LOWELL, Mass. - The Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell is ranked No. 13 in the most recent Venues Today Magazine Mid-Year Top Stops Rankings in its capacity category (5,001 to 10,000). Last year was the first year the Tsongas Center made it into the Top Stops rankings; the venue ranked 20 in 2010-11. Venues Today Magazine, founded in 2002, is the leading source of original reporting for live entertainment and events, serving management, owners and suppliers to music, sports and meeting venues internationally.
“This is an exciting time for the Tsongas Center and for the University as a whole as we strive toward the vision of creating a world-class organization,” said Peter Casey, executive director of UMass Lowell Venue & Event Enterprises. “The recognition we have received from Venues Today demonstrates we are on target toward our goals in providing a quality event experience. Significant improvements continue to be made at the facility as well as to the guest experience with the enhancement of the club box suites, an additional catering kitchen and new selections on the food and beverage menu. Instrumental in the success we have enjoyed is the collaborative relationship between the university, Global Spectrum and Aramark. We are looking forward to continuing to build upon this accomplishment.”
Owned by the University of Massachusetts Lowell and managed by Global Spectrum, the Tsongas Center (www.tsongascenter.com)
has continued to attract and feature the best in live entertainment during 2011-12. Over its 18 reported events during the evaluation period, the venue saw a combined attendance of 71,144, an increase of more than 25,000 from this same time last year. Many of the featured acts this year were in the magazine’s monthly “Hot Tickets” rankings throughout the past six months including comedian Jeff Dunham, the Kiss 108 FM Jingle Ball, Judas Priest, Dropkick Murphys and Eric Church. Although not included in these rankings, the Tsongas Center is also home to the UMass Lowell River Hawks hockey team, which finished this season in the nation’s top 10 and saw its two largest crowds in program history pack the house on Dec. 2 (6,826) and Feb. 17 (6,706). This past year was also a record-breaking year with partner Aramark, setting the highest food and beverage gross in the building’s history.
“The University and our Global Spectrum staff have upheld and exceeded the bar that was set during our first year,” said Global Spectrum’s Keith Vaske, general manager of the Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell. “We saw a marked improvement from year one managing the facility and it is exciting to think about what the future holds as we continue to bring a wide array of events to the Greater Lowell community.”
Since UMass Lowell acquired the Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell in February 2010, the University has contributed the resources and committed to upgrading the facility to make it a premier venue for sports and entertainment in the region. Numerous renovations made in 2010, such as the addition of the LowellBank Pavilion and state-of-the-art video scoreboard, were complimented this past year with the installation of a new ice floor and dasher board system. The new energy-efficient system will result in an energy cost decrease of $150,000 annually and allowed for an energy rebate to invest in further green initiatives at the Tsongas Center. There are more capital improvements on the horizon with a new fall-protection system scheduled for installation, a complete transformation of the existing club boxes into new luxury club suites, a new hockey performance center and the addition of a second kitchen to better serve the facility’s concession and catering needs.
The Venues Today mid-year rankings were calculated based on concert and non-sports event gross sales between Oct. 16, 2011 and May 15, 2012. Rankings are released by the publication twice annually. For the rankings, venues around the world are organized into six categories based on capacity. Categories are defined by the following capacity ranges: 30,001 or more; 15,001-30,000; 10,001-15,000; 5,001-10,000; 2,001-5,000; and 2,000 or fewer.
The Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell is a Global Spectrum (global-spectrum.com) managed facility. Global Spectrum is the fastest-growing firm in the public assembly facility management field with more than 110 facilities throughout the United States and Canada. The Philadelphia-based company is part of one of the world’s largest sports and entertainment companies, Comcast-Spectacor, which also owns the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League; Flyers Skate Zone, a series of community ice skating rinks; Ovations Food Services, a food and beverage services provider; New Era Tickets, a full-service ticketing and marketing product for public assembly facilities; Front Row Marketing Services, a commercial rights sales company; and Paciolan, the leading provider of venue establishment ticketing, fundraising and marketing technology solutions. In a partnership with Disson Skating, Comcast-Spectacor annually produces 10 nationally televised figure skating spectaculars on NBC.
UMass Lowell is a comprehensive, national research university located on a high-energy campus in the heart of a global community. The universityoffers its more than 15,000 students bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in business, education, engineering, fine arts, health and environment, humanities, sciences and social sciences. UMass Lowell delivers high-quality educational programs, vigorous hands-on learning and personal attention from leading faculty and staff, all of which prepare graduates to be ready for work, for life and for all the world offers. www.uml.edu