CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — On Wednesday, the City of Corpus Christi announced OVG360, a division of Oak View Group, will begin overseeing management of the American Bank Center starting July 1, 2022.
“This is about saving taxpayer money, putting taxpayer money into better use, and really reprogramming, and more aggressively programming, the great venue for our community,” said Corpus Christi City Manager Peter Zanoni.
Locally, OVG currently manages the Ortiz Center and the Richard Borchard Fairgrounds, and on the state level, the organization manages several facilities, including the new Moody Center on the campus of University of Texas at Austin, and Jones AT&T Stadium at Texas Tech University in Lubbock.
“We thought to have better programs, better customer experiences at our facility, bring more venues, really activate and realize and utilize that great facility that we have, bringing in somebody who has a presence locally and statewide is the right thing to do,” Zanoni said.
OVG360 is taking over the contract from ASM Global.
“ASM Global agreed to end their contract and Oak View Group would pick it up. It will be about a 15-month contract initially,” Zanoni said, with the contract expiring at the end of September 2023.
Zanoni hopes the introduction of OVG360, with its ties statewide, as well as nationally, would help avoid an issue Corpus Christi has: performers visiting the larger cities in Texas and not coming to the Coastal Bend.
“Oak View Group knows that, and has strategies to have them come here second or first, in Corpus Christi, and then go to other parts of the state,” he said.
Zanoni said performance concerns were what led to the city negotiating bringing in OVG360 to replace ASM Global.
“There have been several issues along the way, where we think we can do better with a new operator. There hasn’t been one isolated incident, per se, it’s really been performance-based on feedback we’ve received,” he said. “We’re using a state provision that allows us to select an operator without going through a bidding process.”
Current contracts, including the IceRays, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders basketball teams, Buccaneer Days, and future performers, will be unaffected by the change in management.
Zanoni also expects most, to all, of the current 35 full-time ABC employees to remain.
“OVG has said in their previous transitions they’ve done before, generally in excess of 90 percent of employees,” he said. “The current employees are like the owner’s manual, and generally you don’t toss that when you’re trying to figure out how to do something.”
The month of June will serve as a transition period from ASM Global to OVG360.