09/22/2014 9:39 AM
CHICAGO – The Arena Football League (AFL) announced today that prominent entertainment and hospitality executive Scott C. Butera has been named the League’s seventh Commissioner. Butera will leave his post as CEO of Foxwoods Resort Casino to assume his new duties.
As Commissioner, Butera’s initial focus will be on increasing consumer awareness of the AFL brand so that it can grow revenues through strategic partnerships and sponsor programs. He will also work closely with League President Jerry Kurz on football operations to maximize opportunities to integrate spectator experiences.
“I am extremely excited to be joining the Arena Football League as its next Commissioner,” said Butera.
“The AFL has a rich history and it provides fans with a high quality, highly entertaining brand of football at prices fans can afford,” he continued. “With a strong core product and owners who are truly committed to the long-term success of the league, I am convinced that we can leverage our media contracts to produce increased exposure for the League and the sponsor revenue opportunities that go along with it.
“Arena Football has an appeal to a younger generation of fans who appreciate the pace of the game, its social media potential and the intimacy of the arena experience,” Butera said. “That said, I think we can become a truly prominent sport in the United States and abroad.”
An avowed sports enthusiast who played football at his alma mater Trinity College in Hartford, Butera has spent most of his career in top management positions with nationally recognized entertainment brands such as Foxwoods and Tropicana Entertainment.
At Foxwoods (2011-present), a property with over $1.0 billion in annual revenues, he led the restructuring of the Resort’s finances and operations through business development and marketing programs aimed at repositioning the brand. He secured sports partnerships with professional teams in Boston (Red Sox) and New York (Yankees, Rangers, Knicks, Nets, Madison Square Garden) to help spearhead the effort.
As CEO of Tropicana Entertainment (2008-11), Butera engineered the company’s emergence from Chapter 11 bankruptcy and, in the process, helped to revitalize the iconic brand through improved marketing and property redevelopment.
Butera honed his business operations skills as Chief Operating Officer of the Cosmopolitan Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. Prior to that he was President, Chief Operating Officer, and Executive Vice President of Trump Entertainment Resorts, Inc.
Butera’s financial background includes 20 years in investment banking with UBS Investment Bank, Credit Suisse First Boston, Smith Barney and Bear Stearns & Co. During that time he concentrated on analysis and client service for companies in the real estate, lodging, gaming and leisure industries.
The new Commissioner earned his MBA at New York University's Leonard N. Stern School of Business. He recently served as a member of the Board of Fellows at Trinity College.
About the AFL
Since its inception in 1987, the Arena Football League has showcased a fast-paced and exciting game to millions of fans in a myriad of markets across the country. The ESPN family of networks and CBS Sports Network will nationally broadcast AFL games each week for the entire 2014 season. The AFL schedule culminates each season with the ArenaBowl on ESPN.