The owners of the Buffalo Sabres have purchased the Buffalo Beauts of the National Women’s Hockey League, becoming the second N.H.L. ownership group this season to buy into a professional women’s hockey franchise.
Pegula Sports and Entertainment, the parent company of the Sabres and the N.F.L.’s Buffalo Bills, announced the acquisition of the Beauts on Thursday morning. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Pegula Sports and Entertainment is led by Terry and Kim Pegula. According to Forbes, Terry Pegula’s net worth is $4.3 billion.
“This is monumental,” N.W.H.L. Commissioner Dani Rylan said. “This sets the stage and really has the opportunity to ripple effect across the league and really put us on a different level.”
In October, before the N.W.H.L. opened its third season, the Devils bought a partial stake in the Riveters, who were playing out of the Devils’ practice facility in Newark.
Rylan said the Devils’ investment helped accelerate conversations with Pegula Sports and Entertainment. The Beauts’ relationship with the ownership group dates to the league’s inaugural season in 2015, when the Beauts began playing home games at the Pegula-owned HarborCenter in Buffalo. The rink was also the site of the N.W.H.L.’s first All-Star Game, in January 2016.
“We want to contribute to the growth of women’s hockey,” Kim Pegula said in a statement. “HarborCenter has allowed us to make a positive impact on the game at the amateur, high school and collegiate levels, and we believe this is the perfect time to expand our reach to include women’s professional hockey through the N.W.H.L.”