AUSTIN, TX (CelebrityAccess) — Venue management and consultancy Oak View Group bolstered its executive leadership team for Moody Center, a new, privately-funded arena currently under construction in Austin, Texas.
The new hires at Moody include Michael Owens, who was named as Vice President of Booking. In his new role, Owens will oversee planning and booking of live entertainment and sporting events at the new arena.
Prior to his new role at Moody Center, Owens served as assistant general manager of Chesapeake Energy Arena, an NBA venue in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. His experience also includes stints as director of live entertainment for Canucks Sports & Entertainment at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia as director of booking for BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and as general manager at Gillioz Theatre in Springfield, Missouri.
“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to join this executive leadership team for Oak View Group in Austin. This city has music in its DNA and this arena will be known worldwide as the place to perform. Austin’s unique culture, combined with the culture of OVG is unmatched in the industry and I’m looking forward to being a part of it.” Owens said.
OVG also announced the hire of Veronica Cantu as Vice President of Marketing. Cantu, who comes to Moody with more than 18 years in the sports and entertainment industry in sales and marketing, will be responsible for public relations, marketing, and promotion for the arena and events.
“I am honored and privileged to be able to work alongside some of the greatest visionaries and most influential players in the music, sports, and entertainment industry. The live music capital of the world will have a first-class venue to celebrate the most notable artists and powerful brand in collegiate sports. I am thrilled to be a part of this amazing project and can’t wait to see the excitement it brings to Austin,” said Cantu.
As well, OVG hired Tim Vogt as Vice President of Arena Operations and he will oversee the construction and completion of Moody Center and will manage venue operations, maintenance, information technology, and event production once the arena is up and running. Vogt brings extensive experience to his new gig, including executive-level roles at Infinite Energy Arena (formerly Gwinnett Civic Center Arena) in Duluth, Georgia, Enterprise Center in St Louis, Missouri, BOK Center, and Cox Business Convention Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Pensacola Bay Center in Pensacola, Florida.
“Very seldom do you get the opportunity to be a part of a project this special, especially when you get to work with the best people in our industry. I am thankful and excited to be a part of Moody Center project and to join Oak View Group,” Vogt said of his new post.
Joining Moody Center with more than 25 years of industry experience, Ansel Gardiner has been named as Director of Finance. Gardiner comes to Austin from the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles, California but his C.V. also includes senior roles at Tucson Convention Center in Tucson, Arizona, Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Florida.
“To be a part of the startup of any new venue is amazing. Add to that the unique partnership between OVG, Live Nation, C3, and the largest college brand in the United States, the University of Texas, made this opportunity a once in a lifetime opportunity,” Gardiner said.
All four new hires will start in their new positions immediately, and report to Jeff Nickler, senior vice president of OVG Austin and Moody Center general manager, and Casey Sparks, vice president of OVG Austin and assistant general manager.
Scheduled to open in early 2022, the 15,000-seat arena at The University of Texas at Austin campus will be built for concerts and live entertainment but will also serve as home court for Texas men’s and women’s basketball games, graduations, as well as university, community, high school, and other events for the Austin community.