MARKHAM, ON, September 20, 2012 – W. Graeme Roustan, Chairman and CEO of GTA Sports and Entertainment (GTASE), announced today that Global Spectrum, a subsidiary of Comcast-Spectacor and a worldwide leader in venue management, Delaware North Companies, a global leader in hospitality and food service, and Ray Lalonde, an international sports executive with the NBA, NHL and CFL, have joined the Markham-based team of professionals on this extraordinary project.
“Our passion and dedication to the GTA Centre and the City of Markham is reflected by our ability to attract the best talent in the industry and their desire to collaborate on this unique opportunity,” said Roustan. “I am delighted to have two worldwide industry leaders like Global Spectrum and Delaware North, and an accomplished sports executive such as Ray Lalonde, join me on this project. We continue to make significant progress, every day, with a very experienced team of architects, designers, contractors, projects managers, financial advisors and communication experts, ensuring that the GTA Centre will be one of the leading multi-purpose entertainment and sports facilities in the world.”
Global Spectrum has been advising GTASE for the past two years on all initial arena planning matters. They will officially become the manager and operator of the GTA Centre once construction is completed. Global Spectrum currently manages the Wells Fargo Center, home of the NHL`s Philadelphia Flyers and NBA`s 76ers, and is the largest private venue management company in Canada, providing superior operations to several Ontario venues, including the Budweiser Gardens, the GM Centre, the new Mattamy Athletic Centre at Ryerson University, and the WFCU Centre in Windsor. Global Spectrum is owned by Ed Snider, a member of the Executive Committee of the NHL Board of Governors and owner of the Philadelphia Flyers.
Delaware North Companies
Delaware North Companies is one of the largest and most admired privately held hospitality companies in the world. Founded and owned by the Jacobs family for nearly 100 years, it is a global leader in hospitality and food service. Delaware North Companies has revenue exceeding $2.6 billion annually and 55,000 associates serving half a billion customers in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. The company owns and operates TD Garden in Boston and Jeremy Jacobs, its Chairman and CEO owns the Boston Bruins. Delaware North Companies Sportservice is one of the world’s leading food, beverage and retail management companies. Sportservice provides hospitality, gourmet catering and fine dining operations at more than 50 professional sporting venues, entertainment complexes and convention centers in locations in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and Australia. Sportservice is the provider of choice for an impressive client roster including the World Series, the National Hockey League and Major League Baseball’s All-Star games, Stanley Cup Championships and the Olympic Games. For more than 90 years, Sportservice has demonstrated that it knows what it takes to effectively develop, operate and manage multi-faceted kitchens, restaurants, suites, fine dining and retail facilities in order to meet the changing demands of today’s fans. From introducing new healthy, organic food selections and creative cuisine for twists on the traditional fare, Sportservice continues to innovate and enhance the fan experience and venues.
“We are certainly very excited to be part of this amazing project. We have had the opportunity to work closely with many new venues in professional sports and have the highest respect for this group and their world-class plans to build a new arena in the Greater Toronto Area. I have no doubt that the GTA Centre will be one of the best in the world,” said Rick Abramson, President of Delaware North Companies Sportservice.
Ray Lalonde has held senior roles with the NBA in New York, Geneva and Paris, with the NHL’s Montreal Canadiens as Chief Marketing and Sales Officer, and in the CFL as President of the Montreal Alouettes. Lalonde will be the lead advisor on commercial rights and business operations efforts for the GTA Centre.
"I am excited to join Graeme and the dynamic team that form GTASE. I have known Graeme since 2008 when I was with the Montreal Canadiens when he presented a very strong bid to acquire the storied franchise from George Gillett. His leadership of Bauer as Chairman since 2008 and his vision for Markham and the GTA Centre is driven by a passion for excellence. A passion we both share. In my 26 years in college and professional sports, I have never been more excited about the work ahead. The ability to contribute to a project of this magnitude and scope from concept to reality is truly a unique opportunity. The team is committed to building a state-of-the-art facility with cutting-edge technology with one singular focus: our guests. We promise to make the city of Markham and all Canadians extremely proud."