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Tailing the Komets

AHL announces schedule changes

Posted in: Komets


Wed, 04/13/2011 - 3:17pm

So we are going to the AHL :)
We will see Mirasty next season :)

Blake Sebring
Wed, 04/13/2011 - 4:59pm

Now, if all those AHL teams were making money, would they be cutting games?

Wed, 04/13/2011 - 7:17pm

The CHL teams dont make money either, nor do the ECHL... the IHL2 only had one team make money. Whats the point of ragging on the AHL?

Blake Sebring
Wed, 04/13/2011 - 7:54pm

Because some of you seem to think the AHL is your version of heaven and everything would just be perfect if the Komets were in the AHL.

Blake Sebring
Wed, 04/13/2011 - 8:05pm

There is no perfect in all of hockey, period.

Joke I heard yesterday: If the Phoenix Coyotes win the Stanley Cup do the owners of the other 29 teams get to have the cup for day?

Wed, 04/13/2011 - 8:40pm

Not heaven, just better hockey.... Plain and simple.

Wed, 04/13/2011 - 9:48pm

AHL > Every other minor league...We'd be crazy to not want the best, don't see what's so hard to understand about that

Blake Sebring
Wed, 04/13/2011 - 10:26pm

Don't see what's so hard to understand who nobody being foolish enough to waste money bringing an AHL team to town, unless they just wanted to throw it away.

Wed, 04/13/2011 - 10:38pm

I disagree. I think an AHL team in Fort Wayne would make money for its owners. Fort Wayne is a city that has rich hockey roots. People will still come to games even if they had to pay 5 dollars more a game. I think attendance would actually go up. I think one of the biggest reasons that attendance went down was because of how boring games were last year. It really got old seeing the same teams game after game. I know I wouldnt have got season tickets if they would have stayed in a six team league. I think it will take a few years to get back the fans they lost. I think you would have more season ticket holders if they went to the AHL. I wont argue the fact that they will make any more money in the AHL than the CHL or ECHL. I bet at the end of the day the money the Frankes would make in the AHL would be about the same as the CHL. In my opinion they would sell more Komets goods. I dont own the Komets or have the money to buy them so it doesnt matter at the end of the day. I still think an AHL team here would work. I agree in some cities the AHL wouldnt work, but that city is not Fort Wayne.

Blake Sebring
Wed, 04/13/2011 - 10:59pm

Then you don't know your Fort Wayne sports history. There's a reason there have been over 30 pro franchises try to make it here and only three have. Fort Wayne is CHEAP. That's both good and bad. It keeps costs low, but it also holds us back from some opportunities, and this is one of them. It's not that I don't think the people of Fort Wayne would enjoy AHL hockey, it's that I don't any owners would be foolish enough to risk millions by trying it here. Colin Lister, David Welker and the Frankes, the last three Komets owners in other words, have all learned that lesson the hard way.

Blake Sebring
Wed, 04/13/2011 - 11:03pm

Also, Fort Wayne ONLY supports winners, which has been proven countless times, and having an AHL franchise takes away control from the local management to affect that. As an owner, you just can't afford to risk those millions on whether or not your NHL parent club can draft well. That's essentially what those owners said three weeks ago when I did that story about long-term minor league owners. They all talked about marketing the team irregardless of what happened on the ice because that was something they could control. They had no control on the outcome of games or how good the team was.

Thu, 04/14/2011 - 3:17am

Vancouver up in the series 1-0 :)
AHL is the way to go :)
Did you see all the guys from Syracuse get called up to the Ducks :)

Thu, 04/14/2011 - 4:23am

I know of 2 ownership groups that have tried to bring AAA hockey to Ft Wayne in the past 6-8 years.... They have been blocked everytime by the current ownership group who are not done draining the gullible local hockey fan for everything thier worth, which is completely their right as the current ownership group.

I also think it would be silly not to assume that Columbus hasnt kicked the tires on the possibility of moving thier AHL franchise to the Fort...

As long as the Fort Wayne cash cow is moooing for the Frankes, the AHL will never have a shot here...

Thu, 04/14/2011 - 4:36am

JR I think you are misinformed. The NHL teams have majority ownership of the players and franchises in the AHL. They also have control of the players. With the current agreement the coliseum is not going to give up parking or concessions. Please, let's not turn this into a Franke bashing session as happens every time this topic is brought up. Did you read Blakes posts?

Thu, 04/14/2011 - 6:24am

Yep, I did read his posts and not all the information is there and he only comments to one side of this debate...

Also, the growing trend is for NHL teams to own thier AHL affiliates; but they all dont.... There are still many clubs that are privately owned that have to negotiate/renegotiate thier affiliation agreements... Not misinformed, I read alot of articles on several different leagues. I'm not afraid to do research....

