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Utah----------> Worcester? What's all this?

From: LMT_fan   LMT_fan is a registered live IceCat
Date: 24-Feb-05
Wow, you couldn't step foot inside the DCU Center tonight without hearing the BUZZZZZZZ.... Utah? "An announcement"? Wow. Can it be? Is it so?

From: Speed   Speed is a registered live IceCat
Date: 24-Feb-05
Honestly, the 1st I heard of this was at the game. However right around the 2nd period the mayor said he didn't know anything about it.. I'm still interested in how this plays out. And interested in how the rumor got started. Seems like people were calling the office about it today. They didn't know anything either.

From: chetthecatfan   chetthecatfan is a registered live IceCat
Date: 25-Feb-05
Rumors drive me crazy,until I see it in writing from any team I will not believe anything anymore.

From: LMT_fan   LMT_fan is a registered live IceCat
Date: 25-Feb-05

An official denial. (Which we have learned means nothing- just like all those denials when the rumors about the Cats going to Peroria started.)

---------------------------------------------------

 "Grizzlies on to Worcester?

Utah’s price is $3.5 million

By Bill Ballou Telegram&Gazette Staff


WORCESTER—
The DCU Center was buzzing like a swarm of killer bees last night, with the topic of discussion being a possible replacement for the IceCats next year.

The candidate — the AHL Utah Grizzlies.

DCU Center general manager Sandy Dunn said that no such announcement is scheduled, and a source in city government confirmed that he had heard nothing about any announcement regarding the Grizzlies relocating here.

The Utah franchise is for sale, indeed, with the initial asking price being about $3.5 million. A group of unnamed investors in the Boston area has expressed some interest in buying the Grizzlies and moving them to Worcester, but not at that price."


From: Speed   Speed is a registered live IceCat
Date: 25-Feb-05
Can we try and reconstruct this? I heard people called the IceCats office during the day Thursday about this? Where did these people hear this rumor from? This thing spread around the DCU faster than the rumor that the IceCats were leaving.

From: LMT_fan   LMT_fan is a registered live IceCat
Date: 25-Feb-05

Notice the exact wording of the denials. They are NOT denying Utah is coming here- just denying there is a time scheduled for the announcement.

People don't like to lie, and sometimes they phrase things so it's not a lie- even though it gives the impression they have been told to give. If you knew something was up, but were not supposed to spill the beans, wouldn't this be a good response to give when asked- without lying?

 "DCU Center general manager Sandy Dunn said that no such announcement is scheduled, and a source in city government confirmed that he had heard nothing about any announcement..."

  That wasn't the question! Nobody asked- "When is the official announcement?" The question must have been something like, "Are the Grizzlies coming to Worcester?" The answer given wasn't "No, they are not."

 It was "No announcement is scheduled"

  Think about it. ;-)


From: Speed   Speed is a registered live IceCat
Date: 25-Feb-05
Yeah but the rumor that everyone heard last night and that went to the office was "A conference from 11am-1pm friday to announce Utah moving here". Ballou found out about this during the game. Where did this one start from? However called the office witht he info - where did you get this info?

From: LMT_fan   LMT_fan is a registered live IceCat
Date: 25-Feb-05

I can confirm that sources within the DCU staff said there would be some sort of an announcement today. (For what it's worth.)

 IMHO, the wording of the denial is the strongest indication that something is up indeed.

 I just hope this isn't a merger of two rumors, one true, one false- that an ECHL team IS coming, mixed with bogus rumors about Utah.


From: Speed   Speed is a registered live IceCat
Date: 25-Feb-05
I agree something is up.. How it came it out very weird indeed. It could be Utah folks just coming here to check things out, it could be Utah folks coming here to do a deal. I do know that the city and SMG are not ready to go the ECHL route (yet). They will if they have to. They have top have those 40 dates filled for next year (DCU naming rights). If we don't have AHL, we will have ECHL. But right now, there's Milwaukee out there, Utah out there, and it seems Omaha is in serious disarray. Dave Andrews really doesn't want to lose this market, and there are at least two ownership groups just waiting for the damn prices to go down on the teams available. We knew after the all star game things would start happening. Sandy Dunn and I don't agree on a quite a few issues, but I very strongly believe that she (and the city) are trying very, very hard to bring AHL back for next year. And a lot of this has to do with US FANS giving her and the city the feedback and support we have! It's kinda frustrating for them to I bet, as they know they could have ECHL here with a phone call. Each day that passes without AHL movement is another day of frustration I'm sure. Let's keep hoping for the best...

From: Bones   Bones is a registered live IceCat
Date: 25-Feb-05
 Hi folks a Utah fan here hate to tell you but Elmore will never sell the Grizz ! He has resured Utah fans that there will always be hockey in Utah. Plus  I don't think the Phoenix would go for that. They were just happy to have a location that was close. They can move player from Utah to Phoenix in a matter of hours. Why spend $500.00 to fly a player out when you can spend $200.00 or less

From: KingIceCat   KingIceCat is a registered live IceCat
Date: 25-Feb-05
Don't they spend more $ on day to day travel on road games, since no one is close driving from Utah?  I would think its cheaper to spend the $ on flying players up and down (free this year since no NHL), than to spend the $ on the team flying to every road game.  Worcester is prime location since there are several other teams that are day trips with no overnight trips.  Just my thought, correct me if im wrong.

