Citizens Business Bank Arena

Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, built and is owned by the City of Ontario and is operated by AEG, one of the nation’s top entertainment presenters. (File Photo)

By Neil Nisperos, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
Posted: 06/01/16 – 2:16 PM PDT |

ONTARIO >> Management of the Citizens Business Bank Arena is switching from AEG Facilities to Ontario Convention Center operator SMG, officials announced Wednesday.

AEG, which has operated the arena since it opened in 2008, and the city of Ontario agreed to part ways, effective July 1, AEG spokesman Michael Roth said in a statement.

AEG also owns the Ontario Reign hockey team. Roth said it’s letting go of managing the facility to focus on the American Hockey League team.

“Since the opening of the Citizens Bank Arena in 2008, we have had a valuable and mutually beneficial partnership with the city,” Roth said. “AEG was instrumental in the westward movement of the American Hockey League and our focus going forward is on the Reign and their continued success. As the defending Calder Cup champions, their first season has been a tremendous success.”

Councilman Alan D. Wapner said through a statement it was always the City Council’s vision to have one source managing city-owned facilities.

“This action will provide a synergy to enhance both venues with one team to provide strategic marketing, staffing, sales and a joint calendar,” Wapner said.

“SMG has done a tremendous job for the city of Ontario operating the Ontario Convention Center, increasing the number of events and increasing room nights,” Councilman Jim W. Bowman said in a statement. “We have confidence in the leadership team and together we look forward to continuing to make Citizens Business Bank Arena the premier entertainment destination for the region.”

AEG officials say they want the Reign to stay in Ontario, but it’s unclear whether the city or the new management would allow it.

“We at AEG plan for the Ontario Reign to be the home team for a long time,” Roth said. “We feel the fan base is fantastic and has showed great support for our first AHL season, and hopefully, I’m sure, we’ll help propel the team as we run for a second Calder Cup.”

To read expanded article, click here.