Also, the Coliseum's agreement has to be renegotiated from time to time as well... I'm sure it would have to be done if an AHL team were to move in.

Thu, 04/14/2011 - 6:26am

Fort Wayne may be cheap, but hasn't it continued to pay more for this level (and lower) of hockey than others are paying for the same level of hockey in other places? Several AHL teams charge the same for season tickets as the Komets, plus their season ticketholders actually get some benefits (you know, thanks from the ownership for purchasing all of those tickets) that the Komets do not seem to understand the concept of.

Thu, 04/14/2011 - 7:53am

A little off-topic, but I agree with RunningKomet. I'm not renewing my season tickets because we no longer receive as many benefits as we used to. Where'd our STH party go? Where's the STH Of the Game? Currently, we get two benefits: the orange collar card and the small savings at the souvenir stand. Other than that... nothing. Now look at Bloomington's STH benefits list (http://www.prairiethunderhockey.com/team_full-season/), Laredo's (http://main.laredobucks.net/tickets/seasonticketholderinformation.html), or even Dayton's (http://daytongems.net/?page_id=23). Clearly, their ownership actually offers benefits. The Komets? Not so much. Truly a disappointment.

Mr. Snufflupugus
Thu, 04/14/2011 - 8:49am

The first time the AHL Komets finish up in the standings and look like they have a shot to make a deep playoff run and the mother ship NHL team pulls up the two best players resulting in the Komets getting knocked out in the first round fans in this town will scream bloody murder.

Thu, 04/14/2011 - 9:01am

Consider, though, dont forget. Owners that own their building aswell as the team don't have to pay for leasing. Coliseum just renovated and still is paying that off. We are stuck with 'AA' but doesnt change my hysteria over following the Komets. Regardless of what "us" adults feel the quality, the quality should rest on what you use this atmosphere for. My best bang for my buck is the spirit my children and family get when they spend time with their dad when we decide to catch a game. I grew up with my dad at Komet games and wish to continue this bond on my children. Family first whether 'AA', 'AAA', OR 'AA+'. Parallel your thinking arguing over a truck with diesel or a truck with turbo charged diesel. No matter what you drive you'll get your family to the same place regardless. Let the owner(s) decide and moving in their eyes is a risk at this point. If something isnt broke why fix it? I dont need to go on despite what some want. If you really wanted AAA then include financing our move and operating costs in your will. True heart, not oh I deserve it.

Thu, 04/14/2011 - 9:12am

Thanks Snuff for some logic on this argument. We need more people like you to give insight into a debate which will never be realized here again. BTW, we are not that expensive the AHL team in Cleveland is 60 bucks for a center ice seat and 20 for an endzone seat.

Blake Sebring
Thu, 04/14/2011 - 9:21am

Why wouldn't they have every right to block it, if that's true? They came in when no one else wanted a team here, have invested 21 years of their lives in it and lost tons of money at certain points as well. For the majority, they have made money, but they've also been the ones who've had to take all the risks. Why wouldn't they try to protect what they have built? There's nothing wrong with that.

I always go back to former IHL Commissioner Bill Beagan's quote: "Sleeping with the NHL is a little like sleeping with a porcupine. They aren't very cuddly. They are cuddly only when they have to be, when it benefits them."

Thu, 04/14/2011 - 9:24am

And what are the prices of Hershey's tickets, KW? Yeah yeah, Hershey owns their own building. We've had this conversation a million times before. It is what it is. Some are benifiting from how things are now and will preach the "AA" gospel all day long. Others would like to see something better.

I agree, people will throw a fit if the Komets lost some people in the AHL going into the playoffs, but since when aren't you about the money you are always talking about, Snuff? More money would be made from being better with higher-level hockey throughout the regular season than would be lost from pouting fans during a handful of home playoff games. Besides, the casual fan going to the game for the "spirit" and family time won't care if they win or lose.

Are we still paying for the Coliseum renovations to the parking lot also? Weren't the parking charges supposed to go away, or at least go down? How much could a few trees, plowing two streaks through the parking lot during the snow, and spreading zero salt on the ice really cost?

Thu, 04/14/2011 - 9:32am

Great position Blake. Ok, Frankes have their semblance and are proud. It may look arrogant to some like they are holding back against your wishes. Franke's, like is said took their risk and now in a position where they can protect and control risk, (if you understand the Operation Risk Management Matrix), the economy for example are under damage control and take care of themselves. If we go AAA, who are the owners at risk too? The fans are the only risk they have to worry about in their current league. AAA, that is a whole new book of risk and perhaps too complex. However saying this is too complex is creating an excuse. Point is, no this isnt too complex for anyone to understand. Most who want AAA is appropriate to suggest, however, you must allow yourself to understand why we do not have AAA. Weigh both sides. Money and rank mean everything and the Frankes really dont like to be followers. If you ran a business, would you? No. We are more likely to house an NHL team than to be in a squeeze play at the AAA level.

