AEG Europe Employ General Manager for New Sports Arena in Turkey

September 21, 2011

AEG Europe have appointed Shane Chalmers as general manager of the Ulker Sports Arena in Istanbul, Turkey, which is due to open later this year.

Chalmers joins AEG Europe from Stadium Management Company (SMC), which operates the Keepmoat Stadium in Doncaster, where he was chief executive.  Under Chalmers’ management SMC opened the new £32m community stadium, working in partnership with the Championship football club Doncaster Rovers and Rugby League club Doncaster Dons.

During his successful time with SMC Shane brought Sir Elton John, Brian Adams, Ronan Keating and many other concerts and events to the stadium, putting it firmly on the sports and entertainment map for the north of England.

Chalmers’ 24 years of facility management experience has seen him open many venues over the years and head up large sports projects such as the high profile role of project manager for Royal Ascot at York in 2005.  Chalmers has also been involved in stadium and facilities consultancy working with Salford Stadium and Conway Bay council for their new stadium plans and most recently the City of York stadium project.

His wealth of industry knowledge and experience in concerts and sports events in multidimensional sports venue management stands him in good stead to open the Ulker Sports Arena for AEG and Yildiz Holdings.

Ahmet Özokur, Managing Director of Aktif Sports Investments and Member of the Board of Directors of Yıldız Holding commented: “The combination of Shane’s venue knowledge and AEG Facilities worldwide expertise will deliver great value to the arena, increase our event bookings, and the implementation of best practices for the arena operations.”

Rod O’Connor, AEG Europe, executive vice president, said: “It’s a pleasure to announce that Shane is joining AEG Europe.  He has a wealth of experience in facilities management which will be invaluable as AEG Europe continues to invest and grow its European facilities assets.  He will have a pivotal role in the launch of the ULKER Sports Arena later this year and will be driving forward the arena’s content of music and sports events.  I’m really looking forward to working with him.”

On leaving SMC to join AEG Europe, Chalmers said:  “I’ve had five fantastic years at SMC and the Keepmoat Stadium.  It’s been a privilege to work with such a committed and dedicated team.

“The decision to leave clearly wasn’t taken lightly.  But the opportunity to work for a business as successful as AEG in Istanbul, Europe’s largest city, was too good to resist.  AEG Europe is a dynamic commercial operation and the ULKER Sports Arena will be the venue that bridges east and west.  I look forward to contributing to AEG Europe’s continued growth and success.”

Once completed the Ulker Sports Arena will be the largest arena in Turkey, with a capacity of 15,000 seated spectators.  It will be home to the Fenerbahce Ulker basketball team, the current champions of the Turkish Basketball League.  The arena will have a varied array of premium seating and amenities, including multiple VIP lounges, luxury suites, bunker lounges and a ‘dine and view’ restaurant overlooking the arena.