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People on the move: Buffalo Bills, AMBSE and more

Featured image credit: Buffalo Bills

Ron Raccuia has stepped aside as executive vice-president and chief operating officer of the NFL’s Buffalo Bills to pursue new challenges.

Raccuia played a leading role in the Bills’ plans for a new stadium (pictured), which is scheduled to open in 2026. The Bills held an official groundbreaking ceremony for the 63,000-capacity, $1.54bn (£1.2bn/€1.4bn) stadium last month.

In a statement reported by Buffalo News, Raccuia said: “For the past several years I have been honoured to work for the Pegula family and to serve as their business partner and lead executive on the new stadium project.

“Our work together has been gratifying and I am so proud of all that we have accomplished throughout the organisations. The time has come for new professional challenges and I’m excited for what the future holds.

“As a lifelong Buffalo resident, to work alongside the men and women at the Bills, Sabres and PSE (Pegula Sports & Entertainment) has been a blessing. My family and I would like to personally thank the entire community for all the love and support they have shown us.”

Moving forward, Bills owner and chief executive Terry Pegula will take over the role as team president and work closely with a new management committee consisting of John Roth, executive vice-president/chief operating officer; Kathryn D’Angelo, general counsel and senior vice-president of business administration; and Josh Dziurlikowski, senior vice-president of finance and business administration.

Roth was recently named chief operating officer of the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres and Pegula Sports & Entertainment. At the Bills, he will oversee the team’s ticketing, business development, and media and content departments.

D’Angelo was recently named general counsel of the Bills and will oversee the team’s security, human resources and marketing departments in her new role. Dziurlikowski, who most recently worked as the Bills’ vice-president of finance, will now oversee the team’s community relations, operations and guest experiences, and IT departments.

Penny Semaia has also been hired as the Bills’ vice-president of stadium relations. Semaia will work closely with the team’s vice-president of stadium development, John Polka, and vice-president of creative/stadium design, Frank Cravotta, during the construction phase of the new stadium.

Pegula said: “After taking time over the past several months to evaluate the business side of our operation, we wanted to revamp and improve our structure.

“We have a tremendous amount of confidence in this management committee we have constructed. I have had a high level of trust and strong working relationships with John, Kathryn and Josh over the years and expect them each to successfully continue to lead our business operations in the years to come.

“Penny’s wealth of experience at the collegiate level and personality will add to our team as he transitions into his new role with the Bills and our new stadium.”

Elsewhere in the NFL, AMB Sports and Entertainment has hired the league’s Nana-Yaw Asamoah to the newly created position of senior vice-president, chief commercial officer.

Asamoah will be a member of the AMBSE senior leadership team, overseeing corporate partnership sales and activation for the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons, Major League Soccer team Atlanta United and Mercedes-Benz Stadium. He will assume his new role on September 5 and report to AMBSE president Tim Zulawski.

Asamoah began his career with the NFL in 2009 as a partnership marketing manager in sponsorship. He previously spent three years with the NBA’s New Jersey Nets (now Brooklyn Nets).

Bay FC, a new member of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) based in the San Francisco Bay Area of California, has appointed Jen Millet as its first chief operating officer.

Millet will oversee day-to-day operations for the club. She joins Bay FC from the NBA’s Golden State Warriors, where she served as chief marketing officer, overseeing logistics for the opening of Chase Center. Millet previously held marketing roles at StubHub, Rdio and Live Nation.

Bay FC has also announced that it will play its inaugural season at PayPal Park, home of MLS team San Jose Earthquakes. Bay FC will be investing more than $3m in a standalone facility adjacent to the stadium that will house its locker room, office areas, lounges, training rooms, hydrotherapy facilities and other accommodations.

Sam Ryder has been appointed as the new general manager of Hull’s Bonus Arena, which is operated by ASM Global.

Ryder returns to Bonus Arena having previously served as the venue’s head of operations before becoming general manager of York Barbican last year. He will take up the new role on August 1.

Ryder will continue to serve as general manager of York Barbican alongside his role at Bonus Arena. York Barbican has appointed Rebecca Stevenson as deputy general manager and she will work closely alongside Ryder.

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.