PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — The Peoria Rivermen hockey team says co-owner Bruce Saurs has died.
According to a news release from the Southern Professional Hockey League team, the 88-year-old Saurs died Thursday morning. The release didn’t provide a cause of death.
Fellow Rivermen co-owner Bart Rogers credited Saurs with helping keep hockey alive in Peoria for more than two decades.
Saurs was a graduate of Bradley University in Peoria and owned car dealerships before buying the Rivermen in 1989.
The team had run big financial losses but he turned it into a money-maker.
He also helped pioneer links between the team and the St. Louis Blues that the Rivermen enjoyed for years.
The release said Saurs also worked as a teacher and coach and in the 1950s helped start Peoria’s first Little League program.