There’s a new general manager at the H-E-B Center at Cedar Park, and he’s glad to return to the area after spending the past two years in Midland.
Sammy Wallace, a 20-plus-year veteran of the sports and entertainment industry, was recently named general manager of the Cedar Park facility by SMG, which manages the facility. In his new role, Wallace will direct operations and programming of the city’s own sports and entertainment venue.
He is returning to Cedar Park after spending the previous two years as general manager at the SMG-operated Wagner Noël Performing Arts Center in Midland. He previously worked as Assistant Vice President of Booking & Marketing and Assistant General Manager of H-E-B Center from 2013 to 2016 and the company said the venue increased event bookings by more than 18 percent during that time.
Wallace said it is great to be back in Cedar Park because it has always been his dream to live and operate in the Austin area.
“Going back to when I was in my twenties, Austin was always this cool spot,” Wallace said. “It was the hub for arts, culture, music, food… it just has a really cool vibe about it. It was always a dream of mine to live here. I’m really happy to be back.”
The H-E-B Center is opened in 2009 as the home of the American Hockey League’s Texas Stars and has since hosted some of the biggest names in entertainment as well as becoming home to the NBA G-League’s Austin Spurs. The facility will also be a regional site for the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament in 2021.
The facility seats 6,863 for hockey, 7,200 for basketball and up to 8,700 for concerts and other events.
“As General Manager, I’m going to be booking events, marketing, finance, (human resources), overseeing the box office and managing the building and staff,” Wallace explained. “Maintaining the relationship with the Texas Stars, the Austin Spurs and the City of Cedar Park also falls to me so it’s on a greater expanded scope of overseeing everything.
SMG began managing the H-E-B Center in 2016. The company also manages Houston’s NRG Park — home of the Houston Texans — as well as the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi and Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma Center, home of the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder.
“I like the familiarity of Sammy coming back to Cedar Park,” said H-E-B Center Marketing Director Erin Miller. “I know his work and management style so we can really hit the ground running with him here with little to no transition. I know he is going to start feverishly booking the building so I’m waiting for all those announcements to come. He’ll keep my life very busy and busy is good.”
Wallace said he wants to bring the people of Cedar Park together through various types to events.
“I’m a big believer in having many different types of programs to appeal to all of our different demographics,” said Wallace. “Our goal is to get everyone into this building for some reason or another and that is how we focus on it. There is something for everybody here. I want people to come here to have a great experience, a good time and make sure we’ve got enough programming opportunities to entice them to come here.”
Wallace previously served as vice president of event programming for Germain Arena near Fort Myers, Florida, for five years, where he was responsible for booking all non-hockey events, managing all facility events and overseeing the building operations, changeover, box office, parking and event staff departments.
Wallace received a bachelor’s degree in sports communication from Mississippi State and also worked for the NHL’s Florida Panthers as well as several minor league hockey clubs.
H-E-B Center is located at the intersection of New Hope Drive and Toll Road 183-A in Cedar Park. For more information, visit www.HEBCenter.com or follow @HEBCenter on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr.