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The Notebook September 19, 2013


Out of the Gate with ... Chris Quinn

Chris Quinn is the vice president of business development and premium seating for Palace Sports & Entertainment, owner of the National Basketball Association's Detroit Pistons and the Palace of Auburn Hills. He is responsible for growing the Pistons’ season-ticket base and marketing sponsorships, as well as selling suites. In addition, Quinn also plays a key role in the team’s $15 million project to develop a new upper-suite-level club at the 24-year-old arena. Quinn most recently worked as a consultant for Legends Premium Sales at the Rose Bowl and Churchill Downs. He also has extensive experience in the horse racing industry and is an avid fan of the sport. Quinn spent seven years at Santa Anita Park, where he was vice president of sales and marketing. He also worked at Hollywood Park.

Name: Chris Quinn

What I do for a living: Vice president of business development - Palace Sports & Entertainment

How and when I was introduced to Thoroughbred racing: Friday night racing at Hollywood Park

My favorite racetrack: Del Mar

My favorite Thoroughbred racing event: Breeders’ Cup

Other sports/teams I follow: Detroit Pistons

What I would like to see more of in Thoroughbred racing: Cohesion and the sharing of best practices. In the NBA, they have developed an industry-renowned Team Marketing & Business Operations (TMBO) function. They are responsible for advising all NBA league teams on all aspects of business operations, including ticket sales, sponsorship development, suite sales, customer retention, digital sales, and marketing. Each team is assigned consultants to work directly with the teams in the NBA, WNBA, and NBA D-League to help drive revenue, share best practices, and develop talent at the franchise level. Racing has tried this a couple of different times to a lot of opposition by the respective racetracks.

What I would like to see less of in Thoroughbred racing: Big-name 3-year-olds retiring and seeing them extend their career to AT LEAST the Breeders’ Cup Classic.

Three words that define what Thoroughbred racing means to me: Passion. Beauty. Betting.

First Thoroughbred track I ever attended was: Hollywood Park

Favorite all-time Thoroughbred: Zenyatta

My personal best moment in the sport of Thoroughbred racing: Zenyatta winning the 2009 Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita.

Best racetrack food can be found at: Santa Anita: FrontRunner Crab Cakes or carved sandwiches

My favorite jockeys: Aaron Gryder and Joe Talamo

My favorite trainers: Doug O’Neill, Bob Baffert, Marty Jones

My Heroes: John Wooden, Coach K, Bob Knight

Person in Thoroughbred racing I’d like to have dinner with: Jack Van Berg (got to do it a couple of years ago).

Favorite quote or motto: Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do. - John Wooden

Favorite animal other than a horse: Tiger

Favorite non-Thoroughbred racing sports event I have attended: US Open of tennis

Favorite food: Sushi

Favorite vacation spot: Cabo San Lucas

Favorite city: Laguna Beach, Calif.

Favorite all-time movie(s): Wedding Crashers

Favorite TV Show: “Ray Donovan

Favorite hotel: Montage Resorts

Websites I visit daily:,,,

What I drive: Ford Edge

Favorite movie about horse racing: Seabiscuit

Which actor would play me in a movie: David Hasselhoff

Alma Mater: University of California at Los Angeles

Favorite radio shows/channels: Siruis Radio Greatful Dead Channel

Best book I recently read: “The Power of Nice” by Ron Shapiro

Favorite memento: Future championship Detroit Pistons ring

Favorite dessert: Cheesecake

Favorite drink: Prisoner Wine

Favorite scent: Clockers Corner in the morning

What I like about my job: That I get to package entertainment and sports to passionate people and organizations

Favorite tech gadget: TV remote

Twitter Handle: @chris_j_quinn

People I follow on Twitter: Ray Paulick

No. 1 Bucket-List item: Visit Ascot and hit a Pick 6, just once.

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