ALLEN, TX – Other than winning their four-straight championships, the long-awaited moment Allen Americans fans have been waiting for has finally arrived.
After being bought by Steven Brothers Sports Management in May 2014, the Allen Americans have been sold to a group controlled by Reading Royals owner Jack Gulati. The transaction was made official at a press conference in Allen this afternoon.
“Today starts a new chapter for me and the Allen Americans Hockey Club,” said Gulati. “I’m very excited for the opportunity to help this organization grow. Under the guidance of Coach Steve Martinson, we already have one of the best teams in the league on the ice. I know from our players that we have some of the best fans in the league, and my goal is to see the Allen Event Center packed on a nightly basis. There is so much potential for this hockey team to be one of the premiere members in the ECHL, and with the continued support of the community and our staff, we will excel on and off the ice.”
Serial entrepreneur Gulati, who has owned over 40 companies worldwide, came out of retirement when he purchased the Reading Royals, also a member of the ECHL, in April 2014. The purchase of the Allen Americans is his second ownership venture in professional hockey.
“We welcome Jack as the new owner of the Allen Americans,” said ECHL Commissioner Brian McKenna. “He knows our League very well, and I know he is excited about the potential of the Allen market. We appreciate the Steven Brothers’ efforts as they achieved unprecedented success on the ice as two-time defending Kelly Cup champions.”
Gulati becomes the third owner of the team in their eight-year history. The original owners, former EXCO Resources Chairman Doug Miller and former NHL player Steve Duchesne, owned the team until 2014. In May of 2012, Miller and Duchesne brought in other former NHL players Mike Modano, Craig Ludwig, and Ed Belfour were brought in as minority ownership partners. Throughout their history, the team contended for Central Hockey League championships and finally busted through with their first of four-straight league titles (currently ongoing) in 2013, after hiring Steve Martinson to become their head coach.
Steven Brothers Sports Management purchased the Americans in May 2014 and the team enjoyed enormous on-ice success in the face of absent ownership. With the help of an affiliation in San Jose, the Americans were able to win two straight Kelly Cup championships and maintain a core group of players such as Chad Costello, Riley Gill, Spencer Asuchak, Dyson Stevenson, Greger Hanson, Aaron Gens, and Gary Steffes.
With today’s announced transaction, the Steven Brothers now own two teams; the Wichita Thunder and Tulsa Oilers.
The Americans return to action tomorrow night, when they play their only game of the weekend, against the Tulsa Oilers at the BOK Center.
The Sin Bin’s Barry Janssen contributed to this report.