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Tailing the Komets

Is this a g

The Bloomington PrairieThunder are selling ownership shares for $10,000. You can read it here. Wonder if that entitles you to free season tickets.

Posted in: Komets


Wed, 01/06/2010 - 11:57pm

I think automatically the IHL bashers will immediately attack and say how this is just another failing franchise in the IHL, followed closely by those who will ask how much are the Frankes gonna send thier way to keep them afloat, etc... If this is an idea based on what the Packers have done, then this could end up being revolutionary for minor league hockey. Or it could explode in thier face, causing them to buy back all those stakes they sell... Will be interesting to follow. I would like to see a lil more as to what the stakes will bring those who buy them, I mean, I'm not gonna do it if all I get is to attend ownership meetings... Do they get access to off season league meetings? I wonder just how much freedom with the club they will receive???

Thu, 01/07/2010 - 2:16am

Interesting, have to think about this one

Thu, 01/07/2010 - 7:59am

Have you been reading intotheboards. The Franke bashers are out full force. They just jumped all over this one.

Thu, 01/07/2010 - 8:10am

intotheboards has become a giant waste of bandwidth.

I'm thinking that I'd drop a little coin to buy stock in the Komets (I'm sure it would never be offered), but I don't know enough about the operations in Bloomington to know if this would be a wise investment. I wonder how far they are willing to let the public dive into thier financials to asses making an investment.

Thu, 01/07/2010 - 10:24am

I totally agree with Burgee. I would have to think this one over as well and would want a lot more details. It is an interesting idea, though. My first reaction to the story wasn't that it was being done because of a financial weakness regarding the PrarieThunder, I was thinking more along the lines of ingenuity.

Frozen Water
Thu, 01/07/2010 - 10:29am

If teams go public with investors as far as shares go, would any increase in team revenue be spent on things like facilities, equipment, etc? Is there a luxury tax teams are allowed to deal with in the IHL for going over the salary cap, or is the cap the end-all be-all, with no going over it no matter what?

Thu, 01/07/2010 - 11:36am

It works in Green Bay, it works in the CFL with the Roughriders and the Boston Celtics were publicly owned (maybe still are?)
Community ownership is the best thing that can happen to a franchise like this. It means the citizens of the area will take an active interest and pride in the welfare of the team.

Thu, 01/07/2010 - 6:06pm

While I think it is creative I don't think they are going to get many investors for a minor league team at $10,000, now if it was more around $5,000 perhaps they could get a few to bite. I think it great idea to generate revenue, but one would wonder if this is a ploy to stage off financial hardships because they are not drawing consistant crowds.

Thu, 01/07/2010 - 7:03pm

I think the amount is perfect... Large enough to scare away the average fan who may end up causing more headaches than help; but small enough where small business owners can invest and get their companies name linked more closely to the team.

Thu, 01/07/2010 - 8:41pm

I think they would be better off going after corporate sponsors with multi year deals based on this paragraph they said:

"By selling shares in the hockey team, Leighton said the owners are hoping to generate enough money to fund some of the promotion and marketing for the team."

This stock deal is kind of a one hit wonder, I would think they would want multi year income promotion and marketing.

10 grand is a lot of money, what's my return on investment?

What the hey, hope it works for them, they are turning into a fine team since their first year.

Just my thoughts and I consider myself the village idiot.

Thu, 01/07/2010 - 10:10pm

I haven't been to Bloomington Illinois in about 15 years so maybe things have changed. I remember it as a clean vibrant "big-small" town. Most of the downtown storefronts were full at that time.
I agree with those who say in this economy $10,000 may be too much for the average small business to invest but I do think they are trying to creat a barrier to entry.

Thu, 01/07/2010 - 10:10pm

And create even!

Hit Somebody!!!
Thu, 01/07/2010 - 10:13pm

Yikes.....I haven't looked at any other blog yet.....but I bet they are saying something like this...

"I bet the Frankes would gladly buy up shares in that team so they can control this league even more....."

Not my personal thoughts, but I bet that is what is being said.

I really hope this doesn't back-fire and that this league gets a hold on things......Desperate times call for desperate measures???

Blake Sebring
Thu, 01/07/2010 - 10:41pm

Really, I'm not sure what I have to do to convince all of you that nobody has a handle on minor hockey or minor league sports in general. Right now there are probably 10 teams out there going, ``Dang, wish I had thought to try this.'' There are some crazy, crazy things going on out there like leagues canceling meetings because no one can afford to fly to them, and talk of the AHL picking off multiple AA cities next year because there won't be enough teams. We're back to the days of several NHL teams talking about sharing AHL affiliations because there's simply NO ONE making any money out there. There are 12 AHL and 8 ECHL teams under 4,000 per game, and then figure everybody is padding their paid attendance by 10-15 percent. Those are union leagues and they're all losing their shirts unless they control their own buildings. There is absolutely no way they can be making money. None. I heard one the other day about a team that ranks in the top 10 of its league attendance, a long-time hockey market, that might go dark next year because it simply can't make any money. Of the 78 teams in minor league hockey, 43 are under 4,000 per game attendance. The leaders in every league are calling every other league to see if anybody has an answer, and no one has any idea.

Fri, 01/08/2010 - 4:46am

Uro-hockey has arrived & has hurt N.American hockey.

