CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The new owner of the South Carolina Stingrays says he plans to stay in North Charleston.
Todd Halloran purchased a majority interest in the team, according to former majority owner Anita Zucker, who made the announcement at a Tuesday news conference.
Financial terms of the deal or the exact percentage of the franchise that Holloran purchased were not disclosed.
"The plan is absolutely to maintain our presence here in North Charleston," Halloran said.
He said his interest in the Stingrays began about a year-and-a-half ago.
"If you look at the ECHL, the quality of the game at this level is superb," he said. "The business model behind the ECHL is different, obviously, from the NHL and the AHL, and I think what happens in a market like this is that the team takes on a greater importance."
Halloran said he has no plans to change the coaching staff, the president or its front office personnel.
"The South Carolina Stingrays represent more than a hockey team," Halloran said in a statement released by the team. "The franchise is a unique, long-standing community asset that offers affordable, family entertainment for Lowcountry residents and visitors, and helps contribute to the economic vitality of the Charleston region. I am very excited to be part of the team's future."
The Zucker family will retain a minority interest in the team, Zucker said.
"We're thrilled to have connected with Todd Halloran, a tremendous new owner who will build on the team's success," Jonathan Zucker said. "The Stingrays are in great hands moving forward and we're excited to remain involved in the team and the sport, including our support of youth and adult hockey through the Carolina Ice Palace."
Halloran is a private equity investor listed as a partner at the firm Freeman Spogli & Co.
"I have very large shoes to fill given the legacy the Zucker's have created," Halloran said. "The team's winning consistency and incredibly deep roots in the community can be attributed to excellent ownership and generous civic engagement, and I intend to build on that."
"From every angle this opportunity was the perfect fit. The Stingrays franchise is one of the most consistent and successful in the ECHL and I'm excited to continue the strong affiliation with the NHL's Washington Capitals," Halloran said. "Recognizing the embedded culture of winning, combined with the Charleston region's economic strength, potential fan-base growth, and expansion opportunities for corporate partnerships, the future prospects for the Stingrays team and organization are very promising."
"The ECHL would like to welcome Todd Halloran as a new owner of the South Carolina Stingrays. His love of the game and extensive business and financial background, make him an ideal addition to the League," said Brian McKenna, ECHL Commissioner. "On behalf of the Board of Governors, I would also like to thank the Zucker family for their significant contribution to the League and to both professional and youth hockey in South Carolina, for more than two decades."
"The South Carolina Stingrays have become a North Charleston institution, dazzling the Lowcountry and awing crowds at the North Charleston Coliseum with phenomenal displays of athleticism and sportsmanship," North Charleston mayor Keith Summey said. "As the Stingray's ownership enters a new chapter, North Charleston stands steadfast in its partnership with the organization, players, and fans."