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Regardless of venue size, everyone has their own “big event” to host and make memorable. By R.V. Baugus

business to provide a safe facility and we want to create those shining moments for our guests.

Darius Dunn: I deal quite a bit in the back-of-house areas of con- versions, maintenance, mechanical, HVAC, housekeeping, and land- scaping. All of that comes under my area of responsibility. Additional responsibilities with the renovations and all the other improvement projects taking place has made for some unique challenges. I also aid the related audiovisual and information technology areas as well.  facility and stepping right in to a $60 million renovation that was a   

The Final Four is obviously a big event for a facility like the Ala- modome. But every venue type either has or wants to have its own “big event,” whatever that might be. What are some tips you can share for getting the big event?

Steve Zito: Whether it’s a Final Four or the state high school basket- ball tournament we have here for boys and girls, to me every event is a big event. Again, we are in the business to create excellent event expe- riences. When these kids come to this building they are in awe. Those are moments that are going to be with them for a long time. This is what we’re trying through our culture program, to tell our

    those pieces coming together, it just won’t work, and anyone looking to have a big event needs to understand that. If the hot dog is cold, that’s what people are going to walk away remembering. But if we all do our jobs, this is how we create shining moments. Are you putting your best foot forward? You’ve got to look in the mirror. The business is contin- ually evolving. How do you do your technology, your intelligence, your 

Darius Dunn: I think you hit it on the head in that the big event is all relative to whatever venue and whatever city. Our own association, IAVM, represents from the small to the big. The vast majority will never host a World Series, will never host a Super Bowl or a Final Four, so what becomes that major event? I’ve been fortunate to be involved with the management of venues as small as a 1,200-seat theater, a 6,000-seat arena and up to a 65,000- seat stadium. That big event for a small town might be getting Elton - dia coverage to just rolling out the red carpet. That is their big event. It’s their moment to shine. 

buy-in and support from local establishments, your local partners,   elements to that community that make a small-town event the major event of the year or even the decade. Then make sure you are putting your folks in the right place to be successful. Smaller venues might not have the budgets so be a little creative but still cover all the bases to make sure that folks are safe when they come to your building.

Steve, you were here when this majestic stadium opened in 1993 and have now come full circle. How ready is San Antonio for all those who will be here for the games and all those who will see the city from their television screen at home?

Steve Zito: We are putting our best foot forward, because we know this building in this city is right for the Final Four. We have one shot to do it. We are trying now very hard to create this standard. I can honestly say we are excited about this incredible opportunity. I am originally from Massachusetts, but this is home. I love this town and so happy to be working with the folks that I am side-by-side with. I truly feel blessed.



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