Did Global Spectrum Want To Split?

Croatian newspaper reports suggest Global Spectrum Europe didn’t run the Spaladium Arena in Split as well as it could have because it wanted out of the management contract and was happy to settle for the severance pay.

Croatian Times is reporting that the firm would cite a bad market situation to explain the results. It reports Spaladium employees saying it’s been doing a poor job on purpose – to demonstrate that management of the arena is unprofitable.

They say arrangements to book international acts including Britney Spears and Enrique Iglesias fell through because of an excessively high hall rent of euro 40,000 ($56,935) per day. The employees are said to be angry because they fear they will lose their jobs.

Global Spectrum Europe director Phil Mead says the company absolutely refutes any speculation that it entered into the management of the arena with anything other than the intention that it be operated as efficiently and successfully as possible.

The company, a partnership between U.S. facility manager Global Spectrum and the U.K.’s NEC Group, agreed to manage Spaladium for the next 10 years.

Global Spectrum is part of Philadelphia-based sports and entertainment firm Comcast-Spectator.

The Split deal was announced in January and was the first contract the new company was awarded. It’s run for seven months and the Croatian papers are estimating Global Spectrum Europe will receive a severance payment of about 4 million kunas ($784,956).

Local media reports claim the company was being paid $100,000 a month to run the venue.

The venue management is expected to be taken over by Sportski Grad (or Sport City), a consortium consisting of three construction companies – IGH, Konstruktor Inzenjering and Dalekovod.