Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Kansas City plans still in works

Tim Leiweke, president of Anschutz Entertainment Group, which owns the Kings and manages the Sprint Center, met with some business leaders before the game in an attempt to line up local ownership in the event a team becomes available after the 2008-09 season.

“I can’t think of any reason this doesn’t work here,” Leiweke said. “Kansas City has the best arena without a hockey team in the world. I didn’t look at this as an audition game (for the NHL). I’ll bet we have as many in here tonight as we have in LA. Preseason hockey the first couple of weeks in any market is a bit of a trick.”
Some were skeptical yesterday when I mentioned the connection between the exhibition game and the continued pursuit of an NHL franchise, but here we have talk of having a team there as soon as next fall.

Hard to believe.

The exhibition game, which looked to be a bit of a snoozer, only drew an "announced crowd of 11,603" but that's not far off what a lot of U.S. markets are getting for exhibition hockey. There were only 8,200 at the game in Los Angeles last night.

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At 3:18 p.m., September 23, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ok, Senators drew 17,000, but they have established fan base. KC doesn't have their own team, imagine Quebec attendance on Predators - Panthers game. I can bet even Canadian city w/o their own team won't get 11K for an exhibition game between the teams out of the region

At 3:24 p.m., September 23, 2008, Blogger Earl Sleek said...

“I can’t think of any reason this doesn’t work here."

Gee, Tim, the claim that the Kings lost more money last year than ever before doesn't enter your mind?

At 3:53 p.m., September 23, 2008, Blogger sager said...

I thought Toronto had the best arena without a hockey team in the world!

This just looks bad, wanting to be in K.C., no offence.

At 7:12 p.m., September 23, 2008, Blogger JoBu said...

“Kansas City has the best arena without a hockey team in the world".

Well, the novelty of the building may have already worn off on many of your potential fans. It's not like it's brand new and you're getting an expansion or established team in there during it's first year.

The arena doesn't pay the bills; the fans do. And I'm not convinced that KC has enough of them to have another go at an NHL franchise. Vegas, Winterpeg or Quebec City (if the CDN $ stays relatively strong) have better shots at floating a team long term IMHO.

At 7:30 p.m., September 23, 2008, Blogger Bob Roberts said...

Concerned the NHL will expand or move a