Sioux Falls Sports Names New President-Chief Executive
Sioux Falls Sports, LLC, the parent company of the Sioux Falls Fighting Pheasants Baseball Club, the Sioux Falls Stampede Hockey Club and SFS Management Services announces that Tom Garrity has been named president and chief executive officer of the company.
Garrity is founder & CEO of Quan Sports Marketing LLC, a sports consulting firm specializing in leading sports franchises in the areas of revenue generation, expense and operations management. Quan's clients have included the NHL, NBA, WNBA, Minnesota Wild, Houston Aeros, and the Phoenix Coyotes. Most recently in 2010 Quan Sports was hired by the Phoenix Coyotes of the National Hockey League to oversee the ticket, suite and corporate partnership departments. The Coyotes have increased revenues substantially in all departments along with lowering operating expenses.
In 2009, Garrity was hired by the Houston Astros of Major League Baseball as SVP of Sales responsible for ticket, suite and corporate sales. The Astros experienced strong growth in the areas of corporate sales, season and group ticket sales. Garrity was instrumental in developing a strong sales culture and instituting new ticketing platforms that drove new fans.
Prior to Quan Sports Marketing, Garrity worked for the Minnesota Wild from 2003-2008 and held dual duties as President of the Houston Aeros hockey club, the primary developmental affiliate of the NHL's Minnesota Wild and the Minnesota Swarm a member of the National Lacrosse League. In 2007, additional responsibilities included overseeing the Wild's Corporate Sales/Service and Suite Sales and Service projects.
Garrity was named NLL Marketing Executive of the Year for 2006-07 and Executive of the Year in 2007-2008, after increasing average Swarm attendance by more than 1,000 fans per game, and, during Minnesota's April 14 season finale against the Arizona Sting. He helped the franchise establish a new club record for single-game attendance by drawing a turnout of 14,144 fans to Xcel Energy Center. For the record, the Swarm raised overall attendance some 12 percent to 9,500 per game—the second-largest increase across the board based on annual crowd numbers from the previous season. In fact, significant spikes in attendance have been one of Garrity's staples since beginning his position with the Aeros in July 2003. Under his direction, the Aeros have seen an increase in attendance during each of the past five seasons, including a 10.8 percent ticket-selling boost in 2006-07. Since Houston endured a franchise-low average attendance of 5,124 in the Calder Cup season of 2002-03—the year before Garrity arrived on the scene—the Aeros have increased their attendance by 25.3 percent to 6,422 per game in 2006-07.
Prior to joining the Aeros, Garrity served as Team President of the American Hockey League's Cincinnati Mighty Ducks. He was named the second President in franchise history on May 4, 2001, after spending the previous two seasons as the club's Senior Vice President. In his first season as President in 2001-02, the Mighty Ducks attracted a franchise-record 218,384 fans. In 2002-03, Cincinnati established franchise records in sponsorship, season ticket and group sales. His successful 15-year career in sports administration and sales has included occupation with the NHL's Minnesota North Stars and Dallas Stars, the National Basketball Association's Minnesota Timberwolves, Major League Soccer's San Jose Clash and at the collegiate level with the University of Minnesota.
"Tom brings incredible knowledge and experience to our company, but most of all successes at the various levels that exemplifies where we want our franchises to perform, both on and off the fields of play. He knows how to connect with the fans. He brings to our company value that not many franchises at our levels have the opportunity to recruit," commented Gary Weckwerth, the company's managing partner.
"I could not be more thrilled with the opportunity to join these two great teams and organization as an investor and part of the front office," said Garrity. "The commitment by our ownership group to operate the Pheasants and Stampede at the highest level both on the ice / field and off is the reason I jumped at the chance to be involved. I have spent a great deal of time in Sioux Falls due to my wife being raised close to the city and know how wonderful this community is – it truly is the most exciting time of my professional and personal life"
Garrity will assume his role immediately while completing his tenure with the Phoenix Coyotes who are in the middle of a Stanley Cup playoff run.
Tom is a University of Wisconsin at Platteville graduate is a native of Prairie du Chien, Wis. Garrity and his wife, Gina, have 4 children: Caitlyn (11), Connor (9), Ceira (6), and Cameron (4). Tom, his wife and family are in the process of moving to Sioux Falls.