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Tailing the Komets

Ins and outs of minor league ownership

Posted in: Komets


Tue, 03/22/2011 - 9:46am

Great story. It really gives you an inside look at how things are run.

Tim Hoke
Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:05am

To the ph

Tim Hoke
Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:09am

Sorry bout that. To the fans that want an AHL team here read this great article then read it again and understand what said here by the people on the inside. Maybe we can understand why I am not for the AHL coming here. Just saying.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:34am

And what would those reason be, Tim?

I would love to see the AHL here...I know it wont happen as long as the Frankes are owners; but would like to see it all the same. I understand all the reasons people throw out there as to why they think it wouldnt work; but they also dont give the whole story when giving thier reasons...

There are a couple points in this article I dont agree with or think need to be discussed in more detail as pertaining to owning an AHL franchise. Good article, none the less....

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:39am

I would suggest that it's not so much a matter of being for or against a Fort Wayne AHL team. I think a case can be made that the "A" could succeed here, but it's by no means a sure thing. And I suspect that the Frankes are not in a position to take that kind of risk. Just taking a wild guess at their per-seat average revenue ($10, but I suspect that's high), under the current pricing structure they are at least $2M short in the amount of money it would take to field an AHL team. There isn't that much money to be had anywhere in NE Indiana - not through advertising, corporate sponsorships, or whatever. And we've seen what a modest reversal of on-ice fortunes has had on attendance - about $4000 per game or well over $100K over the whole season. If the AHL is coming to Fort Wayne, it's only coming with NHL team ownership.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:03am

Nit sure I agree with that $10 figure, Ron. However you make some good points. So does Tim.

Gotta go, my cat just yaked up a bone.

Tim Hoke
Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:03am

Well Jr1 pretty much what Ron posted above is what i think also. There would be a fair share of losing seasons. Fort Wayne fans do not like that period. It is all about what big daddy NHL team that owns it want. Not what the fans want. Wouldnt it be nice if we could try it for a season but that is impossible. I say stay at AA level in a good solid league that has travel costs under control. ECHL maybe?

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:17am

I'm in the minority I'm sure but there's more to hockey than just winning. The QUALITY of hockey would more then make up for the lack of wins.

I've had way more fun watching the games this year then I ever did in the IHL2

Blake Sebring
Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:20am

It did not at the end of the original IHL, and that hockey was as good as if not better than anything we'd see from the AHL today.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:53am

I watch alot of hockey every year from the Komets, ECHL, AHL, and NHL either in person, internet, or TV and I really enjoy the product at the AHL level. If you think this league is alot faster, watch an AHL game.

Every article I've ever read always only lists the downfalls to an AHL franchise and never the upsides to having one... It would be nice for once to read the other side of the discussion.

Blake Sebring
Tue, 03/22/2011 - 12:03pm

Don't you think I'd prefer to cover the best hockey possible in Fort Wayne? I did that for 10 years, and thoroughly enjoyed it. This is the reality.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 12:17pm

We currently have the American league, and everything else is AA or lower. Not that long ago there were two AAA leagues. What changed? Maybe we need to go back to two AAA leagues, one geared for player development with players having primary allegiance to the NHL team and subject to call-up at any moment, and a second geared more to players who had their chance and didn't stick at the NHL level, but who still play at a high level.

Blake Sebring
Tue, 03/22/2011 - 12:35pm

The other AAA league went out of business because too many people were losing money. That's also why NHL teams are now buying more of their AHL franchises -- because they can't find any ownership groups willing to buy them.

Blake Sebring
Tue, 03/22/2011 - 12:38pm

I'm also not sure there's a big, big money owner in FW who would buy an AHL team. It would have to come from outside the community.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 1:11pm

There have been numerous rumors (both confirmed and unconfirmed) of ownership groups both local and from outside the community who have wanted to bring AAA hockey back to Ft Wayne; but you are correct that there may not be one local guy with the cash needed to own an AHL franchise. Efforts have been blocked every time. I also understand that while this Komets franchise remains the cash cow it is, that the Frankes will never sell (at least until they are ready to retire...).

