Australian venue operator Arena Management has hired veteran venue manager Ross Cunningham to fill its newly-created role of managing director.

He starts in December, reporting to Sydney-based CEO and executive chairman Michael Jacobsen.

Arena Management operates the 12,400-capacity Sydney Entertainment Centre, the 2,000-capacity Capitol Theatre in Sydney, and the 12,000 Vector Arena in Auckland, New Zealand, which opened this April.

Jacobsen tells that the company is about to embark on an expansion spree, looking at additional venues to manage in Australia and Asia.

"Over the past 30 years, Ross has established some of the most high profile and successful venues in Australia," Jacobsen says. "Obviously we want his sort-of experience as we expand the company."

Cunningham spent a decade at Tabcorp where he held the position of GM, entertainment - casinos. He also built and established the 2000-seat Lyric and 1,200 seat Star theatres of Star City casino complex, and was an executive manager for Panthers World of Entertainment.

He is vice president and board member of the peak entertainment industry association, Live Performance Australia, and chairman of the organizing committee of the Helpmann live performance awards.