 2013, 2:05 pm
Hours after his "Sound City" documentary premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, Dave Grohl took 800 fans on a three-hour musical odyssey at Park City Live that emphasized his personal connection to the Van Nuys, Calif., recording studio his film chronicles.

Read the full article

............................................................



Obama Inauguration Music Guide: Katy Perry to Q-Tip
 
Posted: 19 Jan 2013, 1:41 pm
Just as Barack Obama's 2009 inauguration drew stars from Beyonce to Aretha Franklin, the president's re-election has led to another can't-miss week for music fans. We've hiked through Capital Hill's extensive inauguration schedule to bring you a list of the week's biggest balls.

Read the full article

............................................................



Sony/ATV's Martin Bandier on New, 'Quite Reasonable' Pandora Deal
 
Posted: 18 Jan 2013, 7:00 pm
Sony/ATV pulled a major coup earlier this week by negotiating a higher royalty rate from Pandora. Chairman/CEO Martin Bandier spoke with Billboard.biz about the deal.

Read the full article

............................................................



Backbeat: The Surreal APAP Convention Hall: From Tibetan Monks to Lez Zeppelin, Branson On the Road to Slask
 
Posted: 18 Jan 2013, 6:00 pm
In many regards the convention hall at the annual Association of Performing Arts Presenters in New York CIty resembles nothing so much as a Fellini film. Here, Tibetan Monks, Polish folk dancers, Lez Zeppelin and, of course, a golden praying mantis, all man booths before thousands of curators, agents, and promoters from across the country who trod the Hilton New York's carpeted aisles looking to book their 2014-2015 seasons.

Read the full article

............................................................



Six Music-Related Issues Facing This Administration and Congress
 
Posted: 18 Jan 2013, 4:45 pm
From performance royalties to deciding how musicians travel with their instruments on airplanes, numerous issues central to the music industry are alive Washington D.C. as the city prepares for the president inauguration on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

Read the full article

............................................................



Six Music-Related Issues Facing This Administration and Congress
 
Posted: 18 Jan 2013, 4:45 pm
From performance royalties to deciding how musicians travel with their instruments on airplanes, numerous issues central to the music industry are alive Washington D.C. as the city prepares for the president inauguration on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

Read the full article

............................................................



Prince to Be Honored at Billboard Music Awards on May 19
 
Posted: 18 Jan 2013, 4:00 pm
The 2013 Billboard Music Awards are returning to Las Vegas on Sunday, May 19 and will honor the legendary artist Prince during a live ABC broadcast from the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

Read the full article

............................................................



Beyonce, Katy Perry, More Head to D.C. for Packed Slate of Obama Inauguration Events
 
Posted: 18 Jan 2013, 12:58 pm
Kelly Clarkson is a multiple nominee at next month's Grammy Awards, but what she's really excited about is another event where she'll be joined by Beyonce, Katy Perry, Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys, Usher and Brad Paisley. Oh, and the president.

Read the full article

............................................................



CD Baby Parent Company AVL Digital Group Sold
 
Posted: 18 Jan 2013, 10:44 am
AVL Digital Group -- the parent company of CD Baby, Disc Makers and other self-publishing platforms -- has been sold to Stephens Capital Partners, a private equity group based in Little Rock, Arkansas, Billboard.biz has learned.

Read the full article

............................................................



NARM Names Muve Music's Jeff Toig, Dimple Records' Dilyn Radakovitz to Board
 
Posted: 18 Jan 2013, 10:34 am
Muve Music senior VP Jeff Toig and Dimple Records founder and owner Dilyn Radakovitz have joined the board of directors of both NARM, the music business trade association, and digitalmusic.org, its digital initiatives arm.

Read the full article

............................................................



Run DMC's Darryl McDaniels Presenting 'Garden of Laughs' Benefit Comedy Showcase
 
Posted: 18 Jan 2013, 10:13 am
At the height of his lowest point, Run DMC's Darryl McDaniels says he considered suicide. Before leaving the world, however, he wanted to publish an autobiography, his life story beyond music; a conversation with his mother shortly thereafter revealed more information than he had bargained for.

Read the full article

............................................................



Backbeat: Carrie Underwood Celebrates No. 1 With 'Blown Away' Co-Writers Josh Kear and Chris Tompkins
 
Posted: 17 Jan 2013, 4:46 pm
Carrie Underwood joined Josh Kear and Chris Tompkins, the two songwriters who penned "Blown Away," at the CMA offices on Wednesday to celebrate their song hitting the top of the charts.

