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Knights Leaving Omaha?

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I think the Flames would rather take the heat than transfer it to the Knights. If this is partially the responsibility of the Knights, you'll never know. In addition, the Knights are a charitable organization. As a charity, can they handle $2 million in losses? Probably not. The Flames, being the team they are, probably took the hit of all the losses. Totally unclassy and very dishonourable.

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I think the Flames would rather take the heat than transfer it to the Knights. If this is partially the responsibility of the Knights, you'll never know. In addition, the Knights are a charitable organization. As a charity, can they handle $2 million in losses? Probably not. The Flames, being the team they are, probably took the hit of all the losses. Totally unclassy and very dishonourable.

I would wager that was one of the biggest, if not *thee* biggest, reasons why the Flames moved the AHL club to Quad City. From what the newspapers have reported, the QC ownership group is taking full control of the front office side of things. Meaning, they will take any financial hit directly, Calgary wouldn't be feeling the effect. I can tell you though, without question, the owners and front office workers are dedicated to making AHL hockey work in Quad City. The season ticket price alone says that. I don't know of another hockey team, in a reputable league, that is selling season tickets, on the glass, for $10 bucks a game. Granted, the price goes up to $12.50 a game after the first of July, but that's still a great deal.

I've had people asking me about "the jump" since it happened. People that have almost no interest in hockey before are now saying they want to come to games. It should be great for both franchises involved. Quad City gets better players, better hockey, and a better deal, and Calgary gets an ownership group and arena that will do everything they can to promote the team. Nothing against Omaha fans, but from what I've heard, the arena was just an old barn with little to offer in terms of bells and whistles. The Mark, while not brand new, still is a great arena. Video boards, LED fascia around the upper bowl, new boards and glass, and other little things will make it an even better place to watch a game.

The only downside is that I'll probably be losing my seat :(

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An article in today's Omaha World Herald quotes Ken King. When he was asked at the press conference whether or not two years was enough time to see if a team can make a go at it, he said "probabily not". I don't know what that means but, it truly is a shame that this whole thing happened. If anyone can give us any more insight etc. please do. I'm sure the visits to Childrens Hospital by the Knighs players will be sorely missed this year by the kids.

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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.

if the news would have been "officialy announced" before everythiung was offical, attendence could have dropped big time in the qc also because noone would have trusted the ownership group again.

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After reading many posts here, I began to wonder how the Knights got to Omaha two years ago. With a little research, I found the official press release.

The head of the Knights of Ak-Sar-Ben Foundation (a 110 year-old philanthropic organization with programs that focus on celebrating our heritage, recognizing and fostering voluntarism, and developing new projects that benefit the community, state and region) said, “The Flames are the right AHL franchise for Omaha because they share our commitment to supporting the community. The Knights of Ak-Sar-Ben Foundation is entering into this partnership as a part of our mission for building a more prosperous heartland.”

The K of A apparently had some history with professional hockey and were affiliated with several NHL teams. In 1973, the Atlanta Flames took over sole sponsorship of the Knights for their final three seasons. So it had been almost 30 years since professional hockey was alive in Omaha, and the Knights obviously had no background in running a hockey team.

It sounds like Calgary was responsible for a lot. When they came into Omaha, Calgary named Doug Soetaert as President of the Knights of the American Hockey League and Assistant General Manager of the Calgary Flames of the National Hockey League. This release says Soetaert was responsible for "guiding the organization to the achievement of corporate objectives and establishing the franchise as a dynamic and productive member of the Omaha community." And he was responsible for the development and execution of the marketing, ticketing, community relations and communications plans and the promotion of hockey at the grass roots level in Omaha. As Assistant General Manager for the Calgary Flames, Soetaert oversaw the day-to-day hockey operations of the AHL franchise including player development, scouting, AHL reporting, scheduling and related administration.

That's a awful lot of work for one guy....and a lot of responsibility for an NHL franchise that already had one team to run. It was understandable though, since the K of A obviously had no experience in running a hockey club. And it sounds like they tried. This article says that the Knights appeared to be doing most of the right things.....but the people of Omaha just didn't respond quickly enough as fans.

Putting together what I've heard and what I've just read, I have to believe that Drunk Skunk is right....this move is more about the money and the responsibility than anything else. We'll never know what the deal was between Calgary and the K of A, who said what to whom, or how the financial losses were absorbed. But $4 million is a heck of a lot of money.

QC is an organization that knows hockey and knows their market. The owners are businessmen who knows what it takes to be successful. They offered to take over the responsibility of running the business end of the operation and absorb the losses. In return, they bring great hockey to the fans in the Quad Cities and get to keep any profits acquired if the franchise is successful. Calgary gets to put their AAA franchise in a state-of-the-art facility and move it to the center of the competition, with an already-established rivalry or two, without having to shoulder the front office responsibility. None of this was anything that Omaha was able to provide Calgary in terms of the Knights, no matter how much the two groups talked or what was offered.

And, though as fans we're passionate about the hockey itself, we sometimes forget that professional hockey is an expensive business that can't survive on multiple years of losses. Was the move fair? Maybe not. But even the Omaha newspaper said there was no way to judge how long it would take for the Knights to really catch on in Omaha. And it sounds like that was a risk that Calgary couldn't afford to take.

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Ken King being interviewed after the Keenan presser, gets questioned by Kerr about Quad Cities, first thing out of his mouth is "First off, a public apology to the fans and city of Omaha. They're still mad at me for taking out their team."

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Ken King being interviewed after the Keenan presser, gets questioned by Kerr about Quad Cities, first thing out of his mouth is "First off, a public apology to the fans and city of Omaha. They're still mad at me for taking out their team."

Very nice to hear but, what is done is done Mr. King and the cut runs deep sir.

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I see season tickets for the "QC Flames" are $400 for season tickets lower bowl. The first year in Omaha we were paying almost $1200 for the same seats! Year 2, ticket prices were reduced to just over $20 a game. If Omaha had the opportunity to buy season tickets in the upper bowl for that price, the Civic would have been sold out! Sorry if I sound like a disgruntled Knights/Flames fan, but I am!

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I see season tickets for the "QC Flames" are $400 for season tickets lower bowl. The first year in Omaha we were paying almost $1200 for the same seats! Year 2, ticket prices were reduced to just over $20 a game. If Omaha had the opportunity to buy season tickets in the upper bowl for that price, the Civic would have been sold out! Sorry if I sound like a disgruntled Knights/Flames fan, but I am!

You have every right to be disgruntled. I would be too.

However, there may be many factors at play in the pricing such as capacity, lease agreement, concessions, parking, advertising revenue, etc. This is one of the best indicators I've seen so far as to why the arrangement in Omaha didn't work and I'm certainly not blaming the fans in Omaha. It seems to me that the local Aksarben Knights group sold the Flames a bill of goods that turned out to be much less. And the Flames didn't conduct their due dilligence to check it out. The only ones that aren't to blame are the fans.

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