This biography of a living person needs additional citations for verification. (December 2010) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
|Occupation||Sports promoter, team owner and manager|
Steve Donner is an American sports promoter, team owner, and manager. He was an owner of the Rochester Americans of the American Hockey League, the Rochester Knighthawks of the National Lacrosse League, the Rochester Rattlers of Major League Lacrosse and the Rochester Rhinos of the United Soccer League. He also works as a sports business consultant and is part of the ownership group of the ECHL's Greenville Swamp Rabbits.
Donner helped bring professional soccer and lacrosse to his home town of Rochester, New York. He was instrumental in the development and starting of the National Lacrosse League (formerly the Major Indoor Lacrosse League) and the construction of the ESL Sports Centre and PAETEC Park in Rochester.
Teams he has owned or managed have won championships in the American Hockey League, the National Lacrosse League, the A-League, and Major League Lacrosse. He has brought a total of eight championship teams to the City of Rochester. He has won more championships in multiple leagues than any other minor owner in the United States.
Donner has had a sports marketing career of over 27 seasons in professional sports. Highlights include nine years as Marketing Director for the Buffalo Sabres of the NHL. He played a big part in bringing the Buffalo Bandits of the National Lacrosse League to Buffalo, New York. He was vice president of marketing and sales and a founding member of the Tampa Bay Lightning of the NHL, the first NHL team in Florida. Donner created Fan Land, a fan interactive area in the Thunderdome Sports Complex which was the first of its kind in pro sports.
Donner was AHL executive of the year in 1996 and was inducted into the United Soccer Leagues Hall of Fame in 2006, the Frontier Field Walk of Fame in 2014 and the Rochester Knighthawks Hall of Fame in 2014.. He currently lives in Orlando, Florida, and led the relocation effort that brought the Orlando Titans of the National Lacrosse League from New York City and was instrumental in bringing the Austin USL franchise to Orlando, which became the MLS Orlando City SC.