Future of the Rivermen?

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Future of the Rivermen?

Postby blueline » Thu Nov 06, 2008 10:28 pm

The Peoria Rivermen are in their last year of their lease at the Peoria Civic Center. It is a known fact in the Peoria area that the Civic Center treats the Rivermen and most tenants like crap. Peoria's faithful still come out and enjoy the AHLer's compete for a shot at the NHL level. But attendence is down again. It would be sad if they gave a true head count. Peoria only has an AHL club because former owner Bruce Sauers didn't want to see the franchise move away. He has since sold out and the clock is ticking on the new GM Josh Morin and company to show the new owners hockey belongs in Peoria. I am one of many who believe that this is the last season for AHL hockey in Peoria. Below I have listed the top 4 spots I think St. Louis could move their AHL club to. Could be a rumor but It wouldn't surprise me to see them move on.

1) Kansas City- same distance +/- to Peoria. Town starving for hockey
2) Bloomington Ill.- get rid of the weak IHL team. GM to PA announcer are all former Rivermen management. Town needs to one up Peoria.
3) Indy- great youth program and could complement the Pacers and Colts to some degree.
4) St. Louis- the River Otters rink?
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Re: Future of the Rivermen?

Postby majikle » Thu Nov 06, 2008 10:47 pm

Id add Salt Lake City to the list. Might be a further distance...but does have a Checketts connection.
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Re: Future of the Rivermen?

Postby 210 » Fri Nov 07, 2008 6:56 am

majikle wrote:Id add Salt Lake City to the list. Might be a further distance...but does have a Checketts connection.


Going to SLC would add to travel costs...of all the possible places listed by blueline I'm thinking Bloomington or StL are the safest bets.
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Re: Future of the Rivermen?

Postby blueline » Fri Nov 07, 2008 8:58 am

keep in mind they will want to stay in the midwest to cut travel and stay within 3-5 hours of St. Louis. They also want to align with the conference and stay close by.
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Re: Future of the Rivermen?

Postby Mellanby_equals_grit » Fri Nov 07, 2008 9:04 am

I don't know about the business specifics, but.. What about Carbondale?
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Re: Future of the Rivermen?

Postby Airmule » Sat Nov 08, 2008 8:15 pm

Doubt Bloomington would be in the running but stranger things have happened. Don't forget the contingent that is now in Bloomington set in motion the decline Peoria is seeing now.
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Re: Future of the Rivermen?

Postby majikle » Sat Nov 08, 2008 8:19 pm

Airmule wrote: Don't forget the contingent that is now in Bloomington set in motion the decline Peoria is seeing now.

True.

And Sauers selling to the Blues ...then the Blues raising ticket prices sure didnt endear people to the organization either.
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Re: Future of the Rivermen?

Postby 210 » Sat Nov 08, 2008 8:32 pm

majikle wrote:
Airmule wrote: Don't forget the contingent that is now in Bloomington set in motion the decline Peoria is seeing now.

True.

And Sauers selling to the Blues ...then the Blues raising ticket prices sure didnt endear people to the organization either.


Now obviously the Blues ownership group that owns the Rivs is not the same ownership group that owned the IceCats, but it seems--at least based on things that I've heard and read--that the current Blues owners don't have any more knowledge about running an AHL team than the previous folks did.
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Re: Future of the Rivermen?

Postby OS » Mon Nov 10, 2008 11:33 am

I don't think there's any chance they'd put them in St. Louis. The River Otters did poorly because minor league sports don't work in this city. Indy makes a lot of sense, IMO.
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Re: Future of the Rivermen?

Postby 210 » Mon Nov 10, 2008 2:50 pm

OS wrote:I don't think there's any chance they'd put them in St. Louis. The River Otters did poorly because minor league sports don't work in this city. Indy makes a lot of sense, IMO.


Ideally, you want to go some place where you are the only game in town. In Indy they'd have two "major league" winter sports teams to compete against, and that's a losing proposition in most cases.
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Re: Future of the Rivermen?

Postby Mellanby_equals_grit » Mon Nov 10, 2008 2:56 pm

Football is 8 home games a year though... Is that really regular competition? Hockey games on Sunday are rare anyways.
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Re: Future of the Rivermen?

Postby 210 » Mon Nov 10, 2008 7:45 pm

Mellanby_equals_grit wrote:Football is 8 home games a year though... Is that really regular competition? Hockey games on Sunday are rare anyways.


They compete for your entertainment dollar....and it's actually 10 home games for an NFL franchise (2 preseason, 8 regular season).
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Re: Future of the Rivermen?

Postby majikle » Tue Nov 11, 2008 8:45 pm

OK.....purely coincidental that just days after I post about the Blues hiking ticket prices they choose to temporarily drop prices in select areas.

The AHL team has reduced its upper bowl end zone seats above the Zamboni entrance of the arena - an area called the Pilot House - by 33 percent, from $12 to $8.

They've also expanded that deal to additional sections adjacent to the Pilot House, to include, in total, Sections 5C, 6, 7, 8 and 9A overall.

The special discount will be offered for the next 11 home games, through Dec. 31, starting with Saturday's tilt against San Antonio. Nine of those 11 home games are on prime nights (Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays).

"With the economy and everything that's happening out there, we wanted to help people out," Rivermen chief operating officer Josh Morin said. "We recognize there are fans out there, families out there, who would like to get to our games and support the team.

"We are reaching out to them, want to give them a chance to see St. Louis Blues prospects and the terrific entertainment package that we have to offer."

