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Published March 23, 2009
When Charlie Jacobs graduated from Boston College in 1994, he left the East Coast determined to never work for his family’s business. Eight years later he returned and took a job at his family’s Delaware North Cos., where he is redefining his family’s reputation in Boston.
The Boston Bruins executive vice president and youngest son of franchise owner Jeremy Jacobs is now in his seventh year overseeing Delaware North’s interests in Boston, which include the Bruins, New England Sports Network and TD Banknorth Garden.
When he arrived, critics in the market derided the Jacobs family as miserly, out-of-market owners. That reputation has changed gradually under the younger Jacobs’ leadership.
“We weren’t a fan-friendly organization,” said Chuck Moran, president and COO of Delaware North. “Charlie’s physical presence and what he has done with that physical presence has gone a long way to change that image.”
In the wake of former Bruins President Harry Sinden’s last season in 2006, Jacobs brought in Peter Chiarelli as the team’s GM and Cam Neely as vice president working on both business and hockey operations. Chiarelli has become the architect of an on-ice revival that has put the Bruins among the top teams in the league, while Neely has worked on re-engaging fans. At the midpoint of this season, ratings for Bruins games on NESN were up 53 percent and attendance at the Garden was up 12.3 percent.
Jacobs also oversaw improvements off the ice, working closely with TD Banknorth Garden President John Wentzell on more than $40 million in renovations at the building, and helped revamp the Bruins’ front office.
“He led the charge on changing the culture,” Moran said. “The results have been fabulous.”