Discussion in 'ECHL, NWHL, and other Minor Pro Leagues' started by mfrerkes, Nov 6, 2013.
Looks like Casper, WY is a sure thing for 2014-15...
Best of luck to them on getting this done, but I doubt that they have a ghost of a chance.
Sorry, couldn't resist. But makes you wonder who the prospective team owner is.
I'm betting big that this is the replacement market for Denver. The Cutthroats have very little chance of making it past this summer. With the CHL being in sheer survival mode, they'll just move the next failed team (probably Denver) onto Casper's ice.
True, though let's steer away from speculation... plus we could be here all day given the number of franchises seemingly in trouble.
I know the CHL has been wanting to add Casper before. But are we sure the city/ prospective owner is talking with the CHL. If the y are ready to announce a team soon they might be coming in with the ECHL. The city official said they've been talking with a few leagues so it's possible the ECHL might be the front runner here.
I would hope so, unless the new secret owner isn't paying attention to the industry he/she's about to invest in.
Casper was on the CHL's radar this spring:
The CHL was mentioned specifically in this article, not the ECHL. It was also noted that a team could play in 2014. Unless some ECHL bid came from out of nowhere over the summer, I'm betting this is the same group that was pursuing CHL membership in March.
Two months ago, a story surfaced about former US Representative John Wold putting $1,000,000 of his own money towards getting hockey in Casper:
Once again, the CHL is mentioned in this article. The ECHL is not. If there's any speculation about leagues, it's because Capser's newspaper has specifically reported that a CHL franchise is being sought by this ownership group.
If someone has verifiable information that says the ECHL has also been contacted about setting up shop in Casper, a link would be appreciated.
This whole thing reeks of CHL desperation. Sorry, but the ECHL seems to perform a little more due diligence in their market selection. This venture does not strike me as one that would get an enthusiastic thumbs up from the ECHL.
Like I said I know the CHL has been talked about and mentioned the most in the past reports. But in the video the city official said they looked at "a couple leagues". I don't think they were looking at the AHL or SPHL. The CHL has been mentioned, the ECHL has teams placed around Casper, so that would probably be the only other league they looked at.
I would like to find out who the prospective owner is the only reasons I would join the CHL this point as a prospective owner would be: A) I know nothing about the industry, B) The CHL has a cheaper entry fee than the ECHL, C) I am connected the CHL in some way
If the owner isn't connected in some form to the CHL than it is sure to be reasons A or B... and out of those two hopefully just reason B. I will watch this new Casper franchise closely though to see how it catches on there, having never been there before they either fail or they are a surprise success.
This is probably some civic-minded group trying to put Casper on the map by having a professional hockey team located in the city. Economic development groups use this sort of thing to boast about their region, as if having the CHL is a huge calling card for Fortune 500 companies. Politicians and civic leaders don't pay attention to little details like stability, quality, and viability when selecting a league. They just want the path of least resistance to get a hockey team there right away...and by golly, the CHL would just love to indulge them.
Ironically, I could see some unremarkable berg like Casper getting all fired up for the CHL. Seriously. What else are you going to do in that town? Whether it will actually go down that way remains to be seen. Still, the potential is there.
The start-up costs in the ECHL are going to be way beyond what this group can stomach. They couldn't even get enough investors to launch a CHL franchise this fall. Now that Wold has kicked in a cool million, there might be enough financial roadblocks out of the way to make a CHL franchise doable.
LOL oh boy. Not only have I NEVER heard of Casper, Wyoming but I am wondering WHY? How in the hell will that team last? Travel alone should kill it.
Sometime last season the CHL decided our universe's time-space continuum is nothing worth fretting about, which is why Brampton now exists. Casper wouldn't be the worst-case scenario for travel right now.
From an attendance aspect, a Casper team could work if the town is as bored and lonely as I suspect. It looks like a town just starving for any type of entertainment. Sure, it's very small for AA hockey, but the same thing was once said about Rapid City. I'm not saying Casper will average 4500 per game...but it could easily surpass 3000. That might keep it in the tenable category for a few years anyway.
In a league full of tortured ideas and drunken fantasies about its relevance, this Casper proposal isn't the worst I've seen.
I briefly visited Casper a few years back. Nice enough place.
Its tiny population alone doesn't bode well for any sustained AA hockey venture.
The ECHL Wheeling Nailers are on life support and they have a metropolitan area of almost 3 times of Caper's:
Even tiny Elmira, whose Jackals are probably not long for the AA world, has a metropolitan population which is 50% bigger than Casper's;
But, when Prescott Valley (Arizona Sundogs) and Brampton are considered part of the mix of the league, then perhaps Casper fits perfectly in the "vision" the CHL has for its future
Btw, I look at the success of Rapid City as the exception which proves the rule so far as population goes.
Population of 70K, historic area, National Monument, pretty scenery, mountains, plains and the Badlands. Probably more to do in the summer than winter.
There's no doubt Casper is a huge gamble. The population issue alone is enough of a red flag, yet the CHL tends to do better with small markets in the middle of nowhere versus competing with NHL clubs in larger places like Saint Louis and Denver.
I certainly wouldn't expect Casper to become another Rapid City. However, I also doubt it would perform as awfully as Saint Charles or Denver have thus far. A CHL team in Casper could get 3000-3500 if it was run professionally. That's not great, but it might be just good enough to buy the league some time.
Casper's biggest attribute- to the league- is being 4 hours by car from Rapid City. It's probably also a signal that Billings declined.
(Yes, total guesswork, but it makes some sense)
Rapid City and Allen are very likely in the E this time next year.
Its hard to make any calls on where Rapid City and Allen will be next year.
They are either able to argue their way out of the court order holding them in the CHL saying it was with the previous CHL league owners. Or they are still held by it. Not to mention their franchise agreements still have what 4 years left?
There is the possibility they will be in the ECHL (and for their sake and fans sake) I hope they are. But they might be back here next year.
As I understand it, the court order was only in reference to this year.
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