Blues Status Brighter with New Ownership

5 years 7 months 2 days ago Thursday, May 10 2012 May 10, 2012 Thursday, May 10, 2012 6:24:00 PM CDT May 10, 2012 in Sports
Source: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- NHL commissioner Gary Bettman gave his stamp of approval to new St. Louis Blues ownership, saying the franchise's financial picture is much improved.

Bettman spent time at the podium alongside Tom Stillman, a beer distributor who heads an all-local ownership group, at a news conference Thursday.

"We know the future is extraordinarily bright," said Bettman, who referred to the Blues as a member of the NHL's "Original 12" franchises. "The balance sheet looks much, much better, much, much stronger.

"I know he won't rest until the players are hoisting the Stanley Cup."

Stillman, previously a minority owner, introduced 16 major investors including his father-in-law, former Missouri Senator John Danforth, and a representative from previous ownership that'll retain a significant but not controlling interest in the franchise. Stillman said the goal was to make the franchise financially sustainable for the long haul.

Bettman said the Blues are "less leveraged" and have more "equity" than before the sale.
"We are honored and humbled to take ownership," Stillman said. "Our new ownership group is 100 percent local, and we are 100 percent committed to the Blues and to St. Louis."
Stillman said it'll take some time to straighten out finances and asked for support from fans, local businesses and the rest of the community. He said most in the ownership group are lifelong hockey fans and most have season boxes.

Coach Ken Hitchcock watched the news conference from a doorway alongside president John Davidson. Most players on the current roster attended, along with more than a dozen former Blues.

The sale was believed to be about $130 million for the Blues, the AHL Peoria Rivermen, the Scottrade Center and what the team said was a "substantial" interest in the adjoining Peabody Opera House. The price is well below the $157 million that Forbes had valued the Blues in December, which was 27th among the 30 NHL teams according to the magazine.

The team sold for $150 million in 2006.

Stillman's group was a fallback option after a deal headed by Chicago businessman Mathew Hulsizer fell through on Dec. 31.

"I'd have to say a lot of times I didn't think it was going to happen," Stillman said. "If there was another strong local option, I would have been OK with that, too."

The Blues have been for sale for two years and were at least $10 million below the NHL's salary cap last season. They're coming off one of the best regular seasons in franchise history with a mix of emerging talent and veterans. The 109 points tied for second-best in the NHL and Hitchcock, general manager Doug Armey and captain David Backes are finalists for awards.

"If you study the franchise, it's in pretty good shape regarding the hockey itself," Davidson said. "I'm not going to talk about business because that's not my business right now to talk about business.

"The business side has come a long ways, and it's come a long ways from 6,000 people in the building to having out-of-this-world crowds and the playoffs and enthusiasm within the city itself."

St. Louis beat the San Jose Sharks in five games in the first round before getting swept by the Los Angeles Kings in the second round, a series that ended Sunday.

"We are fortunate to be taking over one of the best teams in the NHL, with a strong, mostly young nucleus and a very bright future," Stillman said. "Our top priority will be to put a serious contender on the ice year in and year out and to establish the Blues as an elite NHL franchise."
They inherit a motivated roster still recovering from the Kings series.

"I think everyone thought we'd have big beards and playing into June," forward Andy McDonald said earlier in the week. "Obviously, I'm disappointed, but I'm also encouraged because this team has a lot more to give."

The Stillman group becomes the eighth owner of the Blues since the franchise began in 1966. They bought the team from Towerbrook Capital Partners and Sports Capital Partners Worldwide, a group headed by former franchise chairman Dave Checketts.

The previous ownership's interest was rolled into Stillman's group with approximately half of the "common shares," according to a spokesman for Checketts.

"While we will still retain significant ownership in the Blues, we are happy that they are now in the hands of local ownership and wish them well," Checketts said in a statement. "We will continue to be Blues fans and enjoy what is a promising future."

Stillman is chairman and chief executive officer of Summit Distributing and for his first venture into professional sports purchased a minority share in the Blues in 2007. He played hockey and soccer at Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vermont.

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA -It's a topic that many people shy away from, but one man came to Columbia to talk about suicide.... More >>
4 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 8:25:00 PM CST December 11, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Terron Wings says he considers himself blessed he can now call himself an “American taxpayer.” Wings, 37,... More >>
5 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 7:27:27 PM CST December 11, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Board of Education voted to approved ballot language for a $30 million bond issue Monday night... More >>
5 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 7:01:00 PM CST December 11, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA – High winds and dry conditions warranted additional safety precautions for fire safety Monday in central Missouri. The... More >>
6 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 6:04:00 PM CST December 11, 2017 in News
RENICK – The Beamer family was on the porch of their Randolph County home at the beginning of the storm... More >>
7 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 5:21:00 PM CST December 11, 2017 in News
ROCHEPORT - Consolidated Water issued a boil order advisory for parts of Howard County Monday due to a water main... More >>
8 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 4:29:00 PM CST December 11, 2017 in News
ORONOGO (AP) — Homeowners living near a gun range in southwest Missouri are concerned about stray bullets that have been... More >>
9 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 3:32:30 PM CST December 11, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - When someone goes to the doctor for a checkup, they might expect the regular look at their eyes,... More >>
9 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 3:15:00 PM CST December 11, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri's attorney general is weighing whether to appoint a special investigator to check into use of... More >>
10 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 2:45:00 PM CST December 11, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - One MU Nursing School program has reduced the number of nursing home patients from hospitalization by nearly 50... More >>
10 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 2:24:00 PM CST December 11, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA- The Missouri Attorney General's office is forming an advisory board to develop the first statewide program in Missouri that... More >>
12 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 12:22:00 PM CST December 11, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The city plans to begin repairing base failures in the Thornbrook Subdivision beginning Dec. 11 at 8 a.m.... More >>
13 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 11:34:00 AM CST December 11, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A Missouri state representative has filed more legislation which would redefine "marriage" as a "contract of domestic... More >>
13 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 11:22:00 AM CST December 11, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA – Monday is the final day to donate to Columbia Parks and Recreation’s Almeta Crayton Memorial Toy Drive. ... More >>
14 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 10:58:00 AM CST December 11, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens says he wants his five new appointees to the state veterans... More >>
14 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 10:50:00 AM CST December 11, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - UPDATE: 1:44 P.M. A police officer confirmed white paint footprints are related to Monday's investigation. The police officer... More >>
17 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 7:34:00 AM CST December 11, 2017 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - Nearly four years ago to the day, local business owner Linda Bonebrake was diagnosed with severe sepsis at... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, December 10 2017 Dec 10, 2017 Sunday, December 10, 2017 6:47:00 PM CST December 10, 2017 in Continuous News
JEFFERSON CITY - Bird lovers got an up close look at birds typically seen in their backyards Sunday. It... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, December 10 2017 Dec 10, 2017 Sunday, December 10, 2017 5:36:00 PM CST December 10, 2017 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 38°
1am 35°
2am 32°
3am 31°
4am 29°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

12:37a
Last Call with Carson Daly
1:07a
Inside Edition
1:37a
Paid Program
12:30a
Cops
1:00a
Top 30
1:30a
Page Six TV

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
The Voice
8:00p
Gwen Stefani's You Make It Feel Like Christmas
9:00p
Chicago Med
7:00p
Greatest Holiday Commercials Countdown 2017
8:00p
The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld