West Conshohocken-based SMG, Comcast Spectacor's Global Spectrum, and any other firms seeking to run the Pennsylvania Convention Center have until Friday to submit their bids to run the state- and hotel-subsidized complex, which is trying to attract future shows despite a general decline in U.S. convention business and a lack of evidence that private management will help.
How will the center's board choose? Its Request for Proposals lists a string of criteria. The board and its lawyers at Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney and financial advisers at Public Financial Management will compare the experience and qualifications of the firms' bosses and site managers, marketing capabilities, operations, fees and cost-cutting plans, and past track records.
Other cities where SMG and Global Spectrum compete have weighed similar criteria. How's that gone?
In 2011, Chicago picked SMG over Global Spectrum after SMG pulled higher scores in eight out of nine categories, including its management plan, management team, experience, transition plan, marketing, and targets for women and minorities. Global Spectrum won top points in one category: financial stability and capability.