State Spotlight: The Northeast

Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment is at the vanguard of a thriving live entertainment market

It’s not easy for a venue operator to be a game-changer in the dense and highly competitive Northeast live entertainment market. But Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment (BSE) has made quite an impact on the New York area and beyond with the opening of a stellar new arena and the renovation of a classic one. Just over four years ago, the company began managing the new Barclays Center, which has quickly made Brooklyn a must-play for many touring acts. And on April 5, Long Island native Billy Joel will perform for a sold-out crowd at the reopened Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum presented by New York Community Bank, which has been undergoing a $130 million renovation since 2015. Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment runs programming, marketing, sales and operations for the revitalized arena, which is set to host major performers including Bruno Mars, Lionel Richie with Mariah Carey and New Kids on the Block.

The renovated Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum presented by NYCB features a vibrant new design for the interior and exterior, as well as improved amenities such as an expanded premium hospitality experience, more space and improved patron flow on the concourse, redesigned concession stands, the addition of ADA seating and more. The arena will accommodate 14,500 patrons for concerts with the ability to flex up.

For performers, the new arena is a standout due to its Artist Quarters, a private area that includes a residential style suite, wellness room and fitness center, artist living room and promoter’s lounge. The suite is customizable, and artists can choose one of four themes: Manhattan Modern, Gatsby’s Gold Coast, The Polo Club and Hampton Chic.

While not quite on the scale of the Nassau Coliseum project, there are several other newsworthy arena renovations in the Northeast. See below for details on the Times Union Center’s ongoing $30 million capital improvement program, a planned $10.5 million renovation at Blue Cross Arena, and Boardwalk Hall’s recently completed upgrades to its rigging and sound systems. On a historical note, the left stage chamber organ of Boardwalk Hall’s Midmer-Losh Pipe Organ (aka “The Sonic Mount Rushmore”) was restored last summer. Damaged in the 1944 Great Atlantic hurricane that struck Atlantic City, the left chamber had not been heard in over 40 years. Indeed, some renovations offer a glimpse into the history of live performance, while securing its future.


Brooklyn, NY


Located in the heart of Brooklyn, at the crossroads of Atlantic and Flatbush Avenues, Barclays Center opened on Sept. 12, 2012 with the first of eight consecutive sold-out shows by Jay Z. Top-tier entertainers such as Barbra Streisand, the Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, Beyoncé, Rihanna, Madonna and Bruce Springsteen have played the arena in the years since. Managed by Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment, Barclays Center is a state-of-the-art venue that has earned LEED Silver Certification for New Construction from the U.S. Green Building Congress. It is the first professional sports and entertainment venue in the New York metro area to achieve this status.

CAPACITIES: Basketball, 17,732; concert, up to 19,000; hockey, 15,795; Tidal Theater, up to 6,000. Barclays Center has one of the most intimate seating configurations ever designed into a modern multipurpose arena. The west end seating area is premium seating that is set up only during Islanders games. A west end seat is located right next to the rink and offers excellent sightlines with the seats on the glass positioned three feet higher than average front row seats in other arenas.

BACKSTAGE AREAS: Barclays Center has three large locker rooms, six star dressing rooms, a media work room, a press conference room, a weight room, two large offices and a practice court. Additionally, the 300-capacity Billboard Lounge and the Calvin Klein Courtside Club are available.

AV TECHNOLOGY: The house sound system in Barclays Center’s main bowl features six line-array hangs that consist of 10 EAW KF740 enclosures and four EAW SB1001 subwoofers, all powered by 43 Lab.gruppen PLM 10000Q four-channel amplifiers generating a total of 210,000 W. The upper reaches of the bowl are covered by distributed systems featuring 40 EAW MK2366 speakers, which also fill in under the scoreboard. Barclays Center boasts two sport lighting systems, one for the Nets and one for Islanders. The lighting system used for the Nets features six flying trusses, suspended 75 feet above the court, which house 468 tungsten-halogen fixtures that beam a warm glow onto the court, creating a spotlight-like effect. The lighting system for the Islanders and other sporting events is a metal-halide system.

AMENITIES: Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment has mobile apps for Barclays Center, the Brooklyn Nets and New York Islanders and offers free high speed Wi-Fi. The arena has 700 HDTVs and approximately 100 concession menu boards powered by Cisco StadiumVision. The Ticketsnow Club and Infor Lounge are twin clubs on opposite ends of the arena on Suite Level A.

