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Knights Leaving Omaha?

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Who can we get/ how can we create a similar ownership operation in Omaha? I am all for it.

One thing I recently heard a couple guys talk about was that the parent team was from Canada. What a crock that is... If the people of Omaha stayed away because Calgary owned part of the team, we have some truly small minded folks living here. I have to believe this is a small very small group of individuals.

I have a deep respect for the people of and the country of Canada. I loved when the Knights played Hamilton or Manitoba (the only two games with Canadian teams I attended), because they sang both anthems!

We can make this work by getting good management in place and having a similar ownership setup. I would be proud to have Omaha be an AHL affiiate of Toronto, Edmonton or any other team from Canada or the US.

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Knights fans, I'm so very sorry you've lost your team. I'm in Omaha several times a year, and it's a great city.

Since I don't know what all went on behind the scenes, I'm in no way defending Calgary's move to the QC (though I have to admit that, as a STHer, I like it!), but maybe a couple of things that were said at the press conference will help to explain things.

First, I don't think they outright lied to you. In March, they had every intention of returning to Omaha next season. The QC group approached Calgary after you received the letter....they said the whole deal was concluded in about a month.

What sold the deal appears to be the arena. Ken King actually mentioned during the press conference that the differences between Omaha and QC were like night and day, that the Knights were playing in a 50-year-old arena that wasn't up to date technologically. QC has, as Drunk Skunk said, a new ribbon LED board, video replay, a relatively new sound system....and are installing a new ice plant before the fall.

We have a local ownership group that wants to keep good hockey here and are all business owners in their outside-hockey lives. I think things just clicked.

I, too, hope that we'll see some Knights fans at The Mark next season. Let us know if you're coming so that we can roll out the welcome mat!!

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Quacky you are right that they did have every intention of returning to Omaha for the 2007-2008 season and they had committed to such in Omaha. When I make a commitment, I keep it. It is called integrity.

I have written Ken King three letters all three remain without response. The first two were pleas to keep the AHL franchise in Omaha before the announcement was made last Thursday. The last letter raised issue with how he characterized the way in which the Calgary Flames handled the situation with the move of their AHL franchise to the Quad Cities. Mr. King said in the news conference in Omaha that he believes that the Calgary Flames handled this situation with the Omaha franchise and the fans of the Knights in an "honorable" manner. Well first, let

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Knightstruck makes some very good points. We in Omaha, had no chance at all to turn anything around. But, to me, the most troubling thing is no response at all from Omaha city leaders about the team leaving, none. Was there any response from the Knights of Aksarben? If so, I heard none. It appears to me that Mayor Fahey and his adminstration could have cared less about the Knights. That too me, is tough to take too. Can anyone else speak to this? Did I miss something?

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Pretty funny RoadRunner, not really, kinda heartless actually. But it's all good.

Thazy - one thing you have to remember is, it was all hearsay - even from Ren Smith's mouth. Omaha had no credible information on a sure move on which to act. If the Calgary Flames had the integrity to bring the information to Omaha and allow the community some type of response before making up their mind, things may have turned out differently. Also, as far as the arena; LED ribbons and other 'bling' are not what I go to hockey games for.

Interesting thing to note:

The last ten games of the Knight's season - average attendance was up to 4,180 per game which would put Omaha up between San Antonio and Peoria. The last 27 games attendance was at 3,900. The momentum was clearly there and the local television media was coming around.

If the Flames had done as they said, and come in with a reinvigorated marketing campaign next year, we could have easily seen attendance well over 5,000 a game midway through the 07-08 season. Add to that the propsal to add the instant replay screens and I would bet we would easily have seen averages of more than 5,200 a game before the season ended. By the end of the 08-09 season, I think we would have started seeing sell out games on the weekends.

There are still literally thousands of people in Omaha who did not know we had an AHL team because of poor marketing.

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Quacky you are right that they did have every intention of returning to Omaha for the 2007-2008 season and they had committed to such in Omaha. When I make a commitment, I keep it. It is called integrity.

