TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning promoted chief operating officer Steve Griggs to the position of president, chairman and governor Jeff Vinik announced this afternoon. Officially, Griggs was named president of the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Tampa Bay Times Forum, the arena in which the team plays its games. Griggs, who joined the Lightning shortly after Vinik purchased the Lightning and the leasehold rights to the Times Forum in 2010, will be responsible for all business units of the organization. Tod Leiweke continues in his role as the organization’s chief executive officer and alternate governor.
“Steve has done a wonderful job for us over the past three-plus years, working with CEO Tod Leiweke and our leadership team to transform the business and develop the brands of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Tampa Bay Times Forum and the Tampa Bay Storm,” said Vinik upon making the announcement. “I am very pleased to name him president today and I look forward to our continued growth as a company and a leader in the Tampa Bay community. The development of our Lightning team on the ice, in conjunction with the growth of our business, undoubtedly positions our organization for a very bright future.”
During his tenure with the Lightning and Times Forum, Griggs has managed a leadership team that has rebranded the organization and substantially grown revenues, while helping create a guest experience in Tampa Bay that is recognized nationally. Highlights include a full arena renovation of the Times Forum at an expense of more than $60 million, the team’s appearance in the 2011 Eastern Conference Final and the subsequent doubling of season ticket sales and an ultimate standings ranking of #2 among 123 major sports franchises by ESPN the Magazine in 2011.
“I graciously accept this new role and thank Jeff Vinik and Tod Leiweke for giving me the opportunity,” said Griggs. “We have a great management team and very dedicated employees and I truly believe all of us in the organization work for the best owner in professional sports. I look forward to continuing on his mission of developing a world class organization on and off the ice.”
In addition to his work in Tampa Bay, Griggs has worked with the Orlando Magic (Executive Vice President Sales and Marketing-3 years), the Minnesota Wild (Vice President of Sales and Marketing-8 years) and Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment (various roles–6 years), leading sales and marketing initiatives and strategies for each, while also opening a new arena in each locale.
SOURCE: Tampa Bay Lightning Media