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Tailing the Komets

A full agenda for IHL board

Not a whole lot new in this that we didn't know already

Posted in: Komets


Tue, 06/16/2009 - 11:29am

This is a crucial time for the IHL. These meetings, in my opinion, will tell the tale of whether or not the IHL will continue as a league for the long term. In my opinion the most IMPORTANT thing that should come out of these meetings is that Quad City will return to the league. That is the key for the future growth of the IHL. It isn't Flint or Port Huron (although they, too, are important), it is Quad City. I hope the Board of Governors can see past the current problems and look to the potential good that Quad City will bring. They must also realize the disaster it would be for Quad City to become a member of the ECHL. For those of you who may think I'm "glossing" over the Flint- Port Huron situation, let me assure you that I am not. Those problems are real but they are in the "short-term." They seem to be addressing them. I believe that, without Quad City and the potential to the IHL they bring, none of these other things will matter in a year or two. It is just my opinion. What's yours?

Tue, 06/16/2009 - 12:35pm

Alan--I think you are absolutely correct! I think one of the cities they could be looking at for 2010 is Evansville. They still have a guy paying a fee to them (IHL) in Chicago. I would really like to be a fly on that wall. I hope Blake catches a ride back from Vegas. He used a whole week of vacation getting there. People are reluctant to pickup middle aged (slightly) overweight bald guys hitchhiking. I feel pretty sure Flint has to be on the agenda. They need to make some major changes in their ownership. To many "Chiefs" and not enough Indians. No offense to native Americans. I would imagine the news will trickle out in the coming weeks. Mostly to keep hockey fans, like us, talking hockey all summer. It's like "out of sight out mind" kinda thing. I wonder just what they are going to do (legally) with Kalamazoo $$$.

Tue, 06/16/2009 - 1:04pm

Alan: Why such the fix on Quad City? Do you have an old jersey you never get to wear anymore or what? Fill in us hockey newbies on the importance of Quad City over some other new city please.

Tue, 06/16/2009 - 2:10pm

Please understand that these thoughts of mine are just my opinion. But... since you asked I will try to explain myself. I believe that the IHL is at a crossroads. Since the defection of Kalamazoo to the ECHL it would only make sense for the ECHL to try to get as many teams as they can in the midwest. By doing that they accomplish two things. 1) They develop a midwest division to help defray costs for Toledo, Cincinnati, and Kalamazoo. 2) They essentially shut out any other league (IHL) from expanding, thus harming the future of that league. There are only so many cities that any league could expand into. Maybe Chicago, Des Moines, Rockford, Peoria, Indianapolis, also to a lesser degree Madison Wi. and Evansville. It is my opinion that Quad City is the key. They have lost their AHL team and will be a part of either the IHL or the ECHL. Whichever league they go to will have the advantage of attracting the other possible expansion teams ( especially those in Illinois plus Des Moines.) One nice thing for the IHL is that Bloomington sits there as a natural rival. If the IHL could get Quad City in the fold then the Quad City-Bloomington situation could act like a magnet to help attract the other cities. If Quad City goes to the ECHL I am afraid the other Illinois cities will fall like dominos and the IHL not far behind. The geography is the important thing. Cities close together mean less travel costs, easier for fans to make road trips (that equals higher ticket sales), natural rivalries, and a stronger league. Remember that the geography is the important thing here. I can even envision, if things would work out right, that someday Toledo, Cincinnati, and Kalamazoo could look at the IHL as the league that fits them better. Wouldn't that be ironic. Quad City is ready to talk expansion now. The others may be ready next year. I feel that whichever league can attract Quad City will be the league that survives. Sometimes the future is now. I fear that the IHL finds itself in that position. Those are my thoughts. I'm not just looking at the present but at the landscape of "AA" hockey in the midwest one to two years from now. Sorry for the long post.

Tue, 06/16/2009 - 2:31pm

No worries as long as the long posts have good info. You made some very good points. It'll be interesting to see what happens, that's for sure. Hope to hear more.

Tue, 06/16/2009 - 3:11pm

I think Blake likes those long posts. He might even get paid by the word instead of the number of posts. Anything we can do help out our "Buddy"! I will say your brain is working overtime Alan. It is only June 16th. May the hockey Gods shine upon on you!!

Tue, 06/16/2009 - 4:29pm

I have no worries, as long as we have the current ownership in Fort Wayne there will be Komet entertainment for many years to come.

No other ownership group has been that successful in Fort Wayne, ever.

We can speculate, guess, throw darts in the wind but when it comes down to it, the bottom line is, there will be hockey in Fort Wayne as long as our current ownership group is at the helm. They are the keepers of the flame and they have no intentions of letting the flame burn out.

Now, i will return to tanning as long as the sun comes back out and wait for the puck to drop this fall.

Tue, 06/16/2009 - 4:55pm

Burgee: Let's not bring up the Fort Wayne Flame hahahahaha! I can barely remember that in Fort Wayne, I was just a whipper-snapper back in those days.

