Dave Susi is our newly hired General Manager. Dave joins the Future Legends team after nine and a half years with Spurs Sports and Entertainment, where he most recently served as the General Manager of Toyota Field and Star Complex. We are so excited to have Dave on board!
Q: Could you provide us with a quick summary of your career path thus far?
My career path started with the military, I spent 10 years in the Air Force doing logistics and maintenance, and that was the stepping stone for where I’m at now. The values of service before self and excellence in all we do, I live and breathe daily. Sometimes it comes with a price because I tend to work too much, but those values come before everything else I believe in.
My first job coming out of the military was with Spurs Sports & Entertainment, I spent nine and a half years with them. I was fortunate enough to be involved with start up brands, building renovations, and so many other things. I learned a ton working for the Spurs and am so grateful for that experience.
In my spare time, I have a non-profit, Heroes Sports. It’s an organization created to help veterans and soldiers returning home from combat operations, assisting veterans to be more involved with society and transition to civilian life. We use sports, outdoors, and recreation as the vehicle to help honor, empower and motivate veterans.
Q: What makes Future Legends different from most facilities?
The location and being a total turnkey complex. I’ve visited numerous facilities, but having dorms and hotels, having things of that nature that enable us to keep the clients in the same spot and cut down on travel, is incredible.
Q: What is your goal for Future Legends?
My goal is to make Future Legends the premiere and best complex in the country.
I’ve done some of this before. I’ve started some franchises before and renovated buildings.
I think wherever I can help to get this place open and running is my short term goal. The long term side of it is, I am the General Manager, so I’ll have my hands in a bunch of different things. From the maintenance side, the facility side, and some of the events, we’re all going to intersect with each other. Being the best team player that I can be in all facets and being able to watch this place succeed not just from the time that we open it, but for a long time after [is my goal].
Q: Why is this project important to you?
I have been fortunate enough to work on a variety of pro sports projects on the NBA level and the USL level. This is a new chapter that allows us to be able to write this from the beginning rather than coming in and just picking it up, and also paint that picture of what we all collectively want Future Legends to be is what stands out to me.
Q: What excites you most about Future Legends?
The endless possibilities. The sky’s the limit here and with this much land and this much territory combined with a professional sports stadium, the endless amount of things we will be able to do and bring to the complex is exciting.
Q: What will be the most satisfying part of building Future Legends for you?
The most satisfying part is going to be the first day that we open up and say come on in. Watching our patrons come through, whether it’s the fields or the stadiums, for that first event, that first practice, that first tournament, just watching their reactions, that’s the prize. I have been fortunate enough to spend as much time as I did with the NBA, in particular with the Spurs, and so just being able to start something, see it through, finish it and be able to have that creativity behind it, to make it stand out, to make it different, make people enjoy it, that’s huge.
Q: Do you have a legendary sports moment?
Without a doubt it would be winning the championship with the San Antonio Spurs. I’ve been in sports my whole life, whether it be playing or coaching. I’ve won championships coaching youth, but being there for that moment, celebrating an NBA championship, getting a ring, that’s at the top of the list. It really is [indescribable]. All the work a lot of people don’t realize. You watch the game on TV and it’s the coaches and players but behind the scenes, the business operations, the facility operations, we put in as much work as they do just on a different platform. With that [championship] being the reward at the end, that was the most incredible thing I’ve been a part of.
Q: How have you pivoted your career to help build Future Legends?
I think the role is similar to my previous roles, but it is an advancement as far as some of the creativity, the initiatives, and innovation behind what I feel is expected of me here. That is definitely a pivot. It is a change. As much as I had my hands in a little bit of everything in previous roles, it’s still a change here with that final picture being building the complex and getting it ready.
Q: Which sport has had the biggest impact on your life and why?
Football. Hands down. I played it for a long time. I coached it for a long time and was able to see all the sides of it from playing and coaching. Coaching young athletes and getting them ready for college and being able to see the rewards out of it [was impactful]. I know it’s cliche but I think football is the ultimate team game. There are a lot of values that come from being on a football team, playing or coaching, that you can apply in real life. You have to lean on your teammates to make a play and I think it’s the same thing in the business world.
Q: What advice do you have for young athletes that may want to be a pro someday?
Work hard! Whether it be training, or the discipline behind whatever sport they’re playing, just work hard. It’s also realizing that before you can become a pro, you are a student-athlete for most of your life. That’s one thing that I preach and always tell my players. You can be the best football player, basketball player, or hockey player, but if you don’t have the grades or common sense to apply that, then you are never going to succeed. We can go undefeated or we can not win one game, it’s more important for you to have your grades up in school and to conduct yourself with discipline and respect. That takes you as far as you want to go.