Michael J. Steele
General Manager of Rio Tinto Stadium
Michael J. Steele became the Rio Tinto Stadium General Manager in Summer, 2008, after working nearly two years as the Stadium’s Project Manager with ICON Venue Group. Mr. Steele brings 15 years of venue and construction management experience to the Stadium. In his capacity as the Stadium’s General Manager, Mr. Steele focuses on the entirety of operational and programming aspects for the state-of-the-art 25,000-capacity sports and entertainment venue.
During his Rio Tinto Stadium career, Steele has managed the needs for the building’s primary tenant, Real Salt Lake of Major League Soccer, as well as coordinated the details and logistics surrounding shows by The Eagles, Kenny Chesney and the enormously successful 2010 visit by Sir Paul McCartney. Under Steele’s leadership, the venue has become a favorite of USA Rugby, which has held national team matches here, in addition to both college and high school championship tourneys. The increasingly popular Snocross tour named the building its 2010 “Venue of the Year,” while Monster Trucks, high school and college football, and various other events have been attracted to Utah due to the venue’s ability to host in a world-class fashion.
Prior to joining ICON, Mr. Steele served in a similar position as the Director of Operations for the Madison Square Garden Training Center in Tarrytown, New York, since July 2002. He opened the building from the construction process and was responsible for the punch list, FF&E, and team transitioning. Once the facility was complete, he was responsible for a $2 million operating budget, all venue maintenance, capital improvements, construction, and venue-related services.
From 2000 to 2002, Mr. Steele was the Operations Manager and Ice Rink Manager for the Mullins Center at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. During that time, he handled all day-to-day operational issues in the complex with a staff of 300 and an operating budget of $1 million. Mr. Steele gained Utah-based experience from 1997 to 2000 while serving as Director of Event Services for the E Center in West Valley City, Utah. He was part of the grand opening team and worked on the punch list, hired new staff, and implemented a new training program. Once the building was operational, he was responsible for staff and planning for the venue’s first 200+ shows. In addition to his experience at the E Center, Mr. Steele has experience as Event Coordinator for the Hartford Civic Center and Sector Coordinator for the Boxing Venue for the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games.
Mr. Steele, who studied Sports Management at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst from 1989 to 1994, his wife Niki, and children Shaylie, Megan and Heather reside in South Jordan, Utah.