Penguins hire new management firm to operate Consol arena
By Jeremy Boren
Published: Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2012, 9:38 a.m.
AEG Facilities, owned by conglomerate Anschutz Entertainment Group, will replace SMG on Sept. 1 as the 18,780-seat arena's general manager. The switch ends SMG's 20-year run as manager, which started at the now-demolished Civic Arena and continued when Consol Energy Center opened in 2010.
“AEG is a huge entertainment company. They really have the resources available to them to be able to help drive additional events and shows into this building,” said Travis Williams, chief operating officer for the Penguins.
He declined to disclose financial terms of the five-year deal because the National Hockey League team operates as a private business.
Penguins season ticket-holder Jim McNeely, 34, of Stowe said he would be curious to know the financial details because of the public investment in the arena, though the Penguins have shown they can run a successful venue that appeals to hockey fans and concert-goers. That translates into a better fan experience, he said.
“I want to see whoever runs the venue do well, and I want to see the Penguins do well,” McNeely said.
Penguins officials said they believe AEG can increase the number of concerts and other shows coming to Consol Energy Center because AEG produces entertainment and music festivals, such as the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival in Indio, Calif.; Rocklahoma in Tulsa, Okla.; and Edgefest in Toronto. It might bring similar productions to Pittsburgh.
SMG relies on attracting existing shows.
“The unique thing about AEG is they don't just rely on the shows that are touring out there; there's opportunities where they can create content,” Williams said.
AEG Facilities operates 100 arenas and stadiums, including the Staples Center in Los Angeles, home of the L.A. Kings; the Prudential Center in Newark, home of the New Jersey Devils; and Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, which will host the Democratic National Convention in early September.
AEG, owned by Denver billionaire Philip Anschutz, has a development arm that could help the Penguins attract retailers and restaurant operations to the 28-acre Hill District development zone around the former arena. The Penguins have exclusive rights to develop the land over a 10-year period.
AEG developed L.A. LIVE, a 4 million-square-foot, $2.5 billion sports, residential and entertainment district in Los Angeles.
Consol Energy Center is owned by the city-county Sports & Exhibition Authority, a public agency that oversees debt payments on the $321 million arena from a combination of revenue from the casino gambling tax, the Penguins and a state development fund.
The arena has roughly 45 full-time employees, including electricians, carpenters, utility crews and security guards. A part-time staff of 400 to 500 workers, including ushers, ticket-takers and concession vendors, works on game days and during concerts. They will keep their jobs, AEG Facilities officials said. Aramark will remain the arena's food service provider.
Jeremy Boren is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7935 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Penguins notebook: Injury keeps Malkin out against Sharks
- Fleury, Crosby lead Penguins to victory over Sharks at Consol
- Ex-Penguins winger Kennedy ‘emotional’ about return
- Penguins minor league notebook: Samuelsson provides link for blue-line prospects
- Penguins’ Crosby nets game-winner in overtime
- Penguins notebook: Sill thrives on penalty kill