ALLEN, Texas – Allen Americans owner, Jack Gulati has confirmed to The Sin Bin the team is for sale. When Jack bought the Americans in 2017, his commitment was that the team would stay in Allen and he would have a more fan-friendly operation. Gulati became a familiar face to fans as he greeted them on the concourse before every game he attended.
When I contacted Jack this past January after he agreed to sell the other ECHL team he owned (Reading Royals) and asked him what that meant for Allen, he said:
“I am pleased that I was able to consummate the deal with the current owners of the Reading Royals Arena, where the team has played since 2001. This will have a very positive impact not only for the Reading Royals but as well for the Allen Americans. With the completion of this transaction, it will allow me more time to visit with our great fans in Allen and to help the team grow. I am pleased and I hope all of the loyal fans of the Allen Americans will also be pleased that I will be able to see them more often.”
It was a surprise to hear the Allen Americans were for sale after what fans thought would be many years of stability. The team seemed to have everything going in a positive direction. Gulati negotiated a new five-year lease with the City of Allen and the relationship between the city, and the team is better than ever. All of the financials from season tickets to groups sales to corporate sponsorships improved each season to a point where the team is now profitable.
So why is the team for sale? The answer to why Jack Gulati is selling the team is very straightforward. Gulati is dealing with some health issues in his family. He decided as an absentee owner, it is better for him to find local investors to purchase the Americans.
When I talked to Gulati, he strongly emphasized the team will stay in Allen. Jack also told me if he doesn’t get the team sold by the beginning of the upcoming season, he will not sell during the season.
The Allen Americans have so much going as a franchise:
– The largest and most affluent market in the ECHL.
– A great facility in the Allen Event Center in the middle of premier shopping, dining and entertainment in The Village at Allen and Fairview Town Center.
– Dallas/Fort Worth is home to 24 Fortune 500 companies and 43 Fortune 1000 companies.
– The on-ice product, under the leadership of coach Steve Martinson, struggled last season but won four straight championships from 2013-2016. Martinson has won over 1000 professional games, one of only three coaches to accomplish that feat.
I know there is a lot that goes into the sale of a hockey team, but my hope is a local businessman or group will see the Americans franchise is on the upswing financially. Martinson will recruit a competitive team for the 2019-20 season, and the potential of this franchise is outstanding. Local ownership would be significant for the ECHL, the Allen Americans and the fans. Only time will tell.