SMG Strikes a 10-Year Extension With Mohegan Sun Arena in Pennsylvania

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Courtesy of SMG
Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza

Will Beekman will also join SMG as the new general manager of Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.

The Luzerne County Convention Center Authority (LCCCA) has announced a 10-year contract expansion with venue management company SMG and its food and beverage subsidiary SAVOR for the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza in Wilkes-Barre Township.

In addition, LCCCA also unanimously voted May 8 on a resolution on a 10-year contract lease extension with the National Hockey League’s Pittsburgh Penguins to keep the American Hockey League’s Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in Northeast Pennsylvania. The agreement calls for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins to remain and play its seasons in the Authority’s Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza for an additional 10 years, commencing in July of 2019.

"The Luzerne County Convention Center Authority was fortunate in the past to have made the decision to associate with two stellar organizations; our management company and food and beverage provider, SMG, and the Pittsburgh Penguins organization with its American Hockey League team, the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins," said LCCCA board chairman Gary Zingaretti in a release.

"The partnership between the Authority and these fine organizations has served the citizens of Luzerne County and all of Northeastern Pennsylvania for almost 20 years," added Zingaretti. "I would like to personally commend SMG, the Penguins, my fellow LCCCA Board members, County Council members and local politicians, both past and current, for their efforts over these past twenty plus years and during the recent negotiations. We are proud of our joint efforts to produce mutually acceptable, long-term extensions of these relationships."

Both contracts are for 10-year terms beginning in January of 2020. SMG has been the venue's management services team since 2000, when the company acquired Ogden Entertainment. SAVOR Wilkes-Barre has been the food and beverage services provider since 2010.

The LCCCA also announced that Will Beekman, current executive director of the F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts in Wilkes-Barre, has been named the new general manager of Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza effective May 13. Beekman will take over for previous general manager Brian Sipe, whom accepted the position of booking manager for the Rupp Arena in Lexington, Ky. last month.

"We are delighted to have Will be joining the SMG team and confident that through his proven leadership skills and involvement in our community that our venue will continue its great success and remain the premiere destination for entertainment in the region," said Zingaretti.

Beekman received the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce's 2018 Innovator of the Year Award and on June 6, Beekman will receive the 2019 Distinguished Leadership Award at Leadership Wilkes-Barre's 38th Annual Dinner and Graduation.

As part of the negotiations, the Luzerne County Convention Center Authority has committed to invest nearly two million dollars over the next six years in venue enhancements, including the installation of a state-of-the-art LED ribbon board and LED lighting system.