The Mandalay Bay Events Center is now the Michelob ULTRA Arena. MGM Resorts International, the owner of Mandalay Bay, announced the multi-year naming rights agreement for the 12,000-seat sports and entertainment venue inside Mandalay Bay earlier this week.
The agreement between Anheuser-Busch and MGM Resorts will feature a variety of assets and activations inside and outside the Michelob ULTRA Arena. In addition to naming rights for the venue, the partnership will also allow Anheuser-Busch, owner of Michelob, to sponsor various promotions and exclusive on-property special events through the duration of the agreement.
“We’re pleased to welcome Anheuser-Busch, a company we have great admiration for, as our naming rights partner at Mandalay Bay,” said Chuck Bowling, President and COO for Mandalay Bay. “As the leader in the entertainment industry, we look forward to working with the Anheuser-Busch team in our shared commitment to providing guests unforgettable entertainment experiences.”
Like most venues in Las Vegas, the Mandalay Bay Events Center has been quiet for most of the past year. The coronavirus pandemic has shuttered most indoor sports, entertainment, and conventions. When Michelob ULTRA Arena reopens to the public it should offer a new experience to visitors.
Reinventing an events center
Michelob ULTRA Arena will be the newest iteration of a venue that has been used for everything from conventions to concerts and sporting events. Many of the events throughout the lifespan of the former events center have been convention-based and closed to the public.
The space is integral to the success of Mandalay Bay. During weekdays the conventions used to draw business travelers to Mandalay Bay. These guests would stay, play, eat, and drink at the property.
The massive decrease in business travelers over the past year has caused many of the restaurants at the integrated casino resort on the south end of the Vegas Strip to close.
This partnership between Mandalay Bay and Anheuser-Busch could change the future of events at the venue. In addition to reopening for conventions and expos, there could be more events for the public to enjoy.
Matt Davis, Head of U.S. Sports Marketing for Anheuser-Busch, said:
“Las Vegas is one of the world’s most exciting sports and entertainment destinations, and Mandalay Bay is regularly in the midst of all of that excitement. As the world returns to traveling and enjoying entertainment, we look forward to all of the events to come at the Michelob ULTRA Arena.”
MGM Resort made significant renovations to the venue in 2019. The upgrades have enhanced the guest event experience. The changes to the venue include improvements to the seating, concourse and in-arena signage, technology, and lighting system.
The improvements were completed just in time for the arrival of the Las Vegas Aces WNBA team. The Aces were recently purchased by Las Vegas Raiders owner Mark Davis.
Arena naming rights around Las Vegas
There are numerous entertainment venues around Las Vegas but few have sold naming rights to corporations.
Since its opening in 2016, T-Mobile Arena has offered various promotions to customers of the mobile phone service provider. Coincidentally, MGM Resorts owns 50% of T-Mobile Arena.
Allegiant Airlines was the winning brand for naming rights to another venue near the Vegas Strip. Allegiant Stadium is the home to the Las Vegas Raiders. The venue is on the opposite side of the I-15 freeway from the Michelob ULTRA Arena at Mandalay Bay.
The stadium actually has multiple corporate partners. Coincidentally or not, it has a different beer partner. MolsonCoors, one of the largest US beer brands, is a Founding Partner of Allegiant Stadium. This is also the official beer of the Las Vegas Raiders who are the main tenant of the venue.
Naming rights deals might be a way for casino corporations to make up lost revenue. Virgin Hotels Las Vegas (formerly Hard Rock) which has delayed its opening numerous times is searching for a naming rights partner for its entertainment venue.