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Six finalists in the running to lead Tampa Sports Authority

TAMPA — Two local men with ties to professional sporting events are among the finalists to lead the agency that oversees Raymond James Stadium.

Reid Sigmon, who ran the host committee for this year's Super Bowl, and Sean Henry, a former executive for the company that used to own the Tampa Bay Lightning hockey team, are among six finalists.

The other four have experience ranging from running convention centers to overseeing fairgrounds. Each wants to be executive director of the Tampa Sports Authority, which also oversees three city of Tampa golf courses.

Board members will narrow the list to two or three and hope to make a final selection in August. The position pays $140,000 to $190,000, depending on experience.

The finalists:

• Reid Sigmon, executive director of the Tampa Bay Super Bowl Host Committee since April 2007, who oversaw community planning for the event. He had a leading role in planning the 2001 Super Bowl in Tampa, and the 2005 Super Bowl in Jacksonville. He oversaw construction and operation of Cleveland Browns Stadium from 2005 to 2007.

• Sean Henry, former secretary and chief operating officer for Palace Sports & Entertainment, which owned the Lightning until last year.

• Richard Bjorklund of Tulsa, president of an agriculture marketing and distribution business called Birch Ltd. Product Management. Previously, he led public agencies that run state fairs in Oklahoma, Nebraska and Wisconsin and held leadership positions for the entities that run Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh and the former Pontiac Silverdome in Michigan.

• Eric D. Hart of Lansing, Mich., executive director for the Lansing Entertainment and Public Facilities Authority, which oversees a convention center, minor league ball park, a farmers market and a music festival. He worked for the Minneapolis Convention Center and UIC Pavillion at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

• David Hersh, the Tampa founder of the Owners Box, a training academy for those interested in the business of sports. He has held various roles in building, running and operating small sporting arenas, particularly minor league ballparks, including Pringles Park in Jackson, Tenn.

• William C. Overfelt of Madera, Calif., who served as general manager of convention centers in Fresno, Calif., and Knoxville, Tenn., and assistant general manager for the Miami Beach Convention Center, for SMG, a private firm that runs public entertainment venues.

Six finalists in the running to lead Tampa Sports Authority 06/15/09 [Last modified: Monday, June 15, 2009 11:36pm]
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