Two of the leaders in the arena/live-events/venue worlds are joining forces, as Spectra and Oak View Group announced a definitive agreement to merge operations before the end of the year.
Oak View Group is a global venue development, advisory, and investment company for the sports and live entertainment industries, most recently involved in several arena projects ranging from Seattle’s Climate Pledge Arena and Long Island’s UBS Arena to Manchester’s Coop Live and the University of Texas’s Moody Center. It was launched in 2015 by industry veterans Tim Leiweke and Irving Azoff. The firm’s involvement on the venue front ranges from construction and design to investment in specific projects and sports teams and performing-arts venues. Spectra is a traditional venue management and hospitality providers, managing both events and food/beverage operations across arenas, stadiums, convention centers and performing-arts centers under the Spectra and Ovations Food Services brands. (Spectra is owned by investment firm Atairos, which counts Learfield among its holdings.)
There will be some overlaps: the OVG Facilities division directly overlaps with the core of Spectra’s food and venue-management services, for example.
The merger is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions. Following the close of the transaction, OVG will remain headquartered in Los Angeles, with the headquarters for Spectra remaining in Philadelphia.
“This merger brings together two dynamic leaders in the live events industry with complementary capabilities that will deliver a broad array of services to our client,” said Tim Leiweke, CEO of OVG, via press release. “OVG’s core competencies in arena development and corporate sponsorships, coupled with Spectra’s leadership in food and beverage services will create a full-service live events company that will deliver a compelling and highly competitive set of offerings that meet our clients’ evolving needs. I look forward to collaborating with the talented team at Spectra and bringing together our two organizations to create something truly unique.”
“This is an exciting development for Spectra and an important step in our journey to provide unparalleled services to our clients along with exciting growth opportunities for our team members as part of a larger, more diverse organization,” said Dave Scott, CEO of Spectra, via press release. “This merger accelerates our existing strategy and will lead to significant opportunities to cross-sell food, beverage and sponsorship services across our combined client base. I look forward to working with Tim, Irving and the OVG team to enhance the future of live events for our valued clients.”