BOSTON — Travis Williams, the Penguins executive who was in charge of building the team’s thriving new arena, was named president of business operations for the Islanders on Thursday. Co-owner Jon Ledecky said Williams will oversee the planned Belmont arena and ensure that it offers “an unparalleled experience.”
Williams has been with the Penguins for 11 years, the past eight as chief operating officer. In Pittsburgh, he is best known for having been responsible for the development of PPG Paints Arena, which opened in 2010 — on time and under budget.
“His experience in developing and operating the arena in Pittsburgh will be invaluable in making sure our new facility provides an unparalleled experience when guests attend a game or concert,” Ledecky said in a statement released by the Islanders.
The executive’s move to Long Island was reported in early October by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The Islanders made it official Thursday amid growing excitement about the franchise’s return to NYCB Live’s Nassau Coliseum on Saturday night. The first official game in Uniondale since 2015 marks a major step in the transition away from Brooklyn toward the expected new home at Belmont Park.
One aspect of the Islanders’ operation will remain the same as it has been at Barclays Center, though. The hockey and business departments have been separate entities and apparently will remain so. Lou Lamoriello is head of the former and Williams will lead the latter.
“I have a great deal of respect for the ownership group, as well as Lou Lamoriello and his hockey operations staff,” Williams said in a statement. “I am truly excited to join the Islanders organization and look forward to working with all of them.”
Williams, an Indianapolis native, graduated from Penn State and earned a doctorate from Duquesne. During his time with the Penguins, the team has been among the NHL’s leaders in merchandise sales, television ratings, sponsorship revenues and social media statistics.
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