at a glance

A closer look at Tim Leiweke

The Globe and Mail

Tim Leiweke, then president of international arena operator AEG, speaks at City Hall in Sacramento, Calif., March 20, 2012. Leiweke was named president and chief executive officer of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment on Friday. (Hector Amezcua/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

 

Tim Leiweke: Born April 21, 1957, in St. Louis, the fourth of six siblings. His younger brother, Tod, is the CEO of the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning.

Leiweke displayed early on an affinity toward what was to be his life’s calling, building a miniature baseball field in his backyard when he was 10, carving the baselines with a rake and using a dinner plate for home plate.

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After high school, Leiweke worked at a deli and a bakery and attended college at night school, but never graduated.

1979 – His career in sports administration began as Leiweke is hired as the assistant general manager for the St. Louis Steamers of the Major Indoor Soccer League.

1980 – At 24, Leiweke becomes the youngest GM in pro sports, assuming that post with the MISL’s Baltimore Blast. For the 1981-82 MISL season, he becomes vice-president/GM of the Kansas City Comets, and team president in 1986.

1988 – The Minnesota Timberwolves expansion franchise is approved. Leiweke joins the organization as a vice-president and helped the team establish a new NBA attendance record, drawing over one million fans in its inaugural 1989-90 season.

1991 – At the urging of NBA commissioner David Stern, Leiweke takes the job of president with the Denver Nuggets, whose sagging attendance was quickly turned around. While in Denver, Leiweke helps negotiate the relocation of the NHL’s Quebec Nordiques to Colorado, while guiding the initial development and design of the Pepsi Center.

1995 – Leiweke becomes president/CEO of U.S. Skiing.

1996 – Leiweke is lured out to Los Angeles to become president of the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings.

2001 – Leiweke is named president/CEO of the team’s parent company, Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG). The company’s vast holdings include ownership of the Kings, Los Angeles Galaxy of Major League Soccer along with a 30-per-cent stake in the Los Angeles Lakers of the NBA.

During his 17-year run at AEG, Leiweke acquired or merged more than 50 divisions and companies in all aspects of the entertainment and sports world. He was responsible for the overall development of the Staples Center, the downtown showplace for major events and performances and the home of Lakers, Kings and Clippers.

Leiweke was key to overseeing L.A. LIVE, a four-million-square-foot sports, residential and entertainment district adjacent to Staples Center and the Convention Center.

The $2.5-billion (U.S.) development features Club Nokia, a 2,300 capacity live-music venue; Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE, a 7,100-seat live theatre; and a 54-story, 1,001-room convention “headquarters” destination, featuring Ritz-Carlton and JW Marriott hotels, along with 224 luxury condominiums.

Before Leiweke left AEG last month, he was the driving force behind a $1.8-billion downtown stadium project geared toward luring the NFL back to Los Angeles.

 

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