Friday, August 27, 2010

Week 4 of the Van Andel Arena Concourse Expansion

If you're following the Van Andel Arena construction--beyond Grand Rapids' endless amount of other projects--you know that week four of our concourse expansion project were all about the steel!
Progress is really moving along! In this set, you begin to see the new concourse will expand outside the current frame. Steel beams reach out of the building! Check it out:

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Nominate West Michigan Children Making a Difference for THE BARNUM AWARD!

In honor of one of the founders of The Greatest Show On Earth®, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® announces the call for West Michigan Area nominations for The Barnum Award.

The award honors the spirit of P.T. Barnum and his inspirational contributions to society by identifying and celebrating children age six to 14 who give back to their own communities in creative, fun, and innovative ways. Nominations now being accepted for West Michigan area children can be submitted online at through Sept. 3.

Three local award recipients will be chosen by a panel of distinguished local luminaries, and will receive award medals and grants to fund future local service projects. The Gold Barnum Award Recipient will receive a $1,000 grant, the Silver Barnum Award Recipient will receive a $750 grant, and the Bronze Barnum Award Recipient will receive a $500 grant to fund future community service endeavors.

Nominees will be judged on the impact of their accomplishments, creativity and innovation, and their inspiration to others relating to their cause. Nominators are required to be over the age of 21, and must fill out a short questionnaire about the child they feel is making a difference in the community.

The West Michigan recipients will be recognized at an award ceremony prior to the start of the opening night performance of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® Presents ZING, ZANG, ZOOM® on Friday, Sept. 17, at 7 p.m. at Van Andel Arena®, where the show will perform through Sunday, Sept. 19.

The Barnum Award is a national program presented by Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey in conjunction with a two-year celebration of the 200th anniversary of P.T. Barnum’s birth. Nationally, more than $150,000 in grants will be awarded.

Griffins Announce 2010-2011 Schedule

The Grand Rapids Griffins on Wednesday released their schedule for the 2010-11 season, their 15th overall and 10th as members of the American Hockey League. The primary affiliate of the Detroit Red Wings will begin its 80-game slate by hosting the Abbotsford Heat on Friday, Oct. 8 at 7 p.m. It will mark the Griffins’ earliest home opener since 2005-06, which was also the last time they opened their season at Van Andel Arena.

Highlights of the 2010-11 schedule include:

• Twenty-six prime home dates (17 Fridays and nine Saturdays). All Friday games this season will once again feature the popular Dollar Dogs, Dollar Beers promotion;

• Grand Rapids’ first-ever New Year’s Day game, on Saturday, Jan. 1 at 7 p.m. against the Peoria Rivermen;

• The Griffins’ 14th annual New Year’s Eve celebration, which will feature a new 6 p.m. start time;

• Numerous other holiday home games, including the day before Halloween (Oct. 30), the day after Thanksgiving (Nov. 26), and the day after Christmas (Dec. 26);

• Grand Rapids’ 10th annual Matinee Game presented by Lake Michigan Credit Union, on Nov. 10 at noon versus the Milwaukee Admirals;

• The first visits to Van Andel Arena by the Oklahoma City Barons (Oct. 29 and March 16). On March 11, the Griffins will reciprocate with their first trip to the Cox Convention Center in Oklahoma City, marking the 50th arena, 42nd city and 20th state in which they’ve played since their 1996 inception (including Grand Rapids and Van Andel Arena);

• A run of 12 of 15 games at Van Andel Arena from Dec. 4 to Jan. 5, balanced by a season-ending stretch (March 8-April 10) in which 11 of 17 contests will be played on the road.

Griffins full-season, mini-plan and group ticket packages for the 2010-11 season are now on sale. For more information, visit or call the Griffins office at (616) 774-4585. Single-game tickets will go on sale to the public on Friday, Sept. 10.Griffins 2010-11 schedule options: PDF Outlook Graphic

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

ArtPrize 2010 Among Many Other Updates

Follow our DeVos Performance Hall blog as well to keep up on ArtPrize 2010 artists showcasing their art at DeVos Place this year for Art Fair 2010! The first installation is already up!

