The National Women’s Hockey League announced Tuesday that the Boston Pride have been sold to a group of investors led by Cannon Capital managing partner Miles Arnone.
Arnone, who has lived in the Boston area for more than 30 years, met with the team’s players and staff before Monday’s practice.
Arnone grew up on Long Island but came to Massachusetts in 1987 to attend MIT, where he earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees. He played goaltender for the MIT club hockey team, and he first saw women’s hockey at its highest level when his men’s league team was asked to play the US women’s national team in Concord ahead of the 1998 Winter Olympics.
“We didn’t really know what to make of it at the time,” Arnone said. “We were used to the men’s league. Suffice to say, we were thoroughly thrashed by this women’s team.”
Cannon Capital is a private equity firm founded in 2016 and based in Framingham. Prior to the sale, the NWHL had control of the Pride since the league began in 2015. Arnone and his investors began discussions with the league to buy the team at the beginning of this summer.
“Massachusetts, we’re pretty progressive in the development of girls’ hockey,” said Arnone, who lives in Sherborn. “There’s a lot of social imperative and societal imperative to look at how women are or aren’t treated in certain fields.
“We should really strive for situations where every girl could have the same opportunities as boys, athletically and in other areas.”
Arnone did not disclose the terms of the deal or the names of the other investors, but he was optimistic about the ownership group’s ability to invest more time and increased resources into the Pride.
“We believe very clearly that relative to the purchase price that we can generate value over time,” he said. “We see the ability to generate a good return while doing right by our employees.”
The new ownership plans to make investments in player and team development, increased marketing and promotion, youth hockey initiatives, and will hire a new team president.
The five-team NWHL begins its season in October. The Pride open on the road Oct. 5 and have their home opener Oct. 12 against the Buffalo Beauts at Warrior Ice Arena at 6:30 p.m.
Pride players Kaleigh Fratkin and Victoria Hanson reacted to the news on Twitter: