Komets President Michael Franke said Wednesday the Komets still hope to move two or three Wednesday games to weekend dates. The Komets are waiting for the NBDL's Mad Ants to announce their schedule to see which dates are available.
Because the Komets have been Memorial Coliseum tenants for 57 years, the hockey team gets first priority for the first 30 dates it submits, Franke said.
“You're probably going to get 80 percent of them, and that's 24 dates,” he said. “The difference between 24 and 38 is 14 dates. We basically have almost every other night during the year that's not being utilized by a concert or IPFW basketball or the Mad Ants. We have to wait until the Mad Ants schedule is done.”
Franke said the reason the schedule was released Wednesday is because the other IHL teams needed to announce their dates.
The Komets currently have nine Saturday games throughout the season but play eight times on Wednesdays. Last season they had 14 Saturday home games compared to six Wednesdays which included New Year's Eve. They have not played more than six Wednesdays at home for at least 15 years.
They have also not played fewer than 10 home games on Saturdays since 1995-96. Franke said over the past five years the team has averaged 7,400 fans on Fridays and 8,200 on Saturdays.
During December, January and February, the Komets play only two games at home on Saturdays. Franke said there were only three dates offered to the Komets because the coliseum was booked, including the IHSAA Girls Basketball State Tournament and the NCAA Men's Hockey Regional.
The Komets play only six home games in December, five in January and six in February.
Another factor was the odd number in the now seven-team IHL. Franke said the clubs tried their best to keep teams idle on Fridays and Saturdays when their building was not available so it would not have a negative effect on attendance.
“This is the most difficult schedule I've ever been involved with,” Franke said. “If we can move a couple of midweek games in the next two weeks and get to between 30 and 32 dates on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, we'll be very, very happy.”