KANSAS CITY, Mo.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--T-Mobile Center in Kansas City today announced that Senior Vice President and General Manager Brenda Tinnen plans to step down from her role effective May 31, 2021. Tinnen has led T-Mobile Center (formerly Sprint Center) since 2006 and is credited with turning the facility into one of the world’s leading live entertainment venues.
“As a native of the Kansas City area, it has been an honor to come home and spend the last 15 years growing our community’s impressive reputation for concerts, sports and live events, and helping lead the revitalization of downtown Kansas City,” said Tinnen. “While the past year has been challenging for anyone in the entertainment industry, I remain very excited about the future of live events in Kansas City at T-Mobile Center. The time is right for a transition of leadership and I am looking forward to my next chapter in the industry.”
Completed in 2007, T-Mobile Center is anchor to more than $8 billion of reinvestment in a revitalized downtown Kansas City. Annually ranked by Pollstar Magazine as one of the busiest arenas in the world, the venue has welcomed more than 12 million guests since it opened. It currently operates as a unique public /private partnership between ASM Global and the City of Kansas City, Mo.
“I want to express my deep gratitude and appreciation to the world-class team at T-Mobile Center, to our committed and dedicated business, sports and entertainment partners and to the tens of millions of fans who have walked through our doors,” added Tinnen. “In particular, I want to recognize and acknowledge Mayor Kay Barnes, Tim Leiweke, and Mr. Philip Anschutz as well as Mariner Kemper, Bob Page, Pete Ciaco, and John Kane who were there from the very beginning of Sprint Center and continue to support our efforts at T-Mobile Center today. We wouldn’t have enjoyed nearly the success we did over the past 15 years without your commitment and dedication.”
Those who have worked closely with Tinnen during her time in Kansas City had the following to say:
“When I think about how lucky Kansas City was to have the right people in the right roles to get the then Sprint Center successfully completed and open in 2007, there were few individuals more important to that effort than Brenda Tinnen. She was the right combination of experience and expertise at exactly the right time. And, what she has done since is nothing short of remarkable. Brenda has been a tireless advocate and ambassador for both downtown development and for Kansas City, and her influence and impact will be felt for generations to come.” – The Hon. Kay Barnes, Former Mayor of Kansas City (1999-2007)
“Brenda Tinnen said something to me that changed everything. I’m not sure she ever realized it or even remembers it. We sold something like nine shows to open the Sprint Center. I called it a ‘fluke.’ Brenda told me it was my future if I ever wanted to tour again. The Sprint Center, Kansas City, and me, Garth Brooks, are so lucky to have worked with Brenda Tinnen.” – Garth Brooks, International Recording Star
"Over the past 15 years, my friend Brenda Tinnen has been at the center of so many of the great events, projects and initiatives that have literally put Kansas City on the map in terms of sports, music, live entertainment and community engagements. We owe her an incredible debt of gratitude for the role she has played in transforming how the rest of the country sees Kansas City as well as how we see ourselves. I had the privilege of working with her while I was at the American Royal, then when we served together on the VisitKC Board and, most recently, through her service as an active member of Union Station’s Board. Brenda was instrumental in helping secure the 'Diana, A Celebration' exhibit in 2011, which literally helped turn around the financial fortune of Union Station and establish us as the visual voice of Kansas City. This was just one of many successful partnerships and collaborations with Brenda over the years, all focused on providing an unparalleled experience and giving Kansas City the respect and attention it deserves." – George Guastello, President and CEO, Union Station Kansas City
“Brenda taught us all how to build excitement for our community, at a time we needed it most. Her selfless and humble devotion to giving Kansas City not only a premier arena, but a sense of pride and purpose, galvanized a downtown movement that will continue to benefit our community for generations to come. While that alone would be enough service for a lifetime, Brenda went above and beyond for this community through her service to non-profit and philanthropic organizations across the region. The Greater Kansas City Community Foundation has been privileged and honored to have her support and guidance for years, and will continue to honor her legacy through our work and commitment to making Kansas City and our region the best it can be.” – Debbie Wilkerson, President and CEO, Greater Kansas City Community Foundation
"I've had the honor of working with Brenda since she stepped foot back in Kansas City 15 years ago. Brenda is a visionary leader, and it was through her drive, commitment and unwavering belief in Kansas City and the entertainment industry that she built the world class venue that we are all lucky to enjoy today. More than anything, it's Brenda's genuine love and excitement for music, sports and the arts that make her not only an unparalleled force in the industry but also a truly wonderful friend. I wish her all the best in her next chapter and know that it holds great things." – David Frantze, Partner, Stinson LLP
“With her KC roots and LA-honed sports and entertainment street cred, Brenda arrived to lead Sprint Center at the exact moment in time that our Kansas City community needed a reason to believe in ourselves, our downtown and our growth potential as a city. With her world-class entertainment connections, Brenda filled Sprint Center night after night, defying skeptics who thought the place was doomed without a sports team anchoring the building. Her unique talents allowed downtown KC to thrive and helped create memories that will last a lifetime for so many of us. And yet, her influence and impact extended beyond the walls of her beloved Sprint Center to our KC Civic Community where she served as a member of the boards of the KC Chamber, Greater KC Community Foundation, Visit KC, the Missouri Tourism Commission, and the KC Sports Commission & Foundation. Brenda’s leadership and vision have forever changed Kansas City and made us all walk taller and feel prouder of our KC community.” – Anne D. St. Peter, Founder, Global Prairie
“Our colleagues and leaders in college sports have only rave reviews about the T-Mobile Center, but more importantly, Brenda Tinnen. Her team always goes above and beyond to create world class experiences for student-athletes, coaches, and teams. The huge and continued success of the Big12 Basketball Championships is an example of that. She has solidified Kansas City’s place as one of the greatest for hosting collegiate sporting events.” – Patti Phillips, CEO, Women Leaders in College Sports
Prior to Kansas City, Tinnen served in a variety of leadership and operations roles at other venues around the country, including the Colosseum at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas, the Target Center in Minneapolis and the Staples Center and Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles.
Tinnen is widely regarded as one the top leaders in the venue industry. The awards and recognitions she has received include, Executive of the Year by the Kansas City Sports Commission, Woman of the Year from The Central Exchange and Pollstar Magazine Facility Executive of the Year. She was also included on VenuesNow’s 2019 All-Star List, a compilation honoring 50 of the most accomplished, innovative and influential leaders in the entertainment and sports facilities industry.