The city-owned Los Angeles Convention Center entered a new era Tuesday when the private company hired to run the facility named its new general manager.
Anschutz Entertainment Group, which won a contract to run the center in October, named Brad Gessner to the post. He most recently served as general manager of the 2.6-million-square-foot San Diego Convention Center for six years.
The L.A. Convention Center offers 720,000 square feet of exhibit space, 46,000 square feet in two event halls, and 102,000 of column-free space in a sky-lit meeting room.
"We're excited for this next chapter at the convention center and hope this will bring more conventions and visitors to improve Los Angeles' economy," Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said in a statement.
AEG, which owns the JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotel complex adjacent to its L.A. Live and Staples Center properties in downtown Los Angeles, won a five-year contract to operate the nearby convention center.
The contract provides AEG an annual base fee of $175,000 with the potential to double that if it meets certain targets, such as raising revenues and bookings.
In addition to Gessner, AEG announced six members of his executive team to manage the center.
As part of its effort to boost bookings at the convention center, AEG announced that it will offer convention organizers new choices for electrical, food and audio/visual services.
Managing a convention center is not new to AEG, which already manages such facilities in Hawaii, Qatar, Oman and Australia. AEG also manages sports and entertainment arenas around the world, including Oracle Arena and O.co Coliseum in Oakland and Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh.
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