There, you will also get many other updates on numerous events and happenings at DeVos Place and DeVos Performance Hall. Don't miss out!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Wisconsin Artist Wins Griffins' Jersey Design Contest

Ryan Muraro of Waukesha, Wisc., has been selected as the winner of the Grand Rapids Griffins’ second annual jersey design contest, conducted earlier this summer through

Muraro’s dramatic vision of a vigilant, muscular Griff was chosen from 97 entries, nearly double the number received during last summer’s inaugural contest. Pending some minor adjustments and the City of Grand Rapids’ approval of Muraro’s inclusion of its logo in the secondary logo/shoulder patches, his design will be submitted to the American Hockey League and Reebok for approval, then worn by the Griffins during their 14th annual New Year’s Eve game on Dec. 31, 2010. The jerseys will be auctioned to the public immediately after that game, with all proceeds benefiting the GVSU club roller hockey team.

“Once again, I was extremely impressed with the nearly 100 entries submitted to,” said Rich Meyers, the Griffins’ director of game operations. “Choosing a top 10, let alone the eventual winner, was an extremely difficult task, one that I feel speaks volumes for the quality of the artists’ work.

“Like one of our winners (Chad B. Stilson) from last season, Ryan’s completely original design features an aggressive Griffins logo, yet he was able to keep the lines simple and capture the tradition of the game with use of the ties in the front of the jersey. And his creative integration of the city’s logo into an allusion to the famous ‘winged wheel’ put Muraro's design at the top. I'm looking forward to seeing this jersey come to life on Dec. 31, once we’ve converted Ryan from a Milwaukee Admirals fan to a Griffins fan,” Meyers added.

A 23-year-old industrial designer and illustrator with a degree from the University of Wisconsin-Stout, Muraro already boasts an impressive portfolio, having previously designed suits for British speedskater Philip Brojaka as well as the Ukrainian national speedskating team.

“I wanted to make an accelerated evolution of the Griffins’ current look, making sure to keep the same sort of structure,” said Muraro. “For the jersey, I looked back to the jerseys the Griffins wore back when they began in the old IHL and wanted to emulate the feathered shoulders that were such a unique look. When I first saw them play the Admirals back then, I saw those jerseys and immediately identified them with the team, just as much as the logo itself.”

In recognition of his winning entry, Muraro will receive a customized jersey of his design and four tickets to the Dec. 31 game.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Serve and Learn Opportunities at Van Andel Arena

Upcoming serve & earn opportunities are available for non-profit groups at Van Andel Arena. Contact Savor today to find out more!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Get Your FREE Tickets Today!!!!

The U.S. Army’s Spirit of America is coming to Grand Rapids for the first time ever to pay tribute to the sacrifices and triumphs of the American Soldier.
During the show, Soldiers in period uniforms reenact key moments in the U.S. Army and American history. The reenactments include battle scenes with short periods of simulated gunfire, and performances by the Army’s elite ceremonial units.

And the best are FREE for this action-packed event! Yes, I said FREE! You just need to pick up your free tickets at the Van Andel Arena box office, go to (there is a small, nominal fee if you order through Ticketmaster), or call 1.800.745.300. Tickets are needed to ensure sufficient seating, so get yours today!

The Soldiers will perform four different shows:

o Fri., Sept. 24th at 10:30 AM & 7:30 PM
o Sat., Sept. 25th at 2:00 PM & 7:30 PM

Grab a friend or two (or 10!) and come out for this unforgettable, never-before-seen in Michigan, show!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Fun Facts!

Train and Travel Fun Facts:

* The average distance the Ringling Bros. circus train travels between cities is 350 miles.

* There are 59 cars on the mile-long Red Unit Train: 19 flat bed cars, 4 stock cars, 2 concession stock cars, 1 shop car, 2 generator cars, 1 pie car (restaurant) and 30 coach cars (living quarters).

* Each year, an average of 1,000 hours is spent traveling by train from city to city.

* 109,500 meals per year are prepared at the pie car, the Ringling Bros. traveling diner.

* The Red Unit train will travel an average of 16,000 miles in a year.

* The longest journey the train travels between cities is 1,243 miles, from Trenton, NJ, to Omaha, NE.

* The 139th Edition will play 40 different North American cities in a year, or 80 in its 2 year tour.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Week #3 of Van Andel Arena Concourse Expansion!

It's Week #3 of our concourse expansion project, and progress is really moving along! The glass in the expansion area has been removed from the windows, and they are now boarded up. Concrete is being torn up in that area, as well! Be sure to check back next week to see updated construction photos... they're going to start installing the steel!

