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MLSE Taps Tim Leiweke As New CEO
Posted By Stephen Brotherston On April 26, 2013 @ 6:18 pm In Headlines,NBA Headlines | No Comments
Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment (MLSE) which owns the Toronto Maple Leafs (NHL), Toronto Raptors (NBA), FC Toronto (MLS), the Air Canada Center and three digital sports channels among other sports and entertainment properties has attracted high profile sports executive Tim Leiweke as the organization’s new president and CEO.
Leiweke, president and CEO of Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) since 2001, left after a reported $8-10 billion bid to buy the diverse sports and entertainment empire was rejected by AEG founder Philip Anschutz in March of this year. AEG owns or has stakes in Los Angeles Kings (NHL), Los Angeles Lakers (NBA), the Los Angeles Galaxy (MLS), the Staples Center, the Home Depot Center, and the L.A. Live entertainment complex among other sports and entertainment properties.
Prior to AEG, Leiweke had been the president of the Los Angeles Kings (NHL), president of the Denver Nuggets (NBA) and a vice-president of the Minnesota Timberwolves (NBA).
In the past, MLSE has been fairly hands-off with their sports franchises, but Leiweke may signal a change in direction. Lieweke was very involved in the Kings and Galaxy which have both won titles recently and while the Maple Leafs are back in the playoffs for the first time in years, FC Toronto and the Raptors have continued to flounder. Years of futility confirms MLSE desperately needed someone with Lieweke’s background and experience to advise them if their franchises were on the right track.
“I’m honored and excited to be chosen to lead MLSE, a world-class sports and entertainment organization with the major league teams, premier facilities and employee team that rank with the very best across North America and internationally,” Leiweke said in a press release. “MLSE is woven into the character of Toronto. The loyal and passionate fans of MLSE’s teams want sports championships for this great city. They want excitement on the ice, on the court, on the pitch and on the stage. And they want MLSE to be an active part of their community. I am committed to delivering for them when I begin my new role as CEO of MLSE.”
At the Raptors recent season-ending press conference, president and general manager Bryan Colangelo said a decision about the option on his contract for next season would not be made for another two to three weeks. It seems apparent now that MLSE was waiting on Lieweke before making a decision on Colangelo.
A conference call with the media has been scheduled for 6:30pm ET today.
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