The End of An Era for Bucks
LAREDO, TX: The Laredo Bucks, of the Central Hockey League, announced Tuesday that they will cease operations effective immediately.
After bringing big game hockey to South Texas a decade ago, the Laredo Bucks have closed their doors. The Bucks have struggled with declining attendance over several seasons. Even though drastic changes to the seating structure, amongst other areas, did make an improvement last season, it was not enough to keep the franchise going. Therefore, the Laredo Bucks will go dormant from this point forward while still maintaining a license in the Central Hockey League.
"The decision to cease operations was an extremely difficult for the ownership group," stated Minority Owner Glenn Hart. "This is one of the hardest decisions we have ever had to make. We made every effort to avoid this outcome, but in our current position we thought this was the proper decision. We would like to thank the loyal support of our Corporate Partners and Season Ticket Holders over the past 10 years."
Any season ticket holders who have purchased tickets for the 2012-2013 season will receive a full refund. If anyone has any additional questions please contact Nicole Kupaks or Jennifer Beckelhymer at 718-BUCK(2825).
AN OPEN LETTER TO THE CITIZENS OF LAREDO
This is a very emotional day for me. It has been a great ride, particularly the first seven years. The citizens of Laredo embraced hockey and the Bucks in a spectacular way. To make the Conference Finals 6 consecutive years is almost unheard of. To make the Finals 4 consecutive years (and one game away from it being 5 consecutive years) is almost unheard of. But the 2 Championships, particularly the first one will always be special!! The sellouts, enthusiasm, and support will always be special to me. Sometimes I wonder if we achieved too much too soon. It seemed to become the expectation of Laredoans to achieve that level of success. I believe the economic downturn of the last few years certainly was a factor.
I am sure that there are things that ownership and management could have done better. I assure you that we tried every credible business or marketing idea for the Bucks to be able to continue.
I would first like to thank the City of Laredo, particularly former Mayor Betty Flores and her council and staff to make hockey in Laredo a reality in the first place. I would also like to thank the City Manager, Carlos Villarreal, along with his Staff, especially Cynthia Collazo, in their efforts for hockey to be able to continue. They always provided us everything in reason that we could ask for to continue with the Bucks.
I would like to thank so many, who have been a part of this journey. Many thanks to Terry Ruskowski and Kiki DeAyala for having the courage to build this crazy idea. To Marc Solis, then John Beckelhymer for their skills and effort in taking it to a new level.
Much gratitude to Jennifer Beckelhymer, Nicole Kupaks, and Donald Thomson for leading the effort to "make it work", when times were challenging.
And especially the players: Chris Grenville, Paul Elliott, Steve Simoes, James Hiebert, Adam Rivet, Jeff Bes, Serge Dube, and so many others. You will never be forgotten.
And lastly, to Gustavo Hernandez, who did everything in his power to "save the Bucks". I salute him for his efforts, If a local citizen had come into the picture a few years earlier, it would have made all the difference.
I look forward to many more years of friendships with Laredoans through the continued successes of Laredo Energy.
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Central Hockey League Stories from May 1, 2012
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