Old Wounds Surface In Hidalgo

Global Spectrum is no longer associated with the Dodge Arena in Hidalgo, Texas, but the facility management company is still making news in the city.

The company recently parted ways with International Coliseums Co., which jointly operated the 5,500-seat arena, after ICC and the City of Hidalgo complained that Global Spectrum wasn’t doing its job. ICC attempted to terminate the contract with Global, which in turn filed a temporary injunction.

In the end, the two companies divvied up the facilities they co-managed, with ICC taking Dodge Arena. The details of what was going on behind the scenes was kept mum.

Recently, the city’s Monitor obtained a letter from a division of ICC to Global Spectrum. It was dated December 2003, two months after the grand opening.

The letter, written by Rick Kozuback, CEO of ICC’s Global Entertainment Corp., cited a list of complaints toward Global Spectrum, claiming its staff had a “lack of pride in the building” and there was a lack of “commitment to improving the level of cleanliness within the venue.”

Kozuback added that the city had grave concerns over the “quality, service and pricing of food and beverages offered by the Global Spectrum managed Hidalgo Festivals, Inc.” and expressed concern about accounting practices, namely that there were five incidents in the month prior where the deposit slips didn’t reconcile with the funds deposited. An audit by an outside firm is reportedly under way.

There were also concerns about a “lack of security after performances” and “problems with theft,” the letter stated.

The facility is now managed by GECompass, a joint venture between Global Entertainment Corp. and Global Compass Facility Management Inc., with the former as controlling partner.

“It’s our management company,” Kozuback told the paper. “It makes communications a lot easier. It makes day-to-day decision making a lot easier. You don’t have to worry about a third-party intermediary.”

Global Spectrum COO John Page stressed to Pollstar that his company was not terminated from managing Dodge Arena, and questioned the timing of the newspaper article. He pointed out that the letter was written two months after unlocking the doors to the arena.

“Granted with any startup, you’re going to have some issues and there were some pressures put on us that we didn’t succumb to,” Page said. “We weren’t concerned about some of the items they were concerned about based on areas they were leaning toward. We know how to operate facilities and we know what’s right and wrong, and we chose to go in a different direction.”

He added that Hidalgo Festivals is not a Global Spectrum company; it is a local catering business that was contracted for Dodge Arena.

“The overriding theme here is if you look into some of the comments that were made by Rick Kozuback … it was clear in their minds that they had a course of action that they decided to take,” Page said.

“A lot of these claims were manufactured because we wouldn’t cave into the ethical pressures placed on us by the city. We have an outstanding reputation for customer service and that’s one of the things that gets us accounts. We have a company-wide initiative for customer service which we call ‘How You Doin’?’ which receives high marks in all our facilities.”

— Joe Reinartz