‘A lot of tough times’ ahead for Van Andel Arena, DeVos Place as 2021 approaches - mlive.com

tagsModern School Desk

File Picture-Overlooking Grand Rapids, looking west from Van Andel Arena, BOB and Courtyard by Marriott. (TJ Hamilton | MLive.com)

Greater Rapids, Michigan-Van Andel Arena, DeVos Place, and DeVos Performance Hall were bright in January last year.

The just-concluded 29 years is one of the most successful years for the city's three venues. As general manager Richard MacKeigan looks at the calendar for the coming year, he has reason to be optimistic about 2020.

Big guys like Elton John have also been booked for Van Andel Arena. The number of registrations for the DeVos Place conference is high. Ticket sales for theater, music performances and other events in the DeVos Performance Hall are stable.

"We are expected to have a brilliant year," said MacKeigan, regional general manager of ASM Global, the company that operates and manages the three venues.

Then, in March, the coronavirus pandemic.

Suddenly, what was expected to be a glorious year began to look very different. Governor Gretchen Whitmer (Gretchen Whitmer) put forward a series of executive orders aimed at slowing the spread of infectious respiratory diseases, but almost forced all venues to close. There are people everywhere where concerts, conferences, plays and sports games are cancelled or postponed.

This has been the case ever since, because the epidemic has been delayed month by month.

McGeegan said that his heart must first thank those who have lost friends and family due to COVID-19. However, when asked about the pandemic from a business perspective, he said that "the fun is definitely lost from the industry."

He said: "The fun, people and life in the venues are completely exhausted."

It also brings financial challenges.

These three venues are owned by the Grand Rapids-Kent County Conference/Arena Authority (CAA). The public agency originally planned to have a surplus of $2 million by the end of fiscal year 2020, but it was balanced. The fact that the venue is no longer in operation also forced ASM Global and its contracted partners to take about 70 employees, accounting for about two-thirds of its total employees.

CAA expects an operating loss of $6 million for the 2021 fiscal year ending June 30.

Although Van Andel Arena, De Vos Square and De Vos Performance Hall have been closed, they are not without events.

CAA approved a capital expenditure of US$4 million to improve the site. These include a flyrail system above the stage of the DeVos performance hall, which is used to move the stage back and forth between stages during a theater performance. Other improvements include replacing the upper bowl seat of Van Andel Arena.

CAA also received approximately US$2 million in federal coronavirus relief funds to fund health and safety improvements at the venues. These improvements, such as non-contact bathroom installations and improved air purification systems, aim to make the venue more palatable to customers after the country allows them to reopen.

MacKeigan said: “The authorities have always been very forward thinking and have adopted the way that these businesses (theatre, arenas and convention centers) will return to the market. I agree with this 100%.” In this difficult one mid-year.

MacKeigan said it makes sense to maintain and upgrade when all three venues are closed.

He said that if these upgrades are carried out in a typical year, then they will undermine the performance plan. For example, the installation of a new flying track system in the DeVos performance hall will require a summer vacation of at least two months in order to take two consecutive summer vacations.

MacKeigan said: “By executing some of these projects, we were forced to close due to COVID, thereby saving business interruption costs.” “So, theoretically, you can actually get a premium from capital.”

Although many people see the distribution of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine as a turning point in the pandemic, McKeegan said that 2021 will continue to pose a challenge to his industry. Currently, the vaccine is only available to front-line medical staff, and residents of long-term care facilities are the next group eligible to use the vaccine.

The general public is expected to wait until spring to use this drug.

McGiggan said: "I think the question is how quickly everyone has to get vaccinated, how quickly everyone is satisfied with what we know." "I do think it will be one minute, and I think everyone It will take a while to return to the original level."

He added: "I think we still have to go through a lot of difficult times for our industry."

He pointed out that 65% of tours (such as concerts) cancelled due to the pandemic are expected to be rescheduled after major events are offered again.

MacKeigan said that if the vaccine proves to be effective and the Whitmer State government relaxes restrictions on indoor gatherings, these venues may begin to hold reduced-scale events in mid-to-late 2021.

He said that if public health experts sign and agree, sports events may be held in the arena, with no spectators or limited spectators. Art tenants of DeVos performance halls (Great Falls Symphony Orchestra, Broadway Great Falls, Opera Great Falls and Great Falls Ballet) may also scale down the program schedule.

The same scene with programming but limited capacity may have events on stage.

MacKeigan said: "I continue to be invincible, because I know that our industry will usher in great development." "But I also know that I will be there for another year."

Note to readers: If you purchase goods through one of our affiliate links, we may charge a commission.

Registering or using this website means that we accept



(Each update is 1/1/21).



Advance Local Media LLC. all rights reserved(


Unless you have obtained advance local's prior written permission, you may not copy, distribute, transmit, cache, or otherwise use the materials on this website.

Applicable to all content that you upload or otherwise submit to this website.

Contact Us
  • Maggie Kwan
  • +86 757 2363 2953
  • +86 139 2480 2689
  • +86 757 2387 9469
  • info@fumeiseating.com
  • +86 139 2480 2689