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Volume 21 No. 1
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Spotlight: Patrick Scanlon, Quicken Loans Arena

Scanlon brings guest experience honed with Rock and Roll to the Q

Patrick Scanlon recently joined Quicken Loans Arena as director of guest experience. Scanlon is a veteran of the venue industry, having served as director of guest relations for the New York Yankees and most recently at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. He spoke with SportsBusiness Journal staff writer Anna Hrushka.

Age: 41.
New title: Director of guest experience for Quicken Loans Arena.
Previous title: Manager of visitor and member services at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland.
First job: Corporate trainer at Macaroni Grill and Chili’s. “When you’re a waiter, taking care of people impacts your right front pocket directly. That’s where I learned how to deal with such a wide variety of people. I took those little bits and parlayed that into my approach and philosophy on how I take care of people across the board.”.
Education: Associate of arts degree in mass communication, St. Petersburg College, 1998.
Resides: Lakewood, Ohio.
Grew up: Clearwater, Fla.
Executive most admired: Terry Stewart, president of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
n Brand most admired: Nike.
Last movie seen: “The Avengers.”
Favorite movie: “The Natural.”

What will be the biggest challenge in your new position?
Getting acclimated to what they do here at the Q. I’ve run a baseball stadium and a rock and roll museum, and now I’m just learning what they do here at a multi-event venue and how all of my skill sets leading up to this point will be integrated into that. So the biggest challenge: patience.

What’s the biggest risk you’ve taken in your career?
Leaving the New York Yankees to move to Cleveland, Ohio — in the sense of uprooting with an organization for almost a decade and then venturing into uncharted territories.

What’s your biggest professional accomplishment?
I’d say getting this job here at the Q.

What career advice do you have for people wanting into the sports industry?
Be knowledgeable about what’s out there. Utilize all of the various resources such as TeamWork Online. Constantly peruse team websites to see what opportunities are out there. Even with the Rock Hall and the Yankees, I’ve gone to a multitude of job fairs. I used to go to the Baseball Winter Meetings every year. Those are the times that people have the best opportunity while they have a fairly captive and engaged audience to get a job in the sports industry. Squeaky wheel gets the grease: I hired more interns with the Yankees because they wouldn’t leave me alone.

What is the one element you would like to see changed about the sports industry?
I think the sports industry has gone through evolutions, if you will. I think they’re starting to realize it needs to get back to the fan. It needs to be more guest- and fan-centric. The landscape changed over the last decade, when they started rebuilding stadiums. Because of the economic landscape, it was prudent for people to build more club seating and suites, which is all well and good. That’s where a lot of the money comes from. But at the end of the day, it’s your fan that has been there, buying their $8 bleacher seats for the last 50 years, that is the foundation of what your team really is.