Robert (Bob) Hunter is a principal in the consulting firm of BCI + network. Hunter is the former Chief Venues & Entertainment Officer of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE) and has over 35 years’ experience in the sport, entertainment, hospitality and tourism industries. During his career, he has opened and operated three major stadiums in both Toronto and Vancouver (Rogers Centre, BMO Field and B.C. Place Stadium); one major arena in Toronto (Air Canada Centre) and two smaller arenas GM Centre (Oshawa) and Ricoh Coliseum (Toronto). In addition, he has managed annual revenue and operating budgets in excess of $100 million.Overseeing the operating teams for five venues for MLSE, Robert oversaw all venues operations, in-house food and beverage, live entertainment, suites sales and service and construction and venue development. Home to both the Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto Raptors, Air Canada Centre is annually recognized as one of the top five busiest buildings in North America for sports and concert events. Robert’s food and beverage experience includes growing the company’s in-house food and beverage operation revenue from $24 million annually in 1989 to over $80 million in five locations by 2015. Heading up venue development and construction, he has directly worked on numerous arena and stadium projects on the owners’ behalf totaling investments exceeding $1.1 billion. Robert has also been responsible for all corporate real estate functions on behalf of this large sports management company. Hunter has managed large employee groups exceeding 200 full-time and over 3,000 part-time employees with MLSE which is consistently recognized as one of the leading customer service organizations in sports and entertainment.
Hunter’s has performed consulting work in both the U.S. and Canada for such clients as the Greater Columbus Convention Center, Portland Venues Authority, Montreal’s Olympic Park, Niagara 2021Summer Games and currently Overactive Esports Media Group. Prior to MLSE, Robert has held numerous positions in both the public and private sectors. These include, President & CEO, ProFac Management Group (one of Canada’s largest facility management companies); President & CEO, SkyDome Corporation (now the Rogers Centre); Senior Vice President, Operations and Client Services, SkyDome Corporation; Director of Operations, B.C. Place Stadium; and, Director of Operations, Expo86 World’s Fair. On a community basis, Robert has been a volunteer for over 20 years for the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM) including roles as Board Member, Vice Chair CFE Certification Board, Arenas Committee Chair and Chair of IAVM’s Foundation. He has also taught for over 15 years at the Associations Industry School held annually. Robert has also served as an Expert Witness on Venue Safety matters. Hunter serves on numerous Boards in his hometown of Toronto including Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Tourism Toronto, Business Improvement Association, MLSE Launchpad and Athletica Sports Equipment in Waterloo.