Doug Thornton On SMG And The Oakland Coliseum
My friend Doug Thornton, the man who saved the Louisiana Superdome, and who's SMG's Senior Vice President for Stadiums, sat down with me to talk about how the Coliseum has progressed since he came on the scene representing SMG in this capacity, and about the competition with AEG (known for developing LA Live) to run the Coliseum in the future - a brass knuckles showdown.
Doug's home is New Orleans, but, and in recognizing his years of expertise and cool under pressure, SMG expanded his role to include their stadiums they manage, and that includes the Coliseum. In our talk, Doug was able to readily list the accomplishments of SMG at the Oakland Coliseum. "Things are going well at the Coliseum. Over the years, we have been able to decrease the operating losses by about 3-and-a-half-million dollars a year to the (Oakland Alameda County Coliseum Authority), by increasing our revenues from concerts and non-sports team bookings - about 1.8 million over that period."
Overall, Doug says that SMG has been able to maintain the "delicate balance" of increasing revenues and decreasing costs without harming the overall quality of service and of the experience at the Oakland Coliseum. As I write this, Doug's just hours away from an interview to present SMG's case for having the Coliseum Authority retain it to manage the facility.
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