arena, entertainment

T-Mobile Arena: One month down, 359 to go

I picked 359 months to go as I figure 30 years would be a great run for a world-class arena. Obviously the point is simple –we are in this for the long run.

But let’s reflect on month one.

  •  Over 100,000 guests enjoyed shows at T-Mobile Arena this month.
  • The first reunion show of Guns and Roses.
  • The first two sold out shows in George Strait’s exclusive engagement, which will have up to 8 shows a year.
  • Opening night generated amazing attention and our great local band The Killers didn’t disappoint.
  • We had our first basketball game with the legendary Harlem Globetrotters.
  • Billy Joel returned to Las Vegas to entertain his west coast fans.
  • Our naming rights partner showed they were serious about the venue being more than just a sign on the roof, holding an opening week concert with Nicki Minaj and Ariana Grande. They have been instrumental in ensuring a successful Billboard Music Awards in May and a successful iHeart music festival in September as well.

We learned a lot about the building this month, and a lot about what we are doing well operationally as well as what we need to work on. As always, there are tweaks needed in the building (examples – row signage, lighting adjustments in VIP areas – things like that). And our staff and management are still working on refining our service (when to put food out, how to direct guests around the building, reacting to a seating manifest that wasn’t the same as the seats we got installed – things like that).

Being owned by two companies that are experts at guest service and operations and also very skilled at ensuring buildings are built and maintained at a quality level, we will have no problem making the adjustments. It usually takes a few months to really hit a rhythm so we are working diligently to make the necessary adjustments.

Our programming team is giving us plenty of chances – beyond the great events of the past month, we have our first major boxing match coming up this weekend, and then our first awards show. And just this past week we sold out a Drake/The Future show in September, a month we also have a sold out Coldplay show – among other great shows we’ve been booking (Gwen Stefani, Five Finger Death Punch, Carrie Underwood, the list keeps going).

We are all very happy with how the first month went, but we are far from satisfied. Our goal is to be in the conversation people have about the best venues in the world – O2, Staples, Madison Square Garden – and we will focus on that as we continue to improve the venue and our service.

I am so proud of our team – and more our TEAMS plural as we had help from so many in our entertainment organization, from other parts of MGM, from AEG, from county agencies, from our local law enforcement entities, from our partners and their teams. In particular I want the rest of my entertainment team to know (like those at the other venues, those on our finance and marketing teams that support other venues) that we will be giving the same level of effort to support them as we move forward.  Like the long view with T-Mobile Arena, we have the long view with MGM Entertainment.

It’s been a great first month – here’s to many, many more.

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