Navy Pier Welcomes New Event Management Partners

Navy Pier announced today a new partnership with Spectra, one of the nation’s leading venue management and hospitality providers, for the management of its popular East End event facilities – including the Aon Grand Ballroom, Festival Hall, Lakeview Terrace and other event spaces.

Effective Monday, February 3, the Midwest’s iconic lakefront destination will team up with Spectra as part of a multiyear partnership to manage the booking, coordination and client service aspects of the Pier’s East End facilities, which have served as host to some of Chicago’s most popular events, such as Chicago Flower & Garden Show, EXPO Chicago, SOFA, Chicago Toy & Game Fair and more. As part of the management agreement, Spectra will offer food and beverage service provided by Levy, the industry leader in sports and entertainment hospitality. With the establishment of this new partnership, Navy Pier is poised to attract exciting new opportunities to the city and venue, while augmenting existing events and experiences.

“As we continue to elevate the People’s Pier and enhance the overall guest experience, we are pleased to welcome Spectra and Levy to the Navy Pier family to help us drive innovative solutions in the oversight of the Pier’s iconic event spaces,” said Marilynn Gardner, President and CEO of Navy Pier. “With their partnership and expertise, I am confident that Navy Pier will continue to reinforce its stature as one of the most sought-after venues throughout the region and beyond.”

Spectra’s expertise includes venue management, partnerships, food services and hospitality, and their holistic approach has been proven successful at nearly 350 venues throughout the country – including 60 iconic convention facilities, such as Dallas Fair Park, Iowa Events Center, Miami Beach Convention Center and more.

“Chicago is one of the largest convention markets in the country, and we want to ensure Navy Pier is at the epicenter,” said Joyce Leveston, Spectra’s senior vice president, convention centers. “Spectra manages properties across North America and globally that are similar in scale, history and importance to the community as the ‘People’s Pier.’ We look forward to connecting with residents and local businesses to showcase this unique venue and cultural destination that is important to the region’s economic growth.”

Levy’s expertise in creating food, beverage and hospitality experiences at major entertainment and sports venues, from 100,000-seat stadiums to Michelin-star restaurants, will take culinary offerings at Navy Pier events to new heights. Levy also plays a prominent role in the Chicago culinary community through its acclaimed restaurants – Spiaggia, Café Spiaggia, River Roast, and Jake Melnick’s Corner Tap – and partnerships at Wrigley Field, Guaranteed Rate Field, and United Center, among other venues.

“Navy Pier ranks among the most iconic entertainment destinations and cultural experiences, not just in Chicago, but around the world,” said Andy Lansing, President and CEO of Levy. “We share Navy Pier’s passion for the city we both call home. We are Chicago-proud restaurateurs and excited about this partnership that will create truly memorable experiences for each and every guest, whether attending a private outing or high-profile event.”

The partnership comes at an exciting time at Navy Pier as the treasured Midwestern destination continues to usher in its second century with ongoing Pier-wide redevelopment efforts, including the Summer 2020 opening of The Sable at Navy Pier – a 220-room Hilton hotel with a year-round rooftop bar, Offshore (now open) – new on-site partner establishments and more. In addition, the Pier continues to host more than 250 free, year-round arts and cultural programming designed to inspire, educate and connect communities across the city and around the globe. For more information, please visit

PHOTOS: Navy Pier East End Spaces (credits provided within respective files)
About Spectra
Spectra is an industry leader in hosting and entertainment, partnering with clients to create memorable experiences for millions of visitors every year. Spectra’s unmatched blend of integrated services delivers incremental value for clients through several primary areas of expertise: Venue Management, Food Services & Hospitality, and Partnerships. Learn more at Follow Spectra on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.

About Levy
The disruptor in defining hospitality experiences in entertainment, cultural and sports venues, Levy is recognized as the market leader and most critically acclaimed hospitality company in its industry. Twice named one of the 10 most innovative companies in sports by Fast Company magazine and one of the top three Best Employers for Diversity in America by Forbes, Levy’s diverse portfolio includes award-winning restaurants; iconic sports and entertainment venues, zoos and cultural institutions, theaters, and convention centers; as well as the Super Bowl, Grammy Awards, PGA Championship, US Open Tennis Tournament, Kentucky Derby, and NHL, MLB, NBA, NFL, and MLS All-Star Games. For more, visit or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

About Navy Pier
Located on Lake Michigan, Navy Pier is the top non-for-profit tourism destination in the Midwest, stretching more than six city blocks and welcoming nearly 9 million guests annually. Originally opened in 1916 as a shipping and recreation facility, this Chicago landmark showcases more than 50 acres of parks, restaurants, attractions, retail shops, sightseeing and dining cruise boats, exposition facilities and more. The Pier recently celebrated its 100th anniversary with the unveiling of the iconic Centennial Wheel, Polk Bros Park, Fifth Third Bank Family Pavilion and Peoples Energy Welcome Pavilion. In 2020, Navy Pier continues to usher in its second century with ongoing Pier-wide redevelopment efforts – including a 220-room Hilton hotel with a year-round rooftop bar, Offshore (now open), and more – in addition to free, year-round arts and cultural programming designed to inspire, educate and connect communities across the city and globe. Click here to donate to Navy Pier, a 501(c)(3) organization, in support of free public programs. For more information, visit

Navy Pier Mission Statement
Navy Pier is the People’s Pier, Chicago’s lakefront treasure, welcoming all and offering dynamic and eclectic experiences through partnerships and programs that inspire discovery and wonder.