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Redskins hire Brian Lafemina from NFL to lead business side

The Redskins announced that an NFL league office executive will become their president of business operations and COO. (Alex Brandon/AP)

The Washington Redskins hired Brian Lafemina as the team’s president of business operations and chief operating officer in a newly created position.

Lafemina will head the business side of operations and report to team owner Daniel Snyder, the team announced. He worked for the NFL the last eight years and was directly involved in NFL-wide programs focused on fan experience, ticketing strategy, Super Bowl strategy, Pro Bowl strategy and stadium development.

Several people within the NFL said they expect Lafemina to become a central figure in the Redskins’ planning for their next stadium, a task that has been the primary responsibility of team president Bruce Allen.

“He’s very well thought of in the league office and by the teams,” said one person familiar with the league’s inner workings. “He’s really data-driven. He sees things from the fans’ perspective.”

Lafemina has worked particularly closely with teams with overhauling and improving their ticket-selling operations, that person said.

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“Brian has been one of the most highly regarded NFL executives amongst league ownership for many years because of his deep understanding of our business, his focus on partner relationships and his genuine belief that fans must be at the center of every decision we make,” Snyder said in a statement.

“Brian is coming to Washington with fresh thinking and big ideas to implement, and I have full confidence that with Brian’s addition and with Bruce Allen continuing as team president, the Redskins’ success will continue to grow, both on and off the field.”

The team still employs Dennis Greene, who has held the title of president of business operations since 2007 and will now report to Lafemina, according to a team spokesman. Lafemina will oversee all business operations, while Greene will focus on hospitality and suites.

Greene was one of two team executives named in a recent New York Times story that said he reportedly attended an event at a night club where five Redskins cheerleaders said cheerleaders were forced to serve as dates for male suite holders and sponsors.

Lafemina’s hire was a year in the making after Snyder first tried to lure him from the league offices. He previously held multiple positions over a 22-year span with the Madison Square Garden Company, finishing as senior vice president of Madison Square Garden Sports.

Another person close to the situation said the Redskins’ interest in Lafemina had been long-standing.

“They’ve been trying to get him for a long time,” that person said.

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“Nothing could have prepared me more for this role than working at the NFL,” Lafemina said in a statement. “Dan first approached me about a year ago to discuss the possibility of me joining the Redskins. During that time, I was able to see firsthand his passion for the Redskins, the game of football and his deep commitment to the Washington, D.C., community. Working with Dan and Bruce to develop a new, dynamic stadium that matches the vibrancy of this organization and its fan base will be an exciting challenge and one of our top priorities.”

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