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RapidFire19

QC Mallards to cease operations - SPHL Expansion?

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This is very sad news for me 'n' Mrs. JMC (and the friends who are fellow hockey fans that we have in QDC), but not shocking.

I am surprised that the team made the announcement a month ahead of season's end.  Makes me wonder if someone already has a fallback plan to continue some sort of hockey in Moline.  Stay tuned.  :popcorn:

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http://qconline.com/sports/quad_city_mallards/mallards-go-down-fighting/article_3f348cfb-4cca-5483-89fb-df3c31826e0d.html

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MOLINE—Mike Dzekunskas has been a fan of the Quad City Mallards since the beginning.

He remembers the packed houses and the three championships in a five-year span.

Hearing it might all be ending was a tough moment.

“I damn near started crying,” Dzekunskas said. “Just thinking about the friendships, the excitement, the games.”

Dzekunskas and his daughter-in-law Amy were among the fans who came out Wednesday to support the Mallards following the announcement that the team will be ceasing operations at the end of the season.

Article continues...

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Still, this might not be the end for hockey in the Quad-Cities as the Southern Professional Hockey League remains the best available option at this point.

SPHL president and commissioner Jim Combs said his league has been contacted about adding a team from the Quad-Cities and it’s something they’re looking at.

“We don’t have anything definite, but we’re certainly open to having discussions about it,” Combs said. “If the ownership group or ownership person stuff works out, we’d be happy to have Quad-City a part of our league.”

Combs said in order for QC to realistically join the SPHL in time for next season, he’d like an ownership group to be in place no later than May 15.

“That would be the drop dead, we can’t wait any longer, but we’ll see,” he said. “If something’s going to happen, it has to start to happen quickly.”

 

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Another article: https://arenadigest.com/2018/03/16/taxslayer-center-pursue-new-hockey-tenant/

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With the Quad City Mallards (ECHL) set to cease operations, TaxSlayer Center officials will explore their options for a new hockey tenant. 

This week, it was announced that the Mallards will cease operations after the 2017-18 ECHL season concludes. Financial difficulties were a reportedly a factor in owner Jordan Melville‘s decision to fold the Mallards after their current season.

That decision, however, does not necessarily spell the end of hockey at the TaxSlayer Center. The prospect of landing another ECHL team for the 2018-19 season is being ruled out by the league, but the Moline, IL-based venue could some other options in the mix, including the SPHL and USHL. Upon the announcement that the Mallards would shut down, TaxSlayer Center executive director Scott Mullen indicated that arena officials will explore their options. More from The Quad-City Times:

 

I've got a feeling they'll pursue the USHL more than the SPHL. Too far of a footprint with Peoria as it is, but Peoria may be the biggest reason they consider joining.

 

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9 hours ago, Speedracer said:

Another article: https://arenadigest.com/2018/03/16/taxslayer-center-pursue-new-hockey-tenant/

I've got a feeling they'll pursue the USHL more than the SPHL. Too far of a footprint with Peoria as it is, but Peoria may be the biggest reason they consider joining.

If the Quad City Civic Center Authority is willing to extend to the next hockey tenant the $1 per year lease deal they gave the Mallards, a USHL franchise relocation to Moline would be a credible option.  And look no further than Bloomington's Central Illinois Flying Aces franchise, owned by none other than the Peoria Rivermen's majority shareholder Willard (Bill) Yuill.  Before changing the team's name from the Bloomington Thunder late last summer, Yuill had been vocal about his displeasure with waning support of the team in Bloomington/Normal.  Moving his USHL franchise up I-74 in the opposite direction from Peoria would further centralize his Consolidated Sports Holdings, Inc. hockey properties, which also include the NA3HL's North Iowa Bulls.  With the exception of the very large seating capacity of TaxSlayer - which seemingly would be offset with a $1/year lease - it appears a USHL tenant is a very real possibility that could happen in time for the 2018-19 season.  But QDC support of junior hockey remains an unknown factor.  :unsure:

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On 3/17/2018 at 6:10 AM, JMC-STL said:

If the Quad City Civic Center Authority is willing to extend to the next hockey tenant the $1 per year lease deal they gave the Mallards, a USHL franchise relocation to Moline would be a credible option.  And look no further than Bloomington's Central Illinois Flying Aces franchise, owned by none other than the Peoria Rivermen's majority shareholder Willard (Bill) Yuill.  Before changing the team's name from the Bloomington Thunder late last summer, Yuill had been vocal about his displeasure with waning support of the team in Bloomington/Normal.  Moving his USHL franchise up I-74 in the opposite direction from Peoria would further centralize his Consolidated Sports Holdings, Inc. hockey properties, which also include the NA3HL's North Iowa Bulls.  With the exception of the very large seating capacity of TaxSlayer - which seemingly would be offset with a $1/year lease - it appears a USHL tenant is a very real possibility that could happen in time for the 2018-19 season.  But QDC support of junior hockey remains an unknown factor.  :unsure:

"But QDC support of junior hockey remains an unknown factor."

