Live sports and entertainment company Oak View Group (OVG) has acquired Houston-based Spectrum Catering, Concessions & Event Services, a catering and hospitality company specializing in major sporting events, music festivals and restoration of artists and tours, to develop its OVG Pôle hôtellerie. The announcement comes eight months after OVG completed the acquisition of leading venue management and hospitality company Spectra, including its Spectra Food Services & Hospitality division, to create a leading live events company in full service.
Spectrum has overseen catering services and hospitality experience at major sporting events such as the PGA Tour, NCAA Final Four March Madness Festivals, US Davis Cup Tennis and major outdoor music events such as Bonnaroo , Burning Man and Governor’s Ball, and has also worked with major artists such as Cirque du Soleil, The Eagles, Madonna, Jimmy Buffett and Aerosmith.
The company was started in 1992 by veteran restaurateur and current CEO David Smalley and was generating more than $100 million in sales in the United States and Canada before COVID hit in 2020, according to its website. The company includes the corporate catering division Wicked Whisk and Arizona Catering, which Smalley started in 1986 to provide backstage catering services to traveling performers at venues across Arizona, Nevada and Southern California, and which has since expanded to catering services for weddings, corporate parties and full concession sales.
OVG was founded in 2015 and scored a major hit two years later when it was hired by the City of Seattle to renovate KeyArena, which eventually opened as Climate Pledge Arena in fall 2021 as a home of the NHL’s expansion team, the Seattle Kraken. It also partners with the NHL’s New York Islanders at UBS Arena on Long Island, which also opened last fall, and has also partnered with the University of Texas at Austin for its new arena. 15,000-seat Moody Center basketball court, which opened this past. April. Earlier this year, OVG purchased 25 acres in Las Vegas to build a $3 billion sports and entertainment district that will include a 20,000-seat NBA-ready arena.
OVG Hospitality is led by former Delaware North Sportservice vice president Ken Gaber and serves more than 250,000 events and 40 million guests annually across North America, according to its website. Last fall’s Spectra deal gave it Spectra Food Services & Hospitality presence at some 330 sports, entertainment and convention venues among its venue management, food service and corporate partners, including 135 Foodservice operations concentrated primarily in Major League Soccer (MSL), college sports, and Major League Baseball spring training sites. In its last pre-COVID year of operation (2019), Spectra Food Services & Hospitality generated $445 million in revenue, according to its 2020 FM Top 50 ranking for the year.
Services of the OVG Hospitality unit include not only concessions and catering, but also marketing/branding, facility design, restaurant/premium space management, sourcing, service alcohol, business support and reopening advice. Customers include stadiums, arenas, convention centers, casinos, performing arts centers, fairgrounds and specialty properties such as festivals, recreation centers and zoos.
“The fact that Spectrum’s growth has been driven by referrals, word of mouth, reputation and top talent is a testament to the stellar organization that Dave Smalley has built over the past thirty years,” Gaber noted. announcing the deal. “After meeting Dave five years ago, I quickly became a fan of his work. The arrival of the Spectrum team will allow OVG Hospitality to grow our business in non-traditional ways.
“Hard work and integrity are hallmarks of successful Spectrum operations – in the kitchen, dressing room and dining room – and it became clear very quickly during our initial discussions with Oak View Group that our teams would work together seamlessly,” Smalley added. “We have consistently achieved some of the highest performance per cap and revenue of any concert concession company, and we look forward to continuing those achievements with OVG Hospitality. »