October 18, 2004 - World Hockey Association 2 (WHA)
An investment group headed by Toronto businessman William Smith has reached an agreement to purchase the trademarks of the World Hockey Association from Dr. Nick Vaccaro. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
The new ownership group will have offices in Toronto, New York and Boca Raton, Florida.
The WHA league headquarters will move to Toronto from Niagara Falls immediately.
WHA Commissioner Bobby Hull and Operations Director Peter Young will continue their roles with the new group.
Our plan is to quickly assemble our new team and decide if there is time to operate late in 2004 or early in 2005, said Smith. If we determine there are not enough acceptable arena leases well have eleven months to prepare for a season beginning in October 2005. The business model established by Dr. Vaccaro and his group is still sound. I congratulate them for bringing the project along as far as they did with limited resources.
The league will offer first right of refusal to all groups who had previously posted franchise reservation fees in the past ten months.
We would have liked to have completed this transaction two weeks ago, added Smith. The due diligence process simply took longer than we expected.
Mr. Smiths group can take this project to the next level, said Vaccaro. Our shareholders will still get an opportunity to see a return on their investment.
The WHAs new website will be operational later this week.