Tue, 06/16/2009 - 4:56pm

While I have faith in the ownership group we have Burgee the one thing is if the IHL fails does the ownership of the K's fail also and thus ending hockey in Ft. Wayne for the Frankes? It appears to be that way because the alternative is the ECHL, CHL, and AHL and none of those leagues appear to have the Frankes interested in. I agree with Alan QC is the major player for the IHL to succeed beyond this year. If the ECHL or CHL come into the midwest hard and heavy the IHL will be in trouble.

Tue, 06/16/2009 - 5:00pm

bloomington has signed 7 players=2 of them fighters.

Tue, 06/16/2009 - 6:14pm

If the I fails the komets will not, that's where you have to separate yourself as a fan and look at the business side of it. That is their livelyhood, how they support their families. IMO they are making all the right decisions.

I own businesses, they took a huge hit last year during the recession, we made changes we survived, this group of owners are very smart, they will survive and keep the Komets in fort wayne for us to enjoy.

Looking at the business models and how the other leagues operate I fully understand why we are staying in the IHL.

Its hard to keep emotion out of business decisions and to keep it from blinding yourself.

But I just see things different.

Tue, 06/16/2009 - 6:48pm

Burgee. I agree that if the IHL would fail the Komets would move right in to the ECHL. We will always have hockey in Fort Wayne. I'm not using emotion. I'm using logic. The IHL has some great things going for it. I want to see it succeed. All I'm trying to say is that we are now at a crtical moment for the league. It is my theory ( and it is only a theory) that if the IHL loses Quad City to the ECHL it will start the demise of the league. Not tomorrow or even this season, but in the near future. Dschebig- yes my brain may be working overtime and it is only June 16th, but the IHL meetings are this week and the ECHL meetings are next week. I don't want anyone to get too comfortable because the calendar says it is June. If I am wrong I will gladly admit it, but I believe that the IHL needs to be extremely proactive right now.

Tue, 06/16/2009 - 7:33pm

I think the IHL has a huge ace in the hole right now and we are all facing this: the price of gas. That's going to determine the cost for everything, and it's either a very brave or very stupid potential owner that will take on that added cost by going to either the CHL or the ECHL or one of those leagues putting teams into the IHL territory. It just doesn't make any business sense, and over the last few years and continuing into the next few I think we're going to see more and more minor league hockey decisions based on business sense versus anything else.

Hit Somebody!!!
Tue, 06/16/2009 - 8:05pm

So that tells me how Blake feels about the K-Zoo decision. You don't need to say anything else on that one.

If the IHL adds Quad City, Peoria, Evansville......wow. That makes Bloomington sit real pretty in the middle of things with a very nicely put together western division on the IHL. I am speculating here obviously, but wouldn't that be awesome? And it would solidify the IHL and halt CHL and ECHL hopes in that area.

With Dayton in the IHL, and I suppose they will do very well in this league with the coach and front office they have put together, and I assume attendance in that size of a town, Dayton and surrounfing areas dwarf even Fort Wayne, at least it seems....and I would think that Cincy would be on the IHL radar and Indy in the coming 1-2 years......how soon would it be before Toledo sobers up and realizes that the Midwest IHL is the way to go?

I speculate....but this all could happen and it could very well be the model....and if all or most of that comes true....how stupid would the Kalamazoo move seem then?.....they could have been sitting pretty right in the center of the IHL footprint but will most likely be struggling outside of the ECHL footprint.

Tue, 06/16/2009 - 8:43pm

Dayton's attendance in the ECHL always seemed okay to me -- certainly better than a lot of that league's other northeast teams. Hara only seats a little over 5000, but even 3000 would make them one of the biggest draws. Now Cincy is a different story. Wikipedia says their arena will hold nearly 13,000 for hockey. Normally, they only bring in a fraction of that, but their attendance has been steadily improving thanks to aggressive marketing.

Wed, 06/17/2009 - 12:58am

Evansville gets their license:


Though it's a bit vague on whether they will definitely field a team in the 2009-2010 season...

Kzoo: hope you enjoy your crow.

Wed, 06/17/2009 - 1:06am

Hmmm...according to:


The event center is not going to open until 2011, but with a seating capacity north of 12,000...wow, this is starting to look very good for the IHL.

Wed, 06/17/2009 - 7:56am

Hey Hit Somebody!!! I think that you have caught on to what I have been trying to say. I have no particular "love" for Quad City but they are the city that is in the right location, at the right time, and ready to make a decision. I agree with Blake that fuel costs should enter into any decision by a potential owner (just as all expenses should). The ECHL is so spread out already that I wonder how important fuel costs are to them? I agree with Burgee that these people are business people, and should come to the correct conclusion after studying the situation. But people in business also need to "forecast" in order to make the proper business plans. I'm sure that the IHL has done their homework on this matter. I hope that they have come to the same conclusion that I have as far as future expansion plans.