EVENT PROMOTION: Barclays Center has a full-service events marketing and communications team that works closely with promoters, sponsors and local media. Additionally, the arena is active across multiple social media platforms and engages with Brooklyn and the New York City area fan base daily.


Rochester, NY


The SMG-managed Blue Cross Arena at the War Memorial has a long history of bringing top acts to upstate New York, such as Barry Manilow, Harlem Globetrotters and Monster Jam. Upcoming concerts include Maroon 5 on March 5, the Rochester R&B Festival featuring Keith Sweat on May 12, and the Neil Diamond 50th Anniversary Tour on June 4. The arena is currently the home of the AHL’s Rochester Americans, along with the National Lacrosse League’s Rochester Knighthawks and the Premier Basketball League’s Rochester Razorsharks. The Arena underwent a $41 million renovation and expansion in the late ‘90s, and the City of Rochester has recently committed to investing $10.5 million in a multiphase renovation, pending release of funds from the state.

CAPACITIES: The 12,428-seat arena accommodates 6,052 in its upper bowl, 4,696 in its lower bowl and 1,680 on the floor.

STAGING: An 80 ft.-by-80 ft. StageRight concert stage is available; heights from 4 ft. to 6 ft. can be built in any 4 ft.-by-8 ft. dimension as well as tiered in different heights.

LOAD IN: The arena utilizes four covered docks on Court Street. Approximate distance to the upstage center is 60 ft. One drive-in truck ramp with 15 ft. clearance leads straight to the arena floor.

BACKSTAGE AREAS: Three locker rooms, four dressing rooms (including a 30 ft.-by-12 ft. Star’s Dressing Room), an official’s room, green room and 9 ft.-by-25 ft. promoter’s office.

LOCAL AREA: F&B establishments include the nationally acclaimed Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, Nathaniel’s Pub and West Edge Restaurant. The War Memorial shrine, a tribute to all those from the Rochester area who gave their lives for our nation’s liberties, is accessible to the public.


Atlantic City, NJ


Historic Boardwalk Hall, formerly known as Atlantic City Convention Hall, is home to the Miss America Pageant and an increasingly diverse lineup of entertainment. Upcoming events include the Harlem Globetrotters on March 8, Florida Georgia Line on March 17 and the 2017 Atlantic City Beer & Music Festival on March 31.

CAPACITIES: End stage (180 degree house stage), 14,500; end stage (270 degree portable stage), 13,500; end stage (180 degree portable stage), 12,300; boxing, 13,300; basketball, 12,000; hockey, 10,300. Adrian Phillips Theater: Balcony (upper level), 641; riser (temporary), 950; rounds, 1,000; classroom style, 1,326; GA (open floor), 2,500; boxing, 2,900; theater style, 3,200.

STAGING: The arena has a full proscenium stage that measures 48 ft. from proscenium arch to back wall and 40 ft. from arch to the edge of apron (88 ft. in depth). The proscenium opening is 108 ft. wide and 60 ft. high. The stage is 148 ft. wide behind the proscenium and more than 150 ft. wide in front of the proscenium. The house stage is 4 ft. high. Adrian Phillips Theater: proscenium width, 48 ft.; proscenium height, 24 ft.; stage depth, 29 ft.

FLOOR: The ice floor measures 200 ft. long by 85 ft. wide (standard NHL size) surrounded by 42 in. high Crystalplex dasher boards. Each board section is removable while still maintaining the 2 in. ice dam.

BACKSTAGE AREAS: The Theater has two meeting rooms; three backstage rooms on event level; four backstage rooms with two private bathrooms on second level.

AV FEATURES: The Arena is equipped with metal halide sport lighting. Each fixture is equipped with a motorized shade that completely masks the lighting to allow for immediate black out. In addition, incandescent light accents the arch trusses in the ceiling. The barrel vault ceiling can be illuminated using computer controlled space cannons that can project a full spectrum of colors. Boardwalk Hall has a total of 10 useable spotlights. The sound system in the arena consists of 20 JBL HLA Series center-hung speakers, four JBL HLA downfill and a delay ring of 12 custom shop 12 in.-by-1.5 in. passive speakers.

