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Tailing the Komets

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LAKE ST. LOUIS, MO--The United Hockey League (UHL) announced Wednesday that it has awarded the 2007 UHL All-Star Classic to the Fort Wayne Komets.  The event will take place at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne, Indiana on Wednesday, January 17th, 2007.

"We are proud to have the Komets host the 2007 UHL All-Star Classic,'' stated Richard Brosal, UHL President/CEO. ``The organization continues to excel and the Coliseum is an outstanding venue to
have this event. The Komets and their fans made the All-Star Classic an enormous success in 2004, and we know it will be even more successful in

Additional details about the 2007 UHL All-Star Classic will be released at a later date.

Posted in: Komets


Wed, 03/01/2006 - 11:58am

I'm glad it's back in the Fort. That's great. When you really think about, we are the most central location in the league.

Wed, 03/01/2006 - 12:39pm

Why can't the All Star Game be on a Friday or Saturday? A Wednesday game just doesn't seem right. They would get a lot more fans from other cities if they had it on the weekend.

Wed, 03/01/2006 - 1:01pm

There's no way teams are going to give up one of their money nights for one game. That would be stupid business.

Wed, 03/01/2006 - 1:59pm

I would love to see us bring back the Skills competition. Blake, any chance?

Wed, 03/01/2006 - 2:28pm

None. Too expensive to have everybody travel in and put them up for an extra night, and the attendance never pays the bills. Us die-hards would love it, but the average fan could care less about something on a school night. The players would also rather just have an extra day off with their families. Can't blame them.

Wed, 03/01/2006 - 2:58pm

Crowd for the IHL skills competition in 1994 was 3,200, not nearly big enough. But I had fun and it was a good time.

Wed, 03/01/2006 - 3:01pm


Could not care less about the All star game,but I would like to rant about something and see what you think.
I watched a show today on the AHL starting their own Hall of Fame and it bothers me that in a few years , no one will know who Len Thornson or Glenn Ramsay,etc. were.There is nothing on the IHL in the Hall of Fame in Toronto-they don't even know where the Turner Cup is!
In closing I would just like to say I hope former comissioners Bob Ufer and Doug Moss rot in hell. Thank you for letting me vent.

Wed, 03/01/2006 - 3:17pm

Neal, this might help you a little bit:


There are also some things working that I can't talk about at this time which you'll be very happy with.

Wed, 03/01/2006 - 3:37pm

Neal, If the Hockey Hall of Fame does not know where the Turner Cup is...then why is it listed (with color photo) on the page displaying retired trophies and silverware? There is a brief article telling about who the Cup is named after, lists all of the winners and advises that The IHL ceased operations in 2001. Go to hhof.com and check out some of those really old trophies; it's a cool site!

Wed, 03/01/2006 - 4:46pm

What we need to do is join a real leage and go to the AHL. This league is not very fun to watch, it's not nearly as good as the old IHL.

Wed, 03/01/2006 - 5:03pm

Oh, let's don't start this again. We've kind of beaten this one to death already Eddie. The majority of fans said they were OK with the UHL because they didn't want to increase ticket prices.

This was from a Q&A I did with Michael Franke in January:

Sebring: Fans always want to see the highest level of hockey possible, so there's always been interest in bringing an AHL team to Fort Wayne. What would that cost?

Franke: Our average ticket price is $8.75 revenue (not including Memorial Coliseum surcharges). We're one of the only teams in minor league hockey that has children's prices. If we didn't have children's prices we'd be drawing about 2,000 less fans per game. To go to the AHL, we'd probably have to raise our ticket prices $5 to $7 across the board.

Sebring: But you already have $19 tickets for walk-up in lower arena.

Franke: We charge $19 for lower arena, but those are mostly season ticket holders. They're discounted about $5 per ticket. Then you add in all the kids seats and the $6 upper arena seats with coupons, and then there are approximately 500 suite seats that we don't receive revenue on. When we start out, the first 4,500 seats are discounted or we don't receive any revenue from them. A team in Kalamazoo that has a sellout of 5,100 on a Saturday night, that would be comparable to us drawing 8,500 because they also get the concessions and some parking.

Sebring: But what about the fans who desperately want to see AHL-level hockey?

Franke: I don't think we have to do a whole lot of convincing of our fans. We have a pretty strong base of 7,000 to 7,500 people who are for the most part pretty satisfied with the level of play here. There is a certain segment of people who don't like it, but they don't understand the economics of the business.

Sebring: Some fans and other leagues look at the Komets' attendance and figure they could survive or thrive at a higher level. Are they wrong?

Franke: I'm not trying to be aloof because we draw well, and I'm not trying to be a know-it-all, but we've been doing this for 16 years, and I don't think a lot of people in this industry get what it takes to run a successful franchise in minor league hockey.

