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Tailing the Komets

What's it going to look like?

As expected, Roanoke is dead, Richmond is moving to Chicago and Motor City is looking for new digs. How do you feel about Lansing? That's probably a long shot. They have to know by next week when the schedule info goes to the schedule maker. Let's face it, if the UHL loses Richmond and Roanoke and if MC is able to move somewhere, the UHL is much better off than last year, even if MC isn't able to relocate because travel costs should be cut considerably.

I know some fans will whine about how the UHL is falling apart. Baloney and pull your heads out of the... sand (I so wanted to say something else). Attrition in this case is a good thing. Look around at the other minor leagues and the UHL has been the most stable by far over the past three seasons. Accept it, deal with it. It's part of doing business in the minor leagues so shut up.

It's obvious not that many fans actually cared about these teams or they'd still be there. This is what I mean when I say the season-ticket base is not enough. You have to appeal to the broader audience to actually make money. That's true even with the Komets who have 3,000-plus season tickets. Die-hards aren't enough to to make it work.

If the UHL plays with 12-13 teams next year, depending on Missouri and Adirondack negotiations, that will be 12-13 teams have a tremendous chances to be very strong economically because travel costs are going to be cut dramatically. No longer is Missouri out on an island. No longer will teams have to play in Muskegon one night and in Missouri the next. Instead they'll be stopping by Bloomington on the way, or in Hoffman Estates on the way to Rockford or Quad City. Those are going to be a tremendous savings.

If Adirondack isn't able to get a new deal with its building, then Danbury and Elmira are probably in deep trouble. If not now, then they will be by this time next year simply because of gas prices. Gee, can we blame the UHL for that, too? D--- that Brosal, he needs to buy an oil company so he can stop this! No, what the league needs to do is find a gas company to be the official sponsor.

Posted in: Komets


Tony E
Tue, 05/16/2006 - 9:20am

Blake great post. If this becomes a stable 10 team league, that might be for the best. The UHL needs to stop trying to tap into fringe markets. Lansing, hmmm. They would play where? Where MSU plays? Will UHL hockey work in a college town? It didn't work in Madison.

Tue, 05/16/2006 - 9:29am

As I said, that's probably a long shot at best.

Tue, 05/16/2006 - 10:12am

I would love to see Indy and maybe Toledo be a part of the UHL. I am so tired of the "in one year, out the next" stints these teams have.

Tue, 05/16/2006 - 10:43am

Scoops, it's that way in every minor league sport, not just the UHL. Check out the Midwest League in baseball, or heaven forbid, the CBA in basketball. It's part of the charm of the minors. Nothing can be done about it. Truthfully, I can never understand why anyone wants to own a minor league sports team unless they have a strong desire to lose money.

Tue, 05/16/2006 - 10:48am

I wrote this in Justin's blog. The UHL needs to get rid of the East teams period.
Stick with the midwest. Penm is as far east as I would go.

Tue, 05/16/2006 - 10:50am

Blake, If memory serves, the CBA here was helped out by a guy named Isaiah Thomas who now is the GM of the Knicks. He's doing a great job there know isn't he? He said sarcastically.

Tony E
Tue, 05/16/2006 - 11:04am

It is a quick tax deduction for anyone who owns other businesses that are making money.. Would I be wrong in assuming the Komets do turn a profit? If so they are one of the few in minor league hockey and really all of minor league sports.

Tony E
Tue, 05/16/2006 - 11:18am

just heard on the fan590 that in the AHL Cleveland moved to Wooster and Utah Griz are being bought by the ownership of the Cavs and will probably move to Cleveland.

Tue, 05/16/2006 - 11:43am

That's a joke. Utah is a good hockey market, while Cleveland definitely is not.

Komets turn a profit.

Tony E
Tue, 05/16/2006 - 12:33pm

To clarify, I am not sure if the Cavs owners are buying the team or if they own the arena and are trying to lure the team in. The guy said that Dan Gilbert (cavs owner) wants to bring the Griz to Cleveland. What that means as far as who owns what, I don't know.

Tue, 05/16/2006 - 12:35pm

Hi Blake!
Do you suppose Metro Ice Arena (where Lansing played until folding in 1974-75) is still around?

If memory serves, I thought there was an article a long time ago - maybe in the N-S, I'm not sure - about how they moved bleachers in to build up seating capacity - kind of like Danbury and Motor City.

Seriously, I'd like to think Lansing would be a good fit, being in the state capital, with all those Michigan teams close by. I don't know how much competition there would be from MSU and Michigan college hockey though.

I could only wish that if someone goes there, they would resurrect the Lancers nickname and purple and white colors.

Tue, 05/16/2006 - 12:36pm

Last I heard. Utah was affiliated with Phoenix. If they still are, I would think that Phoenix would want to keep them close to home. It would be eaiser to move them I think if they were an independant, but as Blake said, the Barons failed in Cleveland and the Lumberjacks didn't fare much better.

