Craig Leipold is the majority owner and principal investor in Minnesota Sports & Entertainment (MSE), a regional sports and entertainment leader that includes the National Hockey Leagues Minnesota Wild, the Houston Aeros of the American Hockey League, 317 on Rice Park and the facility management of Xcel Energy Center, Saint Paul RiverCentre and the Legendary Roy Wilkins Auditorium. He oversees the day-to-day business operations of the organization and also serves as the teams Governor at NHL Board of Governors meetings. The NHLs Board of Governors officially approved Leipolds purchase of MSE on April 10, 2008.
Under Leipolds ownership, the Wild is dedicated to building a Stanley Cup contending franchise, playing an important role in the community through service initiatives, providing a fun and entertaining game-night experience and building strong relationships with its fans and corporate partners.
A resident of Racine, Wis., Leipold completed the sale of the Nashville Predators to a local ownership group on December 7, 2007, a team he owned since the expansion franchise was awarded to Nashville in 1997.
During his time as an NHL owner, Leipold has been a tireless advocate for the professional hockey industry. Appointed by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, Leipold serves on both the Leagues Executive committee and Audit committee. Steadfast in his belief that a new collective-bargaining agreement needed to give smaller markets like Nashville a chance to succeed economically and on the ice, he was a member of the League Negotiating Committees that negotiated the CBA with the NHL Players Association in each 2005 and 2012. He is also a strong advocate for the new, more fan-friendly NHL, including the rule changes to promote a more entertaining competition and increased fan access to the product.
Craig and his wife Helen (Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Johnson Outdoors, Inc., Chairman of Johnson Financial Bank Corp.,) have five sons: Chris, Kyle, Connor, Curtis and Bradford. While in St. Paul, the Leipolds live in their apartment in the historic St. Paul Hotel.