When Colin Weaver visited Independence and Silverstein Eye Centers Arena back in February, he liked what he saw when the Kansas City Comets experienced “Hot Winter Nights.”
The managing partner of Game Theory Ventures liked it so much, he and his partners purchased the Major Arena Soccer League team that had no ownership and a bleak future.
That scenario has now changed dramatically as the Top of the Arc LLC, operators of the Kansas City Comets since 2010, announced Monday the sale of the team to the newly formed company, KC Comets LLC, a subsidiary of Game Theory Ventures LLC.
The new ownership group will be retaining the entire Comets front office staff and evaluating coaches and players as the team prepares for the 2018-19 MASL season.
“This is an exciting time to be a Comets fan and a part of our organization,” said Jeff Husted, the Comets director of marketing. “Colin is so excited about coming to Independence and getting the word out on the Comets. He wants everyone to enjoy Hot Winter Nights once the 2018-2019 season starts.”
The Comets returned to the metro area in 2010 when Brian Budzinski, along with his partners Ed and Mickey Sheetz, announced the launch of the franchise at what was then called the Independence Events Center. Eight years, seven playoff appearances, three Central Division titles and one championship season later, the Comets are ready to begin their next phase.
“I can’t wait to get to town,” Weaver said by phone. “When I visited Independence back in February I was impressed with all the soccer fans living in the area. That Eastern Jackson County area is a hotbed for soccer and we can’t wait to let all those soccer fans know about the Comets.”
Game Theory Ventures LLC is comprised of investors from across the Midwest who are involved in sports ownership. Although aware of the Comets and their successes, the group began its pursuit of the franchise after visiting SEC Arena for a game in February.
“I met so many wonderful people on that visit,” Weaver said. “There is a brilliant opportunity to bring this team back to where it was before last season. The fans deserve it, the players the coaches deserve it, and we are going to do everything possible to make that happen.”
Budzinski is happy to see the team he helped bring back to the then Major Indoor Soccer League find new owners.
“The Comets have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember,” Budzinski said. “I am so proud of what we have accomplished. The players and staff are all first class and have represented our community in the right way. They have created great memories for lots of people, young and old, that will last a lifetime.”
Weaver grew up in Alaska and developed a love for sports at a young age. Playing soccer and watching hockey in his youth gave him a love for sports that would shape his life and career choices from that point forward.
“Brian has created an incredible organization and we can't thank him enough,” Weaver said. “We are excited to invest in the future of arena soccer in Kansas City and we think the fans will be happy with the things we have planned.”
The MASL is equally excited about Weaver and his group taking over the Comets.
“The MASL continues to evolve and get stronger with new ownership groups that bring varied experiences in business to the league,” MASL commissioner Joshua Schaub said in a statement from the league office. “With this particular group, the league looks forward to monitoring the introduction of new business methods from various industries and new investments to the Comets.”