The parent company of the Dallas Stars says they're buying the team's development team in Cedar Park along with the operations of the city-owned arena, the Dr Pepper StarCenter in Plano and the Ice Training Center in Richardson.
Northland Properties Corporation, the Stars' parent company, said Thursday's announcements deepen the commitment to sports and entertainment in North Texas and across the state.
Purchase of Texas Stars and Operations of Cedar Park Center
"The Cedar Park Center is the premier multiuse entertainment facility in Central Texas located in one of the fastest growing cities in the United States," President of Northland Properties Corporation and Dallas Stars Owner Tom Gaglardi said in a statement. "The impact that the Hicks Family has had in growing the sport of hockey in the state of Texas over the last two decades is immeasurable and they have done a tremendous job in both building the Texas Stars and operating the Cedar Park Center. In that same spirit, they have been a tremendous partner through this process and we now look forward to engaging with the city of Cedar Park to turn our intent to purchase into a reality."
In their first five seasons in existence, all of which have been as the AHL affiliate of the Dallas Stars, the Texas Stars have proved to be one of the most successful franchises in the entire AHL and captured the team's first Calder Cup championship in 2014. The club has made two trips to the Calder Cup Finals (2010, 2014), qualifying for the playoffs in four of their five seasons (2010, 2011, 2013, 2014) and have posted 40-win campaigns four times. During the 2013-14 regular season, Texas posted a franchise record 48 wins, claiming the Macgregor Kilpatrick Trophy as the AHL's regular season points champion, as well as the John D. Chick Trophy as the West Division Champions. Many of the Dallas Stars young core of NHL players have spent time skating for the Texas Stars including captain Jamie Benn, defenseman Brenden Dillon, center Cody Eakin, forward Ryan Garbutt and forward Antoine Roussel.
The building hosts more than 130 events per year including sporting events, concerts, and family shows. Cedar Park Center is home to the 2014 AHL Calder Cup champion Texas Stars. The building also serves as the home court to the Austin Toros, the NBA Development League affiliate of the 2014 NBA champion San Antonio Spurs. Since opening in September of 2009, the Cedar Park Center has hosted world-class performers and events such as George Strait, Rascal Flatts, Alan Jackson, Tool, Jason Aldean, Def Leppard, Eric Church, Cirque du Soleil and Disney On Ice.
Northland said in the statement that Cedar Park Center holds 6,863 seats for hockey, 7,200 for basketball and up to 8,700 for concerts and other events. The state-of-the-art arena has 24 suites (including four party suites) and 545 club seats with a private club lounge.
"The City is excited about the potential in partnering with Northland Properties Corporation and their intent on solidifying the Texas Stars' status as the premier franchise in the AHL and cementing the Cedar Park Center as the top entertainment venue in the Greater Austin area," said Matt Powell, mayor of Cedar Park.
The Dallas Stars and Texas Stars enjoy one of the closest NHL-to-AHL franchise distances in the Western Conference, with only 184 miles between American Airlines Center in downtown Dallas and Cedar Park Center. Upon completion of the purchase, the Dallas Stars would become one of 14 NHL clubs to own their AHL affiliate: Buffalo Sabres (Rochester Americans), Calgary Flames (Adirondack Flames), Edmonton Oilers (Oklahoma City Barons), Los Angeles Kings (Manchester Monarchs), Minnesota Wild (Iowa Wild), New Jersey Devils (Albany Devils), New York Islanders (Bridgeport Tigers), New York Rangers (Hartford Wolf Pack), Pittsburgh Penguins (Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins), San Jose Sharks (Worcester Sharks), Toronto Maple Leafs (Toronto Marlies), Vancouver Canucks (Utica Comets) and Winnipeg Jets (St. John's IceCaps).
Purchase of Plano Star Center
"We are thrilled to have the opportunity to purchase Dr Pepper StarCenter Plano," Gaglardi said. "Since opening in 1999, Dr Pepper StarCenter Plano has been one of the most successful ice rinks in North Texas. For many years, the rink has provided the Plano and North Texas community with first-class skating and hockey programs. The success of this facility is a testament to growth of hockey in the Metroplex over the last 20 years."
The 120,000 square foot complex, featuring two full-size NHL ice surfaces, underwent a complete renovation in 2012. Dr Pepper StarCenter Plano sits on a three-acre plot of land on Plano Parkway next to Riverbend Sandler Pools, and offers a variety of services including public skating, figure skating sessions, and learn-to-skate classes for all talent levels. Additionally, the Plano location offers multiple options for the Metroplex hockey fan with learn-to-skate hockey classes along with youth and adult hockey leagues throughout the year. The facility is home to Severyn Sports, a multifaceted sports training center owned by former NHL player Brent Severyn, and Vitality Sports Medicine, specializing in chiropractic and sports medicine care.
Purchase of Ice Training Center in Richardson
"Several months ago, the dialogue was opened with the ownership group of the Ice Training Center in Richardson regarding the opportunity to purchase the rink," Gaglardi said. "Northland has begun the process of acquiring the property. We are thrilled to have the chance to acquire a first-class facility and extremely grateful for the commitment and fine stewardship that the present ownership group has provided for many years. They have maintained a tremendous business model that is focused on customer service and a standard of excellence that we will be honored to build upon."
The 51,000 square foot facility is located at 522 Centennial Blvd. in Richardson and houses two full-size NHL ice surfaces. Opening for business in 2001, Ice Training Center in Richardson will become the Dr Pepper StarCenter Richardson once the purchase is finalized, making it the seventh Dr Pepper StarCenter location in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex including Euless, Farmers Branch, Frisco, McKinney, Valley Ranch and Plano.
"We have begun working with the Dallas Stars to ensure the seamless transition of rink operations by the beginning of the 2014-15 hockey season," Indoor Athletics, Ltd. Operating Partner Jim Koch said. "Our ownership group is seeing first hand the renewed commitment of the Stars ownership to amateur ice sports in the Metroplex and the positive steps that the Stars are taking to help strengthen grass roots hockey in North Texas. We have put our trust in the new Stars ownership that they can and will take Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex hockey to a new level. The focus to foster positive relationships and develop all youth hockey is there and the Stars organization now has the opportunity and management control to make it happen."