I have written Ken King three letters all three remain without response. The first two were pleas to keep the AHL franchise in Omaha before the announcement was made last Thursday. The last letter raised issue with how he characterized the way in which the Calgary Flames handled the situation with the move of their AHL franchise to the Quad Cities. Mr. King said in the news conference in Omaha that he believes that the Calgary Flames handled this situation with the Omaha franchise and the fans of the Knights in an "honorable" manner. Well first, let

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How do you know certain things didn't happen? You are upset the Knights are gone, and understandably so, but you are also so hung up on defenitions without being there to witness what went on behind the scenes. You don't know that the Flames didn't go to the Omaha group BEFORE all the secrecy and tell them what offers were tabled and were told "so what, you "commited" to us". You don't know how many variables may have come to play in all of this. There is A LOT more at stake here than just the commitement you feel so back-stabbed about. The Flames AHL affiliate is an extension of the Calgary Flames NHL organization and has to look out for it's players and systems as much as their parent team to ensure seemless transitions between the two. Perhaps the Flames didn't see this transition as being smooth from Omaha as what the Quad Cities will produce. Not to mention the losses inccured by a small market NHL team. It's been stated before, this is a business as much as it is entertainment. Companies all over the US (because you seem to like to bring in your defenitions as a way to bad mouth Canadians) make promises all the time. How many US automakers promised their employees no lay-offs then sent half their work force packing? It happens all the time. If the QC Flames do better for the parent team than the Knights did I won't feel bad about the move. It sucks for the Knights fans for sure, and I'm sorry that has to happen. But at the end of the day it's what benefits the Calgary Flames which is most important and that is the bottom line, defenitions or not.

Throughout my post I mention

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Quad City had to keep the deal secret because of dealings with the UHL. A lot has gone on with that league since the UHL semi-annual meeting in February and many UHL owners were not happy with a number of situations. That league has already dropped from 10 to 5 or 6 teams, is losing its commissioner after 10 years and is trying to restructure as a bus league. It's so bad that they may try re-naming the league to bury some of the problems.

If the deal with Calgary would not have gone through, the Mallards would have been playing in the UHL again next season....there was no need to make any situation there worse than it already was. And it already wasn't pleasant at all.

It sounded like everything was finalized shortly before the QC press conference, so why would any Calgary or Omaha spokesperson say anything until the deal was done? Had they said the move was in the works and then came back and said the team was staying in Omaha, there would have been a lot of Knights fans who would lose faith in the Calgary organization and wouldn't trust the ownership....which could well have affected ticket sales next season had they stayed. It's good business to keep quiet until a deal is done.....and both the Calgary and the QC organizations had a lot at stake.

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I think there are some very vaild points bought up by all here but, in the end Omaha lost the team and that is what really sucks. It really seems there could have been something done. Maybe if Calgary would have went to Omaha officials and said this is the deal we were offered, can you match it? It appears nothing like that was ever done. Maybe there is a huge "bad guy"and maybe it is someone in Omaha, then I and other Knight fans would like to know that too. No one has mentioned, and this may be true also, that this is the way business is done in the AHL. Move the team, break promises, etc. at the drop of a hat. I and many former Knights fans certainly mean no disrepect to any players, coaches, etc. of either the Calgary Flames, Canadian people, or certainly our former Omaha Knights but, if this is how front office business is done in the league, see ya and don't let the door hit your butt on the way out!!!

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I don't think Omaha's attendance was the primary motivation for moving the team. Teams at the "AAA" level must play in venues that are modern and flashy. If the Flames' organization could've arranged a financially amicable deal with the Qwest Center, the Knights would still be playing in Omaha...at least for a couple more years even with less-than-impressive attendance. Some fans will stay away from a team that plays in a sub-standard venue, and the Flames organization realized this. I know it hurts to lose a great hockey team, Omaha...but this change had more to do with accomodations versus economics. My brother lives in Omaha and I've been there several times. Its a truly great midwestern city with plenty to offer both residents and visitors. The Flames just simply wanted a more modern arena.

While all of us here in the Quad Ciities are excited, we need to remember something about ourselves. When the Mallards first began playing 12 years ago, The Mark was packed every night....even on Wednesdays...to see their beloved (but admittedly low-caliber) team. Slowly, those attendence figures began to drop once the novelty wore off. History merely repeated itself just like it did with the Quad City Thunder; the last "AAA" level team to play in the QC. The af2 QC Steamwheelers drew huge crowds their first two seasons, but those numbers have certainly evaporated. I remember when the Quad Cities professional baseball team (single-A ball, mind you) drew over a quarter-million fans every year. Those days are long gone and the team nearly moved a few years back.

The test for the Quad Cities fan base will not be Season 1 or Season 2. I highly suspect our attendance figures will surpass expectations, given this area's past enthusiasm with new sports teams. The real test will be in 2010, when the novelty starts wearing off.

