Leiweke talks MLSE future with Sportsnet

Despite reports coming out that MLSE President Tim Leiweke is leaving the organization, Michael Grange says that he denied the rumours and will be staying with the organization.

Tim Leiweke is denying an earlier report Tuesday he could soon resign as president and CEO of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment.

“Any report stating that I am leaving MLSE is untrue,” Leiweke told Sportsnet in a statement. “We are completely focused on the seasons at hand and I am not thinking of anything else but that. I am proud of all that we have accomplished here over the past year, but we have much more to do.”

MLSE sports properties include the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Toronto Raptors and Toronto FC. Leiweke became president and CEO of MLSE on June 30, 2013.

Sportsnet’s Michael Grange caught up with MLSE’s president and CEO to set the record straight.

MG: Are you leaving ‘soon’?

TL: No, there is no timeline. I’ve never said I would be here forever, but my work here is not done. We have to get the NBA All-Star Game done. We have to get the Raptors practice facility done. We have to get all three teams winning.

MG: Does the NFL deal impact your tenure?

TL: Not in the least. I’ll bet you a hell of a lot of money we’re talking about the Leafs and the Raptors making the playoffs in the same year when we talk in April.

MG: Did you have a non-compete clause when you left Los Angeles?

TL: No, there was no non-compete. I can go wherever I want and I want to be here, and I love what we’re doing and I think we’re making inroads. But we’re right smack in the middle of about a dozen huge projects and I’m going to get them done.

MG: What is on the horizon?

TL: I’ll think about this once we’re through everything we need to get through, but right now we’re focused on the season at hand and I guarantee you, I will be here.

MG: And then reassess?

TL: I serve at the beck and call of the board and so they have a voice in this too, but from my standpoint I’m focused on this season, and that’s all I’m focused on.

MG: Is there any conflict with the board?

TL: I get along well with the board and I like where we’re at and I like what we’re doing and to their credit they’ve given us the capital and the resources. You’re going to hear a series of announcements in the next couple of days. We have some very good things about to be announced, that’s why these rumours are completely untrue.

MG: And suggestions about the weather being an issue?

TL: I grew up in St. Louis and spent four years in Minneapolis and when I do leave here during the winter I go to my home in Vail, so the winters can’t bother me that much.