TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- Don Stone II is in 'final discussions' to sell the Topeka RoadRunners hockey franchise to a group led by Lamar Hunt Jr.
Hunt is president of Loretto Sports Ventures, which also owns the Kansas City Mavericks hockey franchise based in Independence, Mo. He and his siblings share ownership of the Kansas City Chiefs.
13 NEWS received a statement from Loretto Sports Ventures regarding the RoadRunners, which indicates intent to keep the team in Topeka:
“Loretto Sports Ventures is in final discussions with the Stone family, the current owner of the Topeka RoadRunners, regarding a purchase of the team. We cannot make any official statement at this time, but we can affirm that our goal is to help improve and develop hockey – especially junior hockey – throughout this entire region. We believe that the City of Topeka, the Topeka RoadRunners, and their fans and supporters are vitally important to youth hockey in our region."
Stone purchased the team in 2009.
In 2015, The RoadRunners and Shawnee County agreed to extend the team's lease with the Kansas Expocentre. The lease expires this summer.
According to documents obtained by 13 NEWS, the team notified the county of its intent to extend the current lease (an option in the original lease agreement).
Shawnee County Counselor Jim Crowl told 13 NEWS, "The County did ask Spectra (the Expocentre manager) to review the contract and the past performance of the RoadRunners and provide a recommendation regarding rental rates and exclusivity of ice moving forward."
Crowl says the county began hearing rumors of a possible sale and reached out to the team.
"I sent... a letter to the RoadRunners seeking clarification and confirmation that the RoadRunners current ownership group (the Stones) was still the appropriate party with which to negotiate. To date, I have received no further communications from the Stones regarding the letter or that the RoadRunners have been sold," Crowl said.
Hunt declined further comment. Stone also declined to comment on the pending deal.
This story will continue to be updated.