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With NBA and NHL teams in the midst of the offseason, we asked top team executives what sits atop their to-do list this summer as they look ahead to the 2009-10 season. Responses were edited for clarity and brevity.
President of business operations
“One personal objective this summer is to get more involved on the season-ticket-holder side. I am spending a lot more time working on that, meeting one-on-one with season-ticket holders and calling them more than I have in the past. We are renewing about where we were last year, and if we are flat, then I’ll feel pretty good. But it is a challenge.
“Another challenge is to make sure the business side and the basketball side are working well together. Selling tickets and marketing doesn’t always match up with what Ernie [Grunfeld, president of the Wizards] wants. He needs the players, and I need them out in the community meeting with season-ticket holders and sponsors, so that is something I am always thinking about.”
“We’re really trying to maintain our fan and revenue base. We’re focused on sales and improving our guest experience. One of the things we’re doing is building a new restaurant called Bert’s. It’s modeled after a place [owner] Eugene Melnyk goes in
Barbados. It’s got a Caribbean theme and will be similar in style, with palm trees and the same menu, including their big drink: the banana daiquiri. Bert’s caters to the value segment. We’re focusing on real meat-and-potatoes value for our customers.
“We also have a parking lot that holds 8,000 cars, which is great, but the egress is long. We’re concentrated on trying to improve that. We’ve got a list of 20 recommendations from a parking lot operator that we’re going to try to put into practice.”