NAHL coming to KC

Discussion in 'All other USA Amateur, USHL, NAHL, USNTDP etc.' started by GareFan18, Sep 7, 2018.

  1. JMCx4 Gateway to Hockey

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    A quick look at the NAHL attendance numbers this season shows significant misery for the relocated St. Cloud Blizzard. Is that a typo, or is there any chance the weather conditions so far in Central MN have contributed greatly to such sparse crowds? It made no particular sense to me that someone expected a town like St. Cloud to support Tier II junior hockey in the first place, but I figgered the folks closer to the situation knew better than I did. I'm not sure what level of commitment nor patience the Blizzard owner will have with presumably accurately reported ticket sales like that if the trend continues the rest of this season, so maybe that franchise becomes the NAHL's latest bouncing puck? :popcorn:
     
  2. JMCx4 Gateway to Hockey

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    I find it hard to believe that Bill Yuill will sit on his investment in the USHL franchise for very long. Either he's got near-term plans for relocation or he's got a buyer-in-waiting. But I agree with you that expansion in pairs appears the only tolerable way for the USHL to grow, so maybe Yuill & Lamar Jr. have a shared solution that could benefit all parties? Or would it be fathomable for the USHL & NTDP to sever ties (a business partnership that puzzles me from a U.S. developmental hockey perspective), opening the door for either Yuill or Hunt to take their place in the field of 16 within the next few seasons? All speculation, something to keep one's mind busy.
     
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  3. Barclay Donaldson Registered User

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    I found a few of their highlights on YouTube, and it would appear that the NAHL has now become enamored with accurate attendance numbers. This is also the same guy that made his players drive themselves through a snow storm, so is it really surprising he would move to a questionable market? Makes me wonder what the East Division’s numbers really are if St. Cloud is doing 100some people per night.

    It's not a good look for the league. Canavati owns two NA3 teams with much higher attendance than St. Cloud that have been run at a profit to afford his top team, which is the same business model used by Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, New Jersey, and Northeast. But that's the only option on the East Coast due to lack of an interested fanbase. St. Cloud has four or five really good in-state options.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2019
  4. kij Registered User

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    Considering the Blizzard are the new game in town and St. Cloud State has D1 hockey drawing all the fans, NHL hockey an hour away, and the popularity of HS hockey, it is no surprise that there are not enough fans to go around.

    As far as North Iowa moving up to the NAHL it could work easily. They have a sweetheart lease to anchor an arena that opened this past month and already have the coaching staff, support systems, billets, and the like to compete at the NAHL. It's on the smaller side with seating for 2,000 but the area most likely doesn't have the ability to bring in much more than that anyway.
     
  5. JMCx4 Gateway to Hockey

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    So permit me to catch up with y'all on this whole North Iowa thing ... I presume that placing another NAHL franchise in Mason City would be part of honoring a nearly 10 year-old commitment by the League to replace the franchise that became the Coulee Region Chill, which was subsequently relocated to become the Chippewa Falls Steel? And isn't Mason City the current home of the NA3HL's North Iowa Bulls, owned by Bill Yuill & his Consolidated Sports Holdings Inc. group until earlier this year? And doesn't Yuill & Co. own the NAHL's Amarillo Bulls? So would I be connecting too many distant dots to propose that CSH will move their NAHL franchise up to North Iowa to play in the new Downtown Mason City arena, either sharing that ice with the NA3HL team or pushing them back to the North Iowa Ice Arena (aka, "The Barn") OR the NA3HL team moves elsewhere?

    If some version of that puck shuffle exists somewhere other than in my own muddled mind, it could greatly influence the original topic of this thread. As Oprah would say: "It's a Full Circle Moment." :badidea:
     
  6. Barclay Donaldson Registered User

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    Their attendance average also hasn’t risen at all despite the new arena. They’ve been a NAHL team competing with NA3 teams for a decade now. I’m wondering what this new ownership group from the West Coast has in their plans, I know the old Bulls owners didn’t want or couldn’t afford the extra NAHL franchise.

    North Iowa was sold ahead of their new arena move this past offseason to some K&S Management group from the West Coast. In the case that North Iowa does gain a NAHL franchise, the NA3HL team would likely be sold, like in Jamestown. Likely not enough room or resources to host both and have one serve as the development/revenue program like many other NAHL teams do.

    For the full circle movement, if North Iowa and a Minnesota NA3 team join, has as been rumored, they join the Central division making 8 teams. An Alaska team has been rumored to join, they join and Kansas City joins and they both join the Midwest division. 4 divisions, 8 teams each, 32 teams and the league can’t stop expanding to whoever can afford the first payment of the expansion fee like they did for 20 years. Speculation at its best, but what else is there to do when it’s cold and dark in the winter?
     
  7. JMCx4 Gateway to Hockey

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    If your characterization is accurate, then the NHL BOGs have some work to do to remain the greediest bunch in all of North American hockey. Well, besides the NHLPA. :xbg:
     
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  8. mk80 Registered User

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    I haven't heard anything of the North Iowa Bulls moving up a level, so if there is a plan in place or being discussed, their staff is doing an excellent job of keeping things under wraps. Granite City has stated they've wanted to move up before but in all likelihood I don't see it happening, their attendance has seen a slight dip in attendance the last few years, and if they haven't pulled the trigger by now I don't think they will after the Blizzard. Rochester I could see, but currently they are owned by Austin's owners so unless they want 2 top teams or want to sell Rochester (or rather get a good enough offer).
     
  9. JMCx4 Gateway to Hockey

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    It's only because they haven't worked their way through & fully digested each intertwined post of this thread. They'll come around eventually. :teach:
     
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  10. GareFan18 Registered User

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    The USHL is coming to KC. The arena will be built at BluHawk (159th & Antioch). It will be a two sheet facility and will house a USHL team.
    The rink in Olathe isn't going to happen.
     
