The National Women’s Hockey League’s Buffalo Beauts and Minnesota Whitecaps have been sold by W Hockey Partners to NLTT Ventures, LLC, an entity that combines NL Sports, led by Andy Scurto, and Top Tier Sports, led by Neil Leibman, making all six of the league’s teams privately owned.
Scurto and Leibman have both been involved in the NWHL for several years. Scurto is a member of the league’s Board of Governors and is the founder and former president of San Jose-based insurance software firm ISCS. Leibman, also a member of the Board of Governors, is an original member of the ownership group that purchased the Texas Rangers in 2010 and currently serves as the team’s president of business operations and chief operating officer.
“On behalf of NLTT Ventures I want to thank all WHP investors for their support and contributions to the initial development and growth phase of professional women’s hockey,” said Scurto. “Looking ahead, I’m very proud that Neil and I can help advance the NWHL business model and provide Beauts and Whitecaps players with the resources and environment they need to achieve their dreams and be role models for future generations of hockey players.”
Scurto will serve as governor for the Beauts, with Leibman holding the position for the Whitecaps. Ownership groups are permitted to hold more than one club for a limited period of time. Over time, those owners are required to divest clubs until no ownership group owns more than one team.
“Since the adoption of the league’s new governance model in October, it has been our goal to attract new owners who are well-capitalized and fully committed to club operations and our vision for this league’s future,” said NWHL Commissioner Tyler Tumminia. “With these two sales, all six teams are now in independent hands and that provides a strong foundation on which to expand opportunities for professional women’s hockey players in North America.”
The league is made up of the Boston Pride, Buffalo Beauts, Connecticut Whale, Metropolitan Riveters, Minnesota Whitecaps, and the Toronto Six. In May the league announced the sales of the Metropolitan Riveters to John Boynton and BTM Partners and the Connecticut Whale to Tobin Kelly and Shared Hockey Enterprises.