Tim Leiweke was named President and Chief Executive Officer of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE) on April 26, 2013. Leiweke brings more than 30 years of sports and entertainment experience to MLSE, having been deeply involved in the growth and development of the NHL, NBA and MLS.
Leiweke joins MLSE after 17 years with AEG, one of the leading sports and entertainment presenters in the world. In 2013, he ranked fifth on the Sports Business Journal’s 50 Most Influential People in Sports Business and eighth on Billboard’s 100 Most Powerful Music Industry Executives – the only President & CEO to rank on both lists.
One of Leiweke’s first moves upon officially taking the reins at MLSE on June 3, 2013, was hiring the 2012-13 NBA Executive of the Year, Masai Ujiri as President and General Manager, Basketball Operations of the Toronto Raptors.
In his time at AEG, Leiweke led the acquisition or merger of more than 60 divisions and companies to help create a global live entertainment organization capable of developing, producing, promoting, marketing and managing sports and entertainment programming in both facilities owned and operated by AEG, as well as other venues.
Leiweke guided the $150 million, 85-acre development of StubHub Center (formerly The Home Depot Center), built on the campus of California State University Dominguez Hills in Carson, California. The Center – the largest-ever private investment in amateur athletics – is the home to the Los Angeles Galaxy and Chivas USA and has been designated an official U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Training Site as well as the USTA’s High Performance Training Center and the U.S. Soccer Federation’s team training and Athletes’ Performance training center.
It was under Leiweke’s vision and executive guidance that the four million square foot, $2.5 billion L.A. LIVE complex was built in downtown Los Angeles, adjacent to the STAPLES Center and the Los Angeles Convention Center. The AEG-operated development features a 2,300-capacity live music venue, a 7,100-seat live theatre and a 54-story, 1001-room convention destination featuring the Ritz-Carlton, Los Angeles and JW Marriott L.A. LIVE. In 2011, AEG introduced AXS Ticketing, the first phase of its new entertainment platform serving as the company’s primary consumer brand which will also feature mobile and video content services. In 2012, AEG formed a partnership with HDNet, Ryan Seacrest Productions and CAA, to launch AXS TV, a new linear cable channel focusing on live entertainment and lifestyle programming.
In addition to the Los Angeles Kings and LA Galaxy, AEG Sports shares ownership of additional professional sports franchises such as the Houston Dynamo (MLS), the Manchester (New Hampshire) Monarchs (AHL), the Ontario Reign (ECHL), and three professional ice hockey teams in Europe. During Leiweke’s time at AEG, he fostered a culture of winning which saw his teams claim 11 championships, most recently being the 2012 Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings and the 2011 and 2012 MLS Cup Champion LA Galaxy .
Prior to moving to Los Angeles to join the Los Angeles Kings in 1996, Leiweke served as President and CEO for U.S. Skiing. Previously, he was President of the Denver Nuggets (1991-95) and played an important role in the negotiations around the relocation of the Quebec Nordiques to Colorado and helped guide the initial development and design of the Pepsi Center.
The first employee hired by the Minnesota Timberwolves in 1988, Leiweke spent two seasons as Vice President for the NBA franchise and was responsible for dealing with naming rights, marketing and sales for all events at the Target Center.
Leiweke’s career in sports administration began in 1979 in his hometown as the assistant General Manager of the Major Indoor Soccer League’s St. Louis Steamers. The following year, at the age of 24, he became the youngest General Manager in professional sports with the Baltimore Blast of the MISL. He became Vice President and General Manager of the MISL’s Kansas City Comets in 1981-82, and eventually became the club’s President in 1986.
In each of the cities they have lived in, Tim and his wife, Bernadette, have been extremely active in the community, dedicating their time to a range of charitable causes and initiatives. As a result, Leiweke has been recognized by numerous organizations for his efforts. Among the honours he has received: the Spirit of Life Award (which raised nearly $9 million in his name in January, 2010) from City of Hope, the Saint John’s Hospital 2012 Corporate Leadership Award, the 2009 Global Corporate Leadership Award from the Asia Society Southern California, the Anti-Defamation League’s 2007 Humanitarian Award, the Neil Bogart Memorial Fund’s 2003 Children’s Choice Award, Father of the Year by the American Diabetes Association and the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s Man of the Year.
He has also been recognized for his contributions by organizations such as Para Los Niños, the Greater Los Angeles African American Chamber of Commerce, the Latin Business Association, the Korean American Federation and Special Olympics of Southern California. He is also a current member of the Boards of Directors for the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games and Visit California.
Tim and his wife reside in Toronto and have a daughter, Francesca.