Oak View Group (OVG), the global venue development, advisory, and investment company for both the sports and live entertainment industries, recently announced that Kenneth Gaber has joined the company to lead its hospitality division, as president, food services, OVG Facilities. Based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Gaber starts his new role effective immediately and will report to Chris Granger, CEO, Oak View Group Facilities.
With more than 20 years of experience, Gaber will lead the food and beverage line of business within OVG Facilities, setting and overseeing the culinary, technology, and operational strategy for the division. Gaber’s appointment follows Oak View Group’s acquisition of Spectra, one of the industry’s leading food and beverage and hospitality providers, to create a leading full-service live events company.
Granger commented, “Since completing the acquisition of Spectra, bringing in talented, innovative, values-driven people to grow the OVG Facilities team is of the highest importance. Ken brings decades of valuable industry experience, creativity, and a fresh approach, and we’re pleased to welcome him aboard.”
“With so many different arena projects in the works, as well as the expansion of OVG’s new food and beverage division, it’s an exciting time to join the world-class team at OVG,” said Gaber. “I look forward to working with OVG and our clients to re-imagine the hospitality space.”
Before joining OVG, Gaber served as vice president of operational excellence / strategic operations since 2019 with Delaware North Sportservice. While there, he was responsible for business growth strategies, location openings, menu planning, technology deployments, and operational strategies for current and new accounts. In this capacity, he was also responsible for all aspects of procurement, staffing, strategic planning, and financial operations for OVG’s Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle, the widely acclaimed new home of the Seattle Kraken, and assisted with many of these aspects for UBS Arena at Belmont Park, the exciting new home of the New York Islanders.
Gaber previously served as general manager for Delaware North from 2016 to 2019 at American Family Field, home of Major League Baseball’s Milwaukee Brewers, where Delaware North provides food, beverage, and retail services. During his tenure, he was instrumental in the 2017 multimillion-dollar upgrade to the concessions program, part of the largest and most comprehensive renovation in the history of the ballpark. He collaborated with the Brewers to bring the culinary concession vision to life, including 11 new concession stands and two new field-level bars. The redevelopment garnered an impressive honor from one of baseball’s most respected publications – Ballpark Digest recognized Miller Park with its 2017 honors for Best New Concessions Experience.
Gaber began his career with Levy in 2006 as general manager of suites at Philips Arena in Atlanta and later served as director of operations at Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen, Md., and director of premium services role for the company at the Boston Convention Center in Massachusetts. From 2012 to 2015, he served as director of operations at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C. – managing Levy’s food service operation that included 150 suites and concessions for as many as 165,000 fans. From 2015 to 2016 Gaber served as director of operations at the FedEx Forum, home for Memphis Grizzles. Gaber earned a bachelor’s degree in business management at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, R.I.
Oak View Group (OVG) is a global sports and entertainment company founded by Tim Leiweke and Irving Azoff in 2015. OVG is focused on being a positive disruption to business as usual in the sports and live entertainment industry and currently has eight divisions across four global offices (Los Angeles, New York, London, and Philadelphia). OVG leads the operations of Climate Pledge Arena at Seattle Center and UBS Arena in Belmont Park, NY as well as arena development projects for Moody Center in Austin, TX; Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore, MD; Coachella Valley Arena in Palm Springs, CA; Co-op Live in Manchester, UK; Arena São Paulo in São Paulo, BZ; and OVG’s first project north of the border, the redevelopment of the Hamilton, Ontario Arts & Entertainment District, which includes the FirstOntario Centre Arena. OVG Global Partnerships, a division of OVG, is the sales and marketing arm responsible for selling across all OVG arena development projects. OVG Facilities, a division of OVG, is the facility management, booking, security, and sanitizations services arm that performs services for both OVG’s arena development projects and clients on a 3rd party basis. OVG Media & Conferences, a division of OVG, publishes Pollstar and VenuesNow, in addition to hosting live entertainment-centric conferences around the world. OVG’s Arena Alliance, a division of OVG, is a collection of the top 32 venues in North America that provides a platform for booking, content, and sponsorship sales opportunities. In August 2021, OVG announced its acquisition of Spectra, one of the industry’s leading venue management and hospitality providers, to create one world-class, full-service live events company. Learn more at their website.