Sea Wolves Stay On The Coast Under New Owners

The Mississippi Sea Wolves are staying in South Mississippi for the 2002-2003 ECHL season.

An agreement was signed Wednesday morning to secure solid footing for the franchise. After weeks of waiting, the good news was exactly what fans were hoping to hear.

"We have signed an agreement at about 10:30 this morning to lease our franchise to Wolfpack LLC," Sea Wolves Operating Manager Lenny Sawyer said.

Sawyer delivered the words hockey fans have been waiting to hear. The new group of investors led by Beau McMurphy and Kevin Harvey are prepared to do whatever it takes to develop a winning ECHL team.

Heavy hitters like Pat Peck, Rick Carter and Tom Brosig have also joined the team of investors.

Last season attendance dropped drastically, despite an exciting championship caliber team. The new group wants to succeed, but need more fans to attend home games.

"The ball is in your court now," Wolfpack LLC Co-Owner Tom Brosig said. "There were a lot of Sound Offs, there were a lot of calls, a lot of calls to A.J. and other members of the media to 'keep the Sea Wolves in Mississippi, keep the Sea Wolves in Mississippi.' We're going to make our part of the agreement known to you, and we're going to keep the Sea Wolves in Mississippi. But now the fans need to come out."

Wolfpack LLC will lease the team for a year with an option to buy the Sea Wolves following the 2002-2003 season.

Once the transaction is finalized, minority owners Lenny Sawyer and Sherman Muths may join the group.

In one other development on Wednesday, Mike Fitzpatrick was named the Sea Wolves new general manager.

Online Producer Glenn Cummins