It's an unprecedented move for the 27-year-old Rivermen franchise. It's also the correct one, an acknowledgment that a slumping national economy has forced teams to adjust to their fanbase.

"The ecomomy touches all of us out there," Morin said. "We want to get out in front of this, do something to help people get to our games."

The Rivermen will also put a special Holiday Ticket Package on sale today.

It includes 10 undated upper bowl seats (regularly $15) and a Rivermen baseball cap, for $99. That's a total package that normally would be worth $165.

http://www.pjstar.com/sports_rivermen/x947780052/Rivermen-have-just-the-ticket
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Re: Future of the Rivermen?

Postby F Keenan » Thu Nov 13, 2008 11:15 am

I agree with OS, Indy would work very well. Racers????
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Re: Future of the Rivermen?

Postby TruthBeTold » Sun Dec 14, 2008 1:54 am

Airmule wrote:Doubt Bloomington would be in the running but stranger things have happened. Don't forget the contingent that is now in Bloomington set in motion the decline Peoria is seeing now.


This assertion is highly incorrect. The "decline" Peoria is seeing happened the day ownership announced they were leaving the ECHL for the AHL, funny as that sounds. But a check of attendance figures in Peoria will show this to be true. The move to the AHL "set in motion" the decline in Peoria, not the employees and former managers who ultimately went to Bloomington.

The "contingent now in Bloomington" didn't make the decision to move up to the AHL, the owners did, with not-a-little help from a local writer who stayed in Bruce's ear the whole time telling him it was the thing to do. The "contingent now in Bloomington" is the reason that it hasn't been any WORSE in the past few years.

BTW, here are the actual figures for Peoria's average attendance:

Current average: 3,745, 20th in AHL
2007-2008 4,441, 17th in league
2006-2007 4,255, 20th in league
2005-2006 4,780, 17th in league
2004-2005 (last year in ECHL) 4,785, 10th in league (the average was 5,609 in early November when the move to the AHL was announced)
2003-2004 5,101, 3rd in league
2002-2003 5,394, 4th in league
2001-2002 4,685, 7th in league
2000-2001 5,154, 6th in league
1999-2000 4,846, 10th in league

Except for the 2001-02 campaign, which was heavily affected by a lack of Saturdays and many weeknight games, the ECHL had finally taken hold in Peoria, with attendance figures approaching the old popular days of the IHL. The move to the AHL has proven to be a step back attendance-wise, no matter what the hockey product on ice is.

It should also be mentioned, in fairness to current staff, that this year's schedule is as bad as the 01-02 schedule for how many weeknight games there are, but many of the "best" dates (i.e. weekends) have already been played, and there are fully 7 Wednesday nights left, which will feature nearly empty houses.
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Re: Future of the Rivermen?

Postby TruthBeTold » Sun Dec 14, 2008 1:57 am

And for the record, KC has the inside track to be the next home of the franchise. Big, new, spacious, EMPTY building in need of a high-level team. With no NHL options, the AHL is obviously the next choice as far as KC is concerned.
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Re: Future of the Rivermen?

Postby blueline » Wed Dec 17, 2008 8:32 am

TruthBeTold wrote:And for the record, KC has the inside track to be the next home of the franchise. Big, new, spacious, EMPTY building in need of a high-level team. With no NHL options, the AHL is obviously the next choice as far as KC is concerned.



Since this is your second post....Do you have any facts on the "inside track" I have heard rumors regarding Kansas City. What is your level of confidence with the team bolting Peoria? Please elaborate.
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Re: Future of the Rivermen?

Postby WaukeeBlues » Fri Dec 19, 2008 1:10 am

F Keenan wrote:I agree with OS, Indy would work very well. Racers????


I don't think Indianapolis would be the way to go.

The Indiana Ice USHL team pull what VERY few hockey fans are around Central Indiana, none of the colleges in Indiana have NCAA hockey teams, and the Ft. Wayne Comets are the only semi-pro team that has made it in Indiana. We're just not a hockey state.

Not only that, IIRC, there isn't a place to put them. I don't think Indy has the rink to even HAVE an AHL team.

And if football doesn't compete with your hockey attendance- basketball unquestionably WILL.
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Re: Future of the Rivermen?

Postby 210 » Fri Dec 19, 2008 10:08 am

WaukeeBlues wrote:
F Keenan wrote:I agree with OS, Indy would work very well. Racers????


I don't think Indianapolis would be the way to go.

The Indiana Ice USHL team pull what VERY few hockey fans are around Central Indiana, none of the colleges in Indiana have NCAA hockey teams, and the Ft. Wayne Comets are the only semi-pro team that has made it in Indiana. We're just not a hockey state.

Not only that, IIRC, there isn't a place to put them. I don't think Indy has the rink to even HAVE an AHL team.

And if football doesn't compete with your hockey attendance- basketball unquestionably WILL.


Semi-pro?
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Re: Future of the Rivermen?

Postby WaukeeBlues » Fri Dec 19, 2008 7:42 pm

210 wrote:
WaukeeBlues wrote:
F Keenan wrote:I agree with OS, Indy would work very well. Racers????


I don't think Indianapolis would be the way to go.

The Indiana Ice USHL team pull what VERY few hockey fans are around Central Indiana, none of the colleges in Indiana have NCAA hockey teams, and the Ft. Wayne Comets are the only semi-pro team that has made it in Indiana. We're just not a hockey state.

Not only that, IIRC, there isn't a place to put them. I don't think Indy has the rink to even HAVE an AHL team.

And if football doesn't compete with your hockey attendance- basketball unquestionably WILL.


Semi-pro?


IHL, my bad :lol:
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