The United States Hockey League and Jim Kronschnabel, the principal owner of Siouxland Sports and the Sioux City Musketeers, today announced approval for the transfer of ownership of the Musketeers to a new ownership group headed by Donn Lux, Chairman and CEO of St. Louis-based Luxco, Inc.
Mr. Lux will serve as Chairman of SCM, LLC, the ownership entity that will operate and manage the Sioux City Musketeers organization. Luxco, his company, is a renowned manufacturer, bottler, processor, and distributor of beverage alcohol products in both the domestic and international marketplace. He holds an MBA from Northwestern University's Kellogg Graduate School of Management (1985) and a Bachelor of Science in Business from Tulane University (1982).
"I feel privileged to have the opportunity to become part of the United States Hockey League," said Lux, "and especially to be able to do so as the owner of an organization like Sioux City. The League continues to grow on and off the ice and has a group of owners that is second to none – and nowhere does USHL hockey shine brighter than with the Musketeers, with their rich hockey tradition, loyal fan base, and supportive community."
USHL Commissioner Skip Prince was similarly pleased. "Jim Kronschnabel and Siouxland Sports made hockey 'must-see' entertainment in Sioux City for the past eight years, and the Musketeers have become a keystone of both the USHL and this community. The transition to Donn and his group confirms the team's commitment to Sioux City – and the commitment of our Board of Directors to insure that the USHL stands not only for extraordinary hockey, but exemplary business and civic responsibility."
A first order for new ownership was extension of the current lease agreement with the Tyson Events Center, which has hosted home games for the Sioux City Musketeers since it opened in 2003, for at least three future seasons. The organization will also host the USHL Fall Classic in September through at least 2011, having been awarded that extension by the USHL during its All-Star meetings. This coming September will mark the fourth straight season the "most scouted event in hockey" comes to Sioux City.
"My years with the Musketeers and the USHL have been some of the best of my life," said Kronschnabel. "I believe in this league and what it does for the young men in it, and the communities in which we work and play. This is one of those rare opportunities in life to be involved in something where everyone wins. I will truly miss the day-to-day interaction with our supporters, fans, and the owners and GM's around the league. I have made many great friends and for that I am very thankful."
Kronschnabel and Siouxland Sports purchased the Musketeers organization in 2002, the first year the USHL was recognized as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league. He also served as the Chairman for the USHL Board of Directors for three seasons (2006-09), as well as on numerous League committees. He will remain as a consultant to new ownership through December of this year to insure a smooth transition of team and business operations.
"All of us would be amiss not to recognize Jim for his extraordinary achievements on behalf of both the Musketeers, and as a leader in building this league," added Prince. "Without him, not only the Musketeers, but the USHL might not be here to celebrate today's transition."
(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)