Read the full article

............................................................



Elizabeth Sobol Named Decca Label Group President and CEO
 
Posted: 17 Jan 2013, 12:15 pm
Elizabeth Sobol, current managing director at IMG Artists North America, has been named Decca Label Group's president and CEO. Sobol will report to Universal Music Group International's chairman and CEO Max Hole, who was promoted to that position last week.

Read the full article

............................................................



HMV Shutters Irish Operations, Appoints Receivers as Staff Stages Sit-In
 
Posted: 17 Jan 2013, 11:45 am
Staff at two HMV stores in Ireland have staged sit-in protests to secure their wages following the closure of the company’s 16 Irish stores, according to reports. HMV’s Irish operations were placed into receivership 24 hours after the British music retailer HMV confirmed it was suspending the trading of its shares and entering administration, the U.K. equivalent of Chapter 11.

Read the full article

............................................................



Andre Rieu, Bieber's 'Believe' Tour Top Hot Tours Chart
 
Posted: 17 Jan 2013, 10:50 am
Classical music dominates this week's Hot Tours report with Dutch violinist and conductor André Rieu earning the No. 1 ranking, followed by Justin Bieber's Believe Tour return and Phish's sold-out show at Madison Square Garden.

Read the full article

............................................................



Dave Grohl, Avicii and Afrojack: A Promoter's Approach to Booking Music at Sundance
 
Posted: 17 Jan 2013, 10:31 am
Park City Live is the only regularly operating nightclub in Park City, Utah, home of the Sundance Film Festival running Jan. 17-27, which will enter its second year of operation as a concert venue the day the festival begins. Here, Park City Live CEO Kathryn Burns talks about her first year promoting the venue.

Read the full article

............................................................



Dave Grohl, Avicii and Afrojack: A Promoter's Approach to Booking Music at Sundance
 
Posted: 17 Jan 2013, 10:31 am
Park City Live is the only regularly operating nightclub in Park City, Utah, home of the Sundance Film Festival running Jan. 17-27, which will enter its second year of operation as a concert venue the day the festival begins. Here, Park City Live CEO Kathryn Burns talks about her first year promoting the venue.

Read the full article

............................................................



Dave Grohl, Avicii and Afrojack: A Promoter's Approach to Booking Music at Sundance
 
Posted: 17 Jan 2013, 10:31 am
Park City Live is the only regularly operating nightclub in Park City, Utah, home of the Sundance Film Festival running Jan. 17-27, which will enter its second year of operation as a concert venue the day the festival begins. Here, Park City Live CEO Kathryn Burns talks about her first year promoting the venue.

Read the full article

............................................................



Ticketfly Expands Into Canada
 
Posted: 17 Jan 2013, 10:00 am
Ticketfly announced Thursday it has expanded into Canada by signing two of the country's top promoters, acquiring Prime Box Office ticketing company and securing some promoters and venues.

Read the full article

............................................................



Sony/ATV Negotiates 25% Royalty Increase From Pandora: Report
 
Posted: 17 Jan 2013, 8:01 am
The newly combined Sony/ATV-EMI music publishing powerhouse has used its market clout to negotiate a 25% royalty increase from Pandora, according to a report in the New York Post. The deal is said to run for the next 12 months.

Read the full article

............................................................



Mark Poston, EMI Australia Chairman, Steps Down
 
Posted: 16 Jan 2013, 9:38 pm
Mark Poston, EMI Australia’s chairman, is out as Universal Music continues its global integration of EMI. According to Universal Music, Poston “decided to step down” from his current position as chairman and senior VP marketing, Australasia at EMI Music Australia. UMA's president George Ash will oversee EMI Australasia until a replacement is announced.

Read the full article

............................................................



Business Matters: How Facebook Search Could Provide Cheap Market Research for Music Marketers
 
Posted: 16 Jan 2013, 8:13 pm
Facebook’s Graph Search doesn’t have a lot of obvious music uses but could end up being a free and useful tool for music marketers. As the Inside Facebook blog points out, the search tool provides an opportunity for businesses to conduct market research about specific groups of fans for free.

Read the full article

............................................................