That is the key quote to this post and I do not see them doing that.  Have friends up there that go to games and they said they will not support junior team but would and SPHL team.  Peoria is like an hour and 15 minutes away

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Posted (edited)
According to my sources in the Birmingham Bulls area there is already a group exploring the option of putting a team in the Quad Cites for the SPHL.

 

Edited by SASRACE

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Posted (edited)
On 3/20/2018 at 4:25 PM, SASRACE said:

"But QDC support of junior hockey remains an unknown factor."

That is the key quote to this post and I do not see them doing that.  Have friends up there that go to games and they said they will not support junior team but would and SPHL team.  Peoria is like an hour and 15 minutes away

I don't know if that would be a huge problem.  I mean obviously there needs to be support, but there are USHL teams doing fine on half the attendance that the Mallards have right now just because of the relatively low travel costs combined with the obvious lack of player wages.  Besides, I'm sure people would show up, junior hockey is a million times better than no hockey at all.

Edited by p3tra

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On 3/23/2018 at 8:40 AM, p3tra said:

... Besides, I'm sure people would show up, junior hockey is a million times better than no hockey at all.

While I agree 1 million percent with your final sentiment, p3 (that's why we're both hockey forum members), it takes a unique ownership & fanbase to turn a long-time pro hockey market into a viable junior hockey market. Fans of the pros - even minor league - have preconceived notions about product inferiority in jr. hockey. So when they're asked to pay the same or maybe just slightly less for a ticket to watch "kids playing hockey" (admission prices being greatly influenced by lease costs & other venue factors), a very large number of former fans will opt to spend their money on other forms of entertainment. So a potential owner must study their decision to bring amateur hockey to a town with that risk in mind.

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On 3/24/2018 at 10:09 AM, JMC-STL said:

While I agree 1 million percent with your final sentiment, p3 (that's why we're both hockey forum members), it takes a unique ownership & fanbase to turn a long-time pro hockey market into a viable junior hockey market. Fans of the pros - even minor league - have preconceived notions about product inferiority in jr. hockey. So when they're asked to pay the same or maybe just slightly less for a ticket to watch "kids playing hockey" (admission prices being greatly influenced by lease costs & other venue factors), a very large number of former fans will opt to spend their money on other forms of entertainment. So a potential owner must study their decision to bring amateur hockey to a town with that risk in mind.

This was something I ran into when I was doing my Huntington stuff. A lot of fans and prospective investors balked at the idea--it's something that it seemed only the die-hards, at least initially, would buy into. Not to say the impression couldn't be overcome, of course, but it doesn't start you off on the right footing. Though I will say I've been impressed at the buy-in from all those old CHL/WPHL markets in Texas that are now in juniors, and should probably take notes...

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4 hours ago, Aceface905 said:

... I will say I've been impressed at the buy-in from all those old CHL/WPHL markets in Texas that are now in juniors, and should probably take notes...

The Mudbugs' fan base in Shreveport seems to be supporting the NAHL as well.  Their attendance was 2nd only to Corpus Christi last season, and they're slightly ahead of the IceRays this season.

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Ok we had the Bulls in town this weekend and from the talk around the fans that were here, the QDC group has something to do with the Birmingham ownership group as one of the owners had tams in the area before with arena football.  I would say that would be Art Clarkson as he owned the Huntsville AF2 team and then went to Green Bay and Rockford IL with arena football, has only only can think of that would have ties to that part of country in Birmingham.

Huntsville people are quite on information as to other teams coming in all the front office can say is May 15th is deadline, so I do think something is up with another teams coming in I just can't put finger on who yet.

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Quote

TaxSlayer Center director working hard to keep hockey in Quad-Cities
By Bobby Metcalf - Quad-City Times

[Executive director of the TaxSlayer Center] Scott Mullen has been hard at work to try and ensure hockey remains in the Quad-Cities.

...

"We're in the process of getting their financial information," Mullen said of the offers. "Some are for real and some aren't, some just don't have the money and others we're waiting on more information from."

...

One option that seems realistic is for the team to join the Southern Professional Hockey League, with the Peoria Rivermen operating just 100 miles away.

...

Mullen was not aware of who the prospective owners who visited Peoria were, but did confirm the TaxSlayer Center was looking at the SPHL as a possible option. Mullen also said that the ECHL and the United States Hockey League are being considered as well.

...

A decision could be coming soon. SPHL commissioner Jim Combs said he'd like May 15 to be the deadline for a Quad-Cities owner to join his league, while Mullen expressed desire to get a deal done beforehand.

 

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On the challenge stream what did they say about quad City?

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6 hours ago, FlyersFan17 said:

On the challenge stream what did they say about quad City?

Nothing really.. just the same stuff he always say about a team coming into a league, strong ownership blah blah blah. Pretty much dodge the question

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