Philadelphia-based facility management firm SMG has been awarded a contract extension to continue managing the Big Sandy Superstore Arena in Huntington, W.Va.

Philadelphia-based facility management firm SMG has been awarded a contract extension to continue managing the Big Sandy Superstore Arena in Huntington, W.Va.

The Huntington City Council voted unanimously to extend the management agreement for five years. SMG took over operation of the Huntington in the fall of 2000.

The arena opened 27 years ago. Its first shows were meant to be two Elvis Presley concerts in late August 1977; however, Presley passed away before visiting the area. Heart ended up playing the first concert in the new venue on Sept. 23, 1977.

Under SMG's watch, the Big Sandy Superstore Arena has been a top-20 venue worldwide (with a capacity of 5,001-10,000) for each of the last three years, according to Billboard Boxscores.

In January 2003, the Huntington Civic Arena became the first venue in West Virginia to secure a facility naming rights agreement, when family-owned home furnishings retailer Big Sandy Superstore purchased the rights in a 10-year partnership.

In other venue news, Global Spectrum, operator of the Whittemore Center Arena at the University of New Hampshire in Durham, has named Jim Wynkoop, a 10-year veteran of facility management, as GM.

He replaces Robert LeBarron, who was named GM of the William D. Mullins Center in Amherst, Mass.

Wynkoop was previously assistant GM for the Global Spectrum-managed Colonial Center at University of South Carolina in Columbia.

He will oversee all of the day-to-day operations of the 6,000-seat, multipurpose arena Whittemore Center Arena, including marketing, sponsorship sales, advertising, booking, scheduling and operational details. He reports to Global Spectrum Regional VP Neil Sulkes.

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