“We are very excited to have Chris join our SMG team in Oklahoma City,” said Doug Thornton, SMG’s Executive Vice President of Stadiums and Arenas in a release. “He is an accomplished arena manager who has deep experience and relationships in our industry. He will be a great addition to our operation there.”
Semrau was most recently the Assistant General Manager of the Denny Sanford Premier Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. He relocated to Sioux Falls in 2014 to open the new facility and oversaw all Premier Center arena business operations relating to booking, marketing, sales, event services, media relations and premium seating. Before opening the Premier Center, Semrau was part of the senior management team which opened and managed the Ralph Engelstad Arena in Grand Forks, North Dakota.
“We are very fortunate that we are able to add someone of Chris’ caliber to our team in Oklahoma City,” said Leonard Bonacci, SMG’s Regional Vice President in a release. “Chris has the knowledge and expertise needed to continue delivering on our commitment to creating unforgettable experiences that our guests in Oklahoma City have come to know and expect.”
News of Semrau’s hiring comes alongside the announcement that SMG has been approved for an additional five-year contract to operate Chesapeake Energy Arena and Cox Convention Center. The Oklahoma City Council unanimously voted to approve the renewal that will also allow for a continuation at the end of the agreement.
“The City of Oklahoma City is very pleased to renew SMG’s management agreement for the Chesapeake Energy Arena and Cox Convention Center,” said Tom Anderson, Executive Manager Special Projects Office of the City Manager in a release. “SMG management and staff are top-notch professionals, with proven success advancing Oklahoma City’s quality of life and economic expansion.”
SMG has operated the two facilities since 1999 and will take part in the new convention center opening in 2020.
“The SMG team are second to none. Their expertise and dedication provides exceptional service to our guests, resident tenants and concert promoters. Working hand-in-hand with the NBA Oklahoma City Thunder and their close ties with promoters, agents and artist management, SMG helps create memories for our guests that last a lifetime,” Anderson added.