AEG deal results in new name, more events for World Arena

world-arena-aegThe Colorado Springs World Arena and the Anschutz Entertainment Group have inked a deal that will result in renaming the landmark venue, as well as bringing new events to town.

The entertainment and sports venue will revert to its former moniker, Broadmoor World Arena, representatives from the arena and AEG Facilities announced Tuesday.

AEG acquired naming rights as a result of a 10-year venue services agreement to provide event booking and sponsorship sales.

“In today’s competitive entertainment environment, associating the World Arena with The Broadmoor, a five-star property known for quality and service, and AEG Facilities, the powerhouse of sports and entertainment, is a venue manager’s dream come true,” said Dot Lischick, the arena’s only general manager since it opened in January 1998.

Ownership and management will be retained by the Colorado Springs World Arena nonprofit created in 1998, when the center was built. Lischick said that there will be no change in staffing as a result of the agreement, and that the World Arena will continue to manage the 2,000-seat Pikes Peak Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Colorado Springs.

“We’re staying the same,” she said. “What’s new is old and what’s old is new.”

The agreement allows the World Arena access to a network of services that strings together venues worldwide, including the Staples Center in Los Angeles, the Sprint Center in Kansas City and the Colosseum at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas.

“Colorado Springs has always been a passionate, dynamic sports and entertainment market,” said Bob Newman, president of AEG Facilities. “The Broadmoor World Arena in Colorado Springs is part of an elite network of venues … and you have our commitment that all of the resources in that network are going to go toward increasing the level of events here, increasing the level of service and amenities, and anything else we can bring to the table.

“We’re excited to be part of that.”

The press conference was also attended by Luc Robitaille, president of business operations for the Los Angeles Kings hockey team, and Joe Sakic, executive vice president of hockey operations for the Colorado Avalanche. The team executives announced that the World Arena is scheduled to host a National Hockey League preseason game at 7 p.m. Oct. 2 — a first in the building’s history.

“It’s great to be back here in this building,” Sakic said, recalling his playing days when the Avalanche brought their preseason training camp to the World Arena several times. “We’re really looking forward to this game.”

Although the announcement claimed to be restoring the arena’s “original” name, the initial venue adjacent to The Broadmoor hotel actually was known as the Broadmoor Ice Palace from the time of its opening in 1938 until around 1960, when it became the Broadmoor World Arena. Built by Broadmoor founder Spencer Penrose on the site of what is now the Broadmoor’s West Tower, the original structure was demolished in 1994 to make way for a $27 million expansion of the hotel, including the West Tower.

The $58.8 million replacement venue at 3185 Venetucci Blvd. was opened in January 1998 under the new name, Colorado Springs World Arena. The main arena has fixed seating for 7,300 (more on the ice level for concerts) and the complex also features an Ice Hall with two training rinks for figure skating and hockey. In 2012, the Ice Hall was awarded an official designation as an U.S. Olympic training site for figure skating (a seven-year agreement).

“This agreement with AEG is wonderful for the World Arena, for The Broadmoor and certainly our community,” said Steve Bartolin, president and CEO of The Broadmoor. “I love the full circle of history, reattaching our name to the World Arena.”

Anschutz Corp., which is based in Denver and owned by Colorado billionaire Philip Anschutz, purchased The Broadmoor in 2011 and acquired The Gazette through its Clarity Media Group in 2012.

“I look forward to utilizing the added resources and additional value that our partners will provide,” Lischick said. “But more importantly I am excited that the Colorado Springs community will reap the benefit of more world-class sports and entertainment.”