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Tim Leiweke.

Tim Leiweke is a name Seattleites should be familiar with if they care about potential new sports franchises coming to town or the future of Key Arena.

The sports executive is CEO of Oak View Group, which will lead a $564 million renovation of Seattle’s Key Arena and try to lure the NBA and NHL to Seattle.

Leiweke, who has more than three decades of leadership experience in the sports industry, will join us at our second annual GeekWire Sports Tech Summit on June 21-22 in Seattle to talk about how technology will impact the future of sports stadiums and the fan experience. Tickets are still available:


At a press conference with Seattle Mayor Ed Murray on Wednesday, Leiweke called the KeyArena plan “the most iconic, most visionary, and the greatest opportunity” that he has ever been involved with.

Before starting Oak View Group in 2015, Leiweke spent 18 years leading another stadium development company AEG, which was also bidding for the Key Arena renovation. While at AEG, Leiweke helped create a $2.5 billion L.A. Live complex in downtown Los Angeles and built new arenas across the globe.

Leiweke is also the former CEO of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, which owns the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs, the NBA’s Toronto Raptors, and MLS’ Toronto FC, as well as Toronto-based arenas.

Renderings of Oak View Group’s proposed KeyArena renovation. (Oak View Group Renderings)

We sat down with Leiweke in March to talk about his vision for the Key Arena renovation, which includes several high-tech features.

“I have a really good gut instinct that we are on the verge of one of the great buildings in all of sports and entertainment,” he said.

Leiweke said his team views Seattle as “at the cutting edge” and “the most important influencer marketplace in the country.”

“We understand that this arena is going to be in the heart of the influencing capital of technology, which means we have to use technology and integrate it into every aspect of this experience,” he told GeekWire. “It’s from the moment they leave their office or home to the moment they return back home.”

Leiweke’s brother Tod, the COO of the NFL, will also be joining us at the Sports Tech Summit for a 1-on-1 fireside chat moderated by veteran ESPN reporter John Clayton. Other speakers at this one-of-a-kind event include Seattle Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto; League of Legends founder Brandon Beck; WNBA legend Sue Bird; Bleacher Report CEO Dave Finocchio; and others who will talk about the future of sports technology. Check out the event page for more info.

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