Arts & Entertainment and Travel & Tourism

Downtown venues break revenue records

August 30, 2017
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Van Andel Arena is one the top venues of its size in the country.

A trio of downtown entertainment venues set new combined financial performance records during fiscal year 2017.

SMG-managed Van Andel Arena, DeVos Place and DeVos Performance Hall — fueled mainly by record-setting ticket sales for national concert tours — reported combined revenue of $13,641,987 from July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2017, up from $12,902,640 during the same period last year.

Van Andel Arena

For Van Andel Arena, total attendance for its 118 event days, including Grand Rapids Griffins AHL hockey games and non-ticketed events, was 732,286, up from 709,287 on 115 event days last year. Van Andel reported total revenue of $7,139,420 in 2017, up from $6,400,073 in 2016.

SMG said the increase in attendance and revenue at Van Andel Arena was in part because of the momentum generated by the celebration of the venue’s 20th anniversary in 2016.

“We had a big year planned for the 20th anniversary of Van Andel Arena, and that carried over down the street at DeVos Place and DeVos Performance Hall as well,” said Rich MacKeigan, SMG regional general manager.

“The enthusiasm we operate with and the success we have been able to enjoy is a manifestation of the support we have from the community and SMG, and the confidence we gain from the Grand Rapids-Kent County Convention/Arena Authority.”

Last year, Van Andel hosted headliners such as Paul McCartney, setting a record for gross ticket sales for a single event, and Kanye West, bringing the heaviest production the arena has ever seen.

The arena also hosted Journey & The Doobie Brothers, Blink-182, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Snoop Dogg, Professional Bull Riders, Eric Church, a live broadcast of WWE RAW, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, Red Hot Chili Peppers and several others.

Van Andel Arena hosted 37 events and a total of 60 performances throughout the fiscal year, not including Griffins games and non-ticketed events.

Adding more buzz to an already busy year, the Griffins hockey team clinched its second Calder Cup championship in franchise history on home ice in June.

DeVos Performance Hall and DeVos Place

DeVos Performance Hall and DeVos Place hosted 631,744 visitors this year, compared to 656,981 last year. The venues reported combined revenue of $6,502,567 for FY 2017, down slightly from the $6,830,628 earned in 2016.

Throughout the year, DeVos Performance Hall hosted acts such as Aretha Franklin, Dan TDM, Bill Engvall, Boston, Chris Cornell and others.

In addition to the usual run of public shows at DeVos Place — such as the ninth annual Grand Rapids International Wine, Beer & Food Festival, created by SMG Grand Rapids and the Grand Rapids-Kent County Convention/Arena Authority — the venue hosted private events, conventions, conferences and meetings in a full schedule that rarely left the building idle.

All three venues

Along with ticketed events, the three venues hosted several other events open to the community. DeVos Place and Van Andel Arena hosted art installations during ArtPrize. Two of the installations in DeVos Place were chosen as winners in their categories.

DeVos Place and Van Andel Arena hosted graduation ceremonies this fiscal year and other events such as the Turkey Trot 5K to benefit Grand Rapids Public Schools; Barley, BBQ & Beats to benefit Hospice of Michigan; and Heart of West Michigan United Way’s Food from the Heart event.

MacKeigan said visitors can expect a busy year ahead at all three venues.

“We can’t wait to show West Michigan what is in store for the new fiscal year,” he said. “We are thrilled to be able to match the energy that we feel from the community and our partners that make this all possible.”


SMG has managed DeVos Place and DeVos Performance Hall since 1994 and Van Andel Arena since 1996.

Founded in 1977, 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 a variety of other venues.

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