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Inside Iowa State
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April 27, 2001

Center's management contract goes to new bidder

by Steve Sullivan
Philadelphia-based SMG has been selected to manage the Iowa State Center.

SMG is owned by ARAMARK Corp. and the Hyatt Hotel chain. SMG manages 117 arenas, facilities, stadiums, theaters and convention centers across the country.

A five-year management agreement with SMG will begin July 1, though contract details are not finalized. SMG will manage events, conferences and concessions at Fisher Theater, Stephens Auditorium, Hilton Coliseum and the Scheman Building.

"SMG offered the best opportunity to reduce operating subsidies through additional national event programming, reduced operating costs and increased concessions sales," said Warren Madden, vice president for business and finance. "SMG has the added benefit of being financially capable of promoting events for ISU's venues."

Among the facilities managed by SMG are Denver's Mile High Stadium; Louisiana Superdome; Chicago's Soldier Field; Miami Beach Convention Center; Grand Rapids (Michigan) Convention Center; San Francisco Civic Auditorium; and facilities at Tulane University, Western Michigan University and Cleveland (Ohio) State University.

SMG proposed to retain all Iowa State Center employees. The center employs 36 full-time people. SMG was chosen through a bidding process involving an 18-member committee of university faculty, staff and students and Ames officials.

The Iowa State Center has been under private management for 13 years, primarily with Ogden Corp. Last year, ARAMARK purchased Ogden's venue management businesses and food and beverage concessions.

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Published by: University Relations,
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