Newest Member Begins Play In America West Arena In 2005-06
PRINCETON, N.J. – The ECHL announced on Tuesday that the Board of Governors has approved a Transfer of Controlling Interest for the Bloomington (Illinois) Membership from Bloomington Partners to Suns Legacy Partners, LLC.
Legacy Partners is a group headed by Robert G. Sarver, who is the majority owner of the Phoenix Suns of the National Basketball Association, and its members include Bryan Colangelo, who is president and general manager of the Suns, and Jerry Colangelo, who is chairman and CEO of the Suns.
The Board also approved a Transfer of Home Territory from Bloomington, Ill. to Phoenix, Arizona where the team is scheduled to begin play in 2005-06 in America West Arena, the 12-year-old facility in downtown Phoenix that just underwent a $70 million facelift.
“We are proud to welcome Phoenix to the ECHL,” said ECHL Commissioner Brian McKenna. “Their strong ownership group, vast experience and success in the sports business and a first-class facility make this an extremely positive addition to our league.”
Claude Lemieux, who played 20 years in the National Hockey League and was part of four Stanley Cup-winning teams, will be president of the team.
The Suns will utilize their comprehensive combination of sales and marketing tools for the new ECHL member as they have done for the Phoenix Mercury of the WNBA and the Arizona Rattlers of the Arena Football League. Ranking second among NBA teams in local sponsorship revenue, Phoenix has quadrupled its ticket sales over the past three seasons while increasing sales for both the Mercury and the Rattlers.