Leiweke Talks Air Canada Centre

Tim Leiweke wants to make a pitch for the  as Pollstar’s Arena of the Year.

Leiweke, former chief of AEG, is currently the CEO of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, talked to Pollstar about why subscribers may want to consider voting for the company’s flagship venue in Toronto, Ontario.

“I came from a rich history of great venues with O2 in London, Berlin and Hamburg, and Staples Center in Los Angeles and Sprint Center in Kansas City, so I was a little surprised when I got here,” Leiweke said. “People, in part because it’s in Canada, tend to forget the success of the building from a content standpoint. But what pleasantly surprised me, and one of the reasons I know it’s nominated for arena of the year every year, is that it does 50-60 shows a year.

“If you look at the gross of tours, Air Canada Centre is top three gross for every tour in North America. That’s an unbelievable statement about the market and the building.”

Photo: Barryroden.com
Eagles and manager Irving Azoff meet with former AEG CEO Tim Leiweke (L) in his new position – president and CEO of Maple Leafs Sports & Entertainment – at Air Canada Centre in Toronto July 11. Maple Leafs President Dave Nonis is on the rig

Leiweke added that MLSE has invested $20 million into the building this year and expects to continue the investment for years to come. The building also recently had multiple night stands of Katy PerryBruno MarsQueen and Michael Buble, with three-nights of  on their way to selling out.

“I think it’s probably as good a run I’ve ever seen a building have,” he said. “Again, maybe we get lost in the shuffle but we’re the top arena in Canada, top four in North America depending on the quarter, and top 10 in the world.”

Leiweke has said he will be leaving MLSE to pursue new ventures and is getting several offers.