SUNRISE, Fla. – The Florida Panthers and its parent company Sunrise Sports & Entertainment, LLC announced today that Peter A. Luukko has been appointed Executive Chairman, where he will work closely with Chief Executive Officer and President Rory A. Babich and Executive Vice President and General Manager Dale Tallon.
“We are extremely fortunate to have Peter join our management team,” said Owner Vincent Viola. “Peter adds significant industry experience to our executive management team and will help us continue to implement our strategy of becoming a world-class sports and entertainment company. He is a well-respected sports and entertainment executive and his decision to join our organization validates our business plan that enables us to attract individuals, such as Peter, with a wealth of knowledge, talent and experience.”
Luukko, 55, served as President and Chief Operating Officer of Comcast-Spectacor, L.P. for more than 25 years, overseeing the Philadelphia Flyers, while serving as a member of the National Hockey League Board of Governors. He oversaw Comcast-Spectacor's facility-management business, which runs more than 125 sports arenas, stadiums and convention centers. He was also responsible for the expansion of Comcast-Spectacor’s broad range of businesses.
“I would first like to thank Comcast-Spectacor Chairman Ed Snider for giving me the opportunity to grow and develop within the Flyers organization and to serve as the team’s president,” said Luukko. I am forever grateful to Ed and the entire Flyers organization for the 25-plus years that I spent in Philadelphia and with the team.”
“When Vinnie and I first met to discuss the Panthers and BB&T Center, I was overwhelmed with his passion and immediately shared his vision for the organization. I am extremely excited and look forward to beginning the next chapter of my career, while working with two first-class and bright individuals in Rory and Dale. We have a fine roster of players and a world-class sports and entertainment facility that will continue to attract fans from all over the world. We look forward to building a successful team in South Florida.”
Under Luukko’s leadership, Comcast-Spectacor helped Philadelphia garner national attention and awareness by attracting several high-profile events to the city of Philadelphia, including the 2000 Republican National Convention, the 2000 NCAA Women’s Final Four, the 2001 NCAA Men’s East Regionals, the 2001 and 2002 X-Games, the 2002 NBA All-Star Weekend, the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Gymnastics, the 2011 NCAA Wrestling Championships, the 2014 NCAA Frozen Four and numerous other sports and entertainment events.
As President of the Flyers, he played an instrumental role in his club participating in two Winter Classics (2010 and 2012), while also hosting the 2014 National Hockey League Draft.
A recognized leader in the facility management industry, Luukko was the 2000 recipient of the City of Hope’s Tri-State Labor Award. He also received the 2002 prestigious Harold J. VanderZwaag Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Sports Management Program of the University of Massachusetts for his accomplishments in the field of sports management. He received the 2013 Police Athletic League PAL Award for his contributions to the Philadelphia community.
In 2013, Mr. Luukko and Comcast-Spectacor Chairman Ed Snider ranked 43rd on Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal’s prestigious list of the Top 50 Most Influential Leaders in Sports Business. The two are also two-time winners of Venues Today’s Hall of Headlines. He also was named one of Billboard Magazine’s Power 100 (2012 and 2013).
Mr. Luukko serves as an active member of the Board of Directors of Pointstreak Sports Technologies Inc., a Toronto company that develops sports-related software, including 50/50 raffle technology increasingly used at sports facilities across North America.
He also serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Philly Sports Holdings, an Exton, Pa.-based holding company that operates Sports Vault and Strategic Sports Marketing.
Luukko is a hockey player, hockey coach and hockey parent. He is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts. Luukko and his wife, Casey, have three children Nick, Dana and Max. His son Nick was drafted by the Flyers in the sixth round of the 2010 NHL Draft.