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Dave Checketts Named CEO of Goldman-Yankees Legends Venture

Dave Checketts poses for a photo before a MLS soccer game between Real Salt Lake and DC United in Sandy, Utah, on June 18, 2011. Photographer: George Frey/Getty Images
Dave Checketts poses for a photo before a MLS soccer game between Real Salt Lake and DC United in Sandy, Utah, on June 18, 2011. Photographer: George Frey/Getty Images

Jan. 18 (Bloomberg) -- Dave Checketts, former Madison Square Garden president and St. Louis Blues owner, was named chairman and chief executive officer of Legends Hospitality Management LLC, the concessions, merchandising and management-services company owned by the New York Yankees, Dallas Cowboys and Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

Checketts succeeds Michael Rawlings, who in June was elected mayor of Dallas and is a partner of CIC Partners, whose stake in Legends Checketts will acquire, the company said in a statement.

Bloomberg News reported in December that a group led by Checketts, 56, was in talks with Legends to take about a 16 percent stake in the company, which was created in 2008.

“I have always looked to associate myself with strong brands and successful businesses,” Checketts said in the statement. “In fact, between Goldman Sachs, the Dallas Cowboys and New York Yankees, I’m sure you cannot get any better.”

Newark, New Jersey-based Legends supplies concessions to Yankee Stadium and Cowboys Stadium. The Yankees are Major League Baseball’s most valuable team and the Cowboys are the National Football League’s most valuable club according to annual rankings by Forbes. Each own 34 percent of Legends.

Rangers, Knicks

Checketts, who is selling the National Hockey League’s Blues, ran MSG from 1994 to 2001, putting him in charge of the New York Rangers and Knicks. The Knicks reached the National Basketball Association Finals in both 1994 and 1999.

He also led New York when the team traded Hall of Fame center Patrick Ewing to the Seattle SuperSonics in 2000, leading to a decade in which New York had a .399 winning percentage.

Checketts takes over a company whose sales and marketing clients include the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers; NBA’s Charlotte Bobcats, Indiana Pacers, Oklahoma City Thunder and Phoenix Suns; baseball’s San Diego Padres; and college football’s Rose Bowl, according to the company’s website.

“He has proved himself an astute manager, entrepreneur and investor over the course of a long career built on a very solid sports and entertainment foundation,” Yankees co-owner Hal Steinbrenner said in the statement. “That operational skill, coupled with a strong business sense, will serve Legend’s well as it expands and grows.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Mason Levinson in New York at mlevinson@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net.

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