Wed, 06/17/2009 - 8:14am

So is Evansville in now or what? I read the post Brandan put up, but then again people are saying the new arena won't be done for a couple of years. So does that mean they'll have a team in a couple of years, or will have a team this season playing out of a different arena until the new place is done? Thoughts? Inside information?

Wed, 06/17/2009 - 8:35am

Evansville will more than likely enter the IHL for 2010 - 2011 season. The arena they now play in is similiar to Mac's newer ice facility. Minimal seating but doable. I think they wait until the following season to come in.

Wed, 06/17/2009 - 9:13am

I agree with ToeBlake. Pure speculation on my part, but it seems (from looking at the website and 'reading between the lines' of the report) that the Icemen would wait until the new arena is finished. If Wikipedia can be believed, that won't be done until 2011. I don't particularly see them starting in a 2010 - 2011 season if it means moving into a new building, so really 2011 - 2012 makes the most sense; but making such an announcement doesn't make a lot of sense....

How about: start in the smaller arena for 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 to whet the appetite, and then move to the new arena for 2011-2012 to really grow the program!

Needless to say, I, like much everyone else is chomping at the bit to hear the results of the IHL meetings.

Wed, 06/17/2009 - 11:20am

An amendment to the capacity of the icemen...
Concerts: 12,042
Hockey: 10,375
Still awesome!!! I wonder if this will effect Indianapolis "Ice" franchise name if they decide to join the "I"?

Wed, 06/17/2009 - 12:07pm

i wouldn't get too excited about info coming out of the league meetings cause it will probably just be standard business stuff.

My guess:

Schedule will be done by this date.

couple rules tweeks.

Since the evansville thing is out -- probably that.

i wouldn't think they would announce any expansions from a league meeting unless it was vague like x amount of teams approved for expansion this year announcements will be forthcoming in their respective cities.

Wed, 06/17/2009 - 3:16pm

it kind of sucks that they make a huge deal about having these meetings, then keep everything they decide really under wraps or vague. i'm sure there are reasons for it, but to the everyday fan who doesn't know all of the behind the scenes activities, it seems pretty lame. i'd like to see some more teams in the league this coming season, but i guess we'll all have to wait and see together. until then, pretty much we're left just gossiping like a bunch of ladies at the salon. is toledo going to have a team for this upcoming season? i've been hearing mixed signals. i know they made their announcement, but some people haven't sounded so sure.

Wed, 06/17/2009 - 5:12pm

RunningKomet---Toledo will open play this fall in the ECHL. The "Walleyes" will be playing in the brand new downtown area. The same arena their goofy mayor is up for a recall election over along with a lot of other dumb things he has done. Including having parking tickets issued to people who park on gravel in there own driveway because it is not paved. News historicly comes out very slow from summer meetings. I am sure that new cities will get the chance to brake the news in their city first. I am cool with that after all it is their money. My information tells me Evansville will start play with the 2010/2011 season. The building will not be ready by October. They have planned on the IHL from the very beginning with the building. I am sure there is much discussion about a "New" real commissioner. One who supports the member clubs and does not go and sell them out. I could vote for a guy like Scott Sprott. Great business mind and lots of get up and go. He also knows hockey and how to deal with people. I pretty sure he wouldn't take the job but I can always have my dreams. Brad Jones is in the running I would guess. Over all I feel real good about the I-H-L and the future.

Wed, 06/17/2009 - 5:21pm

Good info as always Dschebig. OK, so in my haste I typed Toledo instead of Dayton... I've typed three graduate papers this week and keep using this blog as my break from researching and writing papers. Can you tell I'm getting burned out?? What I meant to ask was, "What's the story with DAYTON?" A thousand apologies, but the Toledo info was a great bonus for my mistake :)

Wed, 06/17/2009 - 5:47pm

Dayton will open their season in October. My guess is against the Komets. It will be the 50th anniverary of Hara arena. It will be a big deal whoever they open against. I do not make the schedule that was just a guess. There are really a lot of stories on the "New" Dayton Gems. Blake has written as much as anyone. It sure looks like the new owners are doing everything right. Someone said they were not resident owners and that is just not so. Both guys moved to Dayton. They are just about if not already out of the pizza business in and around Fort Wayne. They have budgeted a lot of money for next season. The owner of Hara says he has several years of work to do in 6 months to get ready for hockey. Somebody is doing something. They are selling season tickets with 3 phone lines. I have this crazy idea they know what they have gotten themselves into and it is full speed ahead.

Wed, 06/17/2009 - 6:27pm

That's good to hear. Dang Dschebig, Blake better watch out, you're going to take over! Honestly, he comes to you for information, doesn't he?? In any event, thanks again for the information.

Wed, 06/17/2009 - 6:34pm

Some days, he can have it!

Wed, 06/17/2009 - 7:07pm

30th hit $10 for Blake on this topic