"We are in discussions with the league to purchase an AHL franchise. We expect this transaction to occur by the end of the season."Here's the deal. The Stars tried to purchase a franchise before the season started, but there were some issues. The best candidate, the Iowa Chops (formerly the Iowa Stars), were in serious ethical trouble. The team "had used the franchise as collateral to obtain a loan in March, 2008, from a North Carolina branch of Wachovia Bank" and "records obtained from Polk County had disclosed the loan amounted to $1.99 million and was used to cover operating costs".
The AHL suspended the franchise, which limited their ability to be purchased. Since the Stars made a good faith effort to purchase a franchise but the conditions outside their control made them unable to purchase one, the AHL granted them a temporary franchise. This had the condition that they acquire a permanent franchise by the end of the year.
So what are the possibilities? The Stars could purchase the Iowa Chops still and they could also purchase the inactive Edmonton Road Runners, owned by the Oilers. As far as the chances that our franchise's temporary license would be extended, Commissioner Andrews indicates "never say never, but I would say never".
On the positive side, he also said, "...the franchise has been a home-run. It's probably in the top 5 in the league in revenue, the team's really competitive, the building's terrific, and the market is really responding to it."
This is a priority for the Texas Stars and the AHL for the spring meeting and Andrews indicates that there is good push from the AHL Board of Governors to get the franchise established because of their success.
That's certainly good news for Texas Stars' fans.