OVG360 adds Penguins’ PPG Paints Arena to NHL portfolio

OVG360, a division of venue development, advisory and investment company Oak View Group, has been appointed to manage, book and operate PPG Paints Arena, home of the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins.

OVG360 has been selected by Fenway Sports Group, which completed a $900m (£717m/€840m) takeover of the Penguins in December. The Penguins’ existing agreement with ASM Global is due to expire on June 30.

In a statement, the Penguins said that OVG360 had been selected following a competitive national search among “several top-tier arena operators”. Terms of the deal were not disclosed but Sports Business Journal reported that the agreement will run for 15 years.

As part of its deal with the Penguins, OVG360 will make substantial private investments into PPG Paints Arena to improve its fan experience and operational infrastructure, with a view to contributing “more aggressively” to the quality and diversity of entertainment in the Pittsburgh region.

The agreement, which comes into effect on July 1, will also see OVG360 retain PPG Paints Arena’s existing local management team and arena workers, including all union relationships.

OVG360 operates two newly-constructed NHL venues: the New York Islanders’ UBS Arena and the Seattle Kraken’s Climate Pledge Arena. OVG360 will also manage a new multi-purpose arena at Arizona State University, which will serve as the temporary home of the Arizona Coyotes from next season.

Kevin Acklin, chief operating officer at the Penguins, said: “OVG is a rising, innovative leader in arena management, and we are proud to welcome their partnership at PPG Paints Arena. OVG recognises the strength and resilience of Pittsburgh’s fan base and the quality of our venue, and we are thrilled to partner with them to focus on the future of sports and live entertainment in Pittsburgh.”

OVG’s chief executive Tim Leiweke has an NHL background having previously served as governor of the Los Angeles Kings and president of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, which operates the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Leiweke said: “Many of our senior leaders have hockey in their DNA, and we’re thrilled to be working with our new partners at the Penguins and Fenway Sports Group at their state-of-the-art PPG Paints Arena.

“We understand the deep fan connection and the critical importance of the fan experience while they passionately cheer for their home team. The Pittsburgh region can expect great things to come, including more world-class events and concerts, enhanced technology and fan service as well as a priority to promote operational sustainability.”

OVG360 was created in February as Oak View Group rebranded its OVG Facilities and its recent Spectra acquisition. OVG360 offers a range of services and places a particular focus on sustainability, assisting venues and client-partners on climate change issues.

Image: Jleedev/CC BY-SA 4.0/Edited for size