Leiweke to leave Vulcan Sports & Entertainment for Tampa Bay NHL team
Posted by: Sounders FC Public Relations
Seattle - July 26, 2010 - Vulcan Sports & Entertainment announced today that CEO Tod Leiweke is resigning to join the NHL's Tampa Bay Lightning as CEO and part owner.
As CEO of Vulcan Sports, Leiweke has overseen the professional sports holdings of Paul G. Allen, including the Seattle Seahawks, Portland Trail Blazers and Seattle Sounders FC. Leiweke is also CEO of the Seahawks.
Leiweke will stay on at Vulcan Sports until a new chief executive is found, and will assist in the search for his replacement.
"Paul Allen is the most fan-friendly owner in professional sports. He has built great sports franchises that have always given much back to the community," Leiweke said today. "We have strong management and coaching in place in Seattle and Portland and I know the teams are in good hands."
Leiweke helped build the three teams into popular franchises with consistent sell-out crowds that make Qwest Field and the Rose Garden among the toughest places for visiting teams to play.
Leiweke has been involved with Vulcan sports for more than seven years, his longest tenure in a career in professional sports that spans 28 seasons. He said having an ownership interest in an NHL team fulfills a lifelong goal.
Allen praised Leiweke for the successful 2009 launch of the Sounders, as well as for his leadership in increasing the Seahawks' involvement in the United Way and other community efforts.
"Tod has been a leader for our sports teams. He helped lead the Seahawks to the 2005 NFC Championship and our first Super Bowl," Allen said. "He also understands our priority on the fans, reinvigorating the 12th Man tradition and leading the team to a five-season string of sell-out crowds."
Under Leiweke's leadership, the three franchises have combined for 201 consecutive sold-out home games.
"I'm sorry to see him go, but I know hockey is his first love," Allen said.
Leiweke joined the Seahawks in June 2003. He was named CEO of Vulcan Sports in March 2007. He previously worked in the NHL for both the Vancouver Canucks and, prior to coming to Seattle, for the Minnesota Wild.
Leiweke joins new leadership at the Tampa Bay Lightning, recently purchased by owner and governor Jeff Vinik.