The American Association’s Sioux Falls Canaries are up for sale. But it’s thankfully not a do-or-die situation for the team. Ownership is looking for a local entity to take the reigns of the franchise.
According to the Sioux Falls Argus Leader, owners Mark Ogren and Tom Garrity are looking to sell the team to local investors so that the team has a better area presence. Ogren was quoted as saying:
It’s difficult for us to get down there for long periods of time and we just feel like now is the time,” Ogren said. “Quite frankly, I’ve been one of the main owners for several years now and I think if you asked 100 people in Sioux Falls who Mark Ogren is, 99 ½ of them would have no idea. It shouldn’t be that way, and shame on me for not being more involved. We think the club would be better served with local ownership.
Birds fans may be internally freaking out at this point. However, there’s no fear for Sioux Falls fans. If Ogren and Garrity cannot find new local owners, they’ll continue to assume ownership until they find new owners. In fact, the Canaries have three more years left before renewing any agreement with the independent league. Even if there are interested parties who don’t want to take on full ownership, they’re willing to have a partial share of the team.
The Birds turned in their first winning season for the first time in nine years in a shortened 2020 season that saw no blemishes due to the pandemic. The team went on to the finals and eventually lost to the Milwaukee Milkmen four games to one. Sioux Falls Stadium, a.k.a. the “Birdcage”, also played host to the St Paul Saints’ home games until they were able to return to CHS Field partway through the season.
Garrity is currently the commissioner of the United States Hockey League (USHL) and has been since 2018. He was a former owner of the Sioux Falls Stampede, a team in the USHL. The USHL is a junior ice hockey league with teams in eight states from the Dakotas to Ohio. Ogren is also part-owner and chairman of the Dundee United Football Club (Dundee United F.C. for our European friends).