As long as the Komets stay at least at this level of AA hockey and we can at least see one or two guys with a shot at making the AHL then I will be happy... If we return to something akin of the IHL2, then I will get the center ice package for the NHL and only make a handful of Games locally... This year has really opened my eyes to what we as fans have been missing out on...

Blake Sebring
Tue, 03/22/2011 - 1:15pm

I think if someone did want to come in and buy the team, they'd want a much different lease from the coliseum, and I don't think that would happen.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 1:31pm

AHL/NHL want control of the building. With them it is all or nothing. In Fort Wayne and Allen County that will "NEVER" happen. So forget that dream! Sorry to be so blunt.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 1:34pm

Might want to double check that statement of yours, Denny...

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 1:35pm

They dont control the arena's everywhere in the AHL; but agree that the lease would have to be changed to get the AHL in here...

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 1:36pm

Also, the right people in town come to bear on the Coliseum to get a lease done and it would happen, that I am certain of; but there are many more hurdles in the way before that could ever happen...

Tim Hoke
Tue, 03/22/2011 - 4:35pm

Chasing a dream that is not going to happen. No matter what side of the story you may be on. Heck try for an NHL FRANCHISE. Just kidding. 180 Bucks per ticket rinkside. Sure us hoosiers can handle that.

indy ks fan
Tue, 03/22/2011 - 4:48pm

One thing that I will never understand about minor league hockey owners, regardless of level, is why they don't try to minimize travel costs. I do not understand why the current AHL doesn't divide itself into two leagues--one with about 18 teams that include those in the Northeast and another with 12 or so with the midwest and southwest teams. I also believe that the ECHL and CHL teams could be divided into three leagues with approximate geographical boundaries such as east of the Mississippi for one league, between the Mississippi and the Rocky Mountains for the second league, and from the Rockies westward for a third league. I don't understand how any of the AHL, ECHL, or CHL teams make money with the current travel arrangements that have to be made.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 4:51pm

Dennis, are you saying someone couldn't build their own building in the area and running the team without needing the MC? I seem to remember a team building their own building and controlling it quite well on their own in Ft Wayne recently...

Blake Sebring
Tue, 03/22/2011 - 4:57pm

No, they didn't. You did, we did. Taxpayers did. But your point is interesting.

If someone did come in and build their own building, it's almost assured then that they could not make the finances for a hockey team work.

Blake Sebring
Tue, 03/22/2011 - 5:08pm

And as taxpayers, I don't think we want the MC to lose hockey. Either way, we'd pay a lot.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 6:18pm

Wait... The Monkey is confused. I've read you say that the Komets can't make money because they don't control the building. Then you say that if someone owned the building it wouldn't work.

So whats the deal? What am I missing here?

Is the difference "control" and "own"?

Mr Snufflupugus
Tue, 03/22/2011 - 6:25pm

All I know is first as a fan and secondly as a corporate partner the Frankes have provided me a fun product and good value for my business. On top of that they have shown me nothing but class. I don't look forward to the day they retire because even if it is kept in the family there is no guarantee that things will be run as well as they are now.

Blake Sebring
Tue, 03/22/2011 - 6:37pm

I've never said they don't make money, they just don't make as much as a lot of people seem to think. If somebody tried to buy a team and come and an build a new building it would not work because they could never make enough money to pay for both from FW customers. AND I don't think there's any way the taxpayers would commit to building another taxpayer-supported building, at least for another 30 years.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 7:06pm

Sorry Blake.. I was referring to making money in the AHL in my last post. I should have been more clear.

Mr. Snufflupugus
Tue, 03/22/2011 - 7:16pm

When they do build a new arena I hope they find some real estate to do it downtown.