University of Phoenix Stadium
CLASS OF 1979
To say that Peter Sullivan loves his job is an understatement. In fact, he doesn’t even think of it as a job. Sullivan, general manager of the University of Phoenix Stadium, simply feels fortunate that he was able to achieve his childhood dream. “From a very early age, I knew that I wanted to work in sports management,” he explains. “There was an arena built near my house where the New York Islanders used to play and I would sneak in and think, ‘Wow! What a great place to work!’”
Growing up in Long Island, New York, Sullivan knew of universities with sports management programs, but none had the welcoming atmosphere that Washington & Jefferson College provided. Once at W&J, Sullivan was delighted to discover that other students were interested in similar careers. “I was having lunch with the soccer coach,” he recalls. “I told him that I was interested in sports management and he paused, arched his eyebrows, and told me that there was a senior on the swim team who wanted to go to graduate school for sports management. That inspired me.”
While attending W&J, Sullivan was a member of the swimming and soccer teams, an active brother in Alpha Tau Omega fraternity, and an economics major. “It seemed as if I only had time to eat, practice, and study,” he said. “That was the beauty of W&J. I always was busy, but still found time to do what I wanted to do.” After graduation, Sullivan worked as assistant director of admissions at W&J for two years before earning his master’s degree in sports management at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Today, as general manager of the only facility in North America with a fully retractable natural-grass playing ﬁeld, Sullivan is responsible for a wide variety of events. Whether he is hosting National Football League games for the Arizona Cardinals or securing entertainment acts, no two days are the same for Sullivan, which is something that he relishes.