SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – 10 major investors who helped keep hockey in Springfield were named over the weekend.
MGM as we told you first last month is not an investor, but some new owners have ties to the casino project. That project once opened, these investors believe will help rejuvenate hockey in Springfield.
When the Springfield Falcons were sold to the Arizona Coyotes, getting another American Hockey League team for this upcoming season looked grim. A group of Springfield investors scrambled to find a team to buy and they were able to purchase the Portland Pirates franchise and sign an affiliation deal with the Florida Panthers.
The group of investors includes Paul Picknelly who is the President of the Sheraton Springfield and Monarch Place as well as an investor in MGM Springfield. Fran Cataldo and Michael Wallace of C&W Realty who made about $8 million selling some property to MGM. Attorney Frank Fitzgerald is an investor, his firm worked locally with MGM Springfield helping to negotiate some deals and contracts. Another investor is Frank Colaccino who is the CEO of the Colvest Group which abuts MGM’s project. Mass Mutual also made a significant donation to support the deal.
The investors believe that the combination of MGM and downtown development will allow for hockey to be successful this time around. The Falcons last year had the lowest average attendance in the AHL, averaging about 3100 fans per game.
The investors are expected to announce the people who will be running the day to day operations in the next few days and could reveal their new nickname as soon as next week. One thing we know is that it won’t be Falcons. A fresh start for the cities new hockey team
Below is the list of initial organizing investors:
- Fran Cataldo, President of C&W Realty Enterprises
- Michael Wallace, Principal of C&W Realty Enterprises
- Frank Colaccino, CEO of The Colvest Group
- Paul Picknelly, President of Sheraton Springfield/Monarch Place
- Dinesh Patel, Owner of Hampton Inn Springfield
- Vidhyadhar Mitta, Owner of Quality Inn Chicopee
- Attorney Frank Fitzgerald, Fitzgerald Attorneys at Law
- Dave Fontaine, Sr., President of Fontaine Bros., Inc.
- Peter Martins & Derek Salema, Local Dunkin Donuts franchisees