Arts & Entertainment, Economic Development, and Travel & Tourism

CAA extends management contract for downtown venues

December 11, 2017
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Van Andel Arena stands in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids. Photo by Johnny Quirin

The management company contract for Van Andel Arena and DeVos Place has been extended.

SMG will continue managing the venues through 2028, with the option of an additional 10-year extension beyond that. The contract was set to expire on June 30, 2018.

The Grand Rapids-Kent County Convention/Arena Authority, or CAA, the seven-member board that oversees DeVos Place, DeVos Performance Hall and Van Andel Arena, made the decision.

“It has been a wonderful partnership with SMG over the past couple of decades, and it is something we are certain we want to continue,” CAA Chairman Steven Heacock said. “We have enjoyed great success with SMG managing the venues.

“Our trust and confidence with the entire SMG team is strong, and it starts with our general manager of the last 19 years plus, Rich MacKeigan and his Grand Rapids team. Their ability to bring in world-class entertainment and operate our facilities with great efficiency has been tremendous and very worthy of this extension.”

SMG took over management of DeVos Performance Hall and the former Grand Center, now DeVos Place, in 1994. SMG has managed Van Andel Arena since its opening in 1996.

Terms of the contract extension are consistent with past contract terms.

SMG receives a base management fee from the CAA with Consumer Price Index adjustments made each year. Additionally, an incentive fee is paid resulting from a percentage of the combined revenues of Van Andel Arena and DeVos Place in excess of the revenue benchmark, not to exceed the base management fee amount.

“Grand Rapids has been a premier account for SMG,” said Wes Westley, president and CEO, SMG. “We are very appreciative of the faith the authority has shown in us by granting this renewal. We thank them for this extension.

“And I personally want to also thank the terrific local SMG staff for their performance over the years. We are committed to maintaining this high-level of performance in the years to come.”


SMG provides management services to more than 230 public assembly facilities, including convention and exhibition centers, arenas, stadiums, theaters, performing arts centers, amphitheaters, equestrian facilities, science centers and other venues.

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