LyricFind Partners with Gracenote, Gets Investment from Larry Marcus
 
Posted: 16 Jan 2013, 4:40 pm
LyricFind will now power all of Gracenote's lyric services as part of their new partnership, while BandPage director Larry Marcus will be providing his experience, and a personal investment, to the company.

Read the full article

............................................................



SoundExchange Distributions Grew 58% to $462 Million in 2012
 
Posted: 16 Jan 2013, 2:21 pm
SoundExchange distributed $462 million in digital performing royalties in 2012, a 58% increase over 2011, the organization announced Wednesday

Read the full article

............................................................



Lucian Grainge, Michael Lynton, will.i.am to Co-Host Inaugural Innovation Summit
 
Posted: 16 Jan 2013, 1:30 pm
Innovation Forum, an inaugural summit of business leaders from the U.S. and U.K., will come together Feb. 4-5 in Los Angeles, kicking off 2013 Grammy week. UMG Chairman & CEO Lucian Grainge, Sony Ent. CEO Michael Lynton, Ari Emanuel, co-CEO of WME, and musician will.i.am will co-host the event co-sponsored by the Founder's Forum and UK Trade & Investment.

Read the full article

............................................................



Sony Music Boosts Digital Team With Ole Obermann and Mark Piibe
 
Posted: 16 Jan 2013, 10:29 am
In a statement today from Sony Music Entertainment's president of global digital business and U.S. sales Dennis Kooker, the company announced the creation and appointment of two new, digitally focused positions; current Sony Music executive Ole Obermann has been named executive vice president, digital partner development and sales, while Mark Piibe will be leaving EMI to take on the role of executive vice president, global business development and digital strategy.

Read the full article

............................................................



Next Big Sound's 2012 State of Online Music
 
Posted: 15 Jan 2013, 6:29 pm
Next Big Sound, the data analytics company, has released their 2012 State of Online Music report. Below is an outline of the report's key takeaways by Big Sound's data journalist Liv Buli.  

Read the full article

............................................................



Business Matters: Relaunched Myspace Is a Success as Music Service -- But As a Social Network? We'll See ...
 
Posted: 15 Jan 2013, 5:35 pm
The redesigned Myspace finally opened up to the public today. The site, a year and a half in the works, is both a social network and a music discovery destination.

Read the full article

............................................................



Justin Timberlake's 'Suit & Tie' Aiming for First-Week Sales of 350,000
 
Posted: 15 Jan 2013, 4:44 pm
As reported yesterday (Jan. 14), Justin Timberlake's new single "Suit & Tie" is selling briskly and bound for a big first-week sales figure; label sources suggest that "Suit & Tie" may sell around 330,000 - 350,000 downloads by the end of the tracking week on Sunday, Jan. 20.

Read the full article

............................................................



Arts & Crafts Label Announces Ten-Year Anniversary Events
 
Posted: 15 Jan 2013, 2:16 pm
Toronto indie label Arts & Crafts, which helped spawn the careers of Feist and Broken Social Scene among others, is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year with AC10, a series of events, releases and collaborations in music, fashion, photography and literature.

Read the full article

............................................................



Facebook Unveils Social Search Feature
 
Posted: 15 Jan 2013, 1:50 pm
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has unveiled a new search feature on the world's biggest online social network. Called "graph search," the new service lets users search their social connections for information about people, interests, photos and places.

Read the full article

............................................................



Universal Music France President Pascal Negre Named UMG's Global Head of New Business
 
Posted: 15 Jan 2013, 12:15 pm
Pascal Nègre, president at Universal Music France, Italy, Middle East and Africa, has been promoted to UMG's global head of new business, according to a press release.

Read the full article

............................................................



Billboard's Parent Company Names Ross Levinsohn CEO
 
Posted: 15 Jan 2013, 10:41 am
Billboard's parent company has a new leader: Former Yahoo and Fox Interactive Media executive Ross Levinsohn.

Read the full article

............................................................



Morning Fix: UMJ's Koike to Head EMI Japan; Justin Timberlake Single's Fast Start; Facebook's Mystery Announcement
 
Posted: 15 Jan 2013, 8:30 am
In today's Fix: Universal Music Japan CEO Kazuhiko Koike to head up EMI Japan; Justin Timberlake's long-awaited single "Suit and Tie" gets off to a fast start; today's Facebook mystery announcement; UK's HMV facing bankruptcy; Rolling Stones lead Hot Tours; Greg Sandoval leaving CNET; Arts & Crafts' tenth anniversary; Country Music Association is going to Disneyland Paris; and way more than you could ever fit into the world's largest bagel.  

