Still under construction, the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines has a primary tenant. Polk County officials have been awarded a franchise in the American Hockey League that will be affiliated with the Dallas Stars of the Nation Hockey League. The Iowa Stars begin play in the fall of 2005. The ownership group is led by Howard Baldwin who has owned two N-H-L franchises in the past. Baldwin says it was important for him to take the name of the state rather than the city,as he says they intend to market the team throughout the entire state and want the entire state to embrace the team. Baldwin says work in the front office begins immediately. He says they’ll start selling tickets and have sponsorships, office staff, websites and ads going soon. Baldwin is confident professional hockey will work in a market that has not had it in nearly 30 years. He says they’re going to succeed and there’s a lot of interest. He says they can talk alot, but their actions are really what will dictate what they do, and he says they’ll let their actions speak for themselves.Dallas Stars executive Jim Lites says the A-H-L features the game’s best young talent. He says 90 percent of the players in the league come through the A-H-L. He says the quality of play is “fantastic” and he says it comes at a good price.Lites says they will use the next year to build interest in the team and the game.
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