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Published April 26, 2023 by VenuesNow

Fans of the NHL San Jose Sharks can avail themselves of a new SAP Center premium seating option when the team starts the 2023-24 season: a luxury lounge with mingling space and seats in the bowl.

The roughly 4,000-square-foot Penthouse Lounge is the newest $10-million-plus improvement at the 30-year-old building, whose “good bones” allow for regular upgrades that have maintained the arena’s vitality, as opposed to relying on more intermittent $100 million-range upgrade and maintenance projects, said Sharks President Jonathan Becher.

“Each summer we do one large mega project and a bunch of smaller ones where we invest in modernization and upkeep,” he said, adding that $5 to $10 million has gone into upgrades every year since the building opened in 1993 at a cost of $183 million. “The building doesn’t feel as old as it is chronologically because we are constantly working to refresh it and keep it up to date.”

Read the full article here.

Sharks adding new premium area to SAP Center

Published April 20, 2023 by Sports Business Journal

The Sharks’ new premium project at SAP Center, the Penthouse Lounge, will get underway May 4 and be completed in time for the 2023 NHL season later this year. The Lounge, divvied up into four and six-person theater boxes with a private bar, replaces seven suites and three rows of bowl seats at the top of the arena. “This is part of our strategy to deliver experiences to fans that are not limited to the game of hockey, where it’s as much of a social interaction as it is just viewing the hockey game,” said Sharks President Jonathan Becher. “A modern building has to be designed for many different audiences. And what our building historically had less of is those communal environments. … I would not be surprised if we build more of these in the future.”

Read the full article here.

ALL IN: Leaders in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Published March 27, 2023 by Sports Business Journal

Coinciding with SBJ’s ALL IN conference on April 20 at BMO Stadium in Los Angeles, we recognize the work of individuals across sports in the area of diversity, equity and inclusion. They are leading important discussions and decisions within their organizations and throughout the industry about how diversity is a business imperative. We relied on input from industry sources and leaders who have been recognized in our previous DEI coverage to help us identify those who lead by example in how sports business can be a welcoming and open forum for all.

Becher made NHL history last summer with his hiring of Mike Grier as the club’s general manager, making him the first Black person to oversee player personnel for an NHL club. Becher’s track record on the issue of diversity and inclusion, however, extends beyond this high-profile decision. As early as 2009, he used his position as a high-ranking executive at SAP to advocate for women in leadership roles. He currently serves as the co-chair of the NHL’s Fan Inclusion Council, a role in which he seeks to make NHL fandom a more welcoming and inclusive experience for individuals from underrepresented groups.

Read the article here.

San Jose Sharks to Retire Star Player’s Number

Published Feb 23, 2023 by KQED

Patrick Marleau will become the first player in Shark’s franchise history to have his jersey permanently retired – number 12. It will be raised to the rafters at the SAP Center.

Listed to the segment here.

City of San Jose Honors Legendary Sharks Player Patrick Marleau

Published Feb 22, 2023 by NBC Bay Area

The city of San Jose on Thursday celebrated legendary Sharks player Patrick Marleau, the franchise’s all-time leader in regular season games played, goals and points, ahead of his historic number retirement on Saturday.

Watch the video here.

Silicon Valley Power 100

Published Feb 3, 2023 by Silicon Valley  Business  Journal

For the first time, the Silicon Valley Business Journal has named the region’s Power 100. This list represents the most influential business people in the region, as selected by SVBJ editors and reporters. For more about this project, and to see a full breakdown of list makers, click here.

For the past five years Jonathan Becher has been president of the Sharks Sports & Entertainment (SSE), steering San Jose’s NHL team through five winning seasons, two trips to the playoffs and two years of Covid protocols. Most recently, Becher led SSE’s expansion of Sharks Ice into an $120 million new complex at Tech CU Arena, the home ice for the San Jose Barracuda. As president, Becher also oversees the SAP Center and the nonprofit Sharks Foundation. Becher, whose background includes being CEO at three Silicon Valley tech companies, has been a prolific blogger since 2007, back when he worked in marketing at SAP. His blog, Manage by Walking Around, touches on business, leadership, innovation and even muses on how Charles Schultz was a hockey fan.

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San Jose Sharks new scoreboard rivals those in Times Square

Published Dec 28, 2022 by KTVU

This hockey season, the SAP Center’s ice isn’t the only action sport for Sharks fans. Suspended approximately 50 feet in the air, the latest technological marvel for arena sports is also an eye-catcher.

“When fans come to games, they come for the sporting part of it, hockey. But they also come to be entertained,” said Jonathan Becher, president of the San Jose Sharks.

He said the newly installed “Center-On” display is state-of-theart, and an upgrade over its predecessor. It measures 23 feet by 41 feet on each of its four sides, and the display has 6,000 square feet. of programmable video display.

Read the full article here.

San Jose Sharks Unveil New High-Tech Scoreboard

Published Dec 21, 2022 by NBC Bay Area 

Sharks fans are likely to notice a new high-tech addition at their next hockey game.

A 23-foot-high, 41-foot-wide board, featuring what they call “force perspective 3D,” with video that looks like it jumps out at you, has been added to the San Jose Shark Tank.

“We’re here in Silicon Valley, right? Tech capitol of the world, so using technology to get them to go, ‘oh, I never thought we could do that’ it’s something we get asked for, it’s in our DNA,” said Jonathan Becher, president of Sharks Sports Entertainment.

Read the full article here.

Becher’s Bytes: The Sharks Origin Story

Published Dec 7, 2022 by  Becher’s Bytes

The origins of the San Jose Sharks can be traced back to the 1967 NHL expansion. The San Francisco Seals, a WHL minor league team, was purchased by a new owner who moved them from the Cow Palace to the Oakland Area and renamed them the California Seals. Over the next 7 years, they had four different owners, eight different coaches, and two other names (Oakland Seals, California Golden Seals). In 1976, the Seals relocated to Cleveland, Ohio and became the Cleveland Barons. Unfortunately, they only lasted two seasons in Cleveland, merging with the Minnesota North Stars in 1978.

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