Global Spectrum’s Split Decision

The partnership between U.K.-based NEC Group and U.S. facility management company Global Spectrum is up and running with the announcement that it will manage the new Spaladium Arena in Split, Croatia.

The new firm, Global Spectrum Europe, was set up two months ago to get a slice of the European venues market.

“It’s good to have signed a contract so early in the partnership,” NEC Group managing director Phil Mead told Pollstar.

He said Global Spectrum Europe development manager Richard Spencer is looking for other opportunities in mainland Europe, but getting the 12,000-capacity Spaladium up and running is the main priority.

NEC Group chief exec Paul Thandi said the early win of the Spaladium Arena contract underlines the new company’s credentials and its joint capability.

Global Spectrum Europe will manage the Spaladium Arena for Sportski Grad TPN, which is a consortium of two construction companies – Konstructor and Dalekovod – and civic engineering group IGH.

Sportski Grad has a 30-year contract with the local government to manage and develop the Spaladium Centar, a surrounding development that will also include an office complex and parking space.

The arena, which will open Dec. 27, has eight luxury suites, 500 club box seats and two club lounges.
Between Jan. 16 and Feb. 1, it will be one of the four Croatian arenas to host the 2009 World Men’s Handball Championships.

Located in the heart of Split, which is Croatia’s second-largest city, the Spaladium development will be the largest sports resort in the area and its business tower will be the tallest office building in the region.

Mead said the arena is built with handball in mind but the design can easily lend itself to live music shows. He said he expects it will soon be a regular stop on the European touring circuit.

As well as the management contract, Comcast-Spectacor – Global Spectrum’s parent company – has won two other contracts at the new arena.

Its Ovations Food Services will handle all food and beverage services, including suite catering, restaurant operations and concession stands.

Front Row Marketing Services will sell naming rights, luxury suites, premium seating and advertising.