Indiana University of Pennsylvania has selected Global Spectrum, a leading firm for managing university arenas and a subsidiary of Comcast-Spectacor, to manage, market, and operate the Ed Fry Arena in the Kovalchick Convention and Athletic Complex.
“Through the proven talent and expertise of Global Spectrum, the KCAC will be able to consistently attract a caliber of entertainment and cultural fare that is top-notch by national and international standards,” Dr. Tony Atwater, IUP president, said. “The university’s partnership with Global Spectrum demonstrates IUP’s resolve to make the KCAC a first-rate cultural, sports, and entertainment venue for both Indiana County and Western Pennsylvania.”
Global Spectrum will handle all pre-opening phases of managing the arena. This includes working and consulting on the final stages of facility design and construction; preparing marketing programs and marketing the arena; recruiting and hiring a general manager and all staff for the arena; assisting in the procurement of furniture, fixtures, and equipment; booking the arena; and consulting on the selection of subcontractors and analyzing all operational details.
Global Spectrum will also work with IUP to establish and implement financial and accounting programs and procedures and prepare the arena for its opening.
The Global Spectrum staff will handle, upon opening, the day-to-day management of the arena, including booking, scheduling, marketing, maintenance, contracted services, staffing, and other operations.
In addition to serving the needs of men’s and women’s basketball, the new arena will be the site of concerts, family shows, special events, and other attractions for the surrounding community.
Global Spectrum was chosen following a national search by a committee of university and community members.
Among the more than eighty arenas, stadiums, convention centers, and theaters that Global Spectrum manages are eleven university convocation centers and arenas, including the Liacouras Center at Temple University in Philadelphia; the Ryan Center at the University of Rhode Island in Kingston, R.I.; the Chaifetz Arena at Saint Louis University in St. Louis; and the Colonial Life Arena at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, S.C.
Global Spectrum brings its industry resources and relationships to IUP to make the new arena a true multipurpose facility, with concerts, family shows, sporting events, trade shows, and many other events, Global Spectrum Chief Operating Officer John Page said.
“We look forward to bringing our personalized customer service and our experienced staff to assist IUP in making the Fry Arena the best possible on-campus arena for the students, the region, and the community. It’s our intent to market the Ed Fry Arena as a destination for the students, the staff as well as the community to gather and enjoy top-notch sports and entertainment in the most comfortable environment as possible.”
University officials broke ground in November 2008 for the KCAC, a $53.4-million facility along Wayne Avenue, adjacent to the university.
During the groundbreaking ceremony, IUP celebrated a $1-million gift from 1999 graduate Chad Hurley to name the five-thousand-seat KCAC arena the Ed Fry Arena. Fry, who recently retired, was a longtime IUP Music faculty member and track and field coach.
The KCAC, named in honor of the Kovalchick family, of Indiana, will also include the 650-seat Christine Toretti auditorium, a conference center, grand lobby, commercial kitchen, and offices for IUP Athletics.
Construction for the KCAC began in March and will be completed in June 2011.
Currently, seven major conferences have been tentatively scheduled for the first year of operation of the KCAC. They include a state convention, state youth athletic tournament, and other university and community events through IUP’s Office of Conference Services.
Global Spectrum is the fastest growing venue management firm in the world, according to its website, with facilities throughout the United States and Canada.
Global Spectrum’s parent company, Comcast-Spectacor, is a sports and entertainment firm that owns the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League; the Philadelphia 76ers of the National Basketball Association; Flyers Skate Zone, a series of community ice skating rinks; Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia, a regional sports programming network; Ovations Food Services, a food and beverage services provider; New Era Tickets, a full-service ticketing and marketing product for public assembly facilities; and Front Row Marketing Services, a commercial rights sales company.
In a partnership with Disson Skating, Comcast-Spectacor televises ten ice-skating extravaganzas annually on NBC-TV.