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New GMs for Leeds, Newcastle arenas

Ailsa Oliver and Jen Mitchell are to respectively take over the running of the Metro Radio and First Direct Arenas, both operated by SMG Europe

By IQ on 24 Jan 2017

Ailsa Oliver, Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle, SMG Europe

Oliver pictured at the Metro Radio Arena

Arena operator SMG Europe has appointed new general managers for two of its venues in northern England.

Jen Mitchell becomes GM of the 13,500-capacity First Direct Arena, in Leeds, after eight years at the helm of London entertainment complex Kings Place, while Ailsa Oliver – formerly deputy GM of the First Direct Arena – takes the top job at the Metro Radio Arena (11,000-cap.) in Newcastle.

Oliver begins her new role with immediate effect, replacing Paul Tappenden, who retired last year. Mitchell takes over in Leeds in May, replacing outgoing GM Ben Williams.

“SMG Europe continues to grow its stronghold in the north of the country”

John Sharkey, executive vice-president of SMG Europe, says: “I’m delighted to announce both appointments as SMG Europe continues to grow its stronghold in the north of the country.”

SMG Europe is a wholly owned subsidiary of SMG, the world’s largest venue operator. SMG was sold to private-equity firm Ares Capital for US$3.43 billion, or $14.95 per share, last June.


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