Move continues Philadelphia firm's European expansion.

Continuing its European expansion, Philadelphia-based facility management firm SMG has been awarded a contract to manage Germany's premier amphitheatre, the Loreley in St. Goarshausen. SMG's contract is effective Jan. 1, 2005.

Built in the '30s in the Rhine valley, the Loreley boasts a capacity of 18,000 (5,000 reserved), with a main event season that runs between May and September.

SMG Europe will be managing the amphitheater for five years, with a five-year option. SMG already has a presence in Germany; since 1996, it has managed the 13,000-seat Kšnig-Pilsener Arena and the 1,800-seat Stardome Theatre, both in Oberhausen.

SMG plans to bring international artists to the Loreley, including Bryan Adams, Sting and the Cure. The firm also plans to establish new festivals at the venue.

John Sutherland, managing director/senior VP of SMG Europe, called the contract "an important step in SMG's expansion into further venues and markets in Europe."

SMG Europe is the largest operator of sports and entertainment venues in the United Kingdom and continental Europe. It controls 75,000 seats in seven facilities, including the 20,000-seat Manchester (England) Evening News Arena, Europe's the largest indoor facility, and the Oslo Spektrum.