Saturday, April 4, 2009

USHL approves sale of Tri-City Storm

Kearney, Nebraska - The United States Hockey League (USHL) announced today that it has approved the sale of the Tri-City Storm franchise, as well as the FirsTier Event Center, home of the Storm, to Kirk W. Brooks, owner of Storm Hockey, LLC. Mr. Brooks takes over the reins in Tri-City from Joel Wiens, who has owned the building since 2004 and hockey organization since 2006.

"We're privileged to have someone of Kirk Brooks' experience, integrity, and intelligence join the USHL. His presence will be a real boon to the Tri-City Storm," said USHL Commissioner Skip Prince. "Kirk also brings a commitment to youth hockey that is second to none, and he will continue that effort in the Tri-City area. We extend thanks and best wishes to outgoing owner Joel Wiens as well for his able stewardship of the team and the FirsTier Event Center over the past several years. Without Joel's investment of time, effort, and capital, this USHL membership might no longer be in Nebraska."

Kirk W. Brooks has been the owner and operator of the Las Vegas Ice Center since 2004 and began the Nevada Stars AAA youth hockey association in 2007. He continues to be philanthropic in his endeavors to promote and support youth hockey in the community. The resident of Las Vegas since 1985 also has been a trendsetter in the race and sports book industry, including the creation of Racing & Gaming Services (RGS) in 1997.

"The city of Kearney and surrounding areas have long had a love affair with the Storm and we are looking forward to further building that relationship with the community," stated Kirk W. Brooks. "The Storm want to give people a sense of excitement and a reason to come out and cheer for their hockey club. Having two children involved in hockey has fueled my passion for the game and I want to channel that passion into making the Storm successful both on and off the ice."

Opened in the fall of 2000, the FirsTier Event Center has been the home to the Tri-City Storm since their inaugural season (2000-01). Seating 5,000 for hockey games, the facility annually hosts a wide array of sporting events, family shows, entertainment acts, concerts, and other special events.

The USHL is celebrating its 30th season of junior hockey in 2008-09. With over 160 players already committed to NCAA Division I schools and 16 NHL Draft picks playing in the league, the USHL is the nation's foremost producer of junior hockey talent. For more information, visit us on the web at

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