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People on the move: MSG Sports, De Kuip, AEG and more

Featured image credit: De Kuip

Featured image credit: De Kuip

Madison Square Garden Sports has announced that president and chief executive Andrew Lustgarten will be stepping down from his position at the end of the year and will join the company’s board of directors.

David Hopkinson, who joined MSG Sports in 2020 as executive vice-president and president of team business operations, has been named president and chief operating officer. MSG Sports said it has chosen not to name a new chief executive at this time, with the company’s executive chairman James Dolan to continue overseeing team operations for the NBA’s New York Knicks and the NHL’s New York Rangers.

Lustgarten has led MSG’s sports and entertainment companies for the past eight years, leading the spin-off of MSG Entertainment from MSG Sports in 2020. Hopkinson joined MSG Sports in October 2020 and has since helped drive new innovations and optimised business operations such as marketing, ticketing and the in-game experience.

In his new role, Hopkinson will be responsible for setting MSG Sports’ business strategy and overseeing all aspects of business operations for its collection of sports franchises, including the Knicks and Rangers.

Meanwhile, Rangers legend Henrik Lundqvist will be joining MSG Sports and MSG Entertainment in a new role that will support business operations for each company.

Lundqvist will represent the companies in partner and sponsorship endeavours, assisting with content development for digital platforms, growing the connection with Rangers alumni, and supporting the Garden of Dreams Foundation.

Jan van Merwijk is stepping down from his role as general manager of De Kuip, home of Dutch Eredivisie football club Feyenoord.

Van Merwijk (pictured right) has spent 27 years working at the stadium, of which 25 years were as general manager. He will step down at the end of 2022.

Highlights during his time at the stadium included the final of the 2000 UEFA European Championship and the 2002 UEFA Cup final, which Feyenoord won.

Van Merwijk said: “All the hectic recent times, including the complicated discussion about a new stadium and the associated future of De Kuip, has made me decide to terminate this position in close consultation with the supervisory board. 

“After so many years I am ready for a new challenge. Overall, I mainly look back on an intensive, but also great time. Until the end of the year I will be fully committed to the organisation and the stadium.”

Rival Eredivisie club Ajax has extended the contract of chief executive Edwin van der Sar until June 2025.

Van der Sar’s contract was due to expire in November 2023. The former goalkeeper has served on Ajax’s board of directors since November 2012 and previously served as director of marketing before becoming chief executive in November 2016.

Sports and entertainment company AEG has announced that Sally Bae has been promoted to senior vice-president of global partnerships for the organisation in Las Vegas, a joint venture partner with MGM Resorts International in T-Mobile Arena and MGM Grand Garden Arena.

Bae (pictured centre) previously served as vice-president of partnership sales and services for T-Mobile Arena, home of the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights. In her new role, she will continue to be based at the arena and report to Todd Goldstein, AEG’s chief revenue officer.

Bae will be responsible for revenue generation for T-Mobile Arena and the MGM Grand Garden Arena, with her focus to be on securing and managing long-term partners for the two venues. She will also manage and lead a growing sales department and team of executives at T-Mobile Arena.

Russell Gordon has been named vice-president and general manager of YouTube Theater, a 6,000-seat performance venue at Hollywood Park, the wide-ranging sports and entertainment destination in Inglewood, California that houses SoFi Stadium.

Gordon will be responsible for the evaluation, execution and management of events at YouTube Theater, which opened last year. He will report to Otto Benedict, senior vice-president of campus and facility operations at SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park.

Prior to joining SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park, Gordon served as vice-president of venue operations and special projects for Oak View Group, focusing on operational planning for new development projects and providing corporate guidance for the opening of new arenas.

ASM Global has named Dan Hoffend as its executive vice-president of convention centres.

Hoffend (pictured left) is a former executive of Freeman, which produces events for trade shows and corporations. In his new role, he will lead ASM Global’s convention growth plan, serve as an industry spokesperson on behalf of the company, and design and implement long-term business strategies that enhance existing account relationships.

ASM Global president and chief executive Ron Bension said: “This is a key area of growth for us not only in the US but in Asia, Europe and Australia. Dan’s extensive experience will provide far and away the most diverse and enriching opportunities the industry has ever seen ranging from new building opportunities to working with destination marketing organisations to refining even further ASM’s proprietary asset-based management system that maximises the return from public venues.”

Beau Welling has been elected as the new president of the World Curling Federation, replacing Kate Caithness who had spent the maximum term of 12 years in the role.

Welling was elected as a board member of the federation in 2018 and will be its second president from the US. He was elected as president in the second round of voting ahead of Australia’s Hugh Millikin and Canada’s Graham Prouse.

Do you have news of an appointment that we should know about? Get in touch by emailing news.editor@thestadiumbusiness.com and we’ll include it in our next round-up.

Posted in Appointments | Asia