From: Worcester Grizzlies  
Date: 25-Feb-05
Let me bottom line this for you hockey nuts out there. EVERYTHING IS IN THE MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL'S HANDS!!!! The City owns the DCU and has to approve any lease that is negotiated. If the Utah's present owner or new owners gets what he/she wants from the City then the deal will get done. I suspect they will want a lease around $2000 less per game than the Blues are paying and a higher percentage of souvenir and food concessions. Plus perks like free office space and to have the City pay for advertising on media outlets. Mayor Murray and the rest of the chair polishers in City Hall need to decide if losing money on the DCU lease will be compensated for by tax revenue from hockey fans spending their money in the downtown community. The new City manager is a smart guy and should be able to crunch the numbers on this. Meanwhile Worcester hockey fans feel like Apollo Creed when he came out for the second round against Russian Ivan Drago....battered and bruised and ready to throw in towel. See you on the dance floor at Ralphs after the game tonight!

From: Bones   Bones is a registered live IceCat
Date: 25-Feb-05

OK .I just talked with the guy's here in Utah. Sorry but the Grizz are not up for sale! He said it a rumor and nothing more. No one has approached Elmore about selling the team and  for  my commits on cost ,Phoenix is happy that the team they have chosen as their farm team is so close because the cost of move guy's from Springfield to Phoenix was costly and they couldn't get them there fast enough. As for the Grizz, road cost are higher because we are so far out west but this is some thing we are use to .Most of the teams we play on a regular basis are from the old IHL league and are use to the cost as well.

 


From: LMT_fan   LMT_fan is a registered live IceCat
Date: 25-Feb-05

 "Sorry but the Grizz are not up for sale! He said it a rumor and nothing more.."

  Yeah, that's the sort of thing they told us when we heard our team was moving. "Just a rumor, I don't know anything about that, blah-blah."


From: LMT_fan   LMT_fan is a registered live IceCat
Date: 01-Mar-05

Well, so much for Friday's big announcement I guess.  {Shakes head.}

 I really thought....


From: CharlieAmerk  
Date: 01-Mar-05
I would probably see you guys getting a floundering team like Milwaukee, which according to a lot of sources, is out of money in the trust fund already... and will take the AHL stepping in to get it to the end of the season.

From: 210   210 is a registered live IceCat
Date: 01-Mar-05
A little birdie told me we should hear more about this in tomorrow's T&G...

From: Speed   Speed is a registered live IceCat
Date: 01-Mar-05
Milwaukee will probably be staying put - the league does not want them to move. I have a feeling that the Preds will buy if nobody local steps up. As for the rest, tomorrow's T+G might have a little blurb..

From: LMT_fan   LMT_fan is a registered live IceCat
Date: 02-Mar-05
Well, you were right. :-) From today's T&G.... (By Bill Ballou) "The best hope that Worcester has in keeping the American Hockey League around next year may lie with a group of investors headed by Florida businessman David Adams. Adams is believed to be the man with money. He is joined by several other parties, one of whom is former University of Maine hockey player Dave Lacouture, who also played briefly in the AHL. Lacouture, a resident of Maine, was at the DCU Center last Friday. He met with DCU Center general manager Sandy Dunn, then watched the IceCats-Norfolk game that night. “It was a very good meeting,” Lacouture said. “Sandy was very helpful, and I talked with some other people there and they were all helpful, too. It’s a great building for a lot of events, and hockey especially.” Dunn said the Adams group was identified very soon after the St. Louis Blues announced they were selling the IceCats to the owners of the ECHL’s Peoria Rivermen, as people who might be interested in finding a team to place in the DCU Center. “I wouldn’t even call what we’ve been doing as negotiating,” Dunn said. “It’s more in the line of ongoing discussions.” “Everything is very preliminary right now,” Lacouture said. “We’d like to acquire an AHL team, and hopefully in time for next season. We’re looking at a few places, but certainly see Worcester as a viable location for an AHL team.” While Lacouture said he has not been in touch with AHL president Dave Andrews, Adams has talked with him several times. In a telephone interview, Adams said: “There’s really nothing to comment about. What we’re doing now can be called a fact-finding mission. There are a couple of things we are looking at. To be honest, Worcester is high on that list.” Adams is based in Port Canaveral, Fla., and is in the import-export business with Integrated Distribution Services Inc., a company he established in 1989. While Adams and his partners are the only group that has been identified as possible owners for an AHL franchise that could be purchased and moved to Worcester, there is at least one other investor who has expressed interest through private channels. He has previously been involved in professional hockey at the ownership level. At present, one or two AHL franchises are on the market, with a third prospective franchise in Omaha struggling to get its management lined up for next season. The Utah Grizzlies are the team in which the Adams group has shown interest. The Grizzlies went on the market for about $3.5 million, but the thinking in the hockey world is that an AHL franchise is probably worth more like $2.5 million."

