Q&A With GCU’s Cathey Moses
By Doug Carroll
Whatever you do, don’t call it a gym.
When GCU’s 5,000-seat Event Center opens in the fall of 2011, it will be like nothing the campus has ever seen, an architecturally striking facility destined to become a Phoenix landmark. And it will be an arena, home to the Antelopes’ men’s and women’s basketball teams as well as concerts and other productions.
In charge of booking the new venue is Cathey Moses, who has returned to her alma mater after nearly a decade as vice president of marketing and advertising for US Airways Center and the Dodge Theatre in downtown Phoenix.
With educators on her father’s side and a mother who was a ballerina, pianist and interior designer, she seems born to her position as VP of event planning and marketing for GCU.
“I was a business major and thought I’d go into sales,” Moses says. “I had offers from Hewlett-Packard and IBM, but I didn’t want to live in Texas or on the East Coast. I ended up on a whim in this crazy business.”
Now she’ll be bringing some of that business to 33rd Avenue and Camelback Road.
Question: Among existing facilities, how does the Event Center compare?
Answer: “The difference with us is we’re in a metro area, and comparable venues are mostly in secondary markets. We’re also on a college campus. Our place will have a very professional arena feel to it. It’s not common for a Christian university with a relatively small ground campus to have this opportunity.”
Q: Will it be primarily a basketball facility or a concert facility?
A: “Our first priority is our basketball teams. Although we are a basketball facility, we’ll have a strong presence in the Christian music scene and on the lecture circuit. We’ll also do some secular music that has a good message.”
Q: What’s the biggest challenge in getting this launched?
A: “The biggest challenge is getting the facility known and getting GCU known. This place will draw a lot of attention, and much will depend on who we bring in during the first month. There’s a saying in the industry that your building is only as good as its most recent act. In the coming year, we’ll do various things along the way so the agents don’t forget us.”
Q: How will the arena be marketed to the public?
A: “It’s a community building, and everyone will be welcome for everything. We’ll open it up that way. You’ll see advertising like you see for other venues.”
Q: Which acts or productions can we expect to see?
A: “We’ll have a shot at anybody looking for a 5,000-seat venue. The shows of 85 percent of touring acts will fit our building. We’ll have a curtaining system on a trolley so that we can go from 1,200 to 5,000 seats. When need be, it will be an intimate experience.”
Q: Who are some of the best performers you’ve worked with?
A: “I measure the best acts I’ve worked with by professionalism and not by performance. Generally, I’ve found that if their publicist is nice, the artist will be nice to work with. My list would have to include Celine Dion, The Judds, U2, George Strait, Reba McEntire and Bill Cosby.”
Q: What’s the most rewarding aspect for you in opening such a building?
A: “This is like full circle for me. I’ve asked God at times, ‘Why am I in this business?’ When I went to work for Bob Machen downtown, it was such a blessing. I got to stand on values of integrity against an industry that threatened them. When this opportunity came up, it was clear this was why I got into this business. Everybody here at GCU is pulling together and working toward the same things.”
Reach Doug Carroll at 602.639.8011 or at email@example.com.