Tue, 05/16/2006 - 12:38pm

Blake, the last word I heard on Motor City they were looking at Traverse City, MI.

Tue, 05/16/2006 - 12:49pm

I like the idea of Traverse City. What about Saginaw? Des Moines? With all the teams spreading out from Chicago to the Mississippi River that may not be out of the way.

Tony E
Tue, 05/16/2006 - 1:01pm

I called the Fan590. The guy they were interviewing was the Cavs broadcaster and they were talking about sports in general when I logged the station on. He is the one who I quoted as saying that the Barons had left and that there are "reports" of the Griz moving. I don't know if Metro is still around. I have been to games at Munn but I don't think I have even heard of Metro.
Saginaw is a VERY depressed city, worse than Flint. There is an OHL team in town now and they are slowly building a fan base. I don't think the city would be in any hurry for yet another team change.

Tue, 05/16/2006 - 1:13pm

I agree With Tony E. on Saginaw. It's also the same wiht Indy. They've got a junior program there that from what I hear is pretty successful and most don't want to consider going back to a pro game right now.

Tue, 05/16/2006 - 1:16pm

I had heard Traverse City, too, but thought that was even a longer shot that Lansing. I'm not sure either is the answer, but what do I know?

Tue, 05/16/2006 - 1:20pm

If I thought they could maintain the team I would suggest Findlay, OH. They've got a brand new 5,000 seat arena and it's only 45 mins away from my house. But they couldn't even support the college team so I'm sure the pro team would be out which is a shame beacuse it would only be a max 2 hr trip from Fort Wayne, I'm sure plenty of K's fans would show up.

Tue, 05/16/2006 - 3:34pm

I could have used a Findlay team in the UHL when I lived in Sandusky....Oh well, I still made it back for a few Komets games.

Hit Somebody!!!
Tue, 05/16/2006 - 6:47pm

People I know in Indy are wanting the Ice to come into a league with the Komets. The only thing stopping them right now is that when they left the CHL they had to sign an agreement that they couldn't move into a minor league for a certain amount of years. That is why they have juniors there now. I don't think they draw very well from the normal Ice Hockey Fan Base in junior hockey. Indy in the UHL would be ideal for us and for a real rivalry again. I could see it happening in the not so distant future. At least I hope.

Elmira and Danbury should have a great year next season playing each other 50 times or so. Hopefully Dickie will find a solution to that problem before the new season starts. Is Danbury even out of trouble with the FBI? They may not even have a team next year either.

Tue, 05/16/2006 - 6:57pm

The deal in Indy expires this year, but the owner down there is not interested in AA hockey. He'll stick with junior because he can make money almost no matter how few fans they draw. It won't happen until he gets out because he controls the leases.

Hit Somebody!!!
Tue, 05/16/2006 - 9:02pm

Blake, load up the car, come pick me up...we will go down there and kick him out and get a new owner.....sounds like a roadtrip! I will even buy the first round of White Castles in Daleville. Deal?

Wed, 05/17/2006 - 8:18am

Sounds good except (blasphemy!) why go to White Castles when we have Powers? Nothing compares. Also, nothing is going to make him change is mind, either.

Wed, 05/17/2006 - 11:07am

Sorry, Blake. Nothing beats a Kewpie.;-)

Wed, 05/17/2006 - 11:29am

What is a Kewpie?

Wed, 05/17/2006 - 12:15pm

It's Lima, Ohio's version of Powers and White Castle. That's where I live.

Thu, 05/18/2006 - 4:32am

I just saw an article this morning in the Macomb Times that says that Motor City is suspending operations until they can find a place to play. There was no reference as to where, either in Michigan or out of state. What I got from the article is that they'll be out for at least a year. Some specualtion says they'll move to St. Charles and replace the Otters and that Brosal is getting behind that to keep the UHL offices in St. Charles.

Thu, 05/18/2006 - 9:16am

No matter what, the offices will stay in St. charles. It makes no financial sense to move them other than to fulfill some other city's ego.

Thu, 05/18/2006 - 9:43am

Wouldn't make just a little more sense to put the offices in a more centralized location. If Missiouri folds, (which seems very likely at this point) the closest team would be Blommington. Why not put the offices in Lansing or Indy, sure they won't have UHL teams, but the teams from the east don't have worry about a cross country trip to get called on the carpet.

Thu, 05/18/2006 - 11:23am

This is what Justin has been telling people on his blog. It would make more sense to have the offices centrally located, especially with the high travel costs and teams like Richmond and Roanoke folding. I would like to see the offices move to either Detroit, Fort Wayne, Indy or perhaps Chicago. Any of these cities would make more sense. Uhhh....wait a minute, it would never work out....because it DOES make sense! What was I thinking?!?