PRINCETON, N.J. – The ECHL announced on Tuesday that the Board of Governors has unanimously approved a Transfer of Controlling Interest for the Greenville Membership from Greenville Professional Hockey, LLC to Greenville Sports & Arena, LLC. The new ownership group is comprised of 14 individuals including Jerry Zucker as well as Howard Covington Jr. and Edward Rubinstein, who will serve as managing partner and Governor.
“The ECHL is excited to have a local ownership group in Greenville. The new group has strong civic ties that will allow it to bring new energy to the Grrrowl,” said ECHL Commissioner Brian McKenna. “The league wants to acknowledge and thank Carl Scheer for his involvement in both the Grrrowl and the development of the BI-LO Center.”
The Board unanimously approved an extension to the Voluntary Suspension request of the Gulf Coast Swords, who will now begin play in the ECHL in 2006-07. The extension was granted to allow completion of a new 7,400-seat multi-use arena being built in Manatee County.
The Board unanimously approved the Pee Dee Pride request for Voluntary Suspension for 2005-06. The Board also approved the request for a Transfer of Home Territory from Florence, South Carolina to Conway/Myrtle Beach, South Carolina where the Pride will begin play in 2006-07 in a new arena that will begin construction in the summer of 2005 on the campus of Coastal Carolina University. The Board has tabled its discussion of the Toledo Storm until a later date and will continue to receive regular updates from the membership. The ECHL remains committed to doing everything possible to remain in Toledo for the long term.
The League advised the Board that the ECHL will not be playing in Lafayette, Louisiana in 2005-06. “The ECHL wants to thank the fans and sponsors for their support during what was a tremendous decade of hockey in Acadiana,” said McKenna.
The Premier “AA” Hockey League, the ECHL will enter new markets in Phoenix (Arizona) and Stockton (California) in 2005-06. In 2004-05, the ECHL played with 28 teams in 16 states and one Canadian province as Victoria (British Columbia) became the first ECHL team outside the United States.