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I am still having trouble understanding how the team would be better off in the Quad Cities. Support and attendance in Omaha was on the upswing and I don't think the Quad Cities can even match what we have managed the last couple years.

Matching the attendance will not be a problem for the first couple years. In fact, we'll probably surpass Omaha's numbers by a significant margin. There has been quite a buzz down here about the "shiny new AHL team" coming to The Mark later this year. I'm sure our local radio morning show, "Dwyer & Michaels", will be all pumped up just like they were during the early Mallards' years. But once Dwyer and Michaels stop talking about last night's hockey game, and once QC hockey fans realize they really don't have money to buy tickets for every home date...well, lets just say I hope the team owners have a "Plan B" for drawing some new fans.

The Quad Cities suffers from a collective form of ADHD. We embrace new things with an unbelievable intensity, but once the rush is over...we move on very quickly. For the record, I sincerely hope I'm wrong about this.

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I don't think Omaha's attendance was the primary motivation for moving the team. Teams at the "AAA" level must play in venues that are modern and flashy. If the Flames' organization could've arranged a financially amicable deal with the Qwest Center, the Knights would still be playing in Omaha

I can assure you, in fact guarantee you that the move had very little to do with the Knights playing at the civic. If the flames wanted the knights to play at the qwest center, it would've been done, money talks in omaha. If you live in omaha and you are a hockey fan and you had a choice of where to watch hockey, you would probably choose the civic because you are closer to the action, you go up instead of away from the action like the qwest center.

I still do not fully understand why they moved, things onyl got (alot) better after they said they were comitted, however i respect the flames' decision, but dont neccissarily agree with it.

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i think another thing that is appealing about the quad cities is all the teams that are located within a 3 or 4 hour drive. It is one area where money can be saved.

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Quad-City Flames just doesn't sound right. It doesn't have the same ring to it that Omaha Ak-Sar-Ben Knights does.

The move might save the Flames money in the long run, but I still think its a bad move.

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i think another thing that is appealing about the quad cities is all the teams that are located within a 3 or 4 hour drive. It is one area where money can be saved.

I don't think that San Antonio, Houston or Grand Rapids are within a three to four hour drive, but it appears that the rest are.

Since so many teams are so close, I hope that the very fortunate QC'ers will go to these nearby cities to root for the Flames while they play! I am planning to drive from Omaha to Des Moines every chance I get to watch them play the Iowa Stars. I hope also that mfrerkes is wrong about the QC's tendency to ADHD. Personally, I think the skill of the players will keep the people's adrenalin going enough to curtail the onset.

If I could talk my family into relocating and could find a good position in the QC, I would move there in a flash. The people in QC are luckier than they even realize at this point to be able to have the level of hockey this team is capable of playing and the league brings to the area. The players are an incredibly skilled group of athletes, and they are very appreciative toward their fans! I sure hope the people of the Quad Cities can show them the level of appreciation that they deserve by supporting the team!

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Depending on traffic around Chicago (mostly a time-of-day thing), Grand Rapids isn't too much more than 4 hours from the QC....probably aout 5. We've been doing Muskegon for years, so Grand Rapids is no big thing!

But you're right, Knightstruck. I certainly hope that QC Flame fans realize what we have here for years to come....and we travel very well! Hope to meet you in Des Moines some day soon!!

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I still do not fully understand why they moved, things onyl got (alot) better after they said they were comitted, however i respect the flames' decision, but dont neccissarily agree with it.

Honestly, I don't completely understand why the team was moved either. It was likely a combination of several factors that put the Knights in this predicament. Omaha is a very economically appealing market for any AAA-level sports franchise, yet I believe the over-saturation of hockey in the Omaha area made it very tough for the team attract enough fans. Also, being located in an old venue probably made the Flames marketing department a little discouraged. Sports marketing today relies very much on the arena or ballpark's amenities. I'm guessing the civic auditorium didn't have too many selling points.

I love the fact the Quad Cities is finally getting a true AAA-level sports team, but I feel terrible that it was taken from such a deserving city as Omaha.

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i will say one thing, i know how u omah fans feel about being stabbed in the back. about 8 years ago now, issah thomas purchased the entire cba. he promissed that he was committed to the league and had plans of making minor league basketball like minor league baseball (all the affiliations). well the next year he had to sell the league because he wanted to coach in the nba. he put the final nail in the coffin of the quad city thunder (the last "AAA" level team that played here). less then a year after he backed out the team folded its doors. hopefully in the next year or two u guys can get another team in the AHL and we will have a chance to play against eachother.

