United Center | Vice President of Booking and Event Operations; Chicago, IL

The VP, Booking & Event Operations will help build and cultivate relationships with industry professionals, promoters, agencies, and talent. A focus for this position will be on the development of new and unique event opportunities and the expanded use of our campus.  The VP will contribute to the development of the strategic vision of the entire lifecycle event experience at the United Center campus, from initial event acquisition/creation, scheduling, operational plan development, team deployment, and event execution.  The VP will be the main driver of the process to fully maximize the opportunities of the United Center campus while providing first-class service to all clients, from large concerts to corporate/community events.

This individual will embody the values of the United Center and be expected to provide strong leadership and guidance to help maximize the professional potential of the staff, creating a culture of teamwork, support and passion for the sports & entertainment industry.

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Background

The United Center, home of the Chicago Blackhawks and Chicago Bulls, is the largest arena in North America seating over 20,000 for sporting events and concerts.

Since opening in 1994, the United Center has welcomed over 55 million guests and has hosted over 200 events each year. Amongst the top arenas in the country, the United Center has hosted events ranging from the 1996 Democratic National Convention to worldwide tours like The Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Paul McCartney, U2, and The Who.  The United Center has also played host to numerous NCAA events to include the Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament, Men’s NCAA Basketball Tournament, Men’s NCAA Frozen Four as well as non-music and sporting events to include Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus, Disney on Ice and Cirque de Soleil.

Owners Jerry Reinsdorf and Rocky Wirtz continue to invest in the United Center and the developing area which is situated on Chicago’s near westside. Most recently, the United Center has taken on a $200M capital renovation program that has included the following additions:

  • 2014 – The Advocate Center – a 16,000 sq ft practice facility for the Chicago Bulls
  • 2016 – The United Center East Addition – an extension of the arena which includes:
    • 20,000 sq ft atrium which serves as a unique multi-use for a variety of special event functions
    • 120,000 sq ft of office space that serves as home for United Center, Bulls, Blackhawks, At Your Service and Levy employees
    • 10,000 sq ft retail space where fans and visitors can find Bulls and Blackhawks apparel – coined the “Madhouse Teamstore” – provides an interactive retail experience specific to both teams and Chicago
    • 10,000 sq ft state of the art Box Office – featuring concierge type customer service to assist all fans attending United Center events
  • 2017 – MB Ice Arena – Chicago Blackhawks Community Rink – a 125,000 sq ft dual rink building that serves as the Blackhawks home practice facility and will host youth and community hockey events, public skates and elite level hockey tournaments in addition to fundraising and special events.

The United Center is also in the process of a 5-year renovation plan which will continue to deliver newly renovated spaces within the arena to include new clubs, bars, restaurants and activation spaces for additional programming and special event use that will add to the overall fan experience.

These additions have evolved the United Center and the surrounding properties into a campus environment, well positioned for continued growth.  The vision of the United Center is to not only be a world class arena, but to further evolve the United Center campus an it’s surrounding facilities into a year-round destination.

Any interested candidates should contact Turnkey Search directly. Contacting the United Center will only delay consideration of your qualifications.

Position Overview

The VP, Booking & Event Operations will help build and cultivate relationships with industry professionals, promoters, agencies, and talent. A focus for this position will be on the development of new and unique event opportunities and the expanded use of our campus.  The VP will contribute to the development of the strategic vision of the entire lifecycle event experience at the United Center campus, from initial event acquisition/creation, scheduling, operational plan development, team deployment, and event execution.  The VP will be the main driver of the process to fully maximize the opportunities of the United Center campus while providing first-class service to all clients, from large concerts to corporate/community events.

This individual will embody the values of the United Center and be expected to provide strong leadership and guidance to help maximize the professional potential of the staff, creating a culture of teamwork, support and passion for the sports & entertainment industry.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Work with ownership and senior management to maintain the United Center as a leader in the sports & entertainment industry, leveraging industry experience and knowledge to support the United Center’s overall strategic vision.
  • Lead, develop, and mentor a diverse and talented team of new and experienced industry professionals in the areas of Event Operations, Event Sales & Marketing, Box Office and Booking.
  • Lead scheduling and programming for the United Center and associated special event spaces
  • Leverage, initiative and cultivate relationships with promoters, agencies and talent to grow additional bookings within the entertainment industry
  • Oversee and create prospective events utilizing United Center assets; drive the development of asset positioning within the local, regional and national marketplace.
  • Lead and manage the booking, building, marketing and management of all United Center events, working with other departments both horizontally and vertically to cohesively develop plans and procedures to ensure for seamless activations within the arena and campus.
  • Strategically grow revenue through bookings and event activations around available assets within the United Center Campus
  • Establish standards of service that will help benchmark and manage overall booking and event operation group
  • Establish key performance indicators for staff and measure success against goals and objectives
  • Create ongoing dialogue with both internal and external stakeholders and industry leaders to expand, promote and strengthen United Center’s position within the industry
  • Streamline booking and event operations, identifying opportunity for growth, efficiencies and increase ability of the United Center to deliver high level of service and execution
  • Manage relationships with local unions to ensure successful event operations

Qualifications

  • 7 -10 + years of booking and event operations experience in a large scale multi-tenant environment
  • Demonstrable passion and success in leading and developing internal teams and individuals.
  • Talented at cultivating and building relationships
  • Ability to creatively identify revenue generating opportunities
  • Talented communicator and strong ability to bring multiple departments/disciplines together to accomplish a goal
  • Ability to work well in a team-orientated, fast-paced, event driven environment
  • Ability to work nights, weekends and holidays to support event needs as required
  • Proficiency in decision making, analysis and strategic thinking
  • Ability to be a value-added partner with peers and senior executives
  • Proven ability to concurrently perform multiple duties on strict deadlines under pressure
  • Ability to solve problems and resolve conflict
  • Passion for working with individuals and groups to achieve a collective goal
  • Creative in nature, willing to take calculated risks
  • Analytical with ability to make decisions and recommendations
  • Energy and enthusiasm for people and live entertainment experiences
2018-05-08T13:25:02+00:00

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