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Texas Thunder to Relocate to Rockford

August 24, 2006 - National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) - Rockford Thunder News Release

ROCKFORD, Ill. - The Texas Thunder of National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) will relocate to Rockford, Ill., effective on Sept. 15, as announced today by general manager Aaron M. Moore in a press conference held in Rockford.

The team name will remain the Thunder for the 2007 season, with Rockford replacing Texas in the logo. The official team name will be the Rockford Thunder.

The Thunder, who has been based in the Houston-area for the last three seasons, is making the move because of a change in ownership, as well as difficulty in securing a major sponsor. Stafford businessman Robert "Rabitt" Blake has been the team owner for the first three seasons, but sold the team to a businessman from Rockford.

"This was a very difficult decision, not only for me, but also for my family, "stated Blake. "We have a true admiration for what these players can do and will continue to do, but we also know that this is the right thing to do now.

Bob (Lowe) has been tremendous this year in his backing of the team and we believe the team is in good hands with the support staff he has in Rockford."

Lowe, who secured the team from Blake in August, also owns Best Realty and the Lowe Law Firm. Lowe also created Lowe Entertainment, Inc. this summer and the new entertainment company will be the primary owner of the Thunder, as well as the Rock River Raptors. The Raptors compete in the United Football League in Rockford and they won the Central Division title in their first season in Illinois.

"We are thrilled to have a professional softball team in Rockford," exclaimed Lowe. "We have a great softball following and the city is truly a sports town. We believe we can be successful with this team here and we already have a natural rivalry with the Chicago Bandits."

The softball team will have a presence in the community beginning in the middle of September after things are completed in Houston said Moore. The team also plans on having some players make the move to Rockford as early as October to assist with the marketing of the team. One area the players will be responsible for, as well as Moore, will be the managing of an indoor softball and baseball facility located in downtown Rockford.

"Moving the team to Rockford will be an exciting challenge for the Thunder," said Moore. "We are looking forward to what we can do in the area and the organization is excited to get things moving forward."

For more information on the Rockford Thunder or to purchase season tickets for the 2007 season, contact Aaron M. Moore, general manager, at (815) 965-7000 or amoore@thunderprofastpitch.com. Season ticket prices start at just $100 per seat and are available now by calling the team office. Additional information is available on the team by visiting www.thunderprofastpitch.com and the website will be updated daily with additional information on the team move.

National Pro Fastpitch is headquartered in Denver, Colorado. The league, created to give elite female fastpitch players the opportunity to pursue a professional career in their chosen sport, has operated since 1997 under the names Women's Pro Fastpitch (WPF) and Women's Pro Softball League (WPSL).

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The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

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