TheatreDNA announced the hiring of IAVM member Alex Hargis as Principal to expand the firm’s operations consulting services along with the promotion of senior team members Keith Gerchak and Lars Klein to the role of Principal. The new leadership positions will allow TheatreDNA to expand its capabilities and capacity to serve a wider range of clients going forward.
“As we continue to focus on serving our clients in new and ever inspiring ways, we’re excited to honor the dedication and decades of experience that Keith and Lars possess by promoting them to Principal,” said Michael Ferguson, Founding Principal of TheatreDNA. “We’re also thrilled to have Alex join the team. The practical theatre management experience he brings will help us better inform and empower architects and owners on future projects.”
Keith Gerchak, AIA serves as TheatreDNA’s principal theatre designer and is a registered architect who has specialized in performance venues for the last twenty years, both as an architect and as a theatre planner and designer. He’s also a professional stage and television actor and screenwriter, giving him unique perspectives and insights into performance and studio environments. Keith’s notable projects include the Colburn School Expansion, the Greek National Opera House, Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center, the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles Performance Theatre, and the Musco Center for the Arts at Chapman University.
Lars Klein, ASTC is a project manager and theatre equipment systems designer for TheatreDNA, bringing over twenty-five years of experience in the building and designing of theatres and concert halls. His depth of venue design knowledge is extensive due to his experience as a rigging designer, installer, and an acoustician. Lars’ significant projects include the Facebook MPK 21 “Museum” event and broadcast center, Golden State Warriors Chase Arena, Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Centre, the Renee and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall and Samueli Theatre, and the Denver Center for the Performing Arts Wolf Theatre renovation.
Alex Hargis is a venue management executive with nearly twenty years’ experience in event operations, performing arts management, and brand development. His responsibilities as a Principal for TheatreDNA will include performing arts operational consulting and owner’s representation. He’ll also lead the firm’s marketing and business development efforts. Mr. Hargis is a member of the International Association of Venue Managers, a former Certified Meeting Planner, and a recipient of IAVM’s Venue Excellence Award. He served on the opening team for the AT&T Performing Arts Center in Dallas and, most recently, served as the Managing Director for the Coppell Arts Center, which opened in 2020.
“As we continue to grow and develop our entire company, I’m very pleased we can promote from within and reward those who work very hard to not just have the answers but ask the right questions,” said Benton Delinger, Founding Principal of TheatreDNA. “Keith and Lars’ new roles will help us provide even more value to design teams and our end users, owners, and operators. Alex’s addition will help us better serve them by navigating a path from groundbreaking to first curtain call.”
By Doug Potter
mbsPartners announced the immediate availability of VenuMax — a full enterprise software package built exclusively for convention centers, sports arenas, performing arts centers, and museums.
“Venues have never before seen an offering of technology and software features as robust as this,” said Victoria Johnson, Managing Principal. “VenuMax’s modular design allows each venue to select and install components needed to modernize their own venue operations.”
Software functions include:
• Sales and CRM. Reporting and dashboards, sales pipeline management, email campaigns, salesperson productivity, and lead management.
• Booking and Reservations. Quotes and event orders to help manage availability, booking, document control, file attachments, reservations, deposits, staffing plans, and more.
• Operations and Accounting. Complete management of the event including, event revenues and expenses, event accounting, disbursement management, event settlement, general ledger, financial reporting and board reporting.
• Technology Tools. Mobile screens, a report writer, a data query tool, a dashboard tool, a graphical workflow engine, and more – all included without any additional licensing fees.
• Security Layers. Role and row-level restricted user access, multi-factor authentication, SSL encryption, and more.
VenuMax modules all run on top of a single web-based platform, giving each venue a turnkey solution accessible from anywhere. This means that they can stop relying on multiple outdated software systems, spreadsheets and manual processes.
For more information about VenuMax, visit www.VenuMax.com.
Doug Potter is a Partner with mbsPartners Newport Consulting.
From Los Angeles Dodgers
Dodger Stadium will be filled with holiday cheer as guests are immersed in the Dodgers Holiday Festival, where they will experience the beautiful, newly-renovated Centerfield Plaza and find lots of holiday surprises, interactive experiences worthy of posting on social media, and larger-than-life holiday scenic and light installations that will provide fun for the whole family.
The celebration will be held at Dodger Stadium nightly from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. on weekdays, and from 3:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. on weekends, from November 26 through December 31, 2021.
For the first time ever, attendees can celebrate a white Christmas at Dodger Stadium with an illuminated, open-air ice skating experience constructed across the outfield. The 80’ x 60’ ice rink will run 30-minute sessions throughout each event date. Additionally, Santa Claus will be landing his sleigh in the bullpen of the third-oldest ballpark in the Major Leagues this winter!