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hopefully in the next year or two u guys can get another team in the AHL and we will have a chance to play against eachother.

The bad thing there is, I really would be confused on who to cheer for. You see, the Knights name stayed here in Omaha. But the team we knew as the Knights are now going to be the Flames. Even in Des Moines, I will be rooting for the Flames/i.e. old Knights! :rolleyes:

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Wow. A lot of hate being spewed here towards the Flames organization and Ken King, who is one of the most honourable men in the league. The man will scoop up spilled nacho cheese from the concourse of the Dome if necessary... he's a class act and it bothers me that he's being disrespected in this way. The Flames said they were committed to staying in Omaha, but were the Knights committed to keeping them? You all act like this is a one way street... the Flames say they're committed to the city, it's their responsibility to stay. What about the responsiblity in return? What about the Ak-sar-ben Knights? The Flames didn't garauntee they were going to stay, they said they were committed to doing so. Likely QC came up to them with an offer, and they then took it to the Knights and said 'this is what we've been offered, we're offering you the opportunity try and match this or make it more beneficial for us to stay.' It's professional sports. It's how a lot of people felt when Andrew Ference was traded... but it's business. The Flames can't afford a 2 million hit when they're trying to win a Cup. They can't afford a 2 million hit when they had one of the top teams in the league. Yeah, that's nice. Omaha fans finally came out when the Knights made the playoffs. Where were they before that? Sounds like a large portion of fairweather fans to me. "OH! The Knights are doing well?! Let's go to a game then, cause now we know they don't suck."

I know you're upset at the loss of the team, but please. There are two sides to every story... you'd just like to think it was the Flames that screwed over Omaha... but the partnership was supposed to be 50/50. Why don't you blame the Knights for letting them go?

In other news...

Congratulations to The Quad Cities! We hope you treat our baby Flames right, and fill the seats with fans!

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Congratulations to The Quad Cities! We hope you treat our baby Flames right, and fill the seats with fans!

if the reaction is any indication, this next year should be really good for attendence. hopefully the numbers from the early years of the mallards return (6,000 plus for the first several years and over 8,000 for a couple years) and keep this team for many years to come.

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Wow. A lot of hate being spewed here towards the Flames organization and Ken King, who is one of the most honourable men in the league. The man will scoop up spilled nacho cheese from the concourse of the Dome if necessary... he's a class act and it bothers me that he's being disrespected in this way. The Flames said they were committed to staying in Omaha, but were the Knights committed to keeping them? You all act like this is a one way street... the Flames say they're committed to the city, it's their responsibility to stay. What about the responsiblity in return? What about the Ak-sar-ben Knights? The Flames didn't garauntee they were going to stay, they said they were committed to doing so. Likely QC came up to them with an offer, and they then took it to the Knights and said 'this is what we've been offered, we're offering you the opportunity try and match this or make it more beneficial for us to stay.' It's professional sports. It's how a lot of people felt when Andrew Ference was traded... but it's business. The Flames can't afford a 2 million hit when they're trying to win a Cup. They can't afford a 2 million hit when they had one of the top teams in the league. Yeah, that's nice. Omaha fans finally came out when the Knights made the playoffs. Where were they before that? Sounds like a large portion of fairweather fans to me. "OH! The Knights are doing well?! Let's go to a game then, cause now we know they don't suck."

I know you're upset at the loss of the team, but please. There are two sides to every story... you'd just like to think it was the Flames that screwed over Omaha... but the partnership was supposed to be 50/50. Why don't you blame the Knights for letting them go?

In other news...

Congratulations to The Quad Cities! We hope you treat our baby Flames right, and fill the seats with fans!

Well, let me take a shot at this:

First, congratulations to the QuadCities-not only are you getting a great hockey team, but a great group of guys who will be an asset to your community.

Second, I was a season ticket holder from day one, I attended 64 of the 80 home games that the Knights played over two years-plus two of the three playoff games(family commitment for game two).

Third, things are a lot different in the Quad Cities than Omaha-the first year my season tickets for my wife and I and our two sons(10 and 11 then), was $3200. Second year it was $2240(kids prices were put in place). First year Quad City tickets for the four of us would be $1200. I will bet the enthusiasm would be a bit less if the tickets were $3200. When you are moving into a town that has two established hockey teams, the way not to win over some of those fans of the other teams is to have a marketing slogan of "best hockey, best arena, best fans" and charging pretty high prices. I may agree with that statement(I transferred here right before the nights came and left my NHL team behind), but I think some of the fans of the other teams took it as being a bit conceited.

