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SBJ/April 5 - 11, 2004/Facilities
Global, IFG to operate new Glendale stadium
Published April 5, 2004
The partnership of Global Spectrum and International Facilities Group secured its first NFL account last week when the Arizona Tourism and Sports Authority selected the two facility management firms to operate the new Arizona Cardinals stadium in Glendale.
Global Spectrum, the lead partner in the joint venture, will manage the $355.3 million stadium and work with IFG to prepare the building for its 2006 opening. The authority previously hired IFG in a consultant's role to help design the venue.
Cards’ new stadium will open in 2006.
The partnership between the Philadelphia and suburban Chicago firms submitted the lowest fee to manage the stadium, beating bids from SMG, the operator of a league-high five NFL stadiums, and AEG Facilities.
The fee has not been made final, said authority spokesman Brad Parker.
"Our bid was very competitive," said Global Spectrum Chairman Peter Luukko. "I think it was a more attractive financial offer because we were willing to invest in the facility. That was the upside long-term. But the board informed us that its decision was not based strictly on economics."
Global Spectrum/IFG committed to spending $500,000 to develop 110,000 square feet of unfinished space underneath the seating areas in the stadium, which could be used for trade shows and meetings, Luukko said.
Parker said the plan for that unused area was important because metropolitan Phoenix is striving to boost its profile as a destination for major conventions.
"We're the fifth-largest city in the country, but are ranked 36th in the amount of trade show and convention space available," he said.
Global Spectrum's lack of experience in managing an NFL building actually played to its advantage, the authority's Business Operations Oversight Team said in presenting its final recommendation.
The group reported: "We believe that this factor is a plus, in that Global Spectrum will be seeking content to place in just one large facility — ours. ... In their own words, we would become their showcase account."
The recommendation did not acknowledge IFG's familiarity with the project as a consultant early in the design process. IFG also consulted for Glendale Arena across the street, home of the NHL Coyotes.
Luukko acknowledged that IFG's "Phoenix presence" helped its cause.
"Did it put us over the top? No, I don't think so," said Michael Reinsdorf, an IFG managing partner. "This thing was won due to Global Spectrum and its expertise managing facilities all over the country and its ability to stage big events."
The authority traveled to Philadelphia in late February to observe Global Spectrum's operations at Wachovia Center and Wachovia Spectrum.