AMENITIES: Spectra’s Food Service & Hospitality’s “Everything’s Fresh™” philosophy delivers exciting guest experiences and maximum revenue with fresh local menus, relevant brands, engaging customer service, impactful marketing and powerful analytics. 45 point of sale locations total. Twenty portable bars, six concession food stands featuring local partners: PJ Whelihan’s, Chickie & Pete’s, Mad Dog Morgan’s, and Vagabond Kitchen & Tap House, and Bud Light Beer Garden, and Maui Wowi.

LOCAL MARKET: Atlantic City, the entertainment capital of the Jersey Shore, is conveniently located in the heart of the northeast corridor, within a 150-mile driving radius that reaches Baltimore, New York, Philadelphia, Stamford, Washington and Wilmington.


Providence, RI 

northeastAttracting over one million visitors annually, the SMG-managed Dunkin’ Donuts Center is home to the AHL’s Providence Bruins and the Big East Providence College Men’s Basketball team. A wide variety of sporting events, concerts, family shows and tradeshows comprise the Dunkin’ Donuts Center’s event lineup. The arena will host Luke Bryan’s Kill the Lights Tour on March 4, Monster Jam March 10-12, Stars With Guitars on March 16 and the Harlem Globetrotters on April 1.

CAPACITIES: Concerts (various configurations), 3,500-14,000; basketball, 12,100; ice hockey, 11,300; family ice show, 7,400; ice show, 10,800.

STAGING: 60 ft.-by-40 ft. StageRight portable stage; 200 ft.-by-85 ft. ice rink; composite sub-floor.

BACKSTAGE AREAS: Six dressing rooms, six dressing/locker rooms, two media rooms, two production offices, five meeting rooms.

AV FEATURES: McCauley Line array speaker system powered by Crest Power Amps; lighting system includes six Super Troupers and two Gladiators; state-of-the-art video scoreboard.

AMENITIES: 25,000-sq.-ft. concourse, 20 luxury suites, and 11 permanent and 24 portable concession stands operated by DNC/Sportsservice. Providence Player’s Club has a capacity of 250.

EVENT PROMOTION: In-house agency affords complete professional coordination of event marketing campaigns including advertising production and placement, media and retail promotions, sponsorships, group sales, public relations and publicity. The Dunkin’ Donuts Center’s marketing department has established relationships with local media, which ensures cost-effective advertising buys, promotional involvement of media and retailers, and thorough publicity coverage.

LOCAL MARKET: Twenty-five percent of U.S. population lives within 500 miles of Providence. More than 38,000 college students live within a five-mile radius of the downtown.


Manchester, NH

Opened on Nov. 15, 2001 as Verizon Wireless Arena, the SNHU Arena was renamed last fall as a result of a partnership with Southern New Hampshire University. The Arena will continue to host the ECHL’s Manchester Monarchs, and now serves as a venue for SNHU athletic events and graduation ceremonies. Upcoming shows include Luke Bryan’s Kill the Lights tour on March 3, Harlem Globetrotters on March 31, Stevie Nicks with the Pretenders on April 5, Def Leppard with Poison and Tesla on April 8, Celtic Woman on April 13, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey on April 21-23, and Eric Church’s Holdin’ My Own Tour on April 29.

CAPACITIES: Accommodates a center-stage concert for more than 11,000 attendees as well as a theater-style performance for 2,500.

STAGING: 60 ft.-by-48 ft. StageRight stage, adjustable heights from 48 inches to 78 inches.

BACKSTAGE AREAS: Six dressing/team locker rooms and five production rooms.

AV FEATURES: Yamaha LS 9 Mix Consol with 24 house speaker clusters; two sets of Quartz/Sports Event Lights.

AMENITIES: Thirty-four luxury suites, five party suites, private lounge, 542 club seats, private parking lot for Suite Holders. Four permanent F&B stands, 15-plus portable locations and one private lounge.

EVENT PROMOTION: Arena offers in-house media buying, all social media components, Web exposure, in-house video loop, texting program, marquee exposure, in-game video display, concourse exposure and potential third-party tie-ins. Promotional services and features include eblasts to a 300,000-plus database, texting program, in-house video, exterior marquee and lobby display.

