Senior Vice President of Arena Programming at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas
“I don’t think I really knew for sure where I wanted to go until I got to the Superdome and started realizing some of the avenues I could follow. I was fortunate to be working in a building that did everything from Super Bowls and Final Fours to conventions.”
After graduating from West Virginia University with a degree in Sport Management from the WVU College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences, Ken Kuhl took a position at the Superdome in New Orleans, “having never really spent much time out of West Virginia before.” Although he admits he may have felt a little culture shock at first, he says he relied on the foundation he created in West Virginia to excel.
“It was a great learning opportunity; I was able to learn about this unique business and get my feet wet in a 24/7/365 industry. I was fortunate to work there for six years and work my way up into a senior management position.”
Kuhl is now the Senior Vice President of Arena Programming at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. With a primary responsibility to ensure that there is never a dull moment in the arena, he keeps an active calendar of notable bands, comedians and other events playing for sold-out crowds. Ed Sheeran, Justin Timberlake, Lady Gaga, Kevin Hart, and Bruno Mars have each graced the stage at American Airlines Center in the last couple of years.
“One minute I’ll be on the phone with Drake’s agent and the next I’ll be working with a patron from a basketball game the night before; I love that every day is just a little bit different in this business.”
The Center is also the home of two permanent residents, the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks and the NHL’s Dallas Stars, professional sports teams whose seasons overlap.
“We’re fortunate here in the way we can convert our building. We can change from a hockey game to a basketball game in about an hour and a half so that allows me the flexibility of doing a hockey game and a basketball game on the same day. There aren’t many arenas that can flip those events in 90 minutes.”
Though he has built a life and career in Dallas, Kuhl says that he fondly misses his home in West Virginia where he got his start. “I am very proud of my West Virginia roots and try to make it back as often as I can…I think WVU gave me a great foundation to succeed in the rest of my career.”