In the wake of yesterday’s announcement that President of Business Operations Tom Hunt has left D.C. United for another opportunity in sports business, General Managing Partner Jason Levien spoke to Black and Red United, along with MLSsoccer.com, about a wide range of topics at the unveiling of Loudoun United FC, United’s United Soccer League team slated to begin play in 2019.
Getting Audi Field open and a training facility that will go along with a new USL stadium in Loudoun County helps United get back in line with the rest of the teams in MLS, but to take the organization even further, Levien said that the team will have to expand their front office operations. Hunt, who was crucial to the stadium project as well as the design of the team’s current badge, leaves a void that will need to be filled as the Black-and-Red continue to try to catch back up with the rest of MLS.
“We are going to take our time with the search,” Levien said after yesterday’s event, while also thanking Hunt for his four years at the club.
According to a count of names listed on team websites throughout MLS, United has the smallest staff in the league. In Grant Wahl’s yearly ambition rankings for MLS teams that was released earlier this year, United declined to indicate how many people were on staff with the club.
United kept spending to a minimum while trying to escape the financial burden of playing at RFK Stadium, and the club asked some employees to take on various roles. Now that the team is no longer located on East Capitol Street, the doubling up on jobs won’t be necessary. With Audi Field opening, though, and new revenue streams for the club to go along with the projects in Loudoun, Levien said there will now be more of an emphasis on the front office.
“We are going to add new staff all the way around, some senior leadership to our staff,” said Levien. “We want to grow our organization, and this is the time to do that, with all these challenging projects. We need an influx of talent, and we are going to take our time and look for the best people.”
With Loudoun United, the team already has a Chief Operating Officer in Adam Behnke. Behnke has been part of the project since May, having been hired away from the New York Yankees, where he worked in sales since 2013. Behnke was the main presenter at the unveiling of their USL branch as United expand their footprint in the area.
While there will be more filling out of the front office for the Loudoun team before they kick off next March, there will still be plenty of focus on who the team employs back in the District.
“We have the most employees in our front office that we’ve had in the history of the club,” added Levien. “That being said, the sport is growing, our organization is growing, the opportunities are getting bigger, and we’ve got to grow with it.”