SMG has been selected as the new operator of University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, effective July 1. The Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority Board of Directors chose the company to replace the stadium’s previous operator, Spectra, in a five-year agreement that will provide AZSTA with $1.5 million in up-front capital investment.
The move marks the second Glendale sports property to shift in recent weeks from Spectra. In April, AEG Facilities was chosen to operate the city’s Gila River Arena. Spectra had managed University of Phoenix Stadium since the venue opened in 2006.
“SMG is honored that AZSTA has chosen our firm to manage the venue and we are excited to have an opportunity to work with the board, the Arizona Cardinals and Fiesta Bowl in the years to come,” said Wes Westley, SMG’s president and CEO.
University of Phoenix Stadium will be the sixth NFL stadium operated by SMG, the most of any private management firm. Other SMG-operated NFL stadiums are the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans; EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Florida; Soldier Field in Chicago; NRG Stadium in Houston; and U.S. Bank Stadium, which is scheduled to open later this year in Minneapolis.
“The AZSTA Board of Directors conducted a thorough RFP process, which resulted in the selection of SMG as our stadium management firm,” AZSTA President and CEO Tom Sadler said. “We are pleased to welcome SMG and feel that they aligned best with AZSTA’s vision and mission. They represent a tremendous opportunity for growth and look forward to continuing a tradition of excellent execution at all of our major events.”
SMG is expected to begin the transition to new management immediately, a process that will continue through June 30.
“We welcome University of Phoenix Stadium to our SMG network of facilities and will use all of our resources to present the best in sports and live entertainment to the citizens of Maricopa County,” said Doug Thornton, SMG’s executive vice-president. “University of Phoenix Stadium is among the finest facilities in the country. We recognize the significant role that it plays in the region and the standard of service that is needed to ensure its continued success. We look forward to working with all of the stakeholders in making that happen.”