Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Leiweke Says Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Will Look at Music Festivals

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Leiweke Says Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Will Look at Music Festivals

Article excerpt

Leiweke says MLSE will look at music festivals


TORONTO - Ask Tim Leiweke what he plays on his iPod at the gym and the new Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment boss laughs.

"It was Adele today," the 56-year-old Leiweke said in an interview this week. "Thank God I'm not determining what new music is good and bad because I'm not very good at it. My daughter is much better at new music. I tend to go back to U2, Adele, Coldplay, even Supertramp. So I'm a bit different in my choice of music."

But Leiweke is a music fan. In his last job running the Anschutz Entertainment Group, music was right up there with overseeing NBA, NHL and MLS teams as well as myriad arenas and facilities around the globe.

AEG is the second-largest music promoter in the world (behind Live Nation), staging tours by Justin Bieber, Bon Jovi, Prince and Taylor Swift and running events like the New Orleans Jazz Festival, the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival and Stagecoach Festival.

"And those are near and dear to my heart," he said. "And by the way, I think there's an opportunity to do festivals in Ontario and in Toronto. And we're going to take a look at that.

"So the uniqueness of this job is you have to have a dozen hats and you better be good at all of them. Because I think in a market like Toronto, they're going to expect you to be great at music, great at facilities, great at stadiums, great at hockey, basketball and soccer."

But before taking MLSE down some of the disparate roads he travelled at AEG, he says: "I'd like MLSE to be good at Toronto first."

"So there's the difference, I want this to be about Toronto, so we're very focused on Toronto and the things we do here. And until we get to a point where all of the things we do here are great, then I think we need to stay focused on Toronto.

"So this is about trying to get the teams to a point where we're winning. Trying to get to a point where are facilities are best in class. And from a music standpoint, I still think there's room and growth in this marketplace, before we start thinking outside the box. …

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