PEI Rocket deal includes more than 10 buyers
Hockey team to stay in Charlottetown after deal struck
The potential buyers of Charlottetown's hockey team say they're already coming up with ways to turn around the Rocket's finances.
A deal was struck Friday between the current owner, Serge Savard, and a group of more than 10 buyers represented by Trent Birt, the team's vice-president of operations.
"P.E.I. owes a lot to this group of owners that jumped up because this team wasn't very far from leaving," Birt said. Birt said Savard quickly presented a counter-offer after Birt's group submitted a bid. He said they didn't hesitate to accept.
Birt said their first priority is to flip the team's finances. PEI Rocket currently lose about $300,000 a year. Birt said it's time to attract a broader audience - not just hockey fans, but people looking for a fun night on the town.
"That's what we envision and that's what will happen here."
Good for the province
Meanwhile, the man behind a losing bid to take over the PEI Rocket says he’s disappointed he wasn’t selected, but thrilled for the province.
Grant Sonier submitted a bid Friday to buy the hockey team. But not long afterward, it was announced Birt's group had been selected to take over.
Sonier, who is from Summerside, said he has mixed feelings about the outcome.
"We're disappointed that we don’t have the opportunity to purchase the team," he said.
"At the same time we’re excited for the province of Prince Edward Island because it appears they’re going to have major junior hockey and we’ve said from the onset that this was about trying to keep the team on Prince Edward Island."
An official announcement formally declaring the new owners is expected coming days. The deal still needs to be approved by the league.