August 23, 2004
IOWA STARS ANNOUNCE
AFFILIATION AGREEMENT WITH DALLAS STARS
Dallas to Develop Top Prospects in Des Moines Beginning in 2005-06
DES MOINES, IA. - Veteran hockey team owner Howard Baldwin, of Hockey Holdings & Management Group, and Dallas businessman Bob Schlegel announced today that their new American Hockey League franchise, the Iowa Stars, have signed a five-year affiliation agreement with the National Hockey League's Dallas Stars. The Stars will serve as the primary affiliate of Iowa beginning with the 2005-06 season, their inaugural season in the AHL.
"I am very pleased to announce this affiliation agreement with the Dallas Stars," said Baldwin. "We could not have found a better NHL partner. We are thrilled about entering into this partnership with a first-class organization and one of the top franchises in the National Hockey League.
"This is an excellent opportunity for the Dallas Stars to have their prospects develop in a great environment," he added. "I know our fans will enjoy watching the future 'Stars' of tomorrow in the American Hockey League."
As per the affiliation agreement, the Dallas Stars will provide up to 22 players to the Iowa Stars. Dallas will also be responsible for all hockey operation decisions, including the hiring of a head coach, assistant coach, equipment manager and medical trainer.
"This is an exciting day not only for the franchise, but also for all the fans in both Iowa and Dallas," said Schlegel. "The Dallas Stars are a great team and Iowa is an incredible market and this is the first of many great things to come for the Iowa Stars."
There are six direct flights a day from Dallas to Des Moines, so the teams will have the flexibility of moving players in only a quick two-hour flight.
The Iowa Stars will join 28 other clubs in the AHL, which serves as the top development league for all 30 National Hockey League teams. Entering its 69th season of operation this fall, the AHL had more than 6.6 million fans attend games across North America in 2003-04. Over 80 percent of all players to compete in the NHL last year were AHL graduates, and more than 400 players took the ice in both leagues. AHL alumni currently playing in Dallas include Bill Guerin, Sergei Zubov, Stu Barnes, Rob DiMaio and Steve Ott.
"We are thrilled to be bringing the city of Des Moines, the Wells Fargo Arena and the Iowa Stars into the American Hockey League in 2005" said AHL President and CEO David Andrews, who assisted in making the announcement at today's press conference. "The addition of Des Moines has been a priority of our league for a number of years, and we are proud to be launching the Iowa Stars franchise as part of our historic 70th anniversary season in 2005-06."
The Iowa Stars' logo was also unveiled at the press conference. The logo incorporates the dark green and gold color scheme of the parent Dallas Stars, and can be first viewed at iowastarshockey.com and at theahl.com.
The Dallas Stars, who ended their affiliation with the AHL's Utah Grizzlies following the 2003-04 season, will send their prospects to both the Houston Aeros and Hamilton Bulldogs for the upcoming 2004-05 AHL season.
"We're thrilled to be involved in bringing professional hockey to the city of Des Moines and the state of Iowa," said Dallas Stars President Jim Lites. "We anticipate a very successful partnership between the Dallas Stars and the Iowa Stars."
"This is a fantastic opportunity for the Dallas Stars hockey club," said Dallas Stars General Manager Doug Armstrong. "This agreement is a strong step towards developing an environment where our prospects can grow."
The Iowa Stars will begin play in the AHL in October 2005 in the state-of-the-art Wells Fargo Arena in downtown Des Moines. Currently under construction, the arena is located in the heart of Iowa's capital city along the banks of the Des Moines River. Along with great sightlines, the Wells Fargo Arena, with a seating capacity of more than 17,000 people, features 600 club seats, 36 corporate suites, a 180-seat restaurant and state-of-the-art video boards. The seating capacity for hockey will be 15,585.
The Wells Fargo Arena, along with the Hy-Vee Hall and Veterans Memorial Auditorium, form the Iowa Events Center, a premier state-of-the-art multi-purpose facility for sports, concerts, entertainment, trade shows, conventions and exhibits. This $217 million facility totals more than one million square feet in size. The arena features a panoramic view of the downtown skyline, Des Moines River and the golden capitol dome. The Wells Fargo Arena is managed by Global Spectrum, the fastest growing firm in the public assembly management field.
For information about Iowa Stars season tickets, merchandise and other inquires, please contact the team at (515-23-STARS) or visit the team online at www.iowastarshockey.com. Contact Todd Slater at Baldwin Entertainment Group for additional information. For more information about the Wells Fargo Arena, visit www.iowaeventscenter.com. And for more on the American Hockey League, visit theahl.com.