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Oak View Group to merge with Spectra

Oak View Group, the global venue development, advisory and investment company for the sports and live entertainment industries, has announced plans to merge with venue management and hospitality provider Spectra.

The agreement, financial terms of which were not disclosed, is designed to create a “leader” in the live events industry.

OVG and Spectra said that the combined company will provide expertise in booking and creating content for the venues it manages. It will also be committed to sustainability across its business operations by “harnessing the power” of the sports and entertainment industries to “inspire positive change robustly and at scale”.

The merger is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2021 and is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions. Following the close of the transaction, OVG will remain headquartered in Los Angeles, with Spectra’s headquarters to remain in Philadelphia.

OVG was founded in 2015 by industry veterans Tim Leiweke and Irving Azoff. It is currently overseeing the development of UBS Arena and Climate Pledge Arena, which will serve as the homes of NHL franchises the New York Islanders and Seattle Kraken, respectively. The company is also developing Co-op Live, a new 23,500-seat arena in the English city of Manchester.

Spectra specialises in helping clients maximise venue budgets and operations, optimise sales and marketing, elevate relationships with promoters and meeting planners, connect with fans, and implement practices to host live events and entertainment. Spectra is part-owned by Comcast Spectacor, the Philadelphia-based sports and entertainment company which owns the NHL’s Flyers, the NBA’s 76ers and the Wells Fargo Center arena.

Spectra hosts more than 15,000 events a year across the US, Canada and around the world. Its client portfolio includes the 92,000-seat Cotton Bowl stadium in Dallas (pictured) and venues across the world, such as the Water Sports Centre at the Singapore Sports Hub.

Dave Scott, chief executive of Spectra, said: “This is an exciting development for Spectra and an important step in our journey to provide unparalleled services to our clients along with exciting growth opportunities for our team members as part of a larger, more diverse organisation.

“This merger accelerates our existing strategy and will lead to significant opportunities to cross-sell food, beverage and sponsorship services across our combined client base. I look forward to working with Tim, Irving and the OVG team to enhance the future of live events for our valued clients.”

Leiweke added: “This merger brings together two dynamic leaders in the live events industry with complementary capabilities that will deliver a broad array of services to our clients.

“OVG’s core competencies in arena development and corporate sponsorships, coupled with Spectra’s leadership in food and beverage services will create a full-service live events company that will deliver a compelling and highly competitive set of offerings that meet our clients’ evolving needs. I look forward to collaborating with the talented team at Spectra and bringing together our two organisations to create something truly unique.”

Image: Michael Barera/CC BY-SA 4.0/Edited for size