Best Job in Town

Imagine going to work every day at a major league baseball stadium, but your job is not watching the team or figuring how many hot dogs and beers you need to sell to turn a profit. Rather, you get to think up creative ways to attract major entertainment acts from rock stars to Cirque du Soleil to your state-of-the-art venue. Some people might call that the best job in town.

Written by Jim Muyo
Best Job in Town
Field of Dreams: Paul McCartney was just one of the headliners at AT&T Park in 2010.

 On the surface of it, Stephen Revetria ’92 seems to have one of the coolest gigs in all of San Francisco. But talk to him and you quickly learn that his job —negotiating multi-million dollar deals to bring entertainment and sporting events to AT&T Park—is even better than it sounds.

Paul McCartney, the Rolling Stones, Cirque du Soleil, San Francisco Opera at the Ballpark, and Cal football are just some of the more than 750 events that Revetria has brought to the home of the World Series champion San Francisco Giants since the club moved from Candlestick Park after the 1999 season. And, it’s not just the headliners. As vice president and general manager of Giants Enterprises, a subsidiary of the Giants, Revetria also oversees all bookings for private parties and corporate events.

When he’s not in his third story AT&T Park office overlooking McCovey Cove, Revetria is off traveling on one of his many trips to secure bookings. “It’s so exhilarating,” he said a day before heading off to Los Angeles to meet with tour managers and concert promoters to see which musicians he might attract to AT&T Park. “My job is thinking outside of the box. We’ve had skiing in the middle of the field. We helped start the bowl game (originally the Emerald Bowl, this year’s game was renamed the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl).”

Recognized with numerous awards for event staging, Revetria says his ideas for acts and events come from everywhere and anywhere. “Certainly, because of our reputation, we get people approaching us all the time. But I also read a lot and travel,” Revetria said. Some of his favorite reading is Sports Business Journal and Pollstar, the entertainment weekly that has the skinny on which performers are hot.

To make it on to the AT&T schedule, though, acts have to be more than just hot. Revetria said that bookings have to fit in with the Giants’ schedule, have the ability to sell out a 40,000-seat stadium, and be priced affordably.

Securing such acts, while intriguing and demanding for Revetria, is foreign to the folkloric image of the operation of a base- ball team.

“This was revolutionary in 1999 when this was being talked about,” Revetria said. “It just wasn’t done. This was a commitment by (former Giants managing general partner) Peter McGowan, (current president) Larry Baer, and (former marketing and business executive) Pat Gallagher, who was really my mentor here.” The Giants had confidence that their new venue, originally called Pacific Bell Park, would become an entertainment destination. They were right and the park and its event management team led by Revetria quickly earned national recognition.

One of the challenges that Revetria faces is juggling the booking of events at the park with the primary tenant. Thus, the Giants’ home schedule and possible post-season appearances such as last year’s push to the World Series championship take booking dates off of the calendar.

Revetria must also consider how events might affect the baseball field.

“The integrity of the field is the number one importance. You don’t want a player out there slipping on a piece of grass that got ruined during a concert,” he said. “That offsets any profits and just isn’t good for the team.” Thus, events such as Super Cross, skiing, and the bowl game are scheduled for the winter before the field gets completely redone for a few hundred thousand dollars, according to Revetria.

Still, Revetria can’t say yes to any event. He recalled a Hawaiian group that wanted to hold a luau on the field and bury a pig under the pitcher’s mound. Revetria politely turned down that request.

As if his job and the travel and management of bookings doesn’t keep Revetria busy enough, he and his wife, Elizabeth, are the proud parents of a new baby girl. He’s also a partner in Prophet Winery, started in 2006, whose pinot noir has been given four out of four stars by Food & Wine magazine and is now being sold in some of San Francisco’s finest restaurants.

In addition, he currently serves on the U.S. Council of the Meeting Professionals International Foundation, as commissioner for the Golden Gate Park Concourse Authority, as a trustee of Fort Mason Center, as a board member for San Francisco Travel, and on the executive committee for the Hospitality Industry Management Program at the University of San Francisco. He is a past president of the International Special Events Society of Northern California and The Guardsmen. He is also a member of the USF President’s Ambassadors and is a past recipient of the Alessandri Service Award, named in honor of the late Al Alessandri ’51, former USF vice president of university relations.

"The integrity of the field is the number one importance. You don’t want a player out there slipping on a piece of grass that got ruined during a concert. That offsets any profits and just isn’t good for the team.” —Stephen Revetria ’92

“I love San Francisco and being engaged in the community. I’m fortunate to be in the position that I am in because so many people believed in my abilities and vision. In return, it is my intention and goal to give back and to be as philanthropic as I can,” Revetria said. “I am privileged to work for an organization that is a great partner in the community and supports my efforts and involvement.”

That involvement extends to USF. When Gallagher, a mentor to Revetria who worked for the Giants for 32 years, retired in 2008, Revetria sought a way to honor him and spearheaded a drive to develop the Pat Gallagher Fellowship in the USF Sport Management program. A recipient gets a year-long stint with the Giants, working in every facet of the organization while receiving a $7,500 stipend.

What’s next for Revetria? Possibly the development of Mission Rock, a large parcel of land near AT&T Park that the Giants and other partners are looking to develop into a multi-use community that will include open space, retail, restaurants, and an entertainment venue.

“I think the next step in my career and what I am excited about is the opportunity to help develop something. That’s the next project for me and where my interests really lie. And the Giants’ ownership has bought off on this idea. We have to go out and find the money to make it happen. It’s more than a billion dollar project, but we’re going to do it. I guess for me that’s the next phase in my career, to really get this new project up and running,” Revetria said.

Those are big plans and they’re far removed from Revetria’s days as a USF communications undergraduate student. A former business manager at the San Francisco Foghorn, Revetria said he envisioned a career in the business side of radio while he was at USF. However, while he was working as a student in the USF Alumni Relations office, he became involved in event planning and found the work interesting. Upon graduation, he went to work for Pacific Marine Yachts, working his way to director of sales before leaving for Giants Enterprises.

So what’s on tap at AT&T Park this year while the Giants are away? With the addition of Cal football to the schedule, Revetria says that there are fewer dates available for other events, though a simulcast of the San Francisco Opera, which typically draws 30,000-plus, will take place on Sept. 25 and the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl is going to return at a date still to be determined. But, with a history of Super Cross, skiing, and major rock concerts, just about anything might show up on the schedule.

    « Back