The AHL held its Board of Governors meeting and officially approved the Texas Stars as an AHL member for next season.
The deal is pretty unique and it shows how much the league wants this team involved.
Texas is being granted a special exemption that it is a member of the league without an official affiliate and that it will purchase the first affiliate that is available for a move.
That allows Edmonton to keep the dormant Roadrunners (as the Oilers would like to move from Springfield, Mass. after next season) and allows the Texas Stars to get started selling tickets and scheduling games immediately.
Here's the press release:
TEXAS STARS OFFICIALLY GRANTED AN AMERICAN HOCKEY LEAGUE FRANCHISE Cedar Park, TX - It is official. The Texas Stars were formally granted a limited membership to begin play in the American Hockey League for the 2009-10 season, it was announced today by the AHL. The AHL Board of Governors approved the membership today at their league meetings in Chicago.
The move is the anticipated next step towards the Texas Stars beginning their first season this fall at the beautiful Cedar Park Center. The limited membership is conditioned on the club completing the purchase of an AHL franchise within one year. The Texas Stars will be the primary development affiliate of the National Hockey League's Dallas Stars, as the roster will be made up of Dallas' top prospects and draft picks.
"This is an exciting day for the Texas Stars, even though this formal awarding of an AHL franchise had been anticipated," said Texas Stars President Rick McLaughlin. "We'd like to thank the American Hockey League and its group of owners in helping make the Texas Stars a reality. The entire area of Cedar Park and Greater Austin has embraced us and we are looking forward to playing hockey in just over five months."
The Dallas Stars will hold a Rookie Camp in Frisco, Tex., from July 6-11. Many of the players at the camp will probably see action for the Texas Stars as their development progresses. The Dallas Stars 2009 Training Camp is scheduled to begin on Sept. 11 in Frisco, Tex., followed by the Texas Stars' first-ever Training Camp that will begin on September 22nd in Cedar Park, Texas.
The Cedar Park Center is scheduled to open on September 26th with a major concert event (artist to be announced soon). The building will include 6,800 seats for hockey and 8,700 for concerts and other events, as well as 24 suites and club seats with a private club lounge.
"The Cedar Park Center is coming along very well," said McLaughlin. "We are on schedule and we have every expectation that the building will be finished on time. It will be a beautiful arena and it is very exciting to see it come together. It will be a terrific building for hockey and all other types of events."
The full Texas Stars AHL schedule will be released later this summer.