LEAD Marketing Presents:Search Engine Marketing Using Search to Drive Sales

LEAD Marketing Agency is Bringing
Google to Grand Rapids

Thursday, September 9, 2010

2:00pm - 5:00pm

The Club @ Van Andel Arena

Pre-Registrants will leave with a Search Engine Marketing Review

for their business, to include:

  • A Keyword analysis of your website
  • An analysis of how many people are searching for your products and services
  • An understanding of how to produce a positive ROI through search
  • An analysis of seasonal search trends in your industry
  • An analysis of costs associated with driving searchers to your site
  • An understanding of how to attract targeted searchers through text, display and video ads
  • An understanding of why Local Search is so important for businesses

Register before August 20, 2010 and you'll be entered
into a drawing to receive a LEAD Marketing Agency / Google AdWords coupon worth $100.00!

There is limited space for this event, so register today! Go to the LEAD Marketing website to reserve your spot at this event!

For more information, call 616-254-8681 or check out LEAD Marketing's Facebook page.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey: Zing, Zang, Zoom- Fun Facts

Concessions Fun Facts

Did you know...?

1,000 pounds of popcorn is consumed in

each city Ringling Bros.® visits.

At each performance, 15,000 pounds of ice

is produced to make snow cones.

750 pounds of sugar is used to spin

cotton candy in each city.

It looks like circus-goers have a sweet tooth!!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Van Andel Arena Expansion Pictures- Week #2

Check out the following pictures of the construction going on at Van Andel Arena. They're in week two now and things are really changing!

Picture #1: The view our poor box office employees look at every day (instead of looking outside).

Picture #2: Trying to keep the construction dust out of the concession in the main lobby.

Picture #3: View from lobby looking up the main stairs.

Picture #4: This is where you used to be able to access the box office.

Picture #5: Wall removed with main floor visible.

Picture #6: Close up of the concourse wall being removed.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

President Obama Presents Award to the Founder of Kids' Food Basket

The founder of Kids' Food Basket was recently honored by President Obama. Van Andel Arena makes donations to Kids' Food Basket in entertainers' names as a way of saying thank you for playing our venue.

Mary K. Hoodhood, the founder of Kids’ Food Basket, made a visit to the White House on Wednesday. Hoodhood was one of the 13 recipients of the 2010 Citizens Medal for performing “exemplary deeds of service outside their regular jobs.”

After a car accident left her paralyzed, Hoodhood began volunteering at her local Meals on Wheels Program. The experience sparked a passion for feeding the hungry, leading her to found Kids’ Food Basket in 2001- an organization which provides meals daily to thousands of children in the Grand Rapids area.

The non-profit, in response to a growing need, recently signed a 10-year lease for a larger facility at 2055 Oak Industrial Drive NE.

"I never thought I would be here (the White House), but I really accepted the medal on behalf of all the wonderful people in Grand Rapids who helped grow the program from 125 kids in 2001 to the more than 2,600 fed every day of the school year," said Hoodhood, who was presented the award by President Barack Obama. "There is more we can do to feed even more children."

In his speech on Wednesday, President Obama said "physical limitations have never hindered ... Hoodhood's determination to strengthen her community."

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey: Fun Facts

Infrastructure Fun Facts:

· The 139th Edition contains 27 acts, including 12 magical illusions and the Clown Alley Blow-off number prior to the National Anthem.

· It takes 16 hours to assemble the new stage and rigging.

· It takes 6 hours to tear down the stage and rigging.

· 3 miles of cable are used to power the ZING ZANG ZOOM production.

· It takes 91,380 watts of power to run the show.

· Over 1 mile of audio cable is used to connect the 56 speakers to the audio control board.

· 12 wireless microphone frequencies are used at one time during the performance. The audio control board has 64 channels of inputs.

· 4,335 tons of equipment is moved from city to city (4,135 by train, 200 over land).

· There are 350 costume changes per show.

· 60 pounds of confetti are used in each city where ZING ZANG ZOOM appears.

Don't miss this mind -blowing circus spectacular!!! Tickets go on-sale Monday, August 9, 2010. Tickets can be purchased in-person at the Van Andel Arena box office,, or by calling Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Van Andel Arena Expansion Rendering

Take a look at the new Van Andel Arena expansion rendering! It's going to be great!

Construction Pictures of Van Andel Arena Addition!

Things have been changing quickly around here lately! Temporary walls are already up, and the guys are working hard and making a lot of progress! Check out these pictures to see for yourself!!!