13:03 PM

COB Executive Speaker Series Presents Doug Thornton, SMG VP of Stadiums & Arenas


The College of Business's 40th Anniversary Executive Speaker Series will welcome Doug Thornton, SMG executive vice president of stadiums and arenas, to campus next week.

Thornton will discuss his unlikely career path from petroleum landman to sports management executive, and provide insight about the skills and traits he looks for in hew hires.

Founded in 1977, SMG is a leader in venue management, marketing and development. In addition to the New Orleans Superdome, the company manages convention centers, exhibition halls and trade centers, arenas, stadiums, performing arts centers, theaters, and specific-use venues such as equestrian centers.

Based in New Orleans, Thornton has been a leader in producing several high-profile sporting events, including two NFL Super Bowls, NCAA Final Four tournaments, BCS Championship games and the Essence Music Festival. SMG manages NRG Park: in fact, Thornton and his team were instrumental in negotiations to bring the 2017 Super Bowl to Houston.

Following Hurricane Katrina, he led several important negotiations to ensure the longevity of the city's lease agreements with its major sporting teams, the New Orleans Saints and the New Orleans Hornets (now Pelicans). Thornton oversaw the more than $336 million renovations at the Superdome and continues to manage multi-million dollar operations on behalf of SMG and the state of Louisiana.

The presentation will take place Tuesday, April 7, at 1:30 p.m. in room B113 of the Shea Street Building. For more information, contact Ruby LaCour-Tyler in the COB Dean's Office.