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SMG to Continue Managing Cambria County War Memorial Arena

SMG Entertainment is set to continue overseeing operations at Cambria County War Memorial Arena, as an agreement has been approved by Cambria County.

At a meeting on Wednesday, Cambria County commissioners unanimously approved a five-year contract that will allow SMG to continue managing the arena. This agreement comes as Cambria County War Memorial Arena sees an improving financial outlook.

During the course of their discussion, commissioners noted how the arena’s operations have stabilized over the last several years, citing improvements under general manager Steve St. John. More from The Tribune-Democrat:

More than once, County Controller Ed Cernic Jr. said he remembers receiving calls asking for $5,000 in additional funds for the arena so hot dogs, nachos and other foods could be purchased for a hockey game or event the same night.

“That’s the type of situations we were in,” he said.

Since St. John has taken over as general manager, “that conversation has not happened,” [commissioner president Tom] Chernisky said.

The arena now has a positive cash flow, which “was unheard of in years past,” said Commissioner William “B.J.” Smith.

St. John said the War Memorial Authority’s focus has been to use the county’s contributions – $182,000 per year – to put toward capital improvements, repair and maintenance.

The contract has previously been approved by the War Memorial Authority. In addition to approving the management contract, county commissioners also signed off on a $100,000 state grant that will help cover the cost of a new scoreboard.

Cambria County War Memorial Arena is currently the home of the Johnstown Tomahawks (North American Hockey League). The arena also has a connection to a prominent film, as it was used as a shooting location during the production of Slap Shot.