(RAPID CITY, SD) – The Rapid City Rush, in conjunction with Rushmore Plaza Civic Center and the City of Rapid City, announced today a change in ownership for the team, effective immediately.
Rush Owner Scott Mueller has announced the departure of long-time owners Barry and Luke Peterson, and has begun a mutual partnership with Jeff Dickerson and T.J. Puchyr of Spire Sports + Entertainment as new members of the Rapid City Rush Ownership Group.
“On behalf of our entire organization, I want to thank Barry and Luke Peterson for their partnership, effort, and sacrifice since the beginning of the Rush. They played a major part in how far we have come as a team, and wish them nothing but the best moving forward,” Rush Majority Owner Scott Mueller stated. “I can’t express enough how excited I am to have Jeff, T.J., and Spire Sports + Entertainment as a part of the ownership group of the Rush. Their track record in the sports industry, especially in motorsports, speaks for itself. Their team will bring in new ideas, renewed energy, and commitment to our community, and I look forward to a long partnership with these gentlemen.”
Spire Sports + Entertainment, a leading athlete management and corporate consulting agency in the sports industry, has a diverse range of global expertise in client representation, creative services, analytics, promotion, hospitality, and event management. Spire was created to manage and serve talent and corporate clients within the sports industry and beyond.
“This is an exciting day for our families, our employees, and both T.J. and I as we become part of the ownership group of the Rapid City Rush. We have enjoyed learning about this great city and the organization, and meeting some of our passionate fans that have been the backbone of this franchise for over ten years,” said Jeffrey Dickerson, Co-Founder of Spire Holdings. “I want to thank Scott Mueller, the City of Rapid City, and all of you for establishing and developing this franchise to where it is today. We look forward to working with all of you in restoring the Rush back to the success it achieved not very long ago, and promise to do our part to build upon this legacy both on the ice and in the community.
For Spire Sports + Entertainment, this isn’t their first foray into professional sports. In the fall of 2018, the group purchased the charter of Furniture Row Racing, and will participate in the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series this year. Additionally, the group has also ventured into music, launching Spire Music in 2017 with an office in Nashville, Tennessee. Starting last year, the group has worked with multi-platinum artist Dierks Bentley and a “fully integrated multi-level marketing relationship with the artist and 5-Hour Energy in support of his MOUNTAIN HIGH TOUR”, per the group’s website. Additionally, Spire handles all sales, marketing, and promotion for the Knoxville Raceway, and the largest dirt track event in the United States: the Knoxville Nationals.
“We have been looking for several years to find something in minor league sports, and see if what we do in motorsports translates to this space. Our due diligence indicates that it does,” said T.J. Puchyr, Co-Founder of Spire Holdings. “We see this as part of our plan in where we are taking our company and this team, and this city is a perfect fit for us. Thanks to Scott Mueller and his team for treating our group like partners from the moment we met. Our group can’t wait to get started in providing a great product for this market, and build on the success we’ve seen so far this season. Providing value for our sponsors and fans, and treating our staff and players like family means everything to Jeff and I. We look forward to this ride with all of you.”
“The announcement is great news for the City and for fans of the Rapid City Rush,” Rapid City Mayor Steve Allender commented regarding the transition in ownership. “The ownership group includes a new partner with an impressive record in sports ownership, management and marketing, which will be key to sparking increased interest in the Rush moving forward. It's also important to retain a local owner in the mix, who represents strong passion for the team and maintaining professional hockey's presence in the area.”
“With a new ownership group comes a level of excitement, energy and experience that has great potential to rekindle fan interest in the Rush and open up new opportunities to expand the team's fan base,” Rushmore Plaza Civic Center Director Craig Baltzer added regarding the news. “The group brings in a great level of experience of promoting and developing strong relationships with fans and sponsors, and an ability to build interest and support.”
The Rush continue their series against the Oilers this weekend back in Rapid City, marking their first home games of 2019. Puck drop for game one tonight is slated for 7:05 p.m. MST at Premier Home Mortgage Ice in Rushmore Plaza Civic Center.