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Bristol Arena operator announced

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The Bristol Arena has moved a significant step closer with the announcement that the UK’s largest arena operator SMG, in partnership with largest international live entertainment company Live Nation, have been named as the Preferred Bidder to operate the new venue.

The decision was taken at a Cabinet meeting when Mayor George Ferguson told Cabinet Members that he believed that it represented a fundamental milestone in the development of the new arena:

Interest from bidders in operating the 12,000 capacity Bristol Arena has been highly competitive. SMG and Live Nation will bring the combined expertise of two global businesses experienced in running arenas worldwide and delivering exciting programmes of concerts and events. Their bid represents a good deal for the city and gives yet further confidence of a firm footing on which to move forward towards a 2017 arena opening when we can look forward to welcoming world-class performers to the region.

SMG President & CEO Wes Westley said:

Both SMG and Live Nation are delighted to be named the preferred bidder for Bristol Arena. We think the Arena will be a fantastic venue for future entertainment and community events. This unique partnering of global giants Live Nation and SMG will ensure that the Arena is operated at a world class level with top events for Bristolians and the South West. We look forward to establishing long term relationships with the council, stakeholders and the community creating exciting times ahead.

Paul Latham, Chief Operating Officer for Live Nation Entertainment said:

With our shared vision and combined expertise of managing multiple venues and arenas across the world, we are confident that together we will provide the very best operational structure and live entertainment experience and contribute significantly to the city’s economic growth and profile to create a must play destination on the touring circuit.

Once negotiations reach their final close, the operator will be contracted to programme the venue, including input into its design, as well as to maintain and manage the Arena for the duration of the 25 year lease that is being awarded.

The news follows the announcement last month of the shortlisted design teams for the arena following a Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) design competition. The shortlisted teams of architects and engineers are (in alphabetical order): Grimshaw, architects of the Eden Project; Idom Ingeneria y Consultoria, designers of Bilbao Arena; Populous, the global architecture giant that has a vast number of sports venue projects to its name, including London’s Olympic Stadium; White Arkitekter, masterplanners for Kiruna, Sweden; and Wilkinson Eyre, architects of Liverpool Arena.

The multi-disciplinary teams include architects and engineers, and all have experience of delivering major venues in the UK or overseas. They will now work on their design proposals for the Bristol Arena, which will be submitted within the coming days. A public exhibition of all five design proposals will then take place later this month prior to a decision being made in March.

The GBP£90m, 12,000-capacity Arena is set to be located on the former diesel depot site next to Bristol Temple Meads railway station in the Bristol Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone. It is expected to bring millions of pounds of additional spend and over 900 jobs to the region.

Approximate timetable:

  • January 2015 – Jan 2016: Design team and building contractor appointed, design developed and planning application submitted
Early 2016 – Work starts on site
  • End 2017 – Arena opens

For the latest news on the project, go to:

28.11.13 view H.4bc83c3915e985dda2134cde47ffcd4d50

Ken Noakes hired as GM of St. Catharines Spectator Facility

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Ken Noakes has taken over as General Manager of the in-construction ice arena, the St. Catharines Spectator Facility in St. Catharines, Ontario. The facility broke ground in December 2012 and is in construction. The design/build project involves PBK Architects and Ball Construction and is due to complete in Fall 2014.

Noakes was recently the General Manager at the K-Rock Centre in Kingston, ON and has been in regional position with SMG Canada, supporting business development and consulting efforts in the region and throughout Canada.

Harry Cann, Senior Regional Vice President of Operations at SMG, said:

Ken is a valuable member of our team and has done a great job leading our efforts in Kingston and with other assignments throughout Canada. He is a seasoned industry veteran and we look forward to Ken contributing to the success of the new venue in St. Catharines which we are all very excited about. The City will benefit substantially from Ken’s expertise and leadership.

Noakes brings over 20 years of facility management experience to the job, with his most recent position being General Manager of the 5,000-seat K-Rock Centre in Kingston. He has served as General Manager of the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre in Victoria, B.C. and the Hershey Centre in Mississauga, and also held positions at the Corel Centre in Ottawa, and the SkyDome in Toronto.