Thu, 04/14/2011 - 9:53am

Blake I think I am informed more than you think. I dont think Fort Wayne is cheap. I know you are against the AHL. We will always disagree. Frankes want to make money and I dont blame them. That is why I run my buisness. I dont run my buisness to lose money and wouldnt be in buisness if I did. I think that the Frankes are running people away. I am not going to bash them, but know by talking to other season ticket holders from other teams they get tons more benefits than we do. That is one reason that I might not get my season tickets next year. I do know that this city and area can support an AHL team and be profitable. Your argument that attendance would go down I think is wrong. People will spend extra money to watch a better quality game where players have the chance to play in the NHL. They arent going to spend money to watch the Komets play the same 5 teams over and over again. I really believe that is why a lot of people havent come to the games this year. The Frankes also ticked off a lot of season tickets by how they handled what league we going to move to last year. We dont get anything to be season ticket holders. You get a cheap prize with your orange collar card. When people dont feel appreciated by a buisness they will stop going to that buisness. It might take a few years, but people will stop going. I think that is what is happening.

Blake Sebring
Thu, 04/14/2011 - 9:55am

I myself would prefer to see and cover AAA-level hockey. I just don't see how that's possible in Fort Wayne, and that has nothing to do with the current ownership. I do not believe Fort Wayne is a AAA city. That has nothing to do with population, but more about out sensibilities. I am not convinced your hypothesis is true, RK, that whomever owns the team would make more money at the AAA level. Each time the Komets have been at the AAA level they have basically lost money. Sure, they made money for small amounts of time during those eras, but for the most part they lost money and now it's even harder to make money at that level. There's a reason there are only nine owners of the 70 minor league teams that have owned their teams 10 years or more. It's an incredibly difficult business. Now ask yourself this: Could someone other than the Frankes come in and do a better job in Fort Wayne? Think of all the advantages they have in knowing the community, the building management, Scott Sproat, Bob Chase, the former players, etc. Someone new coming in would have to start from scratch. By the time they got it all up and going, there's at least two years of losing money right off the bat.

It is easy to sweep the issue of not owning their own building under the rug, but that is and always will be a huge factor. Some have said the coliseum would have to renegotiate. The coliseum doesn't renegotiate for anyone. Period. If they would, you'd think they'd do it with their longest, most-profitable for them tenant which is basically subsidizing all the other sports you host, but they do not. Part of not owning your own building is that the people that do hold all the cards, and you are forced to play whatever game they are dealing. That's just life. Nothing, not even an NHL team, is ever going to change that.

Blake Sebring
Thu, 04/14/2011 - 10:03am

Yogi, I think FW would support an AHL team -- if it was a consistent winner. FW will never support anything that does not win consistently. It never has, even the NBA Fort Wayne Pistons. Bill Russell and the Celtics came into FW in 1957 and drew 2,500. IU and ND used to play annually at the coliseum in the 1960s and drew 3,500. Again, Fort Wayne ONLY supports winners, and that's been proven over 100 years.

There's just no way to consistently put a winning AHL team on the ice when you don't control the talent and product, but someone in another city does. Understanding FW's sports history, which really isn't that strong, I don't blame the Frankes for not wanting to take that risk. I wouldn't. It's simply not a smart business decision.

Blake Sebring
Thu, 04/14/2011 - 10:07am

You have to study this as a business decision as any potential owner would. Another factor for the Frankes, unlike many AHL owners, is that this is their primary and only business. They can't afford to mess around and take a chance with something that might not work when what they are doing now does work for them. With the possible exception of Steve, they are not millionaires. What they really are is a small business.

If I won the lottery tomorrow, there's no way I would invest in minor league hockey, especially not AAA.

Thu, 04/14/2011 - 10:10am

I didn't say they would make more money at the AAA level, I was saying that they would make more money during the regular season than during the playoffs if no one went to the playoffs because our players got called up right before they started.

Thu, 04/14/2011 - 10:13am

So long as the Coliseum is the only arena in the area, Mr. Brown will not re-negotiate. Why would he? There is no competition. The County is very pleased with his performance, and he is being very well compensated accordingly. The Komets cannot take their business to another facility. Fort Wayne's ticket prices are already fairly similar to most AHL teams. Obviously, there will always be exceptions. My thinking is the biggest problem we have is the Coliseum so long as they pocket all proceeds from the parking and from the concessions.

Blake Sebring
Thu, 04/14/2011 - 10:15am

OK. Then they'd definitely lose money because the travel costs go up exponentially during the playoffs with less planning time, less time to sell advance tickets, etc. Coliseum parking charges will never go away.