From: Speed   Speed is a registered live IceCat
Date: 02-Mar-05
Not to drag this down, and I know beggars can't be choosers, But this Adams guy sees to have had teams at the ACHL and WHA2 level only. Lacoutre I think is a rink manager in Maine.

From: icecatfan4   icecatfan4 is a registered live IceCat
Date: 02-Mar-05
Well I guess that solves one rumor. "The Grizz are not up for sale" Apparently they are.

From: icecat23   icecat23 is a registered live IceCat
Date: 02-Mar-05
umm..so what does this whole article mean to us?...if anyone can explain it short n sweet that would be great

From: tjo668   tjo668 is a registered live IceCat
Date: 02-Mar-05

To an extent, I think it means different things to different people, but here's my take:

It does not mean we are sure to have a team next year but;

It answers some of the rumors we have been pondering for way too long. I'm sure you, like me, have been highly frustrated at the number of rumors and variations  of each one in the past few months. We have been hit with plenty of "sources," "speculation" and "word" about the possiblities for next year. Until this article, how much did we actually know? We knew the Pirates came here, and the UHL President expressed interest. Add to that the Griz being for sale, a group stepping up, and talks with Sandy Dunn and the league have happened.  

Again, this does not in any way mean we are getting hockey, but a good chunk of the rumor overload just got answered.


From: icecat23   icecat23 is a registered live IceCat
Date: 02-Mar-05
ok...thanx

From: Icecat110   Icecat110 is a registered live IceCat
Date: 03-Mar-05

I hope we get an answer soon, i'm getting sick and tired of an individual coming up to me every game with a different team coming to Worcester.. So far I've heard Portland, San Antonio, Utah, Providence, Springfield, Lowell, Norfolk, Manchester, Bridgeport. Big List huh? I wonder what he'll say next game :-)


From: icecat23   icecat23 is a registered live IceCat
Date: 03-Mar-05
ya...i know this question has been asked many upon many times but when will we get an answer the latest by?

From: LMT_fan   LMT_fan is a registered live IceCat
Date: 04-Mar-05

Here's the latest from our friend Bill Ballou in the T&G....

  "Worcester may need to act soon for an ECHL team


 
Worcester’s hockey options for next season appear to be the American Hockey League or the ECHL, and one of those doors will be closing in not too long.

“If our league is to have a team in Worcester,” ECHL commissioner Brian McKenna said, “we really have to have something in place by early April. Anything after that, and you’re talking the ’06-’07 season. We want to have our league schedule done early, and for a new team in a new city, you want to be able to do your marketing over a full summer.

“We do have an interest in the (Worcester) market. There’s no question about that. But the city’s priority seems to be finding another AHL team to move in. If that’s not the case, then there are several groups interested in having an ECHL team in that building.”

It seems, though, that those groups need to know sooner, rather than later, if they are to be in place for the 2005-06 season. "

-----

As Speed and 210 have expressed, far better for Worcester to have no team next year than to have the ECHL, and wait for 06-07 and a new AHL team. I agree wholeheartdly.

 But...

 The City of Worcester must have a team in place, any team, or forfeit naming rights money.  (What a mistake selling the name "Centrum" was. It was a great name, and there were no strings attached.) I think if these ECHL teams are so eager to get into Worcester- then they can wait. And wait. And wait, if need be.

  It sure sounds like Sandy Dunn and the mayor understand how important the AHL is versus a much lower level team, and I know they must be working tirelessly behind the scenes to make it happen.

 


From: Speed   Speed is a registered live IceCat
Date: 04-Mar-05
The deadline for ECHL might even be April 1st, but I'm sure that if push came to shove, that could be moved back a little bit. We will have either ECHL or AHL here - agreed..

From: 210   210 is a registered live IceCat
Date: 04-Mar-05
That April deadline may be the ECHL's way of forcing the city's hand. I'm thinking there's plenty of wiggle room on that date.

From: BlueLine   BlueLine is a registered live IceCat
Date: 04-Mar-05

So we are supposed to believe that there are "several groups" ready to buy ECHL franchises and they all want Worcester. Oh really? If there are several investment groups, then why aren't other New England cities being mentioned? Putting in more than one team would remove some of the risk and a lot of the misgivings that many of us have. If the ECHL had something other than hot air, we'd be hearing about it. Oh, I forgot about Vermont -- the phantom team with a phantom arena and a phantom fan base. Boy oh boy, that's just the kind of organization that we need coming to Worcester.


From: 210   210 is a registered live IceCat
Date: 04-Mar-05
Other than Worcester, what New England cities would you put an ECHL franchise in?

From: Speed   Speed is a registered live IceCat
Date: 04-Mar-05
Boston - they aren't doing anything.. :-D

From: vermonter  
Date: 07-Apr-05
Burlington Vermont is a hockeytown and only 90 miles from Montreal. The UVM Cats are always soldout. Unfortunately there might not be a large enough population (130,000) in the county to support both teams, let alone a 6,000 seat civic center...two arenas are now being proposed. What the ECHL needs are 5 or 6 teams located through New England to make travel more efficient/affordable for the franchises. If you look at the current locations of the Northeast Division, its almost a joke.Anyway, thats my two cents.

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