LOCAL MARKET: 65 percent married, 59 percent have children in home, 42 percent male, 58 percent female, 37 percent college graduate, 17 percent grad school, 60 percent reside in New Hampshire, 20 percent reside in Massachusetts.


Albany, NY


The Times Union Center is currently in the midst of a $30 million capital improvement program, $19 million of which is devoted to the renovation of the main entrance, known as the atrium. In addition, new LED lighting is being installed throughout the arena, and Johnny Rockets will be opening this spring. The project is expected to be completed by September. The SMG-managed Times Union Center welcomes several major acts in the near

future, including Maroon 5 on March 7, Garth Brooks March 10-12, TobyMac on March 16, and New Kids on the Block on July 9.

CAPACITIES: Curtaining system allows capacity to be adjusted between 6,000 and 17,000. Hockey, 14,236; basketball, 15,229; ice show, 14,531; 180-degree end stage, 12,505 (curtains up), 7,353 (curtains down); 270-degree end stage, 14,215 (curtains up), 8,039 (curtains down); 360-degree end stage, 16,505 (curtains up), 8,869 (curtains down); center stage, 16,433 (curtains up), 8,797 (curtains down).

STAGING: 3,200-sq.-ft. Wenger stage, 4 ft. to 7 ft. high.

BACKSTAGE AREAS: Three team-size locker rooms and seven star dressing rooms.

OTHER FEATURES: New seats, ribbon boards and a brand-new center-hung video scoreboard equipped with LED boards.

EVENT PROMOTION: Marketing department can assist in all media buying, PR and graphic design.

LOCAL MARKET: Located in the center of New York, Times Union Center is one and a half hours from Syracuse, three hours from Boston and Montreal, and two and a half hours from New York City. The arena draws patrons from all over New York as well as Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Connecticut. The capital region is home to over 1,300,000 people with over 50 percent of households having children and spending roughly $2,000 a year on entertainment.


Hartford, CT


Located in the heart of Downtown Hartford, the XL Center is the entertainment hub for the Greater Capital Region and the largest live entertainment and sports facility in Connecticut. It is home to the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack, University of Connecticut Men’s Ice Hockey, and Men’s and Women’s Basketball teams. The Center is located less than 15 miles from Bradley International Airport and in the midst of 25 percent of the U.S. population. In 2014, the XL Center underwent a $35 million renovation to significantly upgrade the overall entertainment experience for promoters, fans, artists and competitors. Upgrades included a Fan Bar on the east end lower bowl, a new video control room, an additional locker room, 12 new lower-level loge boxes for premium seating, and more.

CAPACITIES: Center stage concert, 16,500; boxing/wrestling, 16,308; end stage concert, 16,166; basketball, 15,214; ice show, 14,758; hockey, 14,660.

STAGING: Wenger staging for all builds. Decks are standard 4 ft. by 8 ft. and adjustable in height from 4 ft. to 6 ft. Stage skirting and Wenger risers are available. A masking system for the upper bowl can be deployed to provide a more intimate feel for shows with reduced seating configurations.

BACKSTAGE AREAS: Nine dressing rooms, including two team style rooms, four large rooms and two individual dressing rooms. Three meeting rooms are also available.

BOX OFFICE/TICKETING: Spectra Ticketing & Fan Engagement is the exclusive ticketing services provider at the XL Center. Utilizing the Paciolan software, the venue is able to offer a variety of ticketing services to patrons, including online, mobile, phone, and in-person purchasing channels. Pick Your Own Seat maps are available on the online sales page and Pick Your Own Section seat maps on the mobile purchasing site.

AMENITIES: 300-capacity club restaurant; 12 full-service concession stands on the concourse. Twelve lower-level loge boxes are available, as well as an updated Fan Bar on the east end of the lower level with two full-service bars and ample seating.

EVENT PROMOTION: For all events, the XL Center provides website listing, marquee inclusion, concourse TV promotion, show announcement press release sent to local media, and social media announcements/posts. Additional marketing services are available upon request.

LOCAL MARKET: The Greater Hartford market has a population of over 1.2 million people with a median age of 35. The downtown Hartford market is 35 percent Caucasian, 38 percent African Americans and 21 percent Hispanic, mostly of Puerto Rican descent.