The Reading Royals will be sold to Berks County businessman Jack D. Gulati, officials involved in the deal announced today.
Gulati said he plans to keep the Kelly Cup winners in Reading and based out of the Santander Arena.
He has agreed to buy 100 percent of the team shares. Ownership had been split between the Berks County Convention Center Authority and SMG, the company that operates the arena.
The sale is contingent on EHCL, formerly East Coast Hockey League, approval.
A milestone of sorts for Allentown’s new arena has begun.
Three massive cranes this morning began lifting the seven 236-foot-long roof supports, called trusses, into place above the 8,500-seat PPL Center. Workers hoisted 85 feet in the air in high-reach cherry-pickers will use pneumatic wrenches to fasten the trusses into place with massive bolts.
Each truss, a curved structural support laced with a series of steel triangles, weighs between 125,000 and 212,000 pounds.
The first truss is expected to take 14 to 16 hours to install. The trusses were constructed on the arena floor last week.
The work was done, the title was secured and it was time to party.
The Royals took control of the game with a four-goal second period and another sterling performance by goaltender Riley Gill, who earned the finals most valuable player award.
Six years ago Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski, his city still smarting from losing the Sands casino to Bethlehem, first suggested that an arena might make a fine consolation prize.
Pawlowski on Wednesday, standing at the city’s $272 million arena complex, surrounded by dust and gravel, hard hats and heavy machines, looked downright satisfied.
With construction in full swing, steel and concrete rising from what was once a block of low-end stores and for a time just a muddy hole at Seventh and Hamilton streets, Pawlowski, media in tow, got his first tour of a project that he has been trying to make a reality for most of his time in office.
“It really is amazing when you think about going from the conceptual stage to something that is physically under construction,” Pawlowski said afterward. “I wanted to show the amount of planning that has really gone into this construction process.”
Among the world’s top 200 arenas, the Sovereign Center ranked 160th for concert ticket sales in 2012, beating larger arenas such as the Giant Center in Hershey and the Liacouras Center in Philadelphia, according to Pollstar, the concert tour industry’s leading trade publication.
The Sovereign Center also beat itself, moving up 30 places from its 190th ranking in 2011, general manager Zane Collings told the Berks County Convention Center Authority on Thursday.
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