Chris Granger has been appointed chief executive of Oak View Group’s OVG Facilities division.
Granger, formerly the president of the Ilitch Holdings group that owns Detroit Tigers and Detroit Red Wings, will oversee OVG Facilities, OVG Media & Conferences, and the OVG Arena Alliance, a collection of 32 major venues in North America that provides a platform for booking, content, and sponsorship sales opportunities. OVG said Granger will focus on sustainability, public safety, and sanitisation solutions across all venues.
Granger will be based in Detroit and report directly to Tim Leiweke, chief executive of OVG.
“I am excited and humbled to join Tim Leiweke, Irving Azoff, and the incredibly talented team at Oak View Group. Venues, arenas, and stadiums increasingly play an irreplaceable role in society. They bring diverse people together to cheer, to sing, to vote, to protest, and to celebrate,” said Granger.
“Further, we are seeing facilities lead the way in areas of public health, public safety, and sustainability. I look forward to contributing to the OVG vision of making a positive contribution to the world through our venues. I can’t wait to get started.”
Granger had held his position as group president of sports and entertainment with Ilitch Holdings since 2017. While there, he was responsible for all aspects of business operations for Major League Baseball’s Detroit Tigers, the National Hockey League’s Detroit Red Wings and other subsidiaries.
Granger previously served as president of the Sacramento Kings and Sacramento Basketball Holdings, and also held senior positions at the National Basketball Association.
Leiweke said: “As we grow as a company, there are priorities that we have set to guide that growth. First, character, in all aspects of our organization. Second, a commitment to lead the industry and change the conversation. Third, to not operate in fear. What I admire most about Chris is he is a living example of all three. Anyone and everyone that has worked with him knows he is a class act and leads by example. In addition, he is like us, dreaming for what we could be as an industry and thinking outside the box. And finally, he believes that this is the time for us to be bold, to be entrepreneurial, and to grow this industry.”
Granger’s appointment comes on the heels of OVG’s announcement earlier this week that it is to merge with Spectra, one of the industry’s leading food and beverage and hospitality providers, to create a full-service live events company.