SMG announced the appointment of Bob Sauter to general manager of Moscone Center in San Francisco. Sauter had been performing as acting general manager of the facility.
“Bob is a long-term SMG and Moscone professional,” said SMG President/CEO Wes Westley. “He brings his years of experience to this role. He has done a fine job leading Moscone through its exciting expansion and I have every confidence that he will continue to put forward excellent results as Moscone begins its new era with the facility’s wonderful expansion in place.”
“The City of San Francisco is delighted with the appointment of Bob Sauter as general manager,” added John Noguchi, director of convention facilities at City & County of San Francisco. “He has been a valuable partner for our industry and we appreciate the leadership he and SMG have demonstrated for over three decades of exemplary management here at the Moscone Center.”
Jam Productions Ltd. co-founder Arny Granat announced that he is departing the company, and co-founder Jerry Mickelson will continue to manage the daily operations. Granat will remain the CEO and Founder of Grand Slam Productions where he continues to explore new opportunities.
“Over the past four decades, I have enjoyed a career that has allowed me to work with some of the biggest stars on the mostmemorable concerts, including the Rolling Stones, Adele, Prince and Frank Sinatra, as well as awe inspiring theater productions, and other unforgettable events,” Granat said. “I am looking forward to producing and promoting shows throughout the country in association with other partners and collaborators.”
The legendary Granat is working on a number of projects with Outback Concerts and Jam Theatricals, which under Granat’s co-direction received a total of 10 Tony Awards® and managed subscription seasons in 27 cities. Granat is also producing a travelling circus featuring the famous wire walker Nik Wallenda; bringing a Christmas Light Show extravaganza from London to Chicago in 2019 before rolling it out nationally; and producing a movie based on the book, My Last Skirt. Granat is also writing a book, titled I Said This, But I Meant That.
“I am happy where I’ve been, I am happy where I am, and I am excited for everyone to see where I go next,” Granat said.
Jeff Nickler, general manager of Tulsa’s SMG-managed BOK Center for the past six years, has joined the Oak View Group in the position of senior vice president of the Arena Alliance, where he leads the efforts of 28 professional venues working together to increase special events as well as sponsorships.
Before serving as GM at the BOK Center, Nickler was at the facility the previous five years in various capacities before earning promotions. In his new role, he works most closely with both National Hockey League and National Basketball Association venues to help drive business beyond their anchor tenants.
BOK Center earned numerous industry accolades during Nickler’s tenure, especially as a major concert venue in a secondary marketplace. The most recent honor came in October when the International Entertainment Buyers Association (IEBA) selected the venue as its Arena of the Year.
Now, Nickler looks to work much of the same magic in his new position.
By Jennifer J. Douglass, CTA, Communications and Marketing Manager
After an extensive nationwide search, Krystine St. Michael Bussiere, CMP, has been named Director of Sales & Marketing for the Baltimore Convention Center. Krystine will be responsible for leading a team of 14 who will be working with Baltimore’s hospitality partners to sell and service the Center.
Prior to coming to the Center, Krystine was the National Sales Manager for the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford, Connecticut. There she focused on various market segments within the Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia association markets. She was awarded the 2017 President’s Award from the Waterford Hotel and Venue Services/Hotel Group for her efforts in securing new business for the facility. Krystine is a dedicated member of the Chesapeake Chapter of PCMA, where she served as President of the Board in 2017.
Krystine’s appointment as the Director of Sales & Marketing has brought her back to the place where she began her hospitality career. She began working at the Center 15 years ago after graduating from Towson University with a degree in Business Administration and Marketing. Krystine’s business acumen, strong sense of customer focus, and commitment to success were beneficial as she took on roles in management for convention services and sales within the organization.
“Krystine’s experience in both sales and services gives her a unique perspective for this role. Having someone who understands the type of business that is a good fit for the City of Baltimore and has the hands-on experience in servicing events in the Center is invaluable. We are pleased to have her back in this leadership role”, said Peggy Daidakis, Executive Director for the Baltimore Convention Center.
“I am thrilled to be back to serve in this important role. I have a real passion for the Baltimore Convention Center and the City of Baltimore. Our client experience, the development of our sales and services team, and the formation of meaningful industry partnerships are my cornerstone keys for success. My goal is to expand and broaden our reach as we build on our reputation industry wide,” Krystine said about her new role.
Jennifer J. Douglass, CTA, is Communications and Marketing Manager of the Baltimore Convention Center.
In an age where the norm seems to be adding more and more seats and expansions run rampant, some renovations to Tropicana Field, home to Major League Baseball’s Tampa Bay Rays, reverses the seating capacity trend.
The domed venue is undergoing a number of improvements and renovations designed to enhance the customer experience. For starters, a new social meeting area called the Left Field Ledge will arrive as a full-service bar with seated drink rails and ledge tables. That’s not all, as the playing surface will have new turf installed, LED lights will provide a brighter venue, and upgrades to two of the stadium’s entry gates are also scheduled. The team has pumped more than $50 million in renovations since 2005, including more than $15 million in just the past two years.
Oh, about that seating arrangement. The venue’s capacity for baseball drops from 31,000 to 25,000 with the biggest change closing off the upper level. Just think of it akin to what performing arts venues and arenas are often able to do when making their facilities more intimate depending on the attendance.
The team will hold a Fan Fest at the stadium on February 9 for season ticket holders to see the improvements and renovations at Tropicana Field in advance of the 2019 season. As for those who have season tickets in those upper levels, they will have the option to relocate to an upgraded location.