The Pittsburgh Penguins and Fenway Sports Group announced the selection of OVG360 to manage, book, and operate PPG Paints Arena, replacing ASM Global. The deal will go live at the conclusion of the current ASM partnership, which lapses at the end of this month.
“OVG is a rising, innovative leader in arena management, and we are proud to welcome their partnership at PPG Paints Arena,”Kevin Acklin, Chief Operating Officer, Pittsburgh Penguins, said. “OVG recognizes the strength and resilience of Pittsburgh’s fan base and the quality of our venue, and we are thrilled to partner with them to focus on the future of sports and live entertainment in Pittsburgh.”
Pittsburgh selected OVG, which is a division of Oak View Group, largely due to its experience with several venues that host NHL teams. OVG360 manages UBS Arena in New York and Climate Pledge Arena in Washington, home to the New York Islanders and Seattle Kracken, respectively. It also manages the future (temporary) home of the Arizona Coyotes at Arizona State University. Other hockey-centric buildings under the OVG360 umbrella include the Centene Community Ice Center (a St. Louis Blues practice facility) and the UMPC Events Center at Robert Morris University, which is located in Pittsburgh.
Oak View Group’s management is also deeply experienced in hockey, from the top (CEO Tim Leiweke is a former President and CEO of AEG, Governor of the Los Angeles Kings, and the former President and CEO of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment in Toronto), on down. President of OVG360 Chris Granger previously served as an executive with Illitch Sports & Entertainment (Detroit Red Wings and Little Caesars Arena), Executive Chairman Peter Luukko spent 25 years overseeing the Philadelphia Flyers in addition to serving on the NHL’s Board of Governors, while Senior VP Hank Abate was on the team that opened PPG Paints Arena as well as stints working at Madison Square Garden and UBS Arena. The company just recently opened OVG Canada, which will oversee its operations north of the border, including the redevelopment of an arena in Hamilton, Ontario – a major hockey hotbed.
“Many of our senior leaders have hockey in their DNA, and we’re thrilled to be working with our new partners at the Penguins and Fenway Sports Group at their state-of-the-art PPG Paints Arena,” Leiweke said. “We understand the deep fan connection and the critical importance of the fan experience while they passionately cheer for their home team. The Pittsburgh region can expect great things to come, including more world class events and concerts, enhanced technology and fan service as well as a priority to promote operational sustainability.”
The deal will retain the existing local management team and arena workers, including union relationships that existed between ASM and the workers representatives in place.
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Last Updated on June 10, 2022 by Dave Clark