KEARNEY — Tri-City Storm owner Kirk Brooks has solid a majority stake in the team, pending USHL approval, ending his 10-year tenure as the sole owner of the team.
Besides the majority stake in the Storm, Brooks also sold complete control of the Viaero Center to five individuals, as first reported by the Kearney Hub.
Dave Vennetti of Chicago is the managing owner of the new group. Mark Jalcovik will be the managing partner for the group while Mike Lucas will be the general manager of the Viaero Center.
Stan Bowman, the general manager of the NHL Chicago Blackhawks, is one of the owners, Brooks said.
The newownership group expressed interest in the Storm and Viaero Center since August 2018.
Details of the agreement were not disclosed.
The change in ownership of the Viaero Center was effective June 1.
This marks the fourth different owner for the Storm in the team’s 19-year history.
Brooks of Las Vegas purchased the team in April 2009. He owns numerous businesses in Las Vegas, and after 10 years, felt it was best for him to consider selling the Storm and Viaero Center.
“It’s been 10 years, and I think I did about all I could do,” Brooks said. “I wanted someone else to take a swing at it. I just felt it was time. If I am devoting more time to my businesses here in Vegas, that means I have less time to devote to the Viaero Center.”
Brooks will maintain control of hockey operations for the Storm for the next two years.
The entire hockey operations staff will remain in place, including president Steve Lowe and head coach Anthony Noreen, who both recently signed long-term contracts.
“The thing I will remember the most is how many kids it affected,” Brooks said. “It’s easy to remember guys like Jaden Schwartz, but there are so many kids who left the organization to play college hockey and now have become prominent business people in the communities they are in. It’s nice to hear from them.”
This is a developing story.