Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Richard MacKeigan named Hall of Headlines Winner; Van Andel Arena a Top Stop in 2016

Venues Today magazine presented its “most prestigious award,” the Hall of Headlines, this month with Richard MacKeigan receiving the honor in the Bookings category.

MacKeigan, Regional General Manager for SMG at Van Andel Arena and DeVos Place, was nominated for bookings for breaking multiple venue records including Garth Brooks’ record for most tickets sold for a single engagement and Paul McCartney’s record for gross ticket sales for a single event, in addition to Kanye West bringing in one of the largest productions the venue has ever seen.

Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, Van Andel Arena has seen one of the biggest years in its history in 2016, hosting over 30 concerts which is its highest number in 18 years.

“This says a lot about our community. We’ve had an incredible year with some big shows, but they were only as big as they were because of support from our community in West Michigan,” said MacKeigan. “That paired with ongoing confidence from the Grand Rapids-Kent County Convention/Arena Authority has laid the foundation and provided proof that this community can support some of the biggest events. We are all very excited to continue building on that momentum.”

Including MacKeigan, SMG had a record 14 nominees for this year’s Hall of Headlines, including four from Grand Rapids. Hilarie Szarowicz, (Director of Marketing at Van Andel Arena and DeVos Place), Jeff Dubin (Director of Food & Beverage for SAVOR at Van Andel Arena), and Eddie Tadlock (Assistant General Manager at DeVos Place) were nominated this year as well.

Among the other nominees from SMG, Meghan Doyle (Director of Marketing at the BOK Centre in Tulsa, OK) and Mark Anderson (General Manager and Vice President of Premier Food Services in Del Mar, CA) were named winners of the Hall of Headlines in the Marketing and Concessions categories respectively.

Van Andel Arena makes Top Stops list for 2016
Van Andel Arena was recognized elsewhere in Venues Today’s latest edition as well. The magazine included its final Top Stops list for 2016 and the arena showed up at #4 in North America and #11 worldwide for venues with a capacity of 10,001-15,000. The list ranks the top 20 venues in size categories by total gross sales between October 16, 2015 and October 15, 2016. In addition to Van Andel Arena, seven other SMG venues were also named to the Top Stops list in the 10,001-15,000 category. They are Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore, MD, König Pilsener Arena in Oberhausen, Germany, Save Mart Center in Fresno, CA, Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, FL, Intrust Bank Arena in Wichita, KS, Denny Sanford Premier Center in Sioux Falls, SD, and DCU Center in Worcester, MA.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Wrapping up the year with a ribbon

Fans making their way to last week's Stevie Nicks concert probably noticed something new on the front of the arena.

The holiday season has arrived once again which means Van Andel Arena has itself wrapped in more than just a busy schedule of events. A giant, red ribbon has been installed on the face of the arena to celebrate the holidays.

This will be the third season the ribbon, decked out in many red lights to shine a bright and stunning display throughout the night, has been installed on the arena. It is 8 feet wide and spans across the front of Van Andel Arena, reaching 300 feet all the way across.

As it has the previous three years, the ribbon will remain displayed on the arena throughout the holiday season.

In lieu of a tree, arena staff decided to do something a little different to celebrate the holidays in 2014 by installing the ribbon. Christmas Décor by Lakeshore Lighting built the ribbon for the arena and installs it each year.

The ribbon being installed this November.

It seems some fans have already taken notice of the ribbon's glowing return to downtown: