General Manager for Angel of the Winds Arena, Everett, Wash., Spectra
Corey Margolis loves getting a sense of the market before he kicks in with creativity. He’s done just that in Everett, Wash., as general manager of Angel of the Winds Arena, not only getting to know his market north of Seattle but also having some big victories along the way.
Margolis, 30, an eight-year veteran of Spectra, has served in the 10,000-capacity arena for about a year, his first stint as a general manager. Along the way he’s landed the WNBA’s Seattle Storm for home dates, drawn the Live Nation Backstreet Boys show for July and worked with the arena’s naming-rights partner — a casino about 20 miles from the arena — to promote Toby Keith for an August show.
Getting there, though, was about “figuring out what works.”
“It always takes time to get a sense of the market, get the vibe,” Margolis said. “Yeah, there is data, but you need to feel it.”
Margolis hopes to reestablish business by not taking on unnecessary risk yet getting creative with different producers and promoters to have them realize the potential for the market. “We once did a ton of shows and the market got quite competitive and concerts decreased,” he said. “My goal is to reestablish that history in different genres and prove we are a good place to play.”
Along with the new additions to the calendar for 2019, Margolis said, Everett has some reliable draws. “We seem to win on a lot of the family entertainment and the producers are really happy,” he said. Along with family-focused events, rock shows draw well, as do contemporary Christian concerts, of which the arena hosts two or three a year. Angel of the Winds Arena also has a strong presence in motorsports, with the venue’s EnduroCross motorcycle event growing every year.
Angel of the Winds Arena also serves as the home for junior hockey’s Everett Silvertips of the Western Hockey League. “It has been great,” Margolis said. “Their sales team has done a really good job of increasing attendance. In all sports, attendance has generally decreased, and they have seen increases, especially this last year.” The league dropped the number of home games from 36 to 34, but the Silvertips still saw a paid increase of over 9,000 tickets and the team’s gross revenue was also up..
Landing the WNBA’s Storm comes on the heels of Seattle Center Arena — long known as KeyArena — closing for two years as part of a complete rebuild to bring the NHL to the city. While Margolis said the Seattle situation hasn’t changed much for Angel of the Winds Arena because of the size discrepancy in the two venues — he noted most shows head to the larger Tacoma Dome — his arena is “potentially getting a few other looks on stuff.” That includes the Storm.
The WNBA team will use the University of Washington’s Alaska Airlines Arena at Hec Edmundson Pavilion as its primary home site and Angel of the Winds Arena as a secondary site. Everett gets a preseason game and five regular-season games, including the nationally televised home opener May 25 that was to serve as the ring ceremony and banner raising saluting the team’s league championship last season. If the Storm makes another playoff run, Margolis expects to host “most of those depending on our availability.”
Housing around 9,000 for hockey and 10,000 for concerts, the Everett arena draws from Seattle north, advertising heavily in its home county of Snohomish all the way north to the Canadian border and into Canada. Those are the people Margolis knows well. A native of Vancouver, British Columbia, Margolis started his Spectra experience in the same province, as event manager at Encana Events Centre in Dawson Creek. He was recently the assistant general manager for Spectra at Budweiser Gardens in London, Ontario, spending two years increasing bookings there, along with other small venues in the area. In July 2018, at 29 years old, Margolis was promoted to his post at Angel of the Winds Arena.
“It made sense all across the board,” he said. “I’m from Vancouver, so it was quite close and a nice promotion. I think it is a very exciting time for this region, and markets like Everett stand to have their moment even more than they already have.”
Starting as a stagehand at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, loading in shows as a high school student and then having the opportunity to try a bevy of things in Spectra, everything from building an event filling in for a box office manager to putting together a marketing plan, “having those different experiences helped when trying to oversee the operation and knowing what needs to be done,” he said. “I am fortunate to have a varied background.”