Venue News: Los Angeles Convention Center, Oak View Group, Raleigh Convention Center and ASM Global

May 13, 2024

This spring, U.S. convention and event venues far and wide have announced new and expanded partnerships, sustainability and cultural achievements, and pending expansion projects. Here’s our latest roundup of venue news to keep you up to date. 

ASM Global Ditches Plastic, Extends Naming Rights Deal

During the Acura Grand Prix, ASM Global Acts kicked off its partnership with r.World to introduce reusable service ware in venues throughout the ASM Global’s North American portfolio of 93 convention centers. Debuting in April at the Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center, the initiative will soon spread to other venues across the country.

ASM Global




Big picture: The implementation of reusable products is a key part of ASM Global’s sustainability goals that were announced in 2023, which include the elimination of single use plastic in front-of-house, according to officials for ASM Global Acts, the corporate social responsibility (CSR) platform of venue management and live experiences producer ASM Global.

Backstory: r.World provides simple, turnkey and cost-effective reusable alternatives – including r.Cup reusable cups and r.Ware reusable food ware containers – to replace single-use disposables. The company works with global artists and brands to eradicate single-use waste at music and sports venues, corporate campuses, theaters, aquariums, zoos and cultural institutions across the country.

What they are saying: “Thanks to r.World’s reusable cup program, the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center has become a shining example of how sustainability can be seamlessly woven into the fabric of large-scale events,” said Robert Smit, general manager of the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center.

On May 7, ASM Global reached a $1.8 million agreement with the City of Worcester, Mass., and DCU – Digital Credit Union to extend the naming rights partnership of the DCU Center arena and convention center through June 30, 2027, with the option for DCU to extend the agreement for an additional seven years. 

ASM Global

Deal terms: In addition to the $1.8 million base naming rights fee for the three-year term to be paid upfront, the deal includes annual incentive bonuses that are tied to performance metrics. The new contract will include enhanced marketing opportunities for both parties and onsite activations exclusively for DCU members.

Why it matters: Visitors will notice a DCU-branded photo area for high school and college graduations, a designated arena wall-scape mural to showcase its charitable foundation DCU for Kids, and the rebranding and retrofitting of the convention center’s Showcase Overlook area for the benefit of event attendees. The agreement provides the credit union 

Backstory: DCU became the facility’s naming rights partner in October 2004 with the official launch on March 1, 2005. The initial 10-year agreement was extended in May 2014 for another 10 years.

What they are saying: “Since the start of our partnership, the DCU Center has continued to grow a diverse offering of events, assisted the city with strategic capital investments and evolved to create a dynamic and engaging environment for both arena and convention center attendees,” said Sandy Dunn, general manager of the DCU Center. “DCU’s commitment to their members aligns with our focus in ensuring the comfort of our guests is our top priority.”  

Los Angeles Convention Center Goes Even Greener, Unveils New Artwork

The Los Angeles Convention Center (LACC) has made yet another achievement in sustainability. Owned by the City of Los Angeles and managed by ASM Global, the venue earned certification as a Certified Green Business under the California Green Business Network. 

Backstory: Funded by grass-roots contributions from local government and utility partners, Certified Green Businesses are expected to exceed all current state environmental regulations and implement specific practices to reduce pollution, save water, conserve energy and protect human health. The network comprises local programs operated by counties and cities throughout California that are dedicated to promoting environmental sustainability and economic prosperity. 

Artwork by Marco Olivier

Why it matters: During the LACC’s certification process, the organization rigorously assessed the facility’s operations, focusing on key areas, including energy efficiency, water conservation, waste reduction and pollution prevention, and after thorough evaluation and implementation of sustainable measures, the convention center was found to have met and exceeded the Network’s stringent criteria, according to LACC officials.

What they are saying: “The entire process with LASAN (LA Sanitation Department) and USGBC-LA helped to identify potential areas of improvement to assist the Los Angeles Convention Center on the road to carbon neutrality,” said Kimberly Weedmark, LACC general manager. “It pointed out small changes that we can make immediately and gave us long term goals in all areas to aim for as we strive to achieve a zero-waste building in the city of Los Angeles.”

The downtown Los Angeles venue also recently became the home of new artworks by renowned South African artist Marco Olivier. Offering a unique blend of South African heritage and contemporary artistic expression, the artworks were originally showcased at the LA Art Show 2024 and garnered widespread acclaim for their intricate craftsmanship and profound storytelling that speaks to the human experience.  

What they are saying: “We are thrilled to provide a home for these incredible works of art, and to showcase them to all of our guests that walk through our doors.” Weedmark said. “The Convention Center is a place where communities come to meet and connect. We hope these pieces will promote and inspire those connections even further.”   

OVG Moves Into Mobile

The City of Mobile, Ala. approved plans to upgrade its meeting and event venue offerings with the help of venue development, management and hospitality company Oak View Group (OVG) and live entertainment company Live Nation.


Why it matters: In March, Mobile City Mayor Sandy Stimpson announced plans to demolish the aging Mobile Civic Center and partner with OVG and Live Nation to build a new, state-of-the-art civic arena. The contract approved by the Mobile City Council also enlists OVG’s expertise to operate and enhance two of Mobile’s other venues: the Arthur Outlaw Convention Center and the historic Saenger Theater

The vision: As part of the agreement with the City of Mobile, OVG will prioritize the performance of both venues, invest in improvements at the facilities and establish a maintenance fund from a dedicated percentage of ticket sales and bookings. 

What they are saying: “We are thrilled the city has entrusted Oak View Group as its partner to reinvigorate the Mobile Convention Center and Saenger Theater,” said Greg O'Dell, president of venue management, OVG360. “Our priority is managing a smooth transition process [and our team is meeting] with the existing staff as part of our onboarding process to ensure no disruption of service for our customers and guests. Additionally, we look forward to meeting with all customers, current and new, as we will elevate the guest experience and support the surrounding community.”  

Raleigh Convention Center Expansion One Step Closer to Breaking Ground

In April, the Raleigh Convention Center (RCC) announced the completion of its expansion construction and design team via two additional partnerships. 


Why it matters: The expansion will grow RCC’s footprint by another city block, with sister venue Red Hat Amphitheater shifting slightly southward and an installation of pedestrian bridges. The expansion is slated to add 80,000 square feet of flexible space and 30 additional breakout rooms to the RCC, and to support its visitors, Omni Hotels & Resorts is set to open a 550-room hotel nearby in 2027.

Done deal: Clancy & Theys, Skanska, D.A. Everett Joint Venture acting as construction manager joins international architecture firm TVS and local partner RATIO Design to design and build the project, while the team of Cumming Group and their MWBE partner Cate Services will act as owner’s representative.

Looking ahead: Red Hat Amphitheater’s move is expected to be complete in 2026 and the RCC expansion in 2028, according to RCC officials.

What they are saying: “Our vision for this expansion is to create a space that can be something for everyone – welcoming, accessible, smart, and convenient,” said Kerry Painter, executive manager of The Complex, Raleigh’s group of convention and entertainment venues that include the RCC, Red Hat Amphitheater, Martin Marietta Center for the Performing Arts and the Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek.

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