During his senior year at Washington State University in 1994, Chuck Arnold applied for an internship in the Seahawks' public relations department.
The Tacoma native wasn't overly confident he'd get that gig, so there's no way he could have envisioned this day, in his 25th season with the Seahawks, Arnold was named the president of the Seattle Seahawks.
Arnold's promotion from chief operating officer was announced Monday by Seahawks vice chairman Bert Kolde as part of a new management structure for Vulcan Sports and Entertainment, the organization that oversees Paul Allen's professional sports franchises, the Seahawks and the Portland Trail Blazers, and manages CenturyLink Field, WaMu Theater and CenturyLink Field Event Center in Seattle, and the Moda Center and Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Portland.
"I don't even know if I could have imagined I'd be an intern, then all of a sudden here I am," Arnold said. "Over the past 25 years, this organization has been fantastic to me. I just have tremendous appreciation for it—I can remember working with Bert on the campaign trail before Paul even bought the team—so a lot of great experiences over the past 25 years, and I'm ready to take on this role. We've done a lot of great things, and our job now is to see if we can continue to do great things and even do more."
In addition to Arnold's promotion to team president, Kolde also announced that Chris McGowan, who since 2012 has been the president and CEO of the Trail Blazers, steps into the role of CEO of Vulcan Sports and Entertainment. Peter McLoughlin, who previously held the role of president and CEO of Vulcan Sports and Entertainment, is leaving the organization by mutual agreement.
"I am grateful to Peter for his contributions over the past eight seasons," Paul Allen said in a press release. "We have strengthened our organization and achieved success under his leadership. We wish Peter the best as he moves forward."
Under the new management structure, Arnold said part of his focus will be on a "collaborative spirit" between the entities that fall under the Vulcan Sports and Entertainment umbrella.
McGowan added, "I think there's power on operating sports teams and venues in one region together, so we're going to work really closely on opportunities… It's important to know that this is a great organization with great people here and they've done great work and will continue to do that. We have a great organization in Portland doing great work with great people as well. When it makes sense to synergize we will. I'm not going to force it, but there is a power to thinking collectively, and I think if we do that, everything can rise together."
After getting his start as an intern, Arnold joined the team's ticket sales department, then was eventually promoted to director of ticket operations in 1997 before adding the title of director of ticket sales and service in 2001. He was named vice president of sales and marketing in 2010, then became COO in 2013.
During Arnold's time as COO, the Seahawks corporate partnership posted a 41 percent increase in revenue from 2013-17, and the team has sold out suites since 2013 in addition to seeing a 72 percent increase in revenue. Arnold was also part of the leadership team that in March of 2017 created First & Goal Hospitality (FGH), a new food and beverage company that manages and operates all general concessions and premium dining at Seahawks games, Sounders matches and stadium concerts, as well as provide catering services for corporate events.
But before Arnold climbed the ranks within the organization, becoming team president on Monday, he was a passionate 12 from Tacoma with a Kenny Easley poster on his wall and a Steve Largent jersey on his back, making this day even more special.
"What an honor this is for me," Arnold said. "I grew up a 12. I can remember driving up from Tacoma to the Kingdome watching games. I used to rock a Steve Largent jersey, I remember making lots of noise… I can remember skipping church on Sundays to watch games. I had lots of different posters on my wall, I had the Kenny Easley Enforcer poster up on the wall. I was a 12 as a young kid. My degree at Washington State was sports management, I wanted to work for a team, and I wanted to work for my team, which was the Seattle Seahawks."