  11. JMCx4 Gateway to Hockey

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    Source, please.
     
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  12. GareFan18 Registered User

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    A person involved in KC hockey with a business interest tied to the new rink.
     
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  13. Barclay Donaldson Registered User

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    The USHL has traditionally been very hesitant to expand, especially when it means an odd number of teams and the unbalanced schedule that follows. Under their new model, they've always added 2 teams in tandem during the same season or in back-to-back years.

    Will they be relocating a team, is there going to be another market they expand to? Because I'm a bit skeptical of them going to an odd number of teams when they've actively worked, and have been well known, to avoid that scenario in the past. They only reason it was allowed recently was because Indiana Ice had no place to play and went dormant.
     
  14. GareFan18 Registered User

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    KC is a market the USHL has targeted for many years. Skip Prince said those exact words to me. Granted, he's been out of that role for several years, but if there is an owner (I think there is...unclear) and a rink (done deal, there will be), the USHL will make KC happen.
     
  15. Barclay Donaldson Registered User

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    Does not make it special. There aren't many teams in the league that were long-term targets.

    Does not make it special. Those are two of the three core requirements for a Tier I/II hockey team.
     
  16. CHRDANHUTCH Registered User

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    Topeka Pilots leaving for Kansas City after the current season ends

    Topeka Pilots Hockey posting an open letter that the decision to abandon Topeka was not made lightly
     
  17. mk80 Registered User

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    It's been debated whether he would keep the team in Topeka or bring them to KC. There was even something I read of him building a multi-sheet rink in Topeka to help grow hockey there at one point. I guess this finally settles the debate. Although I do have some questions about where exactly they'll play, I didn't think any of the proposed Kansas suburb arenas started construction.

     
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  18. JMCx4 Gateway to Hockey

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    For whom the bell tolls, it tolls for the loyal Topeka hockey fans. :(
     
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  19. JMCx4 Gateway to Hockey

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    Lamar-Jr. & his staff could find a way to co-schedule his ECHL & NAHL teams @ Silverstein Eye Centers Arena in Independence with alternating weekends, but it also could get messy. Maybe relocate temporarily to Kansas City Ice Center in Shawnee, until a new facility is opened?
    Or MAYBE one of the new ice facilities is within puck drop distance of being ready in Fall 2020, with impetus from this announcement.

    The Pilots clearly have their ducks in some kinda row, or the NAHL BOGs would not have voted unanimously to support the relocation.

    ETA for @mk80 : Don't forget, the Lindenwood U teams started this season in an arena space & surrounding facilities that weren't completed yet. What's to stop the erstwhile Pilots from kicking off 2020-21 in a rink with spartan surroundings?
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2020
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  20. mk80 Registered User

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    I would bet some games would at least be scheduled in Independence, the proposal for the arena in the Bluehawk development in Overland Park KS is of similar size to Centene's main arena, and that was built within a year. So if developers move quickly enough to break ground soon (or it's been broken without my knowledge) maybe they only have to hold for half a season or so until it's ready. I'm just wondering why they didn't just stay in Topeka another year until a home for them would be ready.
     
  21. JMCx4 Gateway to Hockey

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    Even the public record over the last several years has indicated the growing level of contention between L-Jr. & Co. and the Shawnee County commissioners. I can only imagine what spears were being thrown behind the scenes. Plus with the Kansas Expocentre undergoing a widespread 2-year redo, I could see the parties being further distanced by the construction disruptions (incidentally and/or intentionally). Like I said, the ducks have gotta be lined up somewhere(s) in the KC area for this decision to be announced before the current season is over; and the timing further indicates the degree of discord in the existing business relationship. I doubt Hunt would be deterred any further in his inevitable move by circumstances as simple as splitting games between venues, or even having 100 or so hockey fans settle into folding chairs & provide their own seat cushions (also available at the will call table for a nominal fee). Necessity has been the mother of crazier things in hockey.
     
    Last edited: Feb 29, 2020
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  22. JMCx4 Gateway to Hockey

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    If Junior doesn't care about crowd sizes while his team awaits a permanent home, the Independence Community Ice rink attached to the Silverstein Arena could be a temporary option. Players would have access to dressing rooms. IIRC, it had 4 rows of bleachers on one side extending the length of the ice sheet. It might even be an NHL size playing surface; if not, it's not much smaller. I'd just hope the Spectra staff has improved their Zamboni/Olympia skills since me 'n' Mrs. JMC last skated there several seasons ago. :oops:
     
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  23. GareFan18 Registered User

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    KCICE is probably not an option. There isn't enough seating.
    The 7 locker room thing is kinda funny. They constructed three small locker rooms because, in the winter when the outside ice pavilion is in use, there weren't enough locker rooms to accommodate the four teams playing and the four teams taking the next ice time. Even the original locker rooms are fairly small. When our full beer league team shows up, we're sitting on top of each other or some guy is putting his gear on in the middle of the room.
    I doubt KCICE seats more than 400. KCICE is a good barn for high school hockey and men's league. No way the NAHL wants a team playing in it.
    Independence Community Ice attached to Silverstein is a great practice sheet. It is NHL size and there are locker rooms big enough for a JR team. However, it has even smaller bleachers than KCICE.
    My guess is the Pilots (or whatever they'll be called) will co-locate with the Mavs if the new arena in Overland Park isn't complete. I'm not sure the time frame. I'll find out.
     
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  24. flybynight Registered User

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  25. mk80 Registered User

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    I think the plan would definitely have to be to share with the Mavericks until the arena is completed.

    Again I get stuck on wondering why they would make the move now, and not just wait in Topeka until the arena in Overland Park was built, to me it would seem like the easier choice in terms of logistics....
     

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