Fri, 01/08/2010 - 8:37am

All of minor league hockey needs to set down and re-organize themselves. Simple geographic footprints will cut way down on travel expenses to start with. It would also create some 'natural' rivalries. The kind where people travel to other cities to follow their teams. The well to do cities would find it very hard to share revenue with the not so well to do's, but it may come down to that to survive. I will admit to being in favor of the IHL's business model. It seems to be working. No one wants to give up their "power" or control. It is going to take some very smart and savy minds to make it happen. I believe it can be done if they would just sit down and work it out. Everyone must be prepared to give for the good of the whole. The real winners should be the fans of hockey. The secondary winners should be the owners and operators of franchisee's. The union players need to be at the table and must be prepared to bite the bullet also. I know I am talking about stuff that most likely will only happen in a perfect world. Every journey always starts with the first step. After all is said and done they "all" have the same goals. In the business world it is to make money. It makes no difference be they Owners or Players.

Fri, 01/08/2010 - 9:53am

Blake -

"Right now there are probably 10 teams out there going,

Blake Sebring
Fri, 01/08/2010 - 11:21am

I mostly agree Primis, but we've got from over 100 minor league teams during the 90s to 78 now. I've always thought we'd bottom out at around 70, similar to what it was in the 80s, but now I'm guessing we'll go below that. I'd feel better about it if I had any confidence the AHL had any better idea moving into these markets, but they have not proven that at all with Rockford, QC, etc. It's the blind leading the blind. For too long there has been not strategic plan, and it's going to take the NHL to reorganize everything to do one, but they aren't smart enough, either. These financial numbers are just stupid.

Blake Sebring
Fri, 01/08/2010 - 11:58am

Again, it makes a HUGE difference if teams control their buildings and get the concessions and parking. PH is doing better this year because of it. I would guess that has to be the situation in Elmira, too.

Fri, 01/08/2010 - 2:04pm

Good comments by Dschebig, Primis, and Blake. The whole system of minor league hockey (especially the ECHL, IHL, and CHL) need to be addresed. It would be a great benefit to the NHL that some stability in the minors be realized. The success of the minors creates more exposure to the sport of hockey. That, in turn, could translate into more interest and higher ratings for the NHL. A reorganization of the existing franchises into a better alignment ( mostly to cut down on travel ) would create less expense, more rivalries, and a healthier outlook for the sport. We have leagues today that have their member teams play 16 games a year against each other. Then we have a league that has a lot of teams that never see each other during the year. I'm not criticizing the ECHL necessarily. The UHL scheduled Adirondack into Fort Wayne only one time a few seasons ago. That never made sense to me and the same premise holds true today. No league is without room for improvement. No league has the perfect answer. Some have a more "developmental" personality. Some play with more "veteran" players. Which is correct? Who knows, the answer is "both" and "neither". Hockey is hockey. The better players will get noticed and move up. The older players will still contribute to the sport by playing good, sound, entertaining hockey. The result is more success for the minor league team. Maybe the realignment comes in the form of more leagues, with less teams in each league along with some sort of geographic logic. Maybe it would be a battle of union vs. non-union representation. ( That hurdle would have to be handled and could be the hardest of all the changes ). I guess I'm saying that nothing about this will be easy. Since there is no easy answer, probably nothing will happen. The NHL should be ashamed of themselves that they have turned a blind eye to the problem. They have stuck their head into the sand when they should be proactive on the issue. If I were the commissioner of the NHL I would call a meeting of all the commissioners and CEO's of the leagues and teams. I would listen to their problems, ask them questions, and at least start a dialogue where ideas may be shared, concerns be addresed, and maybe an understanding could start to take shape. Shame on the NHL. They are the only "major" sport that seems to want to be totally distant from their minor leagues. It is a terrible decision that they have made, but I'm not surprised. How many good decisions have they made lately?

Fri, 01/08/2010 - 3:08pm

As long as there are stupid cities like Kzoo out there that decide to go against the geographical footprint model we are going to have trouble in minor league hockey. Cincy, kzoo, Toledo, Des Monies and maybe even Rockford need to be in the same league for minor league hockey to be vibrant again in the midwest. Other wise trying to support two leagues is just silly. I have a feeling this thing is going to work out or a lot of cities will go dark which would be tragic.

Fri, 01/08/2010 - 3:31pm

G_Hockey--I hate to admit it but your much more correct than you think. The "Hockey Powers" (NHL) really need to be the power brokers to fix this mess. They really have caused most of it. If they could looked at it as Minor Leagues baseball does they would see the reality of making it happen. But, they get greedy and it all falls apart. Much like San Diego has a Midwest A ball club they also have AA & AAA teams. In addition they have early rookie teams long season and short season teams. In AA and AAA some of those team actually sign players they plan on keeping all season. Major League also has control of the officials in whatever league they are working. You see G; you, Primus, Alan, Blake and I could set down and fix this mess. We would either get crucified or vilified but we would fix this mess. Whatever it would be fun, don't you think?

Blake Sebring
Fri, 01/08/2010 - 4:48pm

You are correct in theory and common sense, Alan, but right now there's no benefit for the NHL to step in. 1) they think there are a limited number of hockey fans out there and the minors siphon some off (hard to argue with the TV ratings); 2) it's to the NHL's benefit to have minor league cities bidding against each other for affiliations to drive up the costs. (Why in the world did Rockford sign a 10-year deal?) Believe me, the NHL knows intimately what the problems are, but so far, they have not directly affected them because most AHL cities pay THEM for the affiliations. They just don't have the vision to fix it. Maybe if they run out of affiliations, they will fix it. Very doubtful, though.

Fri, 01/08/2010 - 5:57pm

Blake -
"You are correct in theory and common sense, Alan, but right now there

Fri, 01/08/2010 - 6:40pm

Many thanks to Blake and Primis for your comments. I will think about the points you've both made and consider them. It always helps to "pick" the brains of others who may see things from a different perspective.