OKLAHOMA CITY (CelebrityAccess) – Venue management company SMG announced the hiring of Chris Semrau as the new General Manager for the Chesapeake Energy Arena and Cox Convention Center, Oklahoma City, OK.
The news of Semrau’s appointment comes just days after the Oklahoma City Council unanimously approved a five-year extension of the city’s management agreement with SMG to operate the two venues. SMG has operated both facilities since 1999.
“We are very fortunate that we are able to add someone of Chris’ caliber to our team in Oklahoma City,” said Leonard Bonacci, SMG’s Regional Vice President. “Chris has the knowledge and expertise needed to continue delivering on our commitment to creating unforgettable experiences that our guests in Oklahoma City have come to know and expect.”
Semrau comes to his new gig after serving as the Assistant General Manager of the Denny Sanford Premier Center in Sioux Falls, SD. He relocated to Sioux Falls in 2014 to open the new facility and oversaw all Premier Center arena business operations relating to booking, marketing, sales, event services, media relations and premium seating.
While Semrau was at the Premier Center, the venue was selected as a finalist for an Academy of Country Music Awards for Venue of the Year (medium capacity) three times (2016, 2017, 2018), and Semrau himself was selected as a finalist for Venue Executive of the Year (2016) by the International Entertainment Buyers Association (IEBA).
Semrau’s experience also includes a role on the senior management team which opened and managed the Ralph Engelstad Arena in Grand Forks, ND.
Semrau attended the University of North Dakota and received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Marketing.