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New LA Stadium hires four, including AEG’s Castillo Butcher

LA Stadium & Entertainment District at Hollywood Park (LASED), a new venue and entertainment complex in Los Angeles, has made four new high-profile hires as it gears up for opening in 2020.

The 298-acre Hollywood Park will comprise a 70,240-seat stadium and 6,000-seat performance venue, along with 1.5m square feet of office and retail space, a hotel and more than 20 acres of parkland.

It is currently being built in Inglewood, California – also home to Madison Square Garden Company’s the Forum, as well as an in-the-works new basketball arena – by Kroenke Sports & Entertainment (KSE) owner Stan Kroenke.

New to LASED are Christy Castillo Butcher, Kameron Durham, Skarpi Hedinsson and Joe Sesin, who join as senior vice-president of programming, VP of guest experience, CTO and VP of finance and accounting, respectively.

Castillo Butcher most recently served as senior VP of booking and events for AEG’s Staples Center (21,000-cap.) and Microsoft Theatre in central LA. She spent 19 years at Staples Center and played a key role in booking some of the venue’s most successful events, including the 2000 Democratic National Convention, multiple Grammy Awards ceremonies and X Games competitions, and more than 250 sold-out concerts.

“We are assembling a dedicated organisation of talented individuals”

All four will report to LASED managing director Jason Gannon.

“As part of Mr Kroenke’s vision for this global sports and entertainment destination, we are assembling a dedicated organisation of talented individuals,” says Gannon. “To that end, we are thrilled to welcome Christy, Kameron, Skarpi and Joe to our team.

“Each brings a unique expertise that will help us deliver an unparallelled experience for all who visit Hollywood Park.”

Hollywood Park is projected to open in 2020, with American football clubs Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers expected to move in around August. When the two teams move to LA Stadium, where they will play their home games, it will mark the return of major professional sports to Inglewood for the first time since the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Kings (a basketball and ice-hockey team, respectively) left The Forum for Staples Center in 1999.

 


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Pepsi Center agrees to open captioning for concerts

Pepsi Center, the Denver arena sued last year over its lack of scoreboard captions for the hard of hearing, has agreed to demands to provide open captioning of all aural content at sports matches and concerts.

In a proposed consent decree submitted to the US district court for Colorado, arena owner/operator Kroenke Arena Company agreed to provide open – or always-on – captioning for all content spoken over the arena’s PA system, whether live or pre-recorded.

The class-action lawsuit’s lead plaintiff, deaf woman Kirstin Kurlander, claims the lack of captioning on the 18,000-cap. Pepsi Center’s scoreboards is not in compliance with the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

“Arena operators can be reasonably certain that the settlement will prompt deaf fans at other venues to request more open captioning”

According to Ogletree Deakins disability lawyer David Raizman, the consent degree, which is still awaiting final approval, requires the arena to provide open captioning for “all aural (spoken or heard) content at games played and concerts held at the arena”.

Writing on the Ogletree website, Raizman says that while “the idea that aural content must be effectively communicated to arena fans is not new, “the novelty in this proposed consent decree is that it requires open captioning (in four locations in the corners of the arena) as a required means of providing such communication, and that it covers all aural content, including, for example, lyrics to prerecorded songs.”

The agreement could potential set a precedent for other US arenas who do not provide open captioning, writes Raizman. “[A]rena operators can be reasonably certain that the settlement will prompt deaf fans at other venues to request more open captioning, and perhaps even a few legal claims for the failure to provide such open captioning,” he says.

 


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