Chairman, Hunt Sports Group
A founding investor-operator of Major League Soccer, Clark Hunt remains one of the most innovative and influential members of the MLS Board of Governors. As chairman of the Hunt Sports Group, Hunt oversees the operations FC Dallas and the National Football League’s Kansas City Chiefs.
Son of the late American sports pioneer Lamar Hunt, Clark Hunt shares his father’s passion for soccer and the family’s vision for the sport’s success in the United States. At Lamar’s request, Clark engaged in the formative discussions for MLS lending his proven business acumen to the league’s financial structure. Now in its 20th season, MLS has earned a stake in the landscape of professional sports and is well-positioned for future growth.
In 1999, Clark Hunt worked closely his with father to construct the first “soccer-specific stadium” in the United States in Columbus, Ohio. Realizing the vision of Lamar Hunt, the debut of professional soccer at Columbus Crew Stadium on May 15, 1999, represented a pivotal moment in the history of MLS and solidified the long-term viability of soccer in the United States. Six years later, in 2005, Hunt Sports Group unveiled what is now Toyota Stadium, a 145-acre soccer complex in Frisco, Texas, and the home of FC Dallas.
With its 17 tournament-grade fields, permanent event stage and first-class design, Toyota Stadium has now became the model for soccer-specific stadiums in North America. By the 2007 season, less than a decade after the inaugural match in Crew Stadium, more than half of all MLS teams had a soccer-specific stadium to call home – a credit to the vision of Lamar Hunt and leadership of the Hunt Sports Group.
As stadium construction, new investment, player development and a broadening fan base continue to shape the soccer marketplace in North America, Clark Hunt is intimately involved in the development and direction of MLS. Hunt currently serves as one of four members of the MLS Board of Governors appointed to Commissioner Don Garber’s Executive Committee. He is also a member of the Competition Committee as well as the league’s Labor and Philanthropy Committees.
In addition to his roles in MLS, Hunt is also a respected voice in the NFL. Hunt is in his ninth year as Chairman of the Board of the Kansas City Chiefs, the storied franchise founded by his father. In 2006, Hunt was one of eight NFL owners to serve on the Commissioner Search Committee which recommended Commissioner Roger Goodell as the successor to then-Commissioner Paul Tagliabue. In 2007, Goodell appointed Hunt to the NFL’s Digital Media and International Committees, as well as the Executive Committee of the NFL Management Council.
Hunt graduated first in his class at Southern Methodist University in 1987, earning a degree in business administration with a concentration in finance. He was a two-time recipient of the university’s highest academic honor, the Provost Award for Outstanding Scholar. During his career he was a four-year letterman on the Mustangs nationally ranked soccer team, earning
First Team Academic All-America honors as a junior and senior and serving as a tri-captain his final season. He was recognized as one of the SMU Cox School of Business Outstanding Young Alumni in 2004, and in 2005, he was appointed to the Cox School Executive Board of Trustees.
Hunt and his wife, the former Tavia Shackles of Kansas City, are involved in numerous philanthropic efforts. In 2004, the Hunts were part of the grassroots effort behind the formation of Lift Up America – an organization that facilitates widespread compassion and giving through strategic partnerships with corporations and sports teams. Since that time, more than 30 teams have partnered with Lift Up America, and corporations like Cinemark Theaters, Interstate Batteries and Tyson Foods have helped the organization distribute millions of pounds of food and countless other services to people in need worldwide.
Clark Knobel Hunt was born on Feb. 19, 1965 and graduated from the St. Mark’s School of Dallas in 1983. The Hunts have three children – Gracelyn, Knobel and Ava.