Billy McGehee was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in 1954. He attended Louisiana State University on a four year Tennis Scholarship and was a playing member on their 1976 SEC Championship Team. After college, he played the professional tennis circuit and held an ATP world ranking in 1978-1979. From 1980 to 1990, Billy owned and operated a professional sports promotion and management company which produced over 50 major sporting events, two of which included both Bjorn Borg’s & Chris Evert’s final retirement tour nights.
In 1990, he turned his attention to the fledgling Arena Football League helping to start and managed six (6) different AFL teams in the cities of Orlando, Tampa, New Orleans, Nashville, Atlanta and Charlotte. His team(s) appeared in seven playoffs, four Arena Bowl Championship games and won two Arena Football League Championships. For his commitment to excellence, the Arena Football League awarded Billy with their most prestigious award, The AFL Founder’s Award.
In 1998, Billy McGehee became President, CEO and Governor of the National Hockey League’s Tampa Bay Lightning and the Ice Palace Arena (now Amalie Arena).