Fourth, and Ken King spoke of this when he was in town, many, many mistakes were made in marketing the first year(like the above mentioned slogan). The first year was pretty much a lost year-the staff was a revolving door. The Flames and The Knights of Aksarben(a charitable organization here in town) were 51/49 partners in everything about the club, but I do know that the KofA followed what Calgary recommended-they were merely a financial partner, not a hockey organization. I think they will be a lot more successful with the model they have in the Quad Cities-Clagry has no interest in ticket or arena revenues, they only supply players and associated expenses.

Fifth, a business is a business and I totally understand moving the franchise. However, the second year management was much better, they made great strides in undoing the damage from the first year. Attendance was on the rise, media attention was better, and I'll bet next years attendance would have been up around 4,000. With prices like the QC is offering, who knows what may have happened-they would have been the cheapest hockey ticket in town and could have drawn even more. Once we got people to a Knights game they were always blown away by the skill level-we had a bunch of people hooked for next year. My only gripe is that we were never given a chance to know what was needed to keep the team. In April, Ken King was quoted as saying that not only were they coming back for a third year, but would do so with an invigorated marketing campaign and that they wanted to build a long term relationship with Omaha. The Knights were told two weeks before the announcement that they would be moved; no announcement was made in case the QC deal fell through. I only wish we would have been given a chance to know what the criteria was and a little time, definitely more than two weeks. In my mind, the right thing to do would have been to tell the QC that a commitment was made to Omaha for a third year and requirements were being set for the future of the team. If those numbers or requirements weren't met, they would talk about moving. Unrealistic? Maybe, but I don't think so.

Sixth, I would like to thank Calgary for a great two years. I truly appreciated the opportunity to watch the Knights, they were a lot fo fun to see and get to know. My family will miss them.

Seventh(last, I promise), I will be rooting for the Flames(QC and Calgary) next season and will see as many of their games as I can-Des Moines is less than two hours and the Quad Cities is only about 4.5 hours.

Thanks for listening.....

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jgarcia wrote what alot of former Knights fans are feeling. I attended about half of the home games the second season and maybe a dozen the first. I, like many hockey fans, felt the ticket prices made it difficult to attend many. Even with the game packages and promo's, it was still pretty expensive. But, this is a very telling number, the Knights season ticket prices for him were $2240 and QC would be $1200!!! It's no wonder they expect to draw well in the QC arena. I bet if knights season ticket prices were like that, sales would have at least doubled here.

roasted marshmallow said that ""Wow. A lot of hate being spewed here towards the Flames organization and Ken King, who is one of the most honourable men in the league...... he's a class act and it bothers me that he's being disrespected in this way. The Flames said they were committed to staying in Omaha, but were the Knights committed to keeping them? You all act like this is a one way street... the Flames say they're committed to the city, it's their responsibility to stay. What about the responsiblity in return? What about the Ak-sar-ben Knights? The Flames didn't garauntee they were going to stay, they said they were committed to doing so. Likely QC came up to them with an offer, and they then took it to the Knights and said 'this is what we've been offered, we're offering you the opportunity try and match this or make it more beneficial for us to stay..." Ok, let's look at a few things here. "The Flames said they were committed to staying in Omaha...the Flames say they are committed to the city, it's their responsibilty to stay..." I mean no disrepect but, what??? How could this be taken any other way than it is by the former Knights fans? How else is repeating saying that the Flames are "committed" supposed to be understood? Secondly, if the Flames, Ken King, recieved the offer, they did not go to the Knights front office staff even to inform them they were even considering moving. It was the Omaha paper that in fact broke the story and the front office was contacted by every news outlet here and they stated they new nothing of a move and were operating as business as usual selling season tickets etc. OK, at the very least, common courtesy to loyal fans, the Flames should have maybe told the front office to stop selling the season tickets so the fans would not have to go through the trouble of going thru some sort of refund process. One more thing, if in fact, the Knights of Aksarben were approached by the Flames after the recieving the QC offer, no word about that has been said. I, like many other former Knights fans, need and want to know the real story here, If it was the Knights of Aksarben that caused this, I want to know. I doubt it was, that organization has many members and I am sure raising money would not have been an issue. What is the real story and why has it not been said? I do not doubt that it was a two way street but, it certainly appears that right now, this "honorable organization"did a very dishonorable thing to many thousands here in Omaha. Oh, I'm sorry they were only "committed to staying" but, "The Flames didn't garauntee they were going to stay..."

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