LAS VEGAS – After a week and a half of speculation, the Vegas Golden Knights have purchased an AHL franchise with the intent of moving the team to Nevada.
It just wasn’t the club people had originally thought.
News broke just hours ago that Vegas had purchased the San Antonio Rampage, and pending approval from the league’s Board of Governors, the team would finish out the 2019-20 season in Texas and begin competing in Las Vegas come 2020-21.
With AHL Commissioner Dave Andrews announcing the Golden Knights were in the market to buy and relocate an AHL team to Vegas on Monday, January 27, speculation began to ramp up as to which available franchises were most likely to be purchased by VGK. With the Rockford IceHogs and Springfield Thunderbirds emerging as leading contenders, San Antonio seemed safe under the ownership of Spurs Sports & Entertainment (SS&E) to stay in the Lone Star State.
Today’s events have proven otherwise.
The Rampage released a statement to coincide with the announcement:
SS&E CEO RC Buford: “We are extremely grateful to our staff, our fans and our partners who have supported the Rampage for the last 18 years. While this was a difficult decision to make, we believe this move is best for the long-term success of Spurs Sports & Entertainment.”
Golden Knights majority owner Bill Foley also commented on the Knights’ new purchase:
“Since our initial season-ticket drive began five years ago in February 2015, we have witnessed firsthand the incredible passion and enthusiasm our community has for hockey. By every relevant metric, the growth of the game here the last few years at all levels has been remarkable. We could not be more proud to bring a second professional hockey club to the valley to accelerate this growth even further.”