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MacGuy

'How can a new start-up team stay around unless there's enough support to pay the bills?'

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'How can a new start-up team stay around unless there's enough support to pay the bills?': Quad-City Storm president makes statement on Facebook

By Bobby Metcalf - The Times

Quote

The president of the fledgling Quad-City Storm hockey team took to social media Tuesday to issue a statement addressing the challenges the team has faced before even taking the ice.

Gwen Tombergs made a public post to her personal Facebook account. It reaffirmed her commitment to the team, while also noting a lack of commitment from companies since it was announced in May the Storm would play this upcoming season in the Southern Professional Hockey Season. The announcement came after the longtime Quad-City Mallards ceased ECHL operations in April.

The team is owned by local fans Ryan Mosley and John Dawson. Tombergs is a Quad-City native who worked previously at the Quad-Cities Chamber of Commerce. But despite those local ties, the repeated failings of previous hockey franchises — at one point there were five hockey owners in five years — has dug an early hole for the Storm.

"I think it’s OK to let the public know we need their help," Tombergs said, in an interview. "It’s a big challenge. We’re coming out of the gates with some challenges that are really hard to overcome and for us to be successful this first year, it will determine what the following years look like. I did it because I needed people to realize that I need help and I need some people to step up and support us."

Read more at: https://qctimes.com/sports/hockey/professional/minor/how-can-a-new-start-up-team-stay-around-unless/article_75984144-7f34-5a32-8a85-d9b425be4043.html#1

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If you don't "do" Facebook:

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I took on a challenge back in June to try to save professional hockey in the Quad Cities. I believed that having local owners who had the passion and desire for the sport would make a difference. I knew it would take someone who knew a lot of people and had the commitment to our community to make this successful. I truly felt that I was that person. Do I love hockey? No. But I love that I can help keep an amenity that makes our community look like a cool place to live. With three professional sports teams, the Quad Cities is a great place. We have so many things to do and I promise hockey will be one of them.

But this job is way harder than I thought it would be. There have been more no's than I could even have imagined. Sponsors that have been with hockey for years are walking away. Many companies are taking a "wait and see" approach and want us to prove we will be different and stay around. How can a new start-up team stay around unless there's enough support to pay the bills?

To those companies that have come on board already I thank you from the bottom of my heart. You are more than a business partner, you are my friends who have trusted that my word is true and your investment is worth it. You are my media partners, my arena staff, my medical partners and a smattering of other companies that will help us limp through this season as we prove this sport is worth keeping.

To the others who want to see what happens? Watch me. I have owners and a staff that are relentless and have the will to succeed. I have groups that want to come back for a night of fun and we will give it to them. We made a promise to give back to the community and have designated at least five big games where our donation to charities will wow them and every game will have at least the Chuck-A-Puck money to go to a charity. Our program to raise money for nonprofits is aggressive and at the end of the season we will be announcing a large total of money that was given back.Not because we don't need the money, but because we have to be a different team if we want to stay around.

So bring it on Quad Cities! Bring on the naysayers, the doubters and the waiters. I've done a Hat Bash and a Hob Nosh and you've just given me 28 times to show how I can plan a party that's worth coming to. I'm going to show every little girl who wants run a sports team that hard work isn't just what you need but strong relationships and a reputation that people will trust. And a lot of hugs when they do believe in you.

Stay tuned.

 

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IMO, it was a very bad move for Ms. Tombergs to be quoted as saying: "Do I love hockey? No."  And to miss an opportunity in a public challenge to the local business community to display her love of & commitment to Moline - by instead including a photo of herself in New York City posing with the iconic Fearless Girl statue - smacks of self-promotion rather than a declaration of her intent to make the Storm a success in the Quad Cities.  You're down by two goals, Gwen, and the season is still 7 weeks away.  Better tighten up the gear & focus, and hope your team can rally to pull this one out.  :dontgetit:

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I agree, I don't think I would mention I didn't love hockey when i'm president of a new hockey team in a new league trying to get fans and businesses to buy into it.  I think maybe they should have waited a year like we did in Roanoke instead of trying to throw everything together in a short amount of time.  I do like her honesty though.  Atleast she is admitting they need the support and admits they might just be limping through the first year.  A lot of other people would just sit back and watch the team get ran into the ground and not say anything. But she seems like she has some fight in her.  Also looks like she has a lot of support by looking at her facebook comments.  Wishing them the best and hope they have a good first year and many more to come.

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As  director of resource and member development for the Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce, you'd think she'd have a QC T-shirt of some sort she could've photoshopped into that Facebook photo.  <_<

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