This will help the team decide which league to play in next season.
I say ECHL lets go!
Good grief. The 2 leagues should just join forces and be done with it. It could solve quite a few issues. Why have 2 AA leagues? There is only 1 AAA league. Come to a compromise already. Lay the ground work. Make it happen.
The "problem" with the two leagues merging is that it would make sense, and be logical (compared to what we have now).
I don't see anyone being logical or making sense right now, and I suspect there are some inflated egos getting in the way of making any progress.
I don't see any particular reason to leave the CHL unless the future of the whole league is threatened. Both leagues have extremely unbalanced schedules and the "E" has a worse (more dispersed) footprint than the "C". Yes, we'd gain our old rivals in K'zoo, but we lose potential new rivals in E'ville and Dayton (though I doubt the Gems are long for the world in any case.) From the players' standpoint, I guess there's marginally more possibility of getting to a higher level, maybe even The Show but I would guess the probability is very low. I don't see what the upside is for the K's especially since the "E" will likely have some barriers to entry, like franchise fees, etc. (Hey, Charlie arnold - time to weigh in with the periodic "let's go to the AHL" post)
merger merger merger
Pickard is going to look like a visionary if the Komets go to the ECHL since he made the right call years ago.
Thats a good point. Kalamazoo was really ahead of the curve.
Franke will not go to a higher league. He knows that his buddies from the other old ihl teams can't go with him. Wherever he goes,they go. Where would dayton and quad city go? They have been there and failed. He has already stated that they will be in the same league. What's the chance that the ECHL will admit all 3 teams? I'm with everyone else. I wanna go to the ECHL.
Pmp and rk...I know the real story behind kzoo going to the echl and Picard didn't make the decision. Also the organization didn't originally plan on staying in the league. Your thinking they were ahead of the game is incorrect and those that think the deal was because Picard was sour grapes over commish deal is also not correct. It all had to do with a new downtown arena , politics involving a wealthy kzoo businessman and the hope of an OHL franchise. The intent was never to remain in the echl
john, which Franke, the owner, President,GM, or other family members who have invested time and money in the team? I have every confidence that they will do what is best for the team from a financially stable basis, and there is nothing wrong with that. They made a two year commitment based in part on loyalty to the other IHL teams, but that was only part of the reason. I'm guessing all bets are off from here on out.
If everything looks in order they'll jump to the ECHL in a heartbeat.
Was K-zoo ahead of the curve? The only real scale to judge that by is are they financially better off then if they had stayed with the IHL and made the migration to the CHL? Indications are they aren't, but there's no way to tell if they would be better if they had stayed either. It's one of those things we'll never know because hockey teams don't make their financials public, as they shouldn't have to.
What do I think, hope for? A merger that isn't going to happen any time soon. My second choice is the ECHL. From a fan standpoint it is the next best thing. From an ownership standpoint, maybe not...
I think offthepost also has a good point, but again it's one of those things we'll probably never know for sure. Rumor and speculation can sometimes be right, most times wrong or partially right at best....
I remember being told about a new downtown Kalamazoo arena several years ago, but I have not heard anything since then.
From what I have heard, the economy (and travel) has not been kind to any of the nearby teams in the ECHL, especially Kalamazoo.
offthepost: Tell us the REAL story since it was never reported so we can all be set straight. Since it wasn't all just sour grapes either, a lot of bloggers (who are still able) will probably need to eat some crow on here after their comments about Mr. P. and why he left.
Running k....I don't want to go into great detail as it would be very lengthy..I will tell though, as I said the Picard deal was not all what bloggers precieved and I myself percieved the same way until I talked to someone directly involved. The entire deal revolved around a new downtown arena and a promise of an OHL franchise that never happened..I will leave it at that
I don't think any league would enjoy losing teams. I understand that the ECHL is expanding to Orlando, Florida and San Francisco, California. To be fair I don't have any idea of any franchises failing although I've heard rumors of teams being in their last year of the league contract.
The ECHL average attendance is 3986. The CHL average attendance is 3760. There are five teams in each league with an average attendance figure of less than 3,000. ECHL- Kalamazoo (2764), South Carolina (2722), Wheeling (2714), Trenton (2657), and Chicago (2419). CHL- Arizona (2240), Laredo (2207), Bloomington (2153), Texas (2007), and Dayton (2003). I would think that anything less than 3000 fans a game would be a losing proposition in terms of making money. Therein lies the problem when wondering about a merger. It needs to make economic sense for both parties.
I have no idea if some of those teams are concerned about making money. Maybe some owners use the loss as a tax write-off. Maybe some owners have so much money they take the loss just for the sake of them owning a team to feed their ego. Maybe some have other income producing sources such as concessions and parking especially if they own their own buildings.
For a merger to make sense, both leagues would have to want it. I'm not sure that the ECHL has much motivation to entertain the idea.
I like the quality of play in the CHL. I'm sure I would like the quality of play in the ECHL, too. I'm kind of torn on this because I do long for a league that has stability, but yet, I don't want to see season ticket packages go up as a result of a league fee. Human nature, being what it is, makes me think the Franke's would have a hard time not raising prices and using a league change as an excuse. ( I know some of you would, at this point, argue that it would be worth more money to join the ECHL). I'm not really sure and I look at those five ECHL teams not drawing at least 3000 people as a reason. Especially Kalamazoo, a team close to us in location and much more familiar to Komet fans.
Interesting to note that Colorado is drawing 5289 as an average. Not that much different than their CHL days. I believe they bought a "dormant" franchise to ease their franchise fee. Did their ticket prices go up?
Logo rights, salary cap, fees, and other things all would have to be negotiated. Just seems to me like there are too many hurdles unless the ECHL is motivated or the CHL is desperate or both.
Its too complicated to merge both leagues. It sounds really easy and makes sense but at the end of the day its just too complicated.
Neither league can afford to buy the other.
I think a group of teams could negotiate a nice deal to go from one league to the next.
Individual teams moving from one league to the next would cost the individual team a fortune.
I really don't think it's an option to cherry-pick the teams you want because the leagues have done such a good job of making it cost-prohibitive to move. Even though there are individual owners who could indeed afford to buy the whole league, I'm not sure that makes any business sense at all. It would probably be one huge headache instead of just running one team.
When the CHL was re-established in the early 1990s they used a business model where the league owned all of the franchises. I don't remember when they changed that, but I would think that would be almost like someone purchasing the entire league.
I'm guessing the business and logistical nightmares it could create would be never ending....
It's hard enough dealing with the egos from one ownership group. Now imagine doing it with 14 to 18! These are 14-18 people/groups who have usually been very successful in another form of business and believe they know it all and are prepared for hockey. Then they start to understand minor league sports are different from any other possible kind of business and they are more than likely lost.
Yep, no fun.
Off to photograph basketball.
two words - isiah thomas