The New Meadowlands Stadium LLC has announced today that Mark Lamping, president of the St. Louis Cardinals, has been named chief executive officer of the new state-of-the-art stadium in the Meadowlands. Construction is 30 percent complete and ahead of schedule for the building's completion in time for the 2010 football season.
Lamping, who will report directly to the board of directors of this joint venture between Jets Development LLC and Giant Stadium LLC, will oversee operations of what is not only the new home for two iconic NFL franchises but will be the sports and entertainment capital of the region.
Lamping will work closely with the naming rights and cornerstone partners and will manage all capital projects and business operations related to the new stadium, including but not limited to its financing, legal and government affairs, design and development, and third-party event business.
In addition to the minimum of 20 NFL games that will be played at the New Meadowlands Stadium each season, the stadium will host events ranging from college football to international soccer tournaments to major concerts and more.
The venue will be like none other with an unprecedented four scoreboards — the most in the NFL — and a seating bowl with optimal viewing angles for every spectator. The technological capacity of this building will allow it to transform for every event each gameday and allow for maximum exposure for building partners.
"I'm both honored and elated to be given the chance to serve as CEO for this extraordinary new facility," said Lamping. "Both the players and fans can look forward to an experience at the new Meadowlands that will make the venue a star attraction right in line with the two terrific teams who will call the stadium home."
"This new stadium will be the gold standard, globally as well as nationally," Lamping said, "and I look forward to doing everything possible to make the behind-the-scenes operations as dynamic and high-performing as the venue itself."
Lamping comes to the Meadowlands stadium after a 13-year stint as president of the baseball Cardinals. Among his signature accomplishments in that role, he oversaw the renovation of the old Busch Stadium as well as the development and funding of the new Busch Stadium, which opened in downtown St. Louis in April 2006.
He was at the Cardinals' helm for five NL Central Division titles, the 2004 National League championship and their 10th World Series championship in 2006.
Before joining the Cardinals, Lamping served as Anheuser-Busch's group director of sports marketing for five years. In that position, he managed the company's TV and radio sports production division and all domestic and international sports marketing activities for Anheuser-Busch's beer brands, including sponsorship agreements for the Olympics, World Cup and all major North American professional sports, including the NFL.
"We couldn't be happier that Mark is coming on board as the CEO of this amazing new stadium," said Steve Tisch, Giants chairman and executive vice president. "He brings a level of leadership and marketing experience to the position that puts him at the forefront of the industry. Since the New Meadowlands Stadium is also posed to become the industry template, it's a perfect matchup all around. We're confident that this stadium is going to serve as a premier year-round destination for the entire tristate area."
"Mark is just the right person to take charge of our new stadium," said John Mara, Giants president and CEO. "He has the qualifications, experience and character we were looking for. Mark has demonstrated throughout his career that he is a visionary and that he possesses the unique skills necessary to make this stadium the finest in the country and one that all of our fans can be proud of."
"Mark's reputation preceded him and we all believe he will be both a great colleague and superb chief executive officer of our unprecedented joint venture," said Jets president Jay Cross. "I personally look forward to welcoming him to New York."
The executive search was handled by Turnkey Search, a division of Turnkey Sports & Entertainment.
"The CEO position stimulated incredible interest around the globe," said Len Perna, Turnkey president & CEO. "At one point we had more than 100 highly qualified, highly interested candidates from the United States, Australia, England, Germany and other nations. Mark Lamping rose to the top of an extremely competitive process."
The groundbreaking for the New Meadowlands Stadium took place Sept. 5, 2007, at a ceremony in which New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine, State Senate President Richard Codey, New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority chairman Carl Goldberg and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell joined Woody Johnson, John Mara and Steve Tisch to unveil the stadium design and sign a steel beam as a kickoff to major construction.
"In Mark we are fortunate to have found a dynamic executive with a proven track record in sports marketing and facilities construction," said Jets chairman and CEO Woody Johnson. "When the stadium opens in 2010, it will stand apart from any other venue in the world, the only place to see live NFL action on any and every given Sunday.