The night continues with plenty of fun for all members of the family, including full-service bars, holiday-themed food, and more Dodger Stadium favorite concessions like Shake Shack. The Dodgers Holiday Festival is appropriate for ALL ages. Other exciting experiences for the family include the chance to:
Guests can take pictures for this year’s family holiday card by choosing from a multitude of backdrops, including giant wrapped presents, snowmen, Santa’s sleigh, and a 40-foot Christmas tree.
Meet and interact with Santa’s elves.
Stroll through a winter wonderland of light displays and interactive installations, including light tunnels and the Northern Lights immersive experience.
Enjoy holiday music throughout the event and nightly live musical performances.
Create and take home a holiday keepsake.
Jump into the holiday season in one of the bounce houses.
Check off holiday gift shopping at the Dodgers’ merchandise outlets in the Centerfield Plaza.
Come hungry and thirsty, as the Dodgers Holiday Festival will have a wide selection of seasonally-inspired foods, including grilled entrees, desserts, cocktails, craft beers, wines, and hot chocolate.
The Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation (LADF) will be operating their Homebase in the Centerfield Plaza, where guests may purchase holiday gifts such as $10 t-shirts, bobbleheads, autographed memorabilia, and more, while supplies last. At their Homebase, LADF will also be collecting new or gently-used baseball and softball gloves for use in their sports-based youth development program, Dodgers RBI. When purchasing tickets for the Holiday Festival, guests may add a donation to support LADF’s mission of tackling the most pressing problems facing Los Angeles by helping to improve education and health care, combating homelessness, and assuring social justice for all Angelenos.
Oak View Group announced the appointment of four executives at its under-construction Coachella Valley Arena.
Shannon Miller has joined as vice-president of branding and community relations, Phillip Ransford becomes vice-president of operations, Rich Franklin has been named senior director of corporate partnerships, and Arturo Aviles will serve as community engagement manager.
The arena, which will serve as the home of the Seattle Kraken’s AHL affiliate team, is due to open in late 2022. The arena will have a capacity of 11,000-plus and will be located in California’s Riverside County on land owned by the Berger Foundation.
By Zachary Phillips
A new report from AECOM recommends that the NFL’s Buffalo Bills build a new stadium, rather than renovate their existing Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park, New York.
Renovating the existing stadium would cost an estimated $862 million, compared to the $1.35 billion estimated for a new build, according to the report commissioned by Empire State Development.
A new stadium should be built in the place of the current one, AECOM recommended, as constructing a venue in downtown Buffalo would cost approximately $2.1 billion or more.
The Bills, whose open-air Highmark Stadium is nearly 50 years old, have considered building a new stadium for years. The venue is the fourth oldest active stadium in the NFL, behind only the Chicago Bears’ Soldier Field, the Green Bay Packers’ Lambeau Field and the Kansas City Chiefs’ Arrowhead Stadium.
The Bills’ lease expires in 2023, and in August, before the regular NFL season began, the franchise submitted plans to the city for a $1.4 billion, 60,000-seat stadium to be built by 2027, the Associated Press reported. The submission has led to debates about where that money should come from. Bills owners Terry and Kim Pegula said they are committed to shouldering part of the cost, but have not identified how much. At least some of the funding would come from taxpayer money.
The report, released Nov. 1, urged for the construction of a new venue, and cautioned against renovating the current one, as doing so could cost more than 60% of the price of building new. Additionally, renovations often have a general lifespan of 10 to 15 years, compared to a new stadium, which often has a 30-year lifespan before requiring upgrades.
The higher costs for building at a new, downtown site are attributed to the need to construct and improve leveled parking facilities, highway interchanges and other infrastructure upgrades.
Downtown vs. Orchard Park
AECOM’s report estimated a downtown stadium could add additional $350 million in total project cost, not including the potential high price tag of relocating residents and businesses. The Bills could also potentially need to pay an additional $300 million to include a roof for the stadium to address orientation issues for the field. Many NFL stadium fields run north to south so players are not hindered by sunlight, though it is not an explicit rule. If the Bills needed to construct their new downtown site stadium running east to west, they could need a dome to protect players.
Nevertheless, building on a new site could mean more cash for the city and government. The report researched the ancillary development around the Orchard Park site, estimating that a downtown site selected by the Bills could potentially attract development to an area that has not seen any recently. A downtown site could provide an estimated $53 million in tax revenue over the next 30 years.
The report assumes that the new stadium will be open-air and have:
A capacity of at least 60,000 seats.
Approximately 60 private suites, each with 16 seats.
Approximately 60 loge boxes, each with four to eight seats.
5,000 to 6,000 club seats, with enclosed and conditioned club spaces to accommodate patrons.
Improved access to the playing surface for trucks and equipment.
Improved locker rooms and facilities.
If the price tag estimate is accurate, and Bills build the $1.35 billion stadium at the current Orchard Park site, it would become the 11th most expensive stadium ever built, according to a report from March 2021. Building downtown with the $2.1 billion estimate would make it the third most expensive.
Zachary Phillips is Associate Editor of Construction Dive.