Calling it the next chapter in Kansas City professional hockey, the Missouri Mavericks announced a name change on Saturday night.
In an effort to unify the region and give the team a clearer identity on a national level, the Independence-based organization will be known as the Kansas City Mavericks starting June 1.
“This is very, very exciting for us in the sense that we wanted to join the ranks of all the other professional teams (in Kansas City) not only in hockey history, but across the board,” said Mavericks general manager Brent Thiessen. “We wanted to inclusive of our fan base.”
Thissen said that the organization’s research revealed that 78 percent of ticket sales came from people in Kansas City, both Missouri and Kansas. Furthermore, 57 of the team’s sponsors have locations across the state line and four of the organization’s pillar partners have their flagship locations in Kansas.
“The first thing we wanted to do was to really unify the entire city,” Theissen said. “We have had an amazing amount of support from sponsors and people located in Kansas and now we can help identify our team with their brand. It’s not just a Missouri product. As much as we are in Missouri, we have a lot of fans coming from across the state line and throughout the Kansas City region. Look at how many youth teams play in Kansas, and they’re wearing our logo over there. It just makes sense. It’s not a Missouri thing at that point. It’s a Kansas City thing.”
All that said, Thiessen made it clear that the Mavericks are committed to the city of Independence, where they call Silverstein Eye Centers Arena home. He quickly swatted away any lingering rumors that the Mavericks will be changing anything but its name. The team will retain its colors and logos. The only revision will be inclusion of a ‘KC’ mark on the Mavs’ secondary ‘M’ logo.
“There are a lot of rumors out there that we’re not going to be playing in this building and we’re going to move to the Sprint Center or we’re going to the AHL. None of those have merit,” he said. “There is no truth to any of that. We will be playing 100 percent in this building, 100 percent in the ECHL. We are proud of our home. We’re working with the city on this building. We’ve already started our season ticket renewals.”
The team had to first get approval from the ECHL, which owns the Mavericks’ marks and logos and leases them back to the organization as part of an agreement. Theissen made the announcement at the ECHL’s Board of Governors meeting and said he got unanimous approval, in part because it’s not always clear just where the Mavericks call home.
“The league has been nothing but supportive,” he said. “A lot of times there are questions, especially on a national level, ‘Oh, Missouri Mavericks: where are they located?’ ”
Thiessen said the Mavericks, while finishing the season under the Missouri banner, will immediately begin marketing and PR pushes with the new name. On June 1, it becomes official.
The next season will be the ninth for the Mavericks, one short of the 10-year life of the Kansas City Blades, who are the longest-tenured pro hockey team in Kansas City history. Thiessen said the Mavericks have their eye on breaking that record under the Kansas City banner.
“This is something we’ve wanted to do for a very long time,” he said. “When we first got here there were some challenges in doing that. With the full support of the city and the full support of the league itself, we were able to make this a reality.”
Mavericks Mac Awards
Determined by fan vote online. Team MVP voted on by players and coaching staff.
Best goal: Matt Finn OT winner, Feb. 7 vs Wichita
Best save: Eamon McAdam diving glove save, Nov. 15 vs. Allen
Best moment: Comeback on Jan. 6 vs. Wichita
Team MVP: Darren Nowick