Awarded to those individuals who exemplify the pride, passion and loyalty of the game of hockey. Spirit Award winners have shown the spirit and dedication to improve St. Louis area hockey. The Sid Salomom Family - 2009 Spirit Award Winner Even with a rich hockey heritage, St. Louis was not considered a favorite to gain entry to the National Hockey league when, in 1965, the league finally voted to expand from six to twelve teams. The franchise price was $2,000,000, and twenty-four groups representing twelve cities bid for the honor or having a major league hockey team. Within a year, five cities were admitted ï¿½ Los Angeles, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Oakland. Still out in the cold, St. Louis, if it hoped to gain entry, would have to outbid Vancouver, Buffalo and Baltimore, among others. When the final decision had to be made, St. Louis was able to present some overwhelming assets. It had a completed arena that fulfilled the NHLï¿½s requirement that there be at least 12,500 seats; it had the support of the Chicago Blackhawks, which owned the St. Louis Arena; and it had a purchasing group with the highest credentials, which was headed by Sidney Salomon, Jr. and his son, Sidney Salomon III. Sid, Jr. knew sports from every angle. He was a $125-a-month sportswriter for the old St. Louis Times in 1929 at the age of 19. He later entered the insurance business, and the firm flourished under his lead. He also became intensely interested in politics. In time he became the treasurer of the Democratic National Committee, not before being involved in one of the turning points in modern American history.