Legends is in discussions to purchase venue operations giant ASM Global, according to a report by VenuesNow, . The deal would complete the process of Legends becoming a so-called “360 model” for entertainment, adding facility operations to the company’s existing business lines: feasibility studies and market research; owner’s representation/project management; food service and merchandise; and premium seat and sponsorship sales, including naming rights consultation.

It would also shrink the industry even more, consolidating power in a tiny number of giant corporations like Live Nation Entertainment and AEG, which currently has a 50% stake in ASM Global.

“[Legends CEO] Shervin [Mirhashemi] wants to get into the venue management biz and he’s a former AEG guy,” said Ed Rubinstein, a veteran arena manager and merchandiser with 50 years of experience. “Legends brings a lot of other business segments to the table that ASM doesn’t really have or excel at; sponsorship and premium sales being two. It makes Legends a major competitor to OVG and Shervin’s former boss, Tim Leiweke.”

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Officials from both Legends and ASM Global did not comment for the VenuesNow story VenuesNow is owned by Oak View Group, another enormous event-focused corporation that also owns the Pollstar media company. It is unclear what stage the reported discussions for the deal are in – if a merger is tentative, in-talks, or even complete and awaiting final approval and announcement.

ASM Global runs approximately 350 arenas, stadiums and convention centers across the globe, including multiple NBA and NFL venues. Stadiums it manages include Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, NRG Stadium in Houston, State Farm Stadium in Arizona, and US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. Its arenas include AT&T Center in San Antonio, Barclays Center in Brooklyn, Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, and Kaseya Center in Miami.

Should the rumored deal be completed, Legends would immediately become the industry’s biggest third-party facility management company, keeping it among the key players in the industry. It would be similar in scale to the deal that merged Oak View Group and Spectra in 2021.

“Without knowing what Legends’ vision is long term, it’s hard to comment, but it certainly has the potential of being impactful in numerous ways that would be directly competitive to OVG,” said Mike McGee, a consultant and co-founder of Leisure Management International, which ran big league arenas and stadiums from 1984 to 2000 before he sold the company to SMG. “It sounds like the price of  ‘the game’ is going to get more expensive” as the industry shrinks with more consolidation, he said.

Last Updated on July 7, 2023