Read the full article

............................................................



Universal Music Japan's Kazuhiko Koike To Head EMI Japan
 
Posted: 15 Jan 2013, 8:07 am
Universal Music Japan today announced that its President and CEO Kazuhiko Koike will assume on the role of president/CEO of EMI Music Japan as well, replacing longtime CEO Hitoshi Namekata.

Read the full article

............................................................



Warner Music Sued for Millions by George Gershwin Heirs
 
Posted: 14 Jan 2013, 8:39 pm
A new lawsuit objects to the way that the music giant has licensed famous compositions and booked revenue.

Read the full article

............................................................



Greg Sandoval, Senior CNET Writer, Resigns Over CBS Controversy
 
Posted: 14 Jan 2013, 12:39 pm
CNET editor Greg Sandoval told Twitter earlier today that he's quitting the venerable tech news site over parent company CBS's apparent demand that the publication drop Dish Network's ad-skipping Hopper feature from consideration for its "Best of CES" awards.

Read the full article

............................................................



Indie Band Love in the Circus Explores 3D Imaging at CES
 
Posted: 14 Jan 2013, 12:14 pm
Music can be as much about the visuals as it is about the sound. Among the more intriguing demonstrations of this at this year's Consumer Electronics Show was a video display in the Sony booth from an independent band called Love in the Circus; the Los Angeles based band used projection imaging to create a live stage that evokes a Cirque du Soleil-esque setting, wrapping custom animations around a physical stage set.

Read the full article

............................................................



Indie Band Love in the Circus Explores 3D Imaging at CES
 
Posted: 14 Jan 2013, 12:14 pm
Music can be as much about the visuals as it is about the sound. Among the more intriguing demonstrations of this at this year's Consumer Electronics Show was a video display in the Sony booth from an independent band called Love in the Circus; the Los Angeles based band used projection imaging to create a live stage that evokes a Cirque du Soleil-esque setting, wrapping custom animations around a physical stage set.

Read the full article

............................................................



Pop Leads U.K. Album Sales for Second Year Running
 
Posted: 14 Jan 2013, 10:29 am
Big-selling albums from Emeli Sandé, Adele, Ed Sheeran and One Direction ensured that pop remained the most-popular genre in the United Kingdom in 2012, according to new figures released by the Official Charts Company (OCC) and British labels trade body the BPI.

Read the full article

............................................................



Rolling Stones Lead Hot Tours with '50' Shows
 
Posted: 14 Jan 2013, 10:05 am
Rock legends the Rolling Stones stand at the top of Hot Tours this week with ticket sales reaching $38.6 million from the 50 and Counting Tour, while Nickelback, Jennifer Lopez and Elton John reach the top ten on the strength of their Australian tours.

Read the full article

............................................................



Rolling Stones Lead Hot Tours with '50' Shows
 
Posted: 14 Jan 2013, 10:05 am
Rock legends the Rolling Stones stand at the top of Hot Tours this week with ticket sales reaching $38.6 million from the 50 and Counting Tour, while Nickelback, Jennifer Lopez and Elton John reach the top ten on the strength of their Australian tours.

Read the full article

............................................................



Virtual Visionaries
 
Posted: 25 Nov 2012, 7:00 pm
Emilie Barta and John Pollard aim to take the fear out of planning hybrid events

More...


Read the full article

............................................................



All in the Planning
 
Posted: 11 Jul 2012, 8:00 pm

More...


Read the full article

............................................................



Take 10 - Conference Centers
 
Posted: 11 Jun 2012, 8:00 pm
Take 10 - Conference Centers

More...


Read the full article

............................................................



Convention Center Contacts
 
Posted: 7 Jun 2012, 8:00 pm

More...


Read the full article

............................................................



Shiny and New
 
Posted: 7 Jun 2012, 8:00 pm

More...


Read the full article

............................................................



New School
 
Posted: 30 Apr 2012, 8:00 pm

More...


Read the full article

............................................................



Final Bow
 
Posted: 28 Mar 2012, 8:00 pm

More...


Read the full article

............................................................



IACC Makes Global Push; Criteria to 'Evolve'
 
Posted: 21 Mar 2012, 8:00 pm

More...


Read the full article

............................................................



