Hicks group will explore sale of NHL’s Stars
Tom Hicks, the financially strapped owner of the Dallas Stars,
is exploring a possible sale of the NHL team.
The Hicks Sports Group said Thursday it has retained Galatioto
Sports Partners to look for new investors and explore the idea of
selling a majority stake in the NHL team.
Team president Jeff Cogen said that Hicks has received
“numerous” inquiries about the team, but a sale is not
“I think the Dallas Stars are a model franchise, kind of the
pride of the NHL relative to the Sun Belt,” Cogen told The
Associated Press. “I would envision that we would be a very
appealing asset for the right person.”
Less than a year after defaulting on $525 million in loans
backed by the Stars and baseball’s Texas Rangers, Hicks has already
agreed to sell the Rangers to a group led by Pittsburgh attorney
Chuck Greenberg. The Rangers sale awaits approval from Major League
Baseball, the NHL and the group of 40 lenders holding debt from the
Hicks also owns half of Liverpool and British government
officials have expressed concern about the debt load tied up in the
Premier League club.
A spokeswoman for Hicks said the owner was out of the country
and unavailable for comment.
Hicks bought the Stars in 1996 from Norm Green, who had moved
the team from Minneapolis three years earlier. Dallas won the
Stanley Cup in 1999 and went to the finals again the next year.
That run sparked a home sellout streak of more than 200 games while
interest in youth hockey blossomed through several Dallas-area ice
rinks run by the Stars.
But Dallas lost momentum through the NHL’s work stoppage in
2004-05 and had less playoff success. The Stars have made it out of
the first round just once in the past five seasons. Home sellouts
that used to be certain are now rare, and they are in danger of
missing the playoffs in consecutive seasons for the first time
since moving to Dallas.
Cogen, though, said the “body of work” makes the Stars
attractive, as does a collection of young talent that’s growing as
the career of franchise icon Mike Modano winds down.
“Sure, Stanley Cup finalists has a certain appeal to it, but I
don’t want to minimize the appeal of the Dallas Stars,” Cogen
said. “This team is poised for great success. Couple that with our
history and the building and the market … I think it’s a