I think at certain levels at the AHL, everybody is more worried that they are affiliated with the NHL, but I look at this as a business situation. People become enamored with the fact that they own a minor league sports team. The bottom line is the organizations are not being run properly because they are not drawing the proper amount of people. When you talk about some cities in this country that have 600,000, 700,000, a million people, and teams are only drawing 3,000-3,500 a game, something is wrong there.

I don't understand how anyone can look at a budget between $4 and $6 million and justify that budget with 4,500 people attendance. That from a business perspective doesn't make any sense to me. There has to be something that I'm not seeing in this whole deal. Half of them are probably drawing under 5,000 a game. (Editor's note: 16 of 27.) There must just be people involved in this industry who have a lot of money and the business aspect of this doesn't matter too much to them.

Sebring: But if it's such poor business, doesn't that mean there have to be drastic changes sometime?

Franke: I don't see anything happening that is going to change anything from what we have right now. For some reason there's no incentive for these ownership groups, because in the end it comes back to the owners. Somewhere along the line ownership has to take responsibility for their teams to do well. Year after year when they don't do well, that tells me ownership doesn't care. Does that make sense?

You know what, we care because this is our life. Maybe we're the anomaly, not because we're anything special. We put a lot of effort into this and it doesn't always work out the way we want it to, but I can't see not doing what we do to try to put your best foot forward. Maybe they are all content doing what they are doing.

Sebring: Besides the ticket prices, what would it cost for Fort Wayne to go to the AHL?

Franke: If a guy went out and bought an existing franchise, say Cincinnati which is defunct, you know that ownership group is going to want $1.5 to $2 million for the franchise itself. Put that on top of your yearly budget which includes about $800,000 to the NHL team so you're spending around $1.2 million or more for the players and the coach. The math doesn't make sense, and that doesn't include your travel costs or workers compensation or league dues or any of the day-to-day expenses.

Wed, 03/01/2006 - 5:05pm

Also, Eddie, check out next Tuesday's story. You might be surprised at who thinks the UHL is somewhat comparable to the IHL. And he made sense, too.

Wed, 03/01/2006 - 5:30pm

Unless they do something dramatically differnt the the ASG format next year, I have no intention fo going. No hitting and too boring. The highlight of the last ASG in Fort Wayne was seeing the Stanley Cup.
As I have mentioned before, maybe they could pit the UHL All-stars against the defending Colonial Cup champs (something they did years ago in the IHL), or the UHL All-stars against the team that has the best record at the time of the ASG. Or maybe UHL All-stars against the ECHL All-stars.

Wed, 03/01/2006 - 6:45pm

I am not a big fan of the all star game.It was way to boring.about 30 people in my sec. went home after the 2nd period.

Wed, 03/01/2006 - 6:47pm

Plus a lot of extra work for the Komets staff. Do you know how divided?

Wed, 03/01/2006 - 7:03pm

I don't think ECHL would go for a UHL vs. ECHL type of game. My reason why-they consider themselves (I think) a step above UHL. So if they would win the game, they have nothing to gain. But if they would lose, well...you see what I mean? It's just my opinion (though I would love to see a UHL vs EC game.)

Thu, 03/02/2006 - 3:42pm

One change I would like to see for future UHL All Star Games: Each team plays three (3) goaltenders. One for each period, gives more deserving players some recognition for having a good season and helps reduce risk of injury. Also might make the game a more entertaining event if game ends up 10-9 instead of say, 8-3.

Thu, 03/02/2006 - 4:31pm

No, I don't know how they divide it up. I'm sure like in every office, each one thinks they are doing most of the work. LOL

Hit Somebody!!!
Thu, 03/02/2006 - 5:21pm

All-Star game in the Fort....hope it isn't like the last one here when I left after the first period because it was so boring.

I agree with everyone else, if they don't find some way to put some life into it, like playing another league, maybe on back to back nights in a home and away in the other leagues arena and ours, what is the point. A skills competition before the game would be very nice. How about the league's media guys against the all-stars? What a game that would be, huh?

Hit Somebody!!!
Thu, 03/02/2006 - 5:30pm

Blake shoots....wait.....maybe that was supposed to be a pass....he's hit into the boards again, by Jim Duhart, as Duhart throws kisses into the Fort Wayne crowd. Flint's trainer goes out again to check on Blake, or maybe that was Flint's stickboy? Derek Berkebile actually called Blake for diving on that play! What an All-Star game this is!!!

Just joking of course.

Thu, 03/02/2006 - 10:02pm

I think if Blake played, the game would go down in history as one of those "forgotten" all-star games! But then, I could be the goalie and the game would be carried on the Sci-Fi Channel! LOL! Just kidding!