David W. Checketts is an American sports businessman. In 2012, he was named chairman and chief executive officer of Legends Hospitality Management, in which his Checketts Partners Investment Fund holds an equity stake. He also oversees Sports Capital Partners Worldwide, a New York-based investment firm that focuses on sports, media, and entertainment assets. Under SCP, Checketts started Real Salt Lake, a Major League Soccer franchise. He sold his majority stake in January 2013.
Checketts was born in 1956 in Bountiful, Utah. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Utah. He received his MBA degree from Brigham Young University. Checketts began his career at Bain & Company in Boston. Working for a client who wanted to buy the Boston Celtics, he met National Basketball Association commissioner David Stern. For one year he was vice president of development for the NBA. One year later (in 1983) at the age of 28, he became president and general manager of the Utah Jazz, making him the youngest chief executive in NBA history. He spent one year as general manager of NBA International. He was with the Jazz until 1990.
From 1991 to 1994, he was the president of the New York Knicks basketball team. In the four seasons Checketts served as the president, the team finished twice in first place, made it to the Eastern Conference Finals twice and captured the Eastern Conference Champion title in 1994. From 1994 to 2001, Checketts was president and CEO of Madison Square Garden Corporation. He oversaw all operations of one of the most powerful sports and entertainment companies globally, including the “World’s Most Famous Arena” and its three sports franchises, the New York Knickerbockers of the NBA, the New York Rangers of the NHL, and the New York Liberty of the WNBA along with the award winning MSG Network and FOX Sports Network. Under his leadership, Madison Square Garden was awarded with many accomplishments such as being named Arena of the Year for six straight years. He established the MSG “Cheering for Children” foundation, which created after school programs for thousands of New York City school children. In 1997, Checketts acquired and restored New York’s historic Radio City Music Hall for MSG.
Checketts has served or advised many companies, including Direct Satellite, Inc.; IMG Worldwide, Inc.; Republic Home Mortgage; TowerBrook Capital Partners, L.P.; Peterson Partners LP; Mangia Technologies, Inc.; International Management Group; and JetBlue Airways. He served as director of Citadel Broadcasting Corporation from 2002 to 2006; and McLeodUSA Inc. since February 25, 2004.
He is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In 1994 the National Father’s Day Committee named Checketts a Father of the Year. He and his wife, Deb, have six children.
He was featured in the book The Mormon Way of Doing Business.