- Posted June 6, 2015 by
Kansas City, Missouri
Missouri Mavericks Purchased By Lamar Hunt Jr
Lamar Hunt Junior recently purchased the ECHL hockey franchise, the Missouri Mavericks. This minor league hockey team is based in a Kansas City suburb at the Independence Events Center, which seats 5,800 spectators.
“Today is an exciting day for the Missouri Mavericks and our great fans,” said new Mavericks owner and Loretto Ventures, LLC President, Lamar Hunt Jr. “Since 2009, the Mavericks have been an exemplary hockey franchise. I have seen firsthand how the team and staff come together to create a competitive product on the ice, as well as an exhilarating game day experience at Independence Events Center. We are pleased to have the opportunity to build upon the foundation of success the team has established and can’t wait to get started.”
Lamar Hunt Jr Brings Hockey To KC
Hunt Jr., named after his legendary father who is the founder of the Kansas City Chiefs, decided to reach out to the hockey franchise on his own. Lamar grew up watching hockey and feels that it is underexposed in Kansas City. The Hunt Sports Group, run by his brother Clark who is the chairman of the Chiefs is a separate venture from Lamar Hunt’s ownership of the Mavericks. As president of Kansas City-based Loretto Sports Ventures, Lamar Hunt Jr., of Leawood, invests in sports teams and their affiliated assets. Loretto Sports Ventures has decades of sports experience. Their resources and guidance fuel growth in the sports industry.
The experience and influence that Hunt Jr. has will bring the best possibilities to this expanding team and it's fan base. Out of 28 teams in the ECHL the Mavericks rank sixth in attendance with an average of 5,176 in the 5,800-seat Independence Events Center being filled. Obviously there are some fans out there who are excited to see this team grow to the next level. The community organization dedicated to bringing the NHL to Kansas City is also excited to hear about the new team owner. As president of NHL21 Paul McGannon said that he was “thrilled” to hear about Hunt’s involvement.
As the new owner of the Mavericks, Hunt also shares the dream of expanding this sport of his childhood by encouraging more youth to skate and play hockey. He has a long-term goal of investing in several metro areas to build youth hockey facilities thereby unifying the existing youth hockey leagues in Kansas City, making it a hub for Midwest hockey. With this growth Lamar Hunt Jr. hopes to also attract national youth tournaments to be hosted here. The number of kids currently playing hockey is minimal due to the lack of hockey facilities. There are currently only 4 sheets of ice available for the usage of youth hockey leagues. The more availability of facilities, creates more opportunities for people to enjoy the sport. As the popularity grows, the possibilities for the franchise and the benefits to the metro community also grows.
“Lamar’s sports acumen and dedication to the community will immediately impact the success of our team,” said Brent Thiessen, Mavericks President and General Manager. “It insures our long-term future in Kansas City and we are excited to help him take the franchise to the next level.”
Lamar Hunt Jr. Charity
Hunt Jr. has been and currently is an active member of the Kansas City community as founder of Loretto Charities, LLC, a private charitable organization based in the greater Kansas City area. The Kansas City Chiefs Charitable Foundation is another charitable organization in which he is a member of the board. Serving on the religious broadcasting groups Advisory Board of the Catholic Radio Network, which operate radio stations in the greater Kansas City, Wichita, and Denver markets.
As a graduate from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music with a Bachelor of Music Degree Lamar Hunt Jr. later completed a Master of the Arts degree at Dallas Baptist University in counseling. Working with abused and neglected teenagers, homeless men with addiction problems, and families in crisis as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in both Kansas and Missouri he is passionate about and dedicated to the Kansas City community. Lamar is a proud parent of nine children and five grandchildren with his lovely wife, Rita.
With an eye on the future, even while Lamar hopes to increase interest in the sport by attracting the best talent available, it may be too soon to determine if the Kansas City area could support an NHL team. Hunt said he would like to become a top farm club directly for an NHL team as the Mavericks are currently affiliated with the top farm club of the NHL’s St. Louis Blues, the American Hockey League’s Chicago Wolves. Attracting better talent comes with a cost and the first step in that process will be addressing the salary cap that is currently in place.
The Missouri Mavericks are ready to grow with the future of Kansas City's growth. Formally part of the Central Hockey League (CHL), on October 7th, 2014 the Mavericks team was added to the Premier ‘AA’ hockey league, the ECHL, along with six other expansion teams. This historic move marks a new era for the team this 2015 season.
The Mavericks have made the playoffs in each season from 2009 to 2014, and won the 2014 Bud Poile Governor’s Cup, with (44) regular-season wins capping off a franchise record season. In addition the team have been awarded numerous league and community awards over the years, claiming for the past four straight seasons Central Hockey League Franchise of the Year award and the Harry S. Truman Special Community Service Recognition Award from the City of Independence. As Kansas City’s only professional hockey team the Missouri Mavericks are dedicated and proud to be investing in the skill level of hockey players and values of sportsmanship with our fans throughout Kansas City.
This new union of a growing team and an active community member invites a commitment to excellence and opportunity for the Kansas City metro area, to hockey fans new and old and to the youth of tomorrow who may have an possibility to grow along with this amazing franchise as they move up and achieve the dream of becoming an NHL contender with world class athletes participating in record breaking seasons.