Executive Q&A: Oklahoma City RedHawks executive continues lifelong interest in sports

Executive Q&A with Michael Byrnes, president and general manager of the Oklahoma City RedHawks.
by Jennifer Palmer Published: December 9, 2012
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Q: What do you do on the weekends when you're not working? Or are you working on the weekends?

A: There are some times that we are working on the weekends. This time of year, we try to sneak in a little bit of travel because during the summer, there's not too many opportunities to do that. We had an industry conference in Nashville this week, and my wife and I went a few days early so we could go and enjoy ourselves before the work started. So if we can travel, we try. Then a little bit of recoup and relax.

Q: Is there somewhere you'd like to travel but you haven't been yet?

A: We've been talking about doing a skiing trip to Telluride or a place like that.

Q: The RedHawks had some changes this year with the naming rights to the ballpark and losing players and even the team manager. What has that been like for you?

A: We have a partnership with the Houston Astros, and they are responsible for all the decisions about what goes on with the players and the field staff and the managers. Then we have everything else. It's a unique relationship. The product we put on every night is a baseball game, and that's the one thing we don't control. But we can control how great the fan experience is, the entertainment, how clean the ballpark is, our customer service. It is interesting because there are a lot of players that come and go. I was told this week they are expecting to send their top prospect here next year. So that could be fun for our fans to see one of the best prospects in baseball.

Q: Do you stay and watch the games?

A: We work the games. Many times, we'll have important relationships out at the ballpark so we'll spend some time with them. Having oversight of the entertainment experience, for instance, we'll make sure it's going to the level we want it. I haven't stayed for all 72 games, but for 90 percent of the games, we're here to the end. One of the things we think is really important is at the end of the night, our staff is at the gate, thanking everyone for coming. We think that's a great last touch.

by Jennifer Palmer
Investigative Reporter
Jennifer Palmer joined The Oklahoman staff in 2008 and, after five years on the business desk, is now digging deeper through investigative work. She's been recognized with awards in public service reporting and personal column writing. Prior to...
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Personally speaking

Position: President and general manager of the Oklahoma City RedHawks

Family: wife, Jenna, and Shey, a golden retriever

Hometown: Fort Worth, Texas

Education: Marketing degree from St. Mary's University in San Antonio

Age: 35

Reading: “I'm Feeling Lucky: The Confessions of Google Employee Number 59”

Memberships: Bricktown Association board

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