Rochester Democrat & Chronicle Coverage of the ROC/HFX Situation

Discussion in 'NLL News and Rumors' started by Vin, Sep 13, 2018.

  1. Vin

    Vin Well-Known Member

    Lead story on the D&C homepage is the KHawks.

    This is the secondary story...

    5 things we know about Terry and Kim Pegula's version of the Rochester Knighthawks
    Leo Roth, Rochester Democrat and ChroniclePublished 4:31 p.m. ET Sept. 13, 2018 | Updated 4:33 p.m. ET Sept. 13, 2018

    The National Lacrosse League awarded an expansion team to Rochester Americans owners Terry and Kim Pegula on Thursday.

    Here's what we know about the Pegulas new team:

    1. The team will keep the name, Rochester Knighthawks, and begin play in the 2019-20 season.

    2. The Pegulas will pay an expansion fee, believed to be in the neighborhood of $5 million, about what Curt Styres paid when he bought the franchise in June 2008.

    3. Styres will move his franchise to Halifax, Nova Scotia, for the 2019-20 season.The franchise will announce its name at a later date. Styres can retain any players and coaches he desires who are under contract. An expansion draft will be held to help stock the new Knighthawks.

    4. The team will play at an improved Blue Cross Arena. The $20 million in improvements include a new scoreboard, new locker rooms and possibly new restaurant called "585.'' The Pegulas operate a sports bar/restaurant at Harborcenter in Buffalo called "716.''

    5. The Pegulas will continue to own a second NLL team, the Buffalo Bandits.
  2. Vin

    Vin Well-Known Member

    For posterity, I am including the lead story.


    The Pegulas will also improve the Blue Cross Arena. Shawn Dowd, @sdowdphoto

    Kim and Terry Pegula at the Blue Cross Arena to announce their ownership of the Rochester Knighthawks as an expansion team in the National Lacrosse League after Curt Styres announced he was moving the current franchise to Halifax.(Photo: JAMIE GERMANO/ROCHESTER DEMOCRAT)

    Pegulas awarded National League Lacrosse expansion franchise for Rochester
    Steve Bradley, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
    Published 9:26 a.m. ET Sept. 13, 2018 | Updated 3:22 p.m. ET Sept. 13, 2018

    Terry and Kim Pegula are expanding their sports empire in Rochester.

    The Pegulas, who own the Rochester Americans, as well as the Buffalo Bills, Sabres and Bandits, were awarded an expansion franchise in the National Lacrosse League.

    The announcement came at an afternoon news conference where Mayor Lovely Warren announced millions of dollars in improvements for the Blue Cross Arena at the Rochester War Memorial, where the expansion franchise will play beginning in the 2019-20 season.

    Renderings of the Exchange Boulevard side of Blue Cross Arena at the Rochester Community War Memorial. Proposed improvements include upgraded bathrooms, an expanded concession and office areas, sound and lighting improvements and additional locker room space. (Photo: JAMIE GERMANO/ROCHESTER DEMOCRAT)

    The announcement came about four hours after Canadian businessman Curt Styres announced that he would be moving the Knighthawks franchise to Halifax, Nova Scotia for the 2019-20 season.

    Both Terry Pegula and Dave Rowan, COO, of the National Lacrosse League referred to the Pegulas team as a Rochester Knighthawks "legacy" franchise.

    Among the improvements are a new scoreboard, to be paid for by Pegula Sports and Entertainment, and arena expansions to include more concession area, locker room and office space, sound and lighting improvements, and upgrades bathrooms. Funding was previously announced, but the timing of when it would come through has been in doubt.

    Brian Sharp


    The announcements on state funding today reaffirm previous commitments - timing of Senate money was the question. With that now in place, Exchange St expansion can move forward in full

    Brian Sharp


    The Exchange Street expansion (left side) is not new but city only had $3.5M for initial phase. More detail to come with live feed to begin shortly on D&C Facebook page
    1:25 PM - Sep 13, 2018

    The Pegulas took over management of Blue Cross Arena at the Rochester Community War Memorial on Aug. 1 and have a contract to operate the facility through the end of the year.

    Kim Pegula was born in South Korea and left at an orphanage at a very young age. She grew up in Fairport and attended Houghton College. She and her husband have been backed the resurgence of downtown Buffalo, including the development of Canalside and the Harborcenter. She became the president of Pegula Sports and Entertainment following the resignation of Russ Brandon this spring.

    Terry Pegula made his fortune in natural gas development and has branched off into real estate, entertainment and professional sports. He purchased the Sabres and Bandits from Tom Goliano in February of 2011, bought the Amerks in June of that year and became owner of the Buffalo Bills in 2014.

    Rochester Knighthawks owner and general manager Curt Styres carries the Champion’s Cup after the Knighthawks defeated Calgary on May 31, 2014 to win the National Lacrosse League Championship. Styres wrote a letter to fans on Thursday morning saying that the 2018-19 season would be his last as owner of the Knighthawks. (Photo: ADRIAN KRAUS )

    Styres, who took over ownership of the Knighthawks on June 19, 2008, thanked fans in a letter on Thursday morning, writing, "I want to express my most profound appreciation for your passion, which you brought to our home and road games. You are indeed the Seventh Man. It is your support and excitement that made our team one of the most successful in the history of the National Lacrosse League."

    Styres also wrote that he "wanted to leave the team in better shape than he found it," which points to the Pegulas taking over. Styres, who purchased the team from founder Steve Donner, has also achieved his goal even without the Pegulas. He provided financial stability to a struggling franchise and the team won three consecutive championships in 2012, '13 and 14.

    Styres is a self-made millionaire who grew up in a 12- by 18-foot home on the Six Nations of the Grand River Reserve near Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. He was one of the 10 founding partners of Grand River Enterprises and made his original fortune in the tobacco industry.

    Here is Styres' letter to fans in full:

    Dear Knighthawks fans,

    As I reflect on my time in Rochester, I am proud of everything we have accomplished together over the past 10 years. I am excited to be with you for the 2018-19 season and am truly honored to be able to celebrate the 25th Anniversary season with you. This season will also give my family and I the opportunity to thank every one of you for your dedication and loyalty to the Rochester Knighthawks.

    I want to express my most profound appreciation for your passion, which you brought to our home and road games. You are indeed the Seventh Man. It is your support and excitement that made our team one of the most successful in the history of the National Lacrosse League. We shared in the victories and defeats, learning from each game and challenging ourselves always to do better.

    I will always cherish the three championship seasons, especially the 2014 NLL Cup when you powered us to an incredible comeback in the tiebreaker game against Calgary. I believe that your enthusiasm, emotion and belief willed our players to win that game.

    To all of the corporate sponsors who have backed this team since long before I got here, I want to let you know that your commitment has not gone unnoticed. You have been some of our biggest ambassadors in this community, and we could not have gone this far without you.

    When I took over ownership of the Knighthawks on June 19, 2008, I said that when I left, I wanted to leave the team in better shape than I found it. I believe we have done that as we have added three banners to the rafters as NLL champions and made a fourth trip to the Finals last season. We have also created hundreds of new fans and introduced the game to thousands of children across western New York. Again, I cannot put into words how proud I am of everything that WE have accomplished together.

    This season, we are again focused on finishing the job we came so close to completing in 2017-18. The players, coaches, and staff are coming into training camp on a mission to bring home a sixth NLL Cup to the City of Rochester with you – our Seventh Man.

    Upon conclusion of our 2018-19 season, I will take another step in my journey to grow the game of lacrosse nationally as I begin my newest venture, bringing an NLL franchise to the City of Halifax. For NLL fans of the Rochester community, it was very important for my family and I to make sure that your Rochester franchise would be well looked after.


    Curt Styres

    This is a breaking story. Check back for more details.


    (Includes reporting by staff reporters Brian Sharp and Leo Roth)
  3. mtbf

    mtbf Well-Known Member

    "When I took over ownership of the Knighthawks on June 19, 2008, I said that when I left, I wanted to leave the team in better shape than I found it. I believe we have done that as we have added three banners to the rafters as NLL champions and made a fourth trip to the Finals last season. We have also created hundreds of new fans and introduced the game to thousands of children across western New York. Again, I cannot put into words how proud I am of everything that WE have accomplished together."

    I am on Curt's side on the move but by definition a team that leaves the city it is in is not in better shape than when you found it.
  4. Vin

    Vin Well-Known Member

    Well, this is something that is interesting. In the original article, there was this statement:

    WTF does that even mean?

    Personally, for me, history would go with the franchise which would mean that the KHawks 1.0 are moving to HFX along with that franchise history.

    Now, if this "legacy franchise" expansion concept means that the history is retained by Rochester so that the Pegula KHawks 2.0 are like just getting rid of the KHawks 1.0 roster, then, in a sense, Curt did "leave the franchise in better shape".

    However, the bottom line is that he actually did do a good job. Not just getting 3 championships, but he helped stabilize that team. We can't forget about Donner...
  5. AmericanRockFan

    AmericanRockFan Well-Known Member

    It could be from a business standpoint when you consider the Knighthawks 2.0 will have an owner who has more money than Styres (not that I expect the Pegulas to heavily invest, or invest much at all for that matter), and that the arena is about to get some upgrades. It's grasping at straws, but there's an argument to be made that things are a little more stable with the Pegulas around than with Styres.
  6. chuckster

    chuckster Well-Known Member

    Styres is passionate about the game and from what I've seen from the Pegulas, they're not. If Styres was getting a better lease deal in Rochester, there's no incentive for him to move anywhere.

    But I think the Pegulas muscled their way in with the Amerks and then taking over the running of the BCA from SMG. I doubt the Pegulas were going to give Styres a better lease deal.
  7. LordStanley1893

    LordStanley1893 Active Member

    True but it was always a risk the Pegula's were going to try and do that once Styres sold the Americans to Terry & Kim. He let them in the door regardless of the business sense surrounding the decision.
  8. Dave S-C

    Dave S-C Well-Known Member

    As a historian, that's how I will be documenting the move - same way I did with Philadelphia 1 and 2

    1995-2019 : Rochester Knighthawks - transferred to Halifax
    2019- : Rochester Knighthawks

    And the 1995-2019 history follows Halifax

    None of this Landsharks 1+2=1 revisionist mumbo-jumbo.
    RockStar likes this.
  9. Dave S-C

    Dave S-C Well-Known Member

    Speaking of Landsharks 1 and 2...

    Remind me again: Landsharks 1 ended up in Montreal, correct? Which makes Georgia = Landsharks 1 . Meanwhile Landsharks 2 are now dead when Arizona folded.
  10. AmericanRockFan

    AmericanRockFan Well-Known Member

    I never knew the Landsharks were two different franchises....

    It's also like how the Hamilton Bulldogs moved to Toronto in 2003/04 to become the Roadrunners while the Quebec Citadelles moved to Hamilton in 2003/04 to become the Bulldogs :confused:
  11. Vin

    Vin Well-Known Member

    You mean Philadelphia 2 and 3 ;)
    Philadelphia 1 is the OLD Wings from the OLD NLL of 1974-75.
  12. Vin

    Vin Well-Known Member

    Honestly, the situation with Columbus pre-dates my knowledge of this board, so I learned of the CBS/MTL situation second hand from the OG / RA / other long-timers like Mike and Swami who were here before me.

    However, yes, I agree 100% with what you just said ALTHOUGH....
    With the Landsharks, Montréal was technically the expansion franchise. It just so happened that the team and franchise owner of Montréal had been the that of the Landsharks the year before. The subsequent Landsharks were the de facto expansion franchise.

    Again, I wish RA or some other long-timer could verify that.

    As to afterwards, yes: The Montréal Express went dormant after their only season only to be resurrected 3 years later as the Minnesota Swarm when the Swarm owners bought the Express franchise rights.

    Meanwhile, Columbus relocated to Arizona and never came back after the 2007 season. A real shame too because that was a good team. If you recall, their last ever game was hosting the 2007 championship against Rochester because of the circus.
  13. RockStar

    RockStar Well-Known Member

    That's what I remember, Vin, most of the Canadian players from Landsharks 1.0 moved to Montreal.

    Landsharks 2.0 was actually interesting - Rookie years for Steenhuis, Beirnes, Dan Dawson.
  14. Dave S-C

    Dave S-C Well-Known Member

    I remember the NLL website at the time basically indicated Landsharks 1 and 2 were seperate franchises when announced - then a while later went back and rewrote/removed that mention from their history blurb on their website.

    At that time, I even had the actual dates recorded of the two Landsharks franchises granted/moved as well when Montreal acquired Landsharks 1, etc. but then foolishly deleted that info from my notes DOC, never thinking a sports league would go back and change and revise its history. Boy was I wrong.
  15. swami24

    swami24 Well-Known Member

    The above is the best I remember from the Landshark clusterF@#$.

    RA is still in our NLLfans fantasy football league, but says he doesnt follow the league anymore.
  16. Vin

    Vin Well-Known Member

    Slap him and tell him he is still needed... ESPECIALLY now that the Wings are coming back ... with a vengeance.
  17. AmericanRockFan

    AmericanRockFan Well-Known Member

    Even the Wikipedia page, which I know has zero affiliation with the NLL, doesn't even mention the Landsharks technically being two franchises.
  18. Dave S-C

    Dave S-C Well-Known Member

    Probably whomever wrote the Landsharks article was unaware. Also, we are talking Wikipedia here which has much lower academic and credibility standards. Landsharks 1 and 2 was something really deliberately brushed under the carpet and subject to revisionism by the NLL, I suspect because it may have been viewed as a black eye on stability of the league at the time. Really the only decent documentation there would be, would be found in any newspapers reporting on the league events at that time - because newspaper articles cannot be rewritten by the NLL like they did with their then-history page on the site at the time.
  19. AmericanRockFan

    AmericanRockFan Well-Known Member

    Very true. I know that Mr. Boo and other knoweldgeable lax people on here are prone to editing/updating Wiki, so I was just a little surprised that someone with that level of credibility hadn't posted it on Wiki.
  20. Vin

    Vin Well-Known Member

    Years ago - probably around March 2006 - I posted on here that we ought to work on Wikipedia (*) to help promote the league because there was almost nothing for the league. This was back when young devout Saints fan Scott Neiss (now a big-wig in Israeli lax) was working for the league so things were a lot different back then.

    I don't know who, but many people over the intervening 12.5 years have beefed it up and tried to standardize it.

    Unfortunately, many of these "editors" (that's what Wikipedia writers are called) may not have been significant fans but Wikipedia volunteers who do a lot of grunt work so they did basic R&D on the "meta-topic" of the NLL and standardizing its entries (including standardizing with other sports leagues).

    (*) I am not sure but I may have created the Albany Attack article and the John Tavares article. I definitely wrote much of "the copy" (content) in the Attack article including all 4 images. I also wrote the copy for when JT got the Career Points record.
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2018

Share This Page