Tag Archives: Anthony LeBlanc

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Glendale arena may change to Gila River Arena

Arizona Coyotes Co-Owner, President and CEO Anthony LeBlanc announced today that the Coyotes and Arizona-based Gila River Casinos have agreed to terms on a nine-year partnership agreement that includes the naming rights for Glendale Arena. The agreement is pending approval from Glendale City Council on September 9. If approved, the new name of the venue will be Gila River Arena. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

“On behalf of the entire Arizona Coyotes organization and Ice Arizona, we are thrilled to partner with Gila River Casinos and the Gila River Indian Community,” said LeBlanc. “Like the Coyotes, the Gila River Indian Community prides themselves on their commitment to business excellence and to their community. Pending Glendale City Council approval, we are looking forward to having Gila River’s prestigious and reputable name associated with our great hockey team and our state-of-the-art arena. This will be a great fit for both the Coyotes and Gila River Casinos.”

“As a long term partner of the Arizona Coyotes, Gila River Casinos and the Gila River Indian Community are delighted to partner with the Arizona Coyotes as a naming partner. On behalf of Gila River Casinos, I would like to thank the Arizona Coyotes and Rosette Law for working so diligently to complete the naming rights agreement. We extend our sincerest gratitude to both organizations for their continued support and partnership,” said Deborah Griffin, President of the Board of Directors for Gila River Casinos. “Gila River Casinos places a great deal of importance on being a good partner in the communities we work and live in, and this partnership provides the perfect opportunity to support long term economic growth and development to the city of Glendale and the state of Arizona.”

This will be the first naming rights deal for Gila River Casinos and the first federally recognized Tribal naming rights deal with a sports venue that houses one of four major professional sports leagues in the country. Under the terms of the agreement, Gila River Casinos will receive the naming rights and associated premier signage on the facility. In a separate transaction, the Coyotes and Gila River will enhance their long time sponsorship relationship with a variety of additional advertising, marketing and merchandising opportunities at the arena.

Owned by the City of Glendale, Gila River Arena is home to the National Hockey League‚s Arizona Coyotes and a multitude of spectacular entertainment events annually. The arena opened on December 26, 2003 (Arizona Sting lacrosse game) and the following night, December 27, the Coyotes hosted the Nashville Predators in front of a standing-room only crowd of 19,052 for the inaugural NHL game at the venue.

Since 2003, the venue has also hosted major acts such as U2, The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, Elton John, Prince, Bruce Springsteen, The Eagles, Britney Spears, Usher, Kenny Chesney, Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber, Aerosmith with Lenny Kravitz, Bon Jovi, Madonna, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera, John Mayer, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill and many more. Upcoming concerts include Marc Anthony (August 30), Ed Sheeran (August 31) and Katy Perry (September 25).

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Phoenix Coyotes Owners Have Big Plans for the Team, Including a Name Change

For the first time since 2009 the Phoenix Coyotes have an owner, IceArizona. IceArizona is a group composed of several business leaders from across North America. Renaissance sports and entertainment LLC will act as managing partner of IceArizona.

“It has been exhausting yet very rewarding, we are thrilled that we have been able to finally own this franchise and we are just really excited for what the future holds for us,” said Anthony LeBlanc.

LeBlanc and the other members of IceArizona successfully purchased the Coyotes on August 5, 2013.

“It is the first hockey team I have owned and I certainly anticipate it will be the only hockey team I own,” says LeBlanc.

LeBlanc’s background in business and marketing is one of the reasons he is not just the owner of the team, but also the CEO and president.

“I think that is the reason that I am one of the members, or really the only member of ownership group that is here in an operational roll, is I do have a unique background in sales and marketing and we felt that that was one of the key areas that this franchise needed assistance with and I am thrilled to be able to be the person to provide that,” he said.

In addition to his business experience and skills, LeBLanc also brings a passion and love for hockey.

“I think that it would be rare to find a Canadian boy who wouldnΓÇÖt want to own a hockey team, so it is certainly something I have always wanted to be apart of,” LeBlanc says.”But we really realized, well a couple of years ago when we first looked at the franchise, but we really realized at the early part of this year once we partnered with George Gosbee and the rest of the ownership group that this was something that we could really make a reality.”

The new owners are are confident that Phoenix is the right place for a hockey team.

So far the 2013-14 season has gone smoothly despite the ownership transition.

“It has been really solid,” LeBlanc said. “On the ice we are thrilled with how the team is playing and on the business front we focus on three key metrics. Ticket sales are up about 20 percent year-over-year. From a revenue perspective, sponsorships are looking like they are going to be the best year in Coyotes history, and we have sold an additional 12 suites so far this year on a full-time basis and our suite rentals are up almost 100 percent year-over-year.”

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