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Norfolk Admirals Hockey Franchise for Sale

January 22, 2004 - American Hockey League (AHL) - Norfolk Admirals News Release

Virginia Beach, VA - The ownership of the Norfolk Admirals announced today that the American Hockey League (AHL) franchise has been put up for sale, effective immediately.

"It is with much regret that Mark and I have had to make this decision," said Page Johnson, co-owner of the Admirals. “It is our sincere hope that we can secure a local investor who will continue to operate the Admirals here in Hampton Roads."

Current owners, Mark Garcea and Page Johnson, purchased the Norfolk Admirals in 1996 when the team was part of the East Coast Hockey League, now the ECHL. In 2000, the City of Norfolk required the team move to the AHL, where they became affiliated with the Chicago Blackhawks.

"We continue to recognize the importance of professional sports to the quality of life in Hampton Roads, but we are no longer in a position to operate the team at a loss,” said Page Johnson. “We’ve made this very difficult decision after exhausting all of our resources and after several years of blood, sweat and tears. The last thing we want to do is eliminate a quality sports team from this region. We hope new owners will see the potential of this franchise and carry the flag for the Admirals.”

Declining attendance, lack of corporate support and disappointment with delayed improvements by the City of Norfolk to renovate Norfolk Scope forced owners into placing the team for sale.

A media briefing regarding the team’s sale is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. today at 1300 Diamond Springs Road, Suite 104, in Virginia Beach. Page Johnson and Todd McKeating, the Norfolk Admirals’ Director of Operations, will attend. Members of the media who wish to attend today’s briefing should go directly to Suite 104.

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