GLENDALE – Brian Sandy knows hockey and he knows Tucson, and the new President of the Roadrunners – the Coyotes’ freshly relocated American Hockey League affiliate – believes the two will make for a great partnership.
“Many of the people in Tucson migrated for the sun,” Sandy said. “There are a lot of folks there who are originally from the Chicago area, from Minnesota, from the Dakotas and from Canada, and a lot of those people love hockey. I think they’ll really appreciate the high level of play in the AHL in their own backyard.”
Sandy comes to the Roadrunners with a plethora of experience in professional and collegiate sports management. Among his past job titles are President of the ECHL’s Stockton Thunder and Associate General Manager for the University of Arizona Athletics/IMG College. Regarding the latter, Sandy orchestrated multi-million dollar sales, service and marketing efforts for 19 U of A sports programs, including the Wildcats hockey club.
“One of the things that really struck me during my time at the University of Arizona was what a great hockey town it is and what a great facility in which they play,” Sandy said. “There’s not a bad seat at the convention center. The sight lines there are incredible, and that environment will give fans a chance to get up close and personal with the stars of tomorrow today at a very affordable price.”
The Coyotes announced the new team in May and Sandy’s hiring on Monday. That gives him just over three months to get ready for the team’s first game in October. Sandy said he’s quickly jumping into his new job; he already has nine appointments scheduled with assorted movers and shakers in Tucson.
“I want to get myself engaged back in that community right away,” Sandy said. “We’re looking at what I call a condensed off-season where a lot of things have to happen very quickly. The good news is I’ve been in this position before (as President of the expansion Portland Thunder of the Arena Football League). It will all get done.”
Sandy is approaching his new job with a serious approach to fun, if you will.
“The hockey side of things are covered,” Sandy said. “At the end of the day, we want to put a compelling product on the ice and the incredible Coyotes Hockey Operations staff has seen to that. For me, on the flip side, is making sure we provide an incredibly fun and entertaining and affordable experience for Tucsonans on the family level and on the corporate level.”
He added, “It’s all about fun. Our fans can look forward to compelling promotions and a lot of unique things taking place during the games.”
Coyotes President and CEO Anthony LeBlanc considers Sandy a perfect fit for the job. Sandy concurs.
“It’s definitely a great fit for me,” Sandy said. “I love Tucson. I’m excited to get back. I only left it for my love of hockey, and what perfect synchronicity to have an opportunity to return to Tucson in the sport that I love.”