Loris Smith died Sept. 22 at 70.

Pioneering sports and entertainment executive Loris Francis Smith died Sept. 22 at 70 in Newton, N.J., from emphysema.

Smith had been COO of concessions/facility management firm Ogden Entertainment in New York City before retiring in 1998. He also served as an executive VP at Ticketmaster, as well as general manager of Giants Stadium, the Meadowlands Arena (now Coninental Airlines Arena) in East Rutherford, N.J. and the Jacob Javits Center in New York City.

"Loris was a special guy," Michael Rowe, who succeeded Smith at the Meadowlands complex, tells Billboard.biz. "His quiet, unassuming style masked a very smart, competitive sports and entertainment executive who set the standards for facility management."

"In my opinion he helped invent the modern arena/stadium business," adds veteran New York/New Jersey promoter John Scher, co-CEO of Metropolitan Talent.

A mass for Smith, was held yesterday in St. Jude the Apostle Church, Hamburg, N.J. Arrangements are by the Ferguson-Vernon Funeral Home, Vernon.

Prior to moving to New Jersey, Smith was the general manager of the Bismarck (N.D.) Civic Center from 1969 to 1971.

Surviving are his wife of 51 years, Donna L.; sons, Thomas Francis and Jonathan Robert; daughters, Mary Jo DeBoey, Paula McCauley and Laura Schechter; brothers, James, Russell, Robert and Richard; 11 grandchildren and a great-grandchild.

"This quiet man from small-town Minot, N.D., was a 'big leaguer' from the day he was born," says Rowe. "He will be missed."