KeyArena Touts 2010 Success and Big Changes in 2011
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by BWW News Desk
2010 was a very successful year for KeyArena at Seattle Center. Despite challenging economic times, KeyArena increased bookings and revenues and established new vendor and sponsorship relationships and programming for 2011, enabling it to meet its strategic objectives of diversifying venue operations. It also will pursue a new naming rights partner in 2011.
KeyArena earned the top spot on a 2010 year-end industry list (Venues Today) of the best concert venues in the northwest. It also made it to Pollstar's worldwide top 50 venues and stadiums list, ranked on ticket sales, for the first time ever. The number of events at KeyArena also saw a significant bump from 2009 - a 26% increase in events and a 40% increase in concerts. By year's end, gross ticket sales exceeded $17.5 million (not including WNBA Storm and Seattle University Men's Basketball games).
"An improved management structure, great events and dynamic promoters such as Live Nation and AEG Live have all contributed to KeyArena"s success in 2010," said Seattle Center Director, Robert Nellams.
New relationships were also forged in 2010. Late in the year KeyArena awardEd Levy Restaurants the food and beverage concession contract resulting in better choices, faster service and increased revenues. New partnerships with Coca-Cola (official non-alcoholic beverage partner) and other potential beverage sponsors also aim to enhance the KeyArena experience.
The highest profile partnership at KeyArena is changing soon. Seattle Center is seeking a new naming rights partner for KeyArena following the expiration of KeyBank's contract on December 31, 2010. Seattle Center staff are discussing naming opportunities with interested parties but are not ready to announce a successor. The facility will remain known as KeyArena until a new naming rights partner is selected.
"KeyBank has been a wonderful partner over the past 15 years, and we hope to continue to explore opportunities with them in the future," said Nellams. "There's very strong interest by local and national companies that recognize this kind of title sponsorship opportunity doesn't come around often. The 2011 event line-up, capital improvements and the upcoming 50th anniversary of the 1962 Seattle World's Fair, The Next Fifty, make this naming opportunity very appealing."
KeyArena activities for 2011 are already out pacing the 2010 schedule and include brand new events. Seattle University Men's basketball will continue to play at the arena in 2011; 2010 WNBA Champions, the Seattle Storm, will open their season on June 4, and the Rat City Rollergirls will play an expanded number of bouts in 2011.
Events debuting at KeyArena this year include the Professional Bull Riders, UFC Fight Night 24, and Street League Pro Skateboarding. New touring shows in 2011 include Eric Clapton, Katy Perry, Keith Urban, and the Michael Jackson THE IMMORTAL World Tour by Cirque du Soleil. In 2013, KeyArena will host the NCAA Volleyball Final Four tournament.
KeyArena at Seattle Center is Seattle's premier venue for sports, concerts and family entertainment. The venue is located at and managed by Seattle Center, 74-acre green campus and home to more than 30 cultural, educational, sports and entertainment organizations. The 12 million visitors to Seattle Center each year generate $1.15 billion in business activity and $387 million in labor income for King County.
KeyArena at Seattle Center
· Ranked the number one venue in the Pacific Northwest based on ticket sales in 2010 in a year-end report by Venues Today, a leading industry publication.
Seattle University vs. Portland, Feb. 5