Vice President, Operations and Facilities
A prominent member of the Tampa Bay sports scene for the past three decades, Rick Nafe was named vice president, operations/facilities for the Rays in October 1996.
In his 29-plus years of facility management, Rick is one of only two facility managers in history to have hosted a Super Bowl (two), the NCAA Final Four and the World Series.
Nafe joined the Rays from the Tampa Sports Authority (TSA) where he served as executive director since 1992. He joined TSA as director of operations in 1980.
During his tenure as executive director, Nafe coordinated efforts with Tampa and Hillsborough County to build Legends Field for the New York Yankees spring training, and the St. Pete Times Forum as a home to the Tampa Bay Lightning. The TSA, under his leadership, also secured and designed the new Raymond James Stadium for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and USF Bulls.
Nafe served as venue host and committee chairman for Tampa's Super Bowl XVIII and XXV. He also was a member of the National Football League's operations staff for nine other Super Bowls. Nafe is a longtime board of director member for the Outback Bowl of Tampa Bay and also sat on the board of the National Alumni Association for Florida State University. After 12 years of serving as president of the Stadium Managers association, he now holds the position of chairman and in February was honored with the Association's Lifetime Achievement Award. He also serves on the board for the Mac- Donald Training Center, St. Petersburg Bowl, the Department of Sports Management at St. Leo's University, Tampa Bay and Company, the Tampa Bay Sports Commission as well as the Florida Sports Foundation.
Nafe is a native of Miami and a 1975 graduate of Florida State University. He and his wife, Ellen, have three children: Travis, Parker and Katie.