GM Place laying ad groundwork

An international marketing campaign is under way to attract major entertainment, sports and business events to $160-million General Motors Place in Vancouver, due to open in a year.Arthur Griffiths, chairman and chief executive officer of Northwest Entertainment Group, the arena's parent...

An international marketing campaign is under way to attract major entertainment, sports and business events to $160-million General Motors Place in Vancouver, due to open in a year.

Arthur Griffiths, chairman and chief executive officer of Northwest Entertainment Group, the arena’s parent company, says the objective is to make General Motors Place one of the most prestigious on the continent by attracting international calibre events and establishing key corporate partnerships.

The 20,000-seat General Motors Place – financed entirely with private funds – will be the new home of the National Hockey League’s Vancouver Canucks and the National Basketball Association’s latest franchise, the Vancouver Grizzlies.

Griffiths’ interests own both teams.

Leading the campaign at General Motors Place will be Leila Bell-Irving, vice-president of marketing, whose experience includes work for Expo ’86 in Vancouver and the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics.

Northwest Entertainment Group announced March 29 General Motors Co. of Canada had signed on as the arena’s title sponsor for a period of 20 years.

No financial details or marketing plans were disclosed.

The West Coast is the third most important market in the country for GM of Canada.