San Antonio is investing $50 million into its 65,000-seat Alamodome. Set in historic downtown and connected to the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center by a walking path, the Alamodome places meeting and event attendees in the heart of historic San Antonio. Within walking distance is the beautiful River Walk, Alamo, thousands of hotel rooms and numerous shops, restaurants and attractions.
“The Alamodome will undergo the most significant capital improvement program in its 22-year history,” said Mike Sawaya, director of Convention & Sports Facilities for the City of San Antonio. “Improvements to the world-renowned Alamodome will modernize the venue to be even more comparable and competitive with other multi-use and sports stadiums in the U.S.”
Scheduled for completion in November 2017, the Alamodome is designed for flexibility with football, basketball, soccer, boxing, tradeshow, theater and stadium concert capabilities. Renovations will include:
“Aside from benefiting San Antonio’s overall meetings package, Alamodome enhancements are vital to maintaining and growing San Antonio’s ability to host sporting events such as the Valero Alamo Bowl and U.S. Army All American Bowl,” said San Antonio Convention & Visitors Bureau Director Casandra Matej. “One of the first events to utilize the revitalized Alamodome will be the NCAA Final Four in 2018.”
Consistently noted as one of the nation’s leading destinations for meetings and events, San Antonio continues to reinvest in its infrastructure. Aside from coming Alamodome renovations, the city has recently expanded its historic River Walk and debuted a transformed Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in January 2016.
When Peter Sagal delivers his featured keynote presentation at the upcoming Performing Arts Managers Conference in Chicago (http://www.iavm.org/pama/pamc-home), he will do so from a position of authority about the subject matter.
As the host of National Public Radio’s Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me!, Sagal is heard by more than three million people every week, broadcast on 450 public radio stations nationwide and via a popular podcast. Sagal is a renowned radio host, author, humorist, and commentator on current events, yet will never forget his early youth roots spent in the world of theater.
“I was one of those theater kids in high school,” Sagal said about his upbringing in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey. “We all had cliques and mine was down by the drama classroom that Mr. Schneider taught. In my era the drama class people and those in plays … we were the misfits. We were the geeky kids, the smart kids. We weren’t good in sports and frankly we weren’t very good in anything that high school required ranging from dressing correctly to talking to girls. Or talking to a boy, if you were a girl. I would hang out with my friends and my peers, the other strange people who enjoyed performing and plays.”
Sagal’s self-deprecating humor belies the fact that he wears the arts on his sleeve like a badge of honor. His love for plays and the performing arts helped developed who he is and the visible forum he gets to share today with his listeners.
Sagal attended Harvard University, and has worked as a literary manager for a regional theater, a stage director, an actor, an extra in a Michael Jackson video (Remember the Time), travel writer, an essayist, a ghostwriter for a former adult film impresario and a staff writer for a motorcycle magazine. He is the author of numerous plays that have been performed in large and small theaters around the country and abroad. He has also written a number of screenplays, including an original screenplay that became, without his knowledge, the basis for Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights.
As they say, he knows of whence he speaks.
“I used to talk about this 20 years ago, but I was a playwright long before the Internet culture,” he said. “And I said the same thing then that I say now which is that what we are starved for as a culture of people is an actual experience. One of the reasons people love sports so much is that it’s happening right there in front of you. You don’t know what the ending is going to be, which is more than you can say for these TV shows these days.
“Why do people come out to high school football games or anything? The answer is that you have to be there. It’s happening right in front of you. That is an experience that as people we were starved for 20 years ago and are more so now. All this time we spend just staring at our screens and artificial, curated stuff, stuff that was created for us as just observers.
“I have seen some incredible performances and plays in my time and have perpetrated some of them. But I will still say that the best times I have had in the theater matched up against any other moment in my life.”
The interview with Peter Sagal continues next week with his thoughts on the future of live entertainment and specifically in the world of performing arts.
As the poet Rainer Maria Wilke said, “And now we welcome the new year, full of things that have never been.”
