The Stillman Group
Tom Stillman is a man of St. Louis. The people involved in the ownership group are also people of St. Louis. Get ready Blues fans, we’re in it for the long haul!
First, my apologies for the pictures. I took them during the press conference from my television so I could get this written up as quickly as possible for those of you who may have missed it. And a big thank you to those at FSM for itemizing these lists!
The group is spearhead by Tom Stillman, a man who has been apart of the Blues organization for quite a few years as part minority ownership under Checketts/SCP. This gives the man some leverage. He already understands what the next plan of action is for the St. Louis Blues as an organization, and he did a pretty good job of keeping that under tight lip during the Q&A portion of the conference. More on that in a bit.
Know any of these names? Yes? No? I’ll wait a moment while you Google them, as it would take WAY too long to detail them all out. However, some of the names should be easy to spot, and give you an understanding of just how deep of a footing this group has here in St. Louis.
- To detail, everyone owns a home here
- They’ve all been integral to the successes of St. Louis business and it’s economy
- They are all season ticket holders for YOUR St. Louis Blues
- These people want to see the team succeed, and bring the Stanley Cup here, for all of us to admire
Stillman made a point of being an owner to the Blues. He called his group, “Stewards.” If you look up the definition, you’ll notice several sub-definitions. I believe he meant this one in particular when he used the word: “A person who manages another’s property or financial affairs; one who administers anything as the agent of another or others..” He made it clear that they were not OWNERS, that they were mainly here just to oversee the financial operations of the team, and allow the team to dictate it’s soul purpose of putting a winning team on the ice.
Gary Bettman was also in town. I’ll never fully understand the reasoning why people dislike the man so much, but he seemed extremely pleased of this transition of owners. That is not a knock on Checketts/SCP, I assure you. They’ve done a lot to bring the Blues up in their time of ownership. However, I think Bettman was happy that the deal is complete (1), and that a group of people who want to keep the team in St. Louis are taking over. He stated the Blues as part of the “Original 12,” and I want to say he’s excited to see a team with such a long history stay put. If you follow other sports, many teams over the years have jumped ship and moved to different cities when the going got rough.
Part of the deal also means they take over the Scottrade lease, Peabody Opera House operations, and the Peoria Riverman. I’ll place bets on our AHL team becoming one of the elite in their respective league, like the Blues are in the NHL, in the coming years. As for the Scottrade lease and POH operations? Don’t be surprised when more venues are housed to re-coup the money spent as well.
Now onto the plan of action for the Blues. It’s no secret the Blues are not financially stable. Recent years have been an uptrend, yes, but they’re still not a profitable team. What I believe Stillman was shying away from, was something we all have in the back of our minds: That ticket prices may rise. Now, that’s not a BAD thing. The more money this team brings in, the better off they will become. If they are able to properly afford their players and put a stable team on the ice, it will be a good investment for the ownership group from a business standpoint. Now, I’m a HUGE fan of these guys taking over, so I don’t have a problem putting an extra 5-spot on a ticket to ensure they are able to put a contending team on the ice for my entertainment.
There you have it. The Blues have stable ownership, based out of St. Louis. The Blues are here to stay. I say, “Cheers!” To Stillman and his group!