People on the move: Atlanta Utd, AFL and more

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Our round-up of the latest appointments within the stadium ecosystem…

Atlanta United FC, the Major League Soccer (MLS) club, has announced Garth Lagerwey as president and chief executive officer.

Lagerwey, most-recently general manager and president of soccer of Seattle Sounders and a former MLS goalkeeper, has signed a multi-year contract. He led the Sounders to the 2022 Concacaf Champions League title earlier this year, as well as MLS Cup championships in 2019 and 2016.

“I see the opportunity to lead Atlanta United as a dream come true for me,” said Lagerwey. “The opportunity to take on the chief executive role at a club with incredible ownership, unmatched resources and infrastructure, and the amazing fan support this club has enjoyed from the start, all made this move the perfect next step in my career.

“Honestly, it’s the chance of a lifetime and I could not be more excited to get to Atlanta and get to work.”

Outgoing Australian Football League (AFL) chief executive Gillon McLachlan is planning to leave his post after round five of the 2023 Toyota AFL Premiership season.

In a message to AFL staff, McLachlan said he had discussed the timing of his exit with AFL Commission chairman Richard Goyder and they had agreed the competition’s round in Adelaide from April 13-16 was appropriate.

McLachlan announced his resignation in April this year and initially planned to leave the League by season’s end, but several issues including the proposed 19th licence in Tasmania have delayed his departure.

Goyder said in a statement that the League’s search for a new CEO had narrowed the field to a shortlist of candidates drawn from inside and outside the AFL industry.

ASM Global has named industry veteran Kelvin D. Moore as regional vice president and general manager of McCormick Place Convention Center, North America’s largest convention centre located in Chicago, Illinois.

As general manager, Moore’s focus will be on providing strategic leadership that goes beyond day-to-day operational management to creating new programs and partnerships that differentiate Chicago as the destination of choice for the next generation visitor.

Moore, a 30-year facility-operations veteran, has held leadership positions at convention centres, stadiums and multipurpose facilities throughout the US, most recently as regional vice president and general manager for ASM at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

“Kelvin is an industry veteran and visionary leader with the institutional knowledge necessary to lead one of the most important convention centres in the world,” said Dan Hoffend, executive vice president of convention centers for ASM Global.

“His track record of enhancing operational efficiency at various convention centres across the country is second to none. He has big shoes to fill, but we are confident he will pave the way for what we expect to be a new and exciting era for McCormick Place.”

Ticketek has announced the appointment of Danny Hannaford as its UK general manager.

Hannaford comes to Ticketek with over 13 years’ experience in ticketing operations. He has previously led ticketing for the Hammersmith Apollo and multiple special events ticketing projects at AEG Presents. Hannaford also launched and headed up Twickets Resale in Australia and was the lead on global ticketing operations at Dice.

Ticketek managing director Cameron Hoy said: “Danny is an experienced and accomplished ticketing executive who will lead our UK team with commitment, integrity and passion. In addition to Danny’s extensive ticketing knowledge he has a demonstrated track record of digital transformation and innovation and I look forward to his contribution to our global ticketing leadership team.”

The City of Greater Bendigo has appointed Andrew Cooney as its director for the Commonwealth Games, to support the delivery of the city’s events at Victoria 2026.

Cooney, who had been the director for corporate performance for Bendigo, permanently takes on the new position after holding it on a temporary basis once Victoria received hosting rights.

City of Bendigo chief executive Craig Niemann said: “Andrew is passionate about our community and has long, established relationships locally and at the state level through leading the city’s involvement in the development of Galkangu – Bendigo GovHub.”

The Rugby Football League (RFL) has appointed three external non-executive directors to complete the inaugural board of RL Commercial.

The six-strong Board of RL Commercial will be led by Frank Slevin, whose appointment as chair was announced in August. He will be joined by Anna Chanduvi, the Sports and Entertainment Media Partnerships lead at Meta; Peter Hutton, a vastly experienced sports media specialist who has held senior roles with Eurosport, Fox Sports and, most recently, Meta; and Jonathan Murphy, the CEO of the listed medical property specialists Assura who is also chair of the North West Business Leadership Team.

Slevin said: “The calibre of applicants was outstanding. Like the quality of these appointments, that is a measure of the opportunity we have as a sport and as a new organisation. We have high ambitions, and our commitment to delivering on those ambitions, in partnership with IMG, is reflected in the exceptional talent we have drawn together with these appointments.”

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