Never a truer word penned, right? Contemplating the possibilities of a fresh start in a new year can be a lot of fun. Yet, let’s be honest: For many New Year’s resolution makers, 2017 will likely look much the same as 2016, especially in regards to resolutions like these:
I’m sorry to say that according to TIME, these four health-related declarations are among the most commonly broken New Year’s resolutions. But back to the bright side—since it is a new year, after all—here is a trend, a tool, and an association case study on wellness that might inspire your own association to help its employees reach their wellness goals.
If you’re considering writing this off, remember a healthier workplace could mean lower insurance costs for the association, as well as increased productivity, decreased absenteeism, and more endorphin-fueled happiness around the office.
A trend. According to a webinar hosted by the Virgin Pulse Science Advisory Board, incentivized wellness programs are the way to go. “The last thing you want to do is invest in an expensive initiative, only for no one to use it,” writes Sarah K. White for CIO. Harvard professor I-Min Lee agrees, telling CIO, “investing in employee wellbeing programs with measurable outcomes has never been more financially responsible.”
The lesson for associations is that perhaps it’s not enough to just deploy a wellness program. Maybe associations also need to measure its success with wellness trackers or fitness wearables—and then incentivize their employees for engaging with the programs and reaching their milestones.
A tool. Brendan Weafer, a former UFC fighter, launched Workweek Wellness—a health and wellness app as “a cost-effective solution” that teaches its users healthy habits they can incorporate at the office during the workweek. Weafer says Workweek Wellness is a good add-on to existing wellness initiatives, such as discounted gym memberships, but it’s also a good place to start for companies that haven’t yet delved into wellness.
Here’s how it works: Employers can purchase the software for their employees, who access the app’s daily tips and videos during the workweek. These resources aim to encourage healthy choices, ranging from nutrition tips, to postural corrections, to bodyweight exercises and more. Plus, employers can keep tabs on how their employees have interacted with the information, which gives managers data on who is using the app and a foundation for how they might encourage greater effort.
A case study. The National Retail Federation doesn’t offer incentives to employees participating in wellness programs, but its employees still participate. In fact, NRF gets top marks for its employee-centric programs, which range from a softball team, the Sultans of Shop, to a weekly delivery of fresh fruit. Employees can also take advantage of the services of both a certified personal trainer, who holds well-attended group sessions in the building’s fitness center several times a day, and a registered dietician. In warmer months, a professional yoga instructor leads a weekly group session on the building’s rooftop.
Programs like these led NRF to win a spot in the Washington Post’s “Top Workplace” in both 2015 and 2016. The wellness program “focuses not just on health but on keeping [staff] happy,” according to the Post.
“NRF’s Life Around Wellness program has been successful because we’ve listened to our staff and developed programs that they want,” said Robin Winchell Roberts, senior director of media relations at NRF. “At NRF, we look at employees from a holistic perspective. Leadership genuinely wants them to live healthy and productive lives, which is why participation is purely voluntary and not tied to any other benefits. Our staff enjoys the interaction in the group exercise and nutrition sessions, and it gives them a nice break during the day.”
So maybe even an incentivized wellness program isn’t enough to see real results. Maybe what a successful wellness program requires is an appraisal of what your staff wants and an authentic desire for a healthy, happy workplace.
SportTechie is a resource “devoted to the burgeoning intersection of sports technology… [which covers] the latest technological innovations, ideas, and products that impact the fan experience, player performance, and sports industry as a whole.” Its recent series of articles titled Expert Series focuses on how technology impacts the fan experience in Stadiums and other venues.
The articles include:
Michael Enoch, a 38-year industry veteran, will soon relocate from Macau, China to Sandy Springs, Georgia to take on his new role as General Manager.
“I look forward to working closely with the city to transform events into experiences,” said Enoch. “Working with our other Spectra properties here in Georgia, we can build on industry relationships to create new and exciting opportunities for the performing arts center and the community.”