Jac Sperling is Vice Chairman of the Minnesota Wild Hockey Club and its parent company, Minnesota Sports & Entertainment (MSE). He is also a minority investor in MSE. He served as CEO of MSE from 1997 until 2004, when he founded Grit Rock Ventures LLC, an investment company focused on sports, media and entertainment businesses. Grit Rock owns the media and marketing rights to the Wrangler ProRodeo Tour and the World’s Toughest Bulls and Broncs.
Under Sperling’s leadership, MSE has become a diversified regional sports and entertainment provider and the Wild has sold out every game in franchise history. In an ESPN survey published in February of 2003, the Wild ranked number one for stadium experience and number two for fan relationships among all 123 major professional sports franchises. In addition, Sports Fans of America Association, Inc. awarded its 2003 NHL Sports Fans Quality Award to the Minnesota Wild as the league’s “Fan Friendliest” team. In 2004, the Wild was awarded the Prism Award by the Sports Business Daily as the best-managed team in professional sports.
Sperling, 62 (6/23/49), was named the Minneapolis Star Tribune Sportsman of the Year in 2000 for his vision, leadership and dedication to the Wild and sports in the Twin Cities. He also has served as Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for the Capital City Partnership and is the Past Chair of the Board of Directors of the Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce.
Prior to accepting his position with MSE, he was a partner in the Denver office of the Washington D.C. law firm of Hogan & Hartson. While working with the firm, Sperling dealt extensively with the legal and marketing aspects of the acquisition, relocation and expansion of professional sports franchises and the construction and financing of sports and entertainment venues throughout the United States. He has worked on such projects as Coors Field (Colorado Rockies), Pepsi Center (Denver Nuggets and Colorado Avalanche), Xcel Energy Center (Minnesota Wild) and the acquisition of the Winnipeg Jets (Phoenix Coyotes), Anaheim Mighty Ducks and the Minnesota Wild (expansion).
An avid fly-fisherman, golfer and skier, Sperling enjoys spending time outside in the great Minnesota and Colorado outdoors. He graduated from the University of Virginia, both from the College of Arts and Sciences (B.A. with Distinction, 1971) and the School of Law (J.D., 1975). He and his wife, Mary Griesedieck, reside in the Twin Cities. They have two children: a son, Jay, and a daughter, Teale.