Longtime Ticketmaster Exec Neal Gunn Dies

Neal Gunn, 72, died Dec. 20 after a long battle with cancer. 

Neal Gunn
– Neal Gunn

Gunn spent 42 years in the entertainment and sports business, including 15 years at Ticketmaster and managing venues including the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans; Astrodome, Houston and Lakeland (Fla.) Civic Center. 

He hails from Monroe, La., and started in the business in the 60s. 

“I was a Promoter Manager, which means we not only rented our facilities but also went at risk and promoted events ourselves,” Gunn wrote on his LinkedIn profile, which details his time at venues and positions including Ticketmaster as SVP of Venue Relations.

“I have promoted or co-promoted musical concerts of every genre, Broadway shows, sporting events, trade shows and other sporting and entertainment events.”

Gunn most recently was president and owner of Neal Gunn Enterprises in Houston, which he described as specializing in providing business solutions, marketing, sponsorship sales, as well as promoting and operation of events and activities.

His accounts at Ticketmaster included NCAA Football’s Bowl Games and NASCAR. 

Mercedes-Benz Superdome
Mercedes-Benz Superdome
– Mercedes-Benz Superdome

As part of his role with the Houston Sports Association in the 1980s, Gunn and Mike McGee co-founded Leisure Management International, a private management company that operated sports and entertainment venues including the now defunct Miami Arena, Bridgestone Arena, Nashville; Infinity Energy Center, Duluth, Ga.; American Airlines Arena in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and various other facilities. SMG bought LMI in 2000.

Gunn was an all-state running back in 1960 at Louisiana high school football powerhouse Neville High School and played at LSU from 1961-64.