The Manchester Monarchs have been sold, as the team has been purchased by PPI Sports LLC from the Los Angeles Kings and AEG. PPI Sports, LLC is a Boston-based entity that is led by Marc Casper.
Monarchs president Matt Welch and Kings president Luc Robitalle announced the deal, and that the Monarchs are expected to remain the Kings’ ECHL affiliate.
“The Manchester Monarchs are a tremendous organization with a deep history of success both on and off of the ice, and the LA Kings and AEG would like to thank the City of Manchester and the Monarchs for 16 successful years of affiliation,” said Robitaille. “Despite the transition of ownership, the Kings look forward to maintaining our relationship with the new ownership group of the Monarchs and continuing the development of LA Kings prospects in Manchester.”
The Monarchs have posted winning seasons in each of their 16 years in Manchester, highlighted by a Calder Cup Championship in 2015 and finishing as ECHL East Division Champions in 2016.
“We are extremely excited about the purchase of the Monarchs,” said Casper. “As long-time residents of New England, we are proud of and committed to building upon Manchester’s great hockey tradition. We look forward to meeting and interacting with fans, working with the business community, and helping the greater Manchester area through the Monarchs Care Foundation.”
The purchasing group also includes John Nies who joins the organization as Vice Chairman, and Brian Cheek, who will serve as the group’s CEO.
“I am thrilled to join my passion for hockey with the incredible business experience of our ownership group to build on the Monarchs’ long history of success,” said Cheek. “I look forward to working alongside Matt Welch and the rest of the staff and team here in Manchester.”
Welch, a native of Manchester, will remain with the team he has worked for since 2001, and will continue to serve as its President.
“This is a very exciting next step in the evolution of our franchise,” said Welch. “I’m energized by our new ownership group’s commitment to the success of our franchise and even more so by their desire to play a key role in the community. Professional hockey in Manchester is in good hands for many years to come.”
Tommy George with The Sports Advisory Group assisted PPI Sports LLC in the transition. The sale is subject to approval by the ECHL Board of Governors, which is expected later this week.