Unlikely Customers
 
Posted: 28 Feb 2012, 7:00 pm

More...


Read the full article

............................................................



IACC Board Sets New Service Standards
 
Posted: 30 Nov 2011, 7:00 pm

More...


Read the full article

............................................................



Association Meetings 3.0
 
Posted: 16 Sep 2011, 5:10 pm
What does the association meeting of tomorrow look like and how can you prepare to provide your members with the type of meetings they need? A presenter at ASAE's 2011 Annual Meeting & Expo provides her expert glimpse into the future.

Read the full article

............................................................



Rethinking Sponsorships in the Age of Social Media
 
Posted: 16 Sep 2011, 4:56 pm
Technology is changing our lives in seemingly countless ways, including association event sponsorships. Find out what a leading event software expert believes are the best ways to make the most of sponsorships in the age of social media.

Read the full article

............................................................



What You Need to Know About Simultaneous Interpretation
 
Posted: 16 Sep 2011, 4:54 pm
As more associations venture overseas, simultaneous interpretation is more important than ever. Two experts who have conducted events around the globe share their insights.

Read the full article

............................................................



Reduce Expenses for Meetings of Any Size
 
Posted: 16 Sep 2011, 4:51 pm
Even the largest associations sometimes have meetings that don't represent a lot of room nights, which can reduce your ability to negotiate with the host hotel. Here are nine tips to help you get the best deal for your next meeting, no matter how many attendees you have.

Read the full article

............................................................



Strategic Meeting Planning
 
Posted: 6 Jul 2011, 11:00 am
We use strategic planning in our everyday lives but often get too caught up in all the details to apply it effectively during the meeting planning process. Discover how to be truly strategic the next time you're planning an important meeting.

Read the full article

............................................................



New Models for Successful Convention Strategy
 
Posted: 6 Jul 2011, 10:56 am
There's more to meetings than good content and a nice location. An ASAE Fellow and association business strategy consultant shares his views on factors such as information needs, competing resources, and strategic barriers that impact attendance at association conventions and tradeshows.

Read the full article

............................................................



Post-Recession Economy Requires New Guidelines for Association Events
 
Posted: 6 Jul 2011, 10:53 am
Association events are making a comeback following the deep recession, but everyone remains sensitive to appearing too extravagant and expensive. Here's a process for determining what's appropriate for your next events.

Read the full article

............................................................



Increase Exhibitor Engagement Without Increasing Your Budget
 
Posted: 6 Jul 2011, 10:49 am
Every association tradeshow is under pressure to increase traffic, but at what cost? Follow these strategies for increasing traffic and enhancing exhibitor loyalty without busting your budget.

Read the full article

............................................................



Letter From the Chair: ME Section Contributes to "199 Ideas" for Planners
 
Posted: 6 Jul 2011, 10:47 am
The Meetings & Expositions Section Council chair discusses the debut of an exciting new resource for association planners, provides a glimpse of the upcoming Annual Meeting & Exposition, and lends his perspective on the value of associations to society.

Read the full article

............................................................



Tips to Make Transportation at Your Conference Greener
 
Posted: 9 May 2011, 10:09 am
Greening meetings has come a long way in recent years, but you can take it to the next level with a little strategy and a lot of enthusiasm. Learn how to get your group actively involved in being a deeper shade of green.

Read the full article

............................................................



University Venues
 
Posted: 30 Apr 2011, 8:00 pm
Collegiate athletic venues are ideal for team building and spectator fun

More...


Read the full article

............................................................



Conference Centers
 
Posted: 31 Dec 2010, 7:00 pm
With mounting competition, conference centers get flexible

More...


Read the full article

............................................................



Conference Center Changes
 
Posted: 31 Dec 2010, 7:00 pm
Conference Center Changes

More...


Read the full article

............................................................



On Location - Convention Centers
 
Posted: 31 May 2010, 8:00 pm

More...


Read the full article

............................................................



University Venues
 
Posted: 30 Apr 2010, 8:00 pm
Campus Culture

More...


Read the full article

............................................................



Conference Centers
 
Posted: 31 Mar 2010, 8:00 pm

After a tough year, conference centers see better times ahead

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University Venues
 
Posted: 28 Feb 2010, 7:00 pm

Universities offer an exciting range of museum venues

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A Class Act
 
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University Venues
 
Posted: 28 Feb 2009, 7:00 pm

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