Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
Leiweke departs AEG in stunning move
by Paul Kennedy, March 15th, 2013 12:40AM
Subscribe to Soccer America Daily

MOST READ
TAGS:  los angeles galaxy, mls, soccer business

MOST COMMENTED

[MLS SPOTLIGHT] Soccer fans know Tim Leiweke as the man who brought David Beckham to MLS. But in the greater universe of sports and entertainment, AEG's soccer business was just a small part of the business that he helped turn into a worldwide force.

Leiweke, who oversaw the development of such venues as the L.A Live entertainment complex in downtown Los Angeles, the O2 in London, the O2 World in Berlin, the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai and the Mastercard Center in Beijing, and AEG Live, a billion-dollar concert business, is out as the president and chief executive officer of AEG. The move came the same day AEG's owner, Philip Anschutz, announced he was terminating his bid to sell the company.

Leiweke parted ways by “mutual agreement” with AEG, according to a statement released by Anschutz. But the move is stunning, given his length of service -- he joined AEG in 1996 to run its NHL team in Los Angeles -- and his close ties to Anschutz, the Kansas-bred billionaire owner whose expansive entertainment empire belies his interest in privacy and conservative values.

AEG only owned the Colorado Rapids when MLS launched in 1996, but it added the expansion Chicago Fire in 1998 and bought the Los Angeles Galaxy the same year, making Marc Rapaport's LA Soccer Partners the first owners to make a profit on soccer.

While MLS struggled for its first decade, Anschutz stuck with the league, and AEG expanded its hold to include interests in six clubs. At its height, AEG owned six of the league's 10 teams. But AEG sold off interests in Colorado, New York, Chicago and D.C. United and part of its interest in Houston, leaving only the Galaxy as the only wholly-owned AEG team left in MLS.

As MLS entered its second decade, Leiweke pushed to allow MLS clubs to spend more on players. He got passed what became known as the Beckham Rule, allowing teams to sign Designated Players and paving the way for the signing of David Beckham by the Galaxy in 2007.

Like his brothers, Leiweke learned sports management in the old MISL -- he worked for the old Kansas City Comets -- and he later went on to work in the NBA (Minnesota and Denver) before joining AEG.

No reason was given for Leiweke's departure or about his future plans. Anschutz announced in September that he was seeking to sell AEG in a deal that could fetch $7 billion.

“From the very beginning of the sales process, we have made it clear to our employees and partners throughout the world that unless the right buyer came forward with a transaction on acceptable terms we would not sell the company,” Anschutz said in a statement.

Anschutz named Dan Beckerman, AEG's chief financial officer and chief operating officer, to replace Leiweke.



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
MLS Closeup: Galaxy gives 'Made in LA' new meaning    
The LA Galaxy was the first MLS team to sign a Homegrown player and first MLS ...
MLS: NYCFC makes Sands its first Homegrown player    
James Sands became the seventh member of the U.S. under-17 national team to turn pro when ...
Confederations Cup: Germany relishes Chile showdown    
Germany, the 2014 World Cup champion, and Chile, the 2015 Copa America and 2016 Copa Centenario ...
U.S. Abroad: European season starts early    
The new European season starts early for three Americans who will be competing in the Europa ...
MLS Closeup: Vieira aims to change NYC Derby fortunes    
New York City FC is above the Red Bulls in the standings this season but decidedly ...
MLS Today: Orlando City earns point on last touch of game    
Scott Sutter's first MLS goal on the last touch of the game gave Orlando City a ...
What They're Saying: Tyler Adams    
"Having the opportunity to walk across that stage with all the friends that I started elementary ...
What They're Saying: Juan Carlos Osorio    
"Evidently I went too far, specifically with one of their assistants. We always understood and respected ...
Video Pick: Portugal's Bruma booms a brilliant volley    
Portugal struck only once in its 3-1 loss to Spain at the U-21 European Championship but ...
MLS Today: Hansen sidelined after hernia surgery    
Columbus rookie midfielder Niko Hansen underwent hernia surgery and is expected to be sidelined for Crew ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives