From Toronto to Vancouver and back again, Robert (Bob) Hunter has spent his entire career marketing and managing some of Canada’s premier sports and entertainment facilities. A native of Hamilton, Ontario, Hunter attended the University of Waterloo where he obtained his Honours Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Kinesiology. He then attended graduate school at the University of Washington, Seattle specializing in Sports Medicine.
Hunter started his career at Ontario Place, the lakefront entertainment complex in Toronto. After a progression of operational positions, Bob assumed the responsibility for all operational and revenue-producing elements of this 96-acre entertainment complex. In 1982, he left to open the 60,000 seat BC Place Stadium in Vancouver where, as Director of Operations, he was responsible for all event service, production and facilities management.
In 1985, he moved to the Expo ’86 World’s Fair management team with a mandate to construct and develop British Columbia’s participation in the World’s Fair. Following construction of this $145 million entertainment complex, Hunter then managed the property throughout the six-month Fair.
Hunter was recruited back to Toronto in early 1987 to work on the new $500M SkyDome Stadium (now Rogers Centre) project as Vice President of Operations and Client Services. After five years with SkyDome, Hunter was promoted to President and CEO of this premier sports facility.
In 1994, Hunter joined PROFAC Management Group as President and CEO. This firm was responsible for providing real estate investment and facility management services for large Canadian corporations and government organizations.
In January 1998, Hunter returned to the sports and entertainment industry and accepted the position of Executive Vice President and General Manager of Canada’s newest arena, Air Canada Centre. The new privately owned $265 million complex, home of the NHL Toronto Maple Leafs and NBA Toronto Raptors, opened in February 1999 and is consistently ranked in the top five busiest entertainment venues in North America.
In addition to Air Canada Centre, Hunter also oversees management and bookings for Ricoh Coliseum (home to the AHL Toronto Marlies); Oshawa’s General Motors Centre, which opened in November 2006. He also oversaw the construction of BMO Field, Canada’s only soccer specific stadium. BMO Field, home of Major League Soccer’s Toronto FC and Canada’s National Soccer teams, was built in an impressive 468 days on time and on budget. BMO Field opened in April 2007.
Bob serves on the Board of the International Association of Assembly Managers (IAAM) “Public Facility Management School”. He also sits on the Boards of Tourism Toronto and the Trillium Health Centre Foundation. He is a past member of the Board of Directors of the University of Waterloo and the Board of IAAM. Also with IAAM, he has served as Chair of the Arenas Committee and currently is Vice Chair of both the Facility Executive Certification Board and Facility Management School.
In February 2000, Hunter was recognized by the Canadian Music Industry as the Facility Executive of the Year. In October 2007, Hunter received an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Waterloo in recognition of his career achievement in facility management.
Hunter is an avid squash player and golfer.