Lamar Hunt Jr. announces he is the new owner of the Missouri Mavericks hockey team

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. - A member of the Kansas City Chiefs' Hunt family has bought another professional sports team in Kansas City.

Lamar Hunt Junior is the new owner of the Missouri Mavericks hockey team.

He said the puck doesn't stop there.

Hunt, named after his legendary football father, has decided on his own to reach out to another sport: hockey. It's a sport he says he grew up watching, a sport he feels is underexposed in this town.

"There are hockey fans are out there, no question," Hunt said.

Hunt lives in Kansas City and has raised seven children in a metro, he said, that shows a passion for college and professional sports.

He has two goals. The first is to get the best Missouri Mavericks players he can.

The Mavericks currently have a salary cap, so he plans to improve the team by affiliating directly with an NHL team like the St. Louis Blues.

His second goal is to make the metro, on both sides of the state line, the hub for Midwest hockey.

The Missouri Mavericks will still play at the Independence Events Center, but Hunt wants to expand youth hockey.

He plans to build youth hockey facilities in several areas of the metro, in hopes to unify Kansas City's youth hockey leagues and host national youth tournaments.

"KC doesn't have the sheets of ice. You've got to introduce sheets of ice and get kids playing, some of which you've seen in soccer," Hunt said.

Right now, only about a thousand Kansas City kids play hockey.

The theory is if you expose more people when they're young, they're fans and, perhaps, players for life.

And when a town collectively shows a lot of interest in the game, the NHL shows interest too.

"I think it'd be cool if we had an NHL team in KC, but there's a lot of work to do," Hunt said.

He has big dreams, and he plans to accomplish them with his big name.

"I share a very famous name, my dad's name, and it would be naïve of me to think that somebody wouldn't take that phone call and listen to what I have to say. So it does open doors, and it's a blessing," Hunt said.

He'll make his official announcement Friday at the Independence Events Center, home of the Missouri Mavericks.

Amy Hawley can be reached at .

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