Oak View Group has hired Detroit Red Wings and Tigers executive Chris Granger to be CEO of its growing global venue management arm, OVG Facilities.
The announcement comes days after news that OVG would merge with hospitality provider Spectra. At the time, Oak View Group CEO Tim Lieweke described the move as an attempt to compete with ASM Global, a venue management firm that Lieweke called, “the dominant player in the business today.” OVG Facilities, launched in 2015, currently has a presence in roughly 40 venues, while Spectra has recently worked with some 320 facilities.
Granger is also set to oversee OVG’s media and conferences division, as well as the OVG Arena Alliance, which helps 32 member arenas book events and commercialize fully.
“He is like us, dreaming for what we could be as an industry and thinking outside the box,” Lieweke said in a statement. “He believes that this is the time for us to be bold, to be entrepreneurial, and to grow this industry.”
In Detroit, Granger was group president of sports and entertainment for Ilitch Holdings, where he managed business operations for the two major sport teams as well as the operations at their venues and other area holdings. He previously served as the president of the Sacramento Kings following time at the NBA and Disney.
Oak View Group was founded in 2015 and has made a name for itself working on arena projects ranging from Seattle’s Climate Pledge Arena to Manchester’s Co-op Live in the U.K.