On October 3, 2016, Vegas Golden Knights Chairman and CEO Bill Foley announced Kerry Bubolz as the first President and Chief Operating Officer of the Golden Knights. In his role, Bubolz oversees all business aspects of the franchise.
Bubolz is entering his second season with the Golden Knights after leading the organization to a tremendously successful first campaign. The Golden Knights exceeded expectations averaging 104.4% attendance at T-Mobile Arena when combining playoffs and regular season totals. Under Bubolz’s leadership the organization also achieved sponsorship revenue 20% higher than the forecasted goals for the 2017-18 season and ranked in the top tier among NHL teams in terms of per game gate revenue.
Bubolz was also instrumental in negotiating the franchise’s television deal with Root Sports (now AT&T Sportsnet), broadcasting VGK games not only locally in Las Vegas but extending throughout the Western Rockies region through Nevada, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana and parts of California and Arizona. The Golden Knights also captured national attention with their best-in-class game presentation putting on a show for both Golden Knights fans, and NHL fans. Bubolz’s steady leadership ultimately led to the organization winning the Sports Business Journal’s prestigious Sports Team of the Year Award for the 2017-2018 season, as well as the National Hockey League’s “Commissioner Award for Business Excellence”.
Bubolz has also instilled a commitment to community outreach and service in the franchise through the organization’s various charitable initiatives. The Golden Knights Foundation serves as the primary charitable link between the team and the Las Vegas community focusing on several projects including, fighting hunger and homelessness in Las Vegas, securing the future of Las Vegas military, first responders and their families, and fostering physical, social and emotional growth of Las Vegas youth. The Golden Knights Foundation also raised more than $775,000 in 2017 for the Folded Flag Foundation and other Southern Nevada military and first responder non-profits. Bubolz’s commitment to community and growing the sport of hockey in Southern Nevada is evidenced by the team’s hockey development programs, including the “Golden Knights Hockey Academy” which reaches close to 80,000 children and 63 middle schools in Clark County.
Prior to joining the Golden Knights, Bubolz spent 13 years with the National Basketball Association’s Cleveland Cavaliers. In 2013, he was named President of Business Operations where he oversaw ticketing and suite sales, corporate sponsorship revenue, broadcast, marketing, communications and community engagement for the franchise. In Bubolz’s time with the Cavaliers, the team won the Eastern Conference Championship three times and won the NBA championship in 2016. The Cavaliers were consistently recognized by the NBA during their annual Sales & Marketing awards ceremonies as a top performing team in all key business metrics.
In addition to overseeing Cavaliers business operations, Bubolz also served as President and Alternate Governor for all franchise property teams owned by the Cavaliers Operating Company, including the Lake Erie Monsters of the American Hockey League. In 2016, the Monsters won the Calder Cup and finished third in league average attendance with 8,596 fans per-game. He was also President and Chief Operating Officer of the Cleveland Lumberjacks of the International Hockey League from 1994 to 2000.
The Tulsa, Oklahoma native also brings an abundance of National Hockey League experience to Las Vegas. He served as vice president of sales for the Carolina Hurricanes and the Dallas Stars prior to joining the Cavaliers.
Bubolz graduated from Oklahoma State University with a Bachelors’ Degree in marketing in 1989. He and his wife, Melissa, live in Summerlin and have two daughters, Madison and Emma.