Monday, June 06, 2005

Edmonton Roadrunners are no more

Jes Golbez was wondering today why the Oilers pulled the plug on their AHL franchise, and a member of his faithful readership fills in the blanks as to why the team is leaving.

...this decision was based more on the fact that the Edmonton Investors Group felt that Edmonton wouldn't show support to two professional hockey teams. We simply don't have the population base to do it. The reason the Roadrunners drew well (good numbers, but if you went to the actual games, you would have noticed many who purchased tickets didn't show up) was because of the lockout. If/when the Oilers return to action, it would be a tough sell.

It makes perfect sense to me. In Toronto when the Leafs were playing, the Roadrunners ran into financial difficulty - this playing in a considerably larger city than Edmonton. Expect the Oilers to seek an AHL partner in the Midwest where a number of new franchises will be sprouting up next season. I think AHL hockey can be successful in more Canadian cities - just have a look at Winnipeg - but not in conjunction with an NHL franchise.

The one exception, however, is the Leafs’ new team, the Toronto Marlies, who will likely draw enough to turn a profit. Considering the ferocity with which the Leafs’ faithful snap up tickets for games at the ACC, the ‘Baby Leafs’ should garner enough interest from those priced out of NHL games. In this city, that applies to most of us.



OK, that's what I've got from around blogdom, but I'll be manning the wires to see if anything else comment-worthy finds me later tonight. It's a busy week on my end, what with ceremonies and such, but I'll do my best to check in every few days.

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