A veteran executive of the NBA's Miami Heat and Golden State Warriors has been tapped as UBS Arena's president, the facility's developer announced Monday.
Kim Stone, who will take over business and building operations at the $1.1 billion arena in August, will be one of a handful of women leading a major sports and entertainment venue in the United States.
Stone also will oversee Baltimore Arena and other East Coast operations of Oak View Group LLC, UBS Arena's developer and co-owner, assuming the title of executive vice president of OVG East Coast.
That role will include pursuing plans to develop a hotel and retail complex near UBS Arena, which opened near Belmont Park in Elmont last November and is home to the New York Islanders and a concert venue.
"Music and hockey always will be the two drivers," she said. But the goal is to "create a destination" with shopping, dining and outdoor music even in the absence of a game or performance.
"There are 8 million people located close to UBS Arena," Stone said, "There's lots of opportunity."
She said the venue could be adapted to a wide variety of events, including award shows, college basketball and conventions and corporate events.
The hiring of Stone, a native of Binghamton, New York, who grew up in Hendersonville, North Carolina, is part of a diversity effort by OVG, the company's co-founder Irving Azoff, said in a statement.
"I'm proud of the work OVG has done through its inclusion initiatives and the impact it's had across our entire organization," he said.
“The New York Islanders, as a partner in UBS Arena, are delighted and honored to welcome Kim Stone to our family,” said Scott Malkin, co-owner of the NHL team.
Stone is the first female president of an OVG arena. Other women who hold high-profile sports and facilities roles include Amy Latimer, president of Boston's TD Garden, and Mel Raines, president and chief operating officer of Pacers Sports & Entertainment in Indianapolis.
OVG not only values diversity, but "believes it could be a competitive advantage," Stone said.
“Kim’s joining OVG plays a critical role in not only ensuring we’re hiring the best talent, but we’re working closely with the communities where we do business,” said Tim Leiweke, chairman and CEO of OVG.
Stone worked with the Heat in various executive functions for more than 20 years and was named general manager of the Warriors' Chase Center Arena in April 2019.
The role being assumed by Stone previously was divided between Hank Abate, president of arena operations, and Tim Pistore, president of commercial business operations.
Abate will be moving into a new role as president of OVG360 venue management Northeast region. Pistore will become president of OVG's new corporate office in Toronto.
Among the entertainers appearing at UBS Arena have been comedian Sebastian Maniscalco and musicians Harry Styles, Billie Eilish, Dua Lipa, the Eagles and John Mayer.
Stone said technology could augment efforts to drive revenue. In April, UBS Arena began rolling out Amazon's "Just Walk Out" technology that allows shoppers to insert their credit cards at the entry gates and then have purchases automatically charged once they leave stores at the venue.