OVG Moves Into Mobile, Raleigh Convention Center Prepares to Grow

May 28, 2024

Two convention and event venues in the southeast recently announced a new partnership and preparations for the kick off of a long-awaited expansion project. Here’s our latest roundup of venue news to keep you up to date.

OVG Makes Moves in Mobile

The City of Mobile, Ala. approved plans to upgrade its meeting and event venue offerings with the help of venue development, management and hospitality company Oak View Group (OVG) and live entertainment company Live Nation.

Why it matters: In March, Mobile City Mayor Sandy Stimpson announced plans to demolish the aging Mobile Civic Center and partner with OVG and Live Nation to build a new, state-of-the-art civic arena. The contract approved by the Mobile City Council also enlists OVG’s expertise to operate and enhance two of Mobile’s other venues: the Arthur Outlaw Convention Center and the historic Saenger Theater


The vision: As part of the agreement with the City of Mobile, OVG will prioritize the performance of both venues, invest in improvements at the facilities and establish a maintenance fund from a dedicated percentage of ticket sales and bookings. 

What they are saying: “We are thrilled the city has entrusted Oak View Group as its partner to reinvigorate the Mobile Convention Center and Saenger Theater,” said Greg O'Dell, president of venue management, OVG360.

He continued, “Our priority is managing a smooth transition process [and our team is meeting] with the existing staff as part of our onboarding process to ensure no disruption of service for our customers and guests. Additionally, we look forward to meeting with all customers, current and new, as we will elevate the guest experience and support the surrounding community.” 

Raleigh Convention Center Expansion One Step Closer to Breaking Ground

In April, the Raleigh Convention Center (RCC) announced the completion of its expansion construction and design team via two additional partnerships. 

Why it matters: The expansion will grow RCC’s footprint by another city block, with sister venue Red Hat Amphitheater shifting slightly southward and an installation of pedestrian bridges. The expansion is slated to add 80,000 square feet of flexible space and 30 additional breakout rooms to the RCC, and to support its visitors, Omni Hotels & Resorts is set to open a 550-room hotel nearby in 2027.


Done deal: Clancy & Theys, Skanska, D.A. Everett Joint Venture acting as construction manager joins international architecture firm TVS and local partner RATIO Design to design and build the project, while the team of Cumming Group and their MWBE partner Cate Services will act as owner’s representative.

Looking ahead: Red Hat Amphitheater’s move is expected to be complete in 2026 and the RCC expansion in 2028, according to RCC officials.

What they are saying: “Our vision for this expansion is to create a space that can be something for everyone – welcoming, accessible, smart, and convenient,” said Kerry Painter, executive manager of The Complex, Raleigh’s group of convention and entertainment venues that include the RCC, Red Hat Amphitheater, Martin Marietta Center for the Performing Arts and the Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek.

Have some corporate event-related venue news to share? Reach out to lisa.savas@informa.com and danica.tormohlen@informa.com.


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