CHL set to expand

Published On: Dec 04 2013 05:13:01 PM CST
Wichita Thunder

Central Hockey League Commissioner Steve Ryan announced today that the League will expand by a maximum of two teams for the 2014-15 season. The CHL Board recently gathered in Las Vegas and after the meetings concluded, expressed their confidence and support to expand membership to 12 teams.


“The Board is enthusiastic about the current momentum and future direction of the League and wishes to expand beyond its current geographical footprint,” said Ryan. “We receive numerous expressions of interest for expansion, both formal and informal, and are now prepared to commence a formal bid process.”


“When we came together to purchase the League, we gained control of our future and the ability to grow the legacy of the CHL into the future,” said Brad Fain, Owner of the Arizona Sundogs. “Under the guidance of the Commissioner, we believe this will be the best ‘AA’ minor league in North America. Our efforts to build a sustainable and compelling business model will attract highly qualified and passionate owners in the best markets.”


This past off-season saw the CHL expand to St. Charles, Missouri (St. Louis area) and Brampton, Ontario (Toronto area). Last June, team owners acquired the CHL in an asset purchase acquisition from Global  Entertainment, a publicly traded company that had owned the League for the previous two decades.


In October, the CHL appointed Steve Ryan as its Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer. Ryan has an extensive management background in professional sports serving as President of NHL Enterprises from 1981-

95. Additionally, he was President of the NHL Pittsburgh Penguins and Commissioner of the Major Indoor Soccer League.


To facilitate its expansion strategy, the League has retained the Sports Advisory Group (SAG), a division of W.B. Grimes, which is one of the leading sports acquisition firms in North America. SAG will initiate interaction with potential expansion candidates and advise the League on its plan for growth.