CASPER – A month after co-owners Mark and Tammy Lantz put the Cheyenne Stampede Tier II junior hockey franchise up for sale, and nearly two weeks since WyoSports outlined the reasons why in a recent edition of the Wyoming Tribune Eagle, the sides met face to face.
The Lantzes and Cheyenne Mayor Marian Orr met Thursday night and had a “good” conversation, Mark Lantz confirmed to WyoSports. They released the following joint statement Friday afternoon:
“On behalf of the City of Cheyenne and the Cheyenne Stampede hockey organization, we appreciate the community discussion surrounding the future of the franchise in our city,” the statement read. “We had a meaningful and productive conversation regarding the needs and expectations of both the team and the operations at the Ice and Events Center.
“While the negotiated rates in the current contract were data-driven by surrounding city-owned ice facilities, we do recognize the need for greater sponsorship opportunities not only for the Stampede, but the Capitals and other users, as well.”
Last month, the Lantzes went public with putting the organization up for sale, saying its current financial trouble relates to the city restructuring the hockey organization’s contract, starting with the 2018 season. The current contract featured a 26 percent increase in ice rates and stripped the organization from all of its advertising revenue streams.
That contract runs through the 2020 season.
“A negotiated contract with the Stampede will be an important piece of the success of the team going forward as the franchise looks for investors and quite possibly a fundraising campaign,” the statement continued.
The Lantzes filed for a time extension through the Western States Hockey League’s Executive Board last week with hopes of landing additional investors to keep the junior hockey organization in Cheyenne.
The WSHL approved the request Wednesday.
“The Cheyenne Stampede have been granted an extension to the WSHL deadline for teams to commit to continuing play into the 2019-20 season,” Mark Lantz confirmed that night. No additional details were available.
With the extension now approved by the league, the Lantzes have more time to secure additional investors and, hopefully, avoid the team relocating or going dormant as early as this fall.
“There’s no reason the league would want to lose the Stampede out of the footprint,” Mark Lantz said.
The Stampede qualified for the postseason for the eighth straight year.
“The Cheyenne Stampede has been a part of our city for over eight years,” the joint statement with the city read, “and together we are working to ensure its home in our community going forward.”