Jack Gulati is purchasing the Allen Americans, as the ECHL board of governors has signed off on his agreement to acquire the club from Steven Brothers Sports Management Group. The move gives Gulati his second ECHL franchise, as he is also the owner of the Reading Royals.
According to an announcement that was made on the sale last week, Gulati will intends to keep the franchise at the Allen Event Center, which opened in 2009.
However, he is expected to maintain his interest in the Royals. While some changes will take place as a result of his purchase–David Gulati, Jack’s son, could represent the Royals on the board of governors while his father represents Allen, according to WFMZ–the ownership of two franchises by one group is not unprecedented in the ECHL. Furthermore, the Royals believe that the arrangement could foster further success for both franchises. More from the Reading Eagle:
“It’s a good day for Allen,” [Royals president Drew] Bell said. “They’ve needed an excited ownership to take them to the next level. There’s a lot of potential in that market to do a lot of good things.”
It’s not unusual for one ownership group to operate multiple teams in the same minor league.
Gulati bought Allen from Stevens Brothers Management, which owns Tulsa and Wichita in the ECHL.
Bell said Reading and Allen may share marketing approaches that could prove beneficial to both teams. The ECHL will take measures to make sure there’s no collusion between the teams when it comes to player moves.
Gulati will control the Americans under the entity Allen Hockey Team LLC, according to a league announcement. Gulati has owned the Royals since 2014, when he took over the franchise over from SMG and the Berks County Convention Center Authority.