For Immediate Release
August 28, 2017
Hilarie Szarowicz (616) 742-6397
SMG-managed DeVos Place®, DeVos Performance Hall, and
Van Andel Arena® enjoy a record year in Grand Rapids
Grand Rapids — The recently closed fiscal year proved to be a record-breaking year for the SMG-managed venues in Grand Rapids, Michigan – Van Andel Arena, DeVos Place, and DeVos Performance Hall. With the record-breaking combined fiscal performance from July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2017, the three venues are continuing the momentum generated by the celebration of Van Andel Arena’s 20th anniversary in 2016.
Van Andel Arena hosted 37 events for a total of 60 performances throughout the fiscal year, not including Grand Rapids Griffins AHL Hockey games and non-ticketed events. Some highlights included the legendary Paul McCartney setting a record for gross ticket sales for a single event and Kanye West bringing the heaviest production the arena has ever seen. The arena also hosted Journey & The Doobie Brothers, Blink-182, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Snoop Dogg, Professional Bull Riders, Eric Church, a live broadcast of WWE RAW, Tim McGraw & Faith Hill, Red Hot Chili Peppers and several others.
“We had a big year planned for the 20th anniversary of Van Andel Arena, and that carried over down the street at DeVos Place and DeVos Performance Hall as well,” said SMG Regional General Manager Richard MacKeigan. “The enthusiasm we operate with and the success we have been able to enjoy is a manifestation of the support we have from the community and SMG, and the confidence we gain from the Grand Rapids-Kent County Convention/Arena Authority.”
Adding yet another arena highlight to a year that already had plenty, the Griffins clinched their second Calder Cup Championship in franchise history on home ice in June.
"Grand Rapids has three wonderful venues and the corporate staff in the SMG Live Entertainment Division did a magnificent job working with them to achieve some outstanding results that we are very proud of,” said SMG Executive Vice President Doug Thornton. "We work hard to make sure our corporate resources are of great value to our buildings around the world, and the performance in Grand Rapids last year is a perfect example of the partnerships we strive to create."
DeVos Performance Hall hosted a number of significant events as well, including Aretha Franklin, Dan TDM, Bill Engvall, Boston, Chris Cornell, and others. In addition to its usual run of public shows such as the 9th Annual Grand Rapids International Wine, Beer & Food Festival, an event created by SMG Grand Rapids and the Grand Rapids-Kent County Convention/Arena Authority (CAA), DeVos Place hosted a number of private events, conventions, conferences, and meetings to keep a fully loaded schedule that rarely left the building idle.
In addition to ticketed events, the buildings hosted several events open to the community as well. Both DeVos Place and Van Andel Arena hosted art installations during ArtPrize, an annual international art competition held in Grand Rapids. Two of the installations in DeVos Place were chosen as winners in their categories.
In celebration of the 20th anniversary, Van Andel Arena opened its doors to the public with a free Halloween Open House in October and capped off the year-long commemoration with a charity dinner in January featuring a moderated discussion with General Managers of the Detroit Red Wings, Detroit Pistons, and Detroit Tigers with all proceeds benefitting local non-profit organizations.
Both DeVos Place and Van Andel Arena hosted graduation ceremonies this fiscal year. Other events such as the Turkey Trot 5K to benefit Grand Rapids Public Schools on Thanksgiving morning, Barley, BBQ & Beats to benefit Hospice of Michigan, and Heart of West Michigan United Way’s Food from the Heart took place as well.
The year wasn’t without its accolades along the way as Regional General Manager Richard MacKeigan was named among the industry’s elite on Billboard’s Top Arena Managers list in September and followed that up by being named winner of Venues Today’s “most prestigious award,” the Hall of Headlines in December.
In order to improve the guest experience, Van Andel Arena installed new LED lighting both inside and outside of the arena, and repaired sections of sidewalk around the building. The arena also wrapped itself in a bow again to celebrate the holidays and gave the marquee a facelift to improve its graphical capabilities.
DeVos Place and Van Andel Arena both continued their commitment to the 2030 District, a downtown district facilitated by the U.S. Green Building Council of West Michigan with help from the Institute for Energy Innovation, aimed at dramatically reducing environmental impacts in the community. DeVos Place and Van Andel Arena also participated in the Annual Battle of the Buildings Energy Summit to highlight its ongoing sustainability efforts.
“We can’t wait to show West Michigan what is in store for the new fiscal year,” added MacKeigan. “We are thrilled to be able to match the energy that we feel from the community and our partners that make this all possible.”
Celebrating its 40th anniversary and founded in 1977, SMG provides management services to more than 230 public assembly facilities including convention and exhibition centers, arenas, stadiums, theaters, performing arts centers, amphitheaters, equestrian facilities, science centers and a variety of other venues. With facilities across the globe, SMG manages more than 15 million square feet of exhibition space and more than 1.5 million sports and entertainment seats. As the recognized global industry leader, SMG provides venue management, sales, marketing, event booking and programming; construction and design consulting; and pre-opening services for such landmark facilities as McCormick Place & Soldier Field in Chicago, Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, Houston’s NRG Park and the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. SMG also offers food and beverage operations through its concessions and catering companies, currently serving more than 140 accounts worldwide. For more information visit www.smgworld.com.