The Stockton City Council unanimously (7-0) approved a five year management agreement on Tuesday, January 25, 2011 with SMG – a global leader in entertainment venue management – to provide booking, catering, maintenance, promotion, programming and general operations for the Stockton Arena, Stockton Ballpark, Bob Hope Theatre and Oak Park Ice Arena, effective February 25, 2011.
“We are excited to have a professional management company with such great enthusiasm working in our City, helping us fulfill our vision for a thriving downtown,” said Mayor Ann Johnston. “This is a new day in the City of Stockton.”
SMG provides management services to over 220 arenas, stadiums, and theatres in the United States and internationally, including Rabobank Arena in Bakersfield, Long Beach Arena and Convention Center, and Moscone Center in San Francisco. SMG was selected based on their excellent reputation in venue management and experience turning around underperforming venues. As a company with worldwide resources that can be applied to Stockton, SMG has the ability to leverage solid relationships with promoters, ticketing companies, food and beverage concessionaires, and other industry professionals. Their presence in California will be especially helpful in booking the facilities by being able to route events and shows through their multiple venues, leading to more activity at Stockton facilities.
“SMG is thrilled to have the opportunity to begin its partnership with the Stockton City Council and the City of Stockton for the management of these wonderful sports and entertainment facilities,” said Bob Cavalieri, SMG Senior Vice President of Business Development. “We are ready to hit the ground running, and we look forward to a long and successful relationship.”
The SMG agreement is expected to save the City of Stockton $1 million a year. The initial agreement is for five years, with an option for the City to renew the agreement for an additional five years and an option to terminate after three years. In addition, the agreement requires SMG to complete annual plans that include an annual budget, with goals and expectations, as well as five and ten year forecasts for capital needs.
At the same time, the Stockton City Council voted to terminate an agreement with the current management company, IFG, effective February 24, 2011, at a cost of $2.2 million.