SMG in the News: Center stage: Mohegan Sun Arena gets high rank

Originally published in the Times Leader

WILKES-BARRE TWP. — The Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza has been ranked tenth in “Top Stops” in the world for venues with a seating capacity of 5,000 to 10,000 by “Venues Today,” an industry publication.

The report will be published in the July issue of the magazine.

Rebecca Bonnevier, SMG general manager at the arena, said Monday the entire staff and all connected with the arena are honored by the ranking.

“We’re very blessed to work with so many fine promoters,” she said. “That’s why we get to provide so many great shows. We have a tremendous following for our family events.”

According to Stephen Poremba, director of marketing at the arena, the rankings were determined by total gross dollars for events — concerts and family shows only — held at the arena between Oct. 16 and May 15.

Poremba said during that period Mohegan Sun Arena hosted 43 events, including Rascal Flatts, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Shinedown, Gabriel Iglesias, Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus, WWE Supershow, Disney Live Presents Phineas and Ferb Live, ArenaCross, Disney on Ice, Sesame Street Live, Monster Jam, Harlem Globetrotters, and the Wyoming Valley Motorcycle and Powersports Show.

Poremba said the arena also hosted several events not included in the magazine’s rankings, including 40 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins games, three NEPA Home and Garden Shows, Toys for Tots Open Skate, and several trade shows, conventions, and graduations.

“It just goes to show that entertainment is important to Northeastern Pennsylvania and Northeastern Pennsylvania is important to entertainment,” Bonnevier said. “The arena is enjoyed by so many people of all ages in the region.”

The Mohegan Sun Arena is owned by the Luzerne County Convention Center Authority, a government body appointed by Luzerne County. The arena is managed by SMG, a recognized leader in entertainment and sports facilities’ management.

The arena opened on Nov. 13, 1999, and it has a seating capacity of 8,300.

Originally called the Northeastern Pennsylvania Civic Arena, the facility became First Union Arena at Casey Plaza when First Union bank purchased the naming rights.

The name changed to Wachovia Arena at Casey Plaza in 2002 after a corporate merger. In January of 2010, Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs purchased the naming rights, and changed the venue name to Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.

The arena has played host to some of the biggest names in entertainment, including Elton John, Cher, Neil Diamond, Janet Jackson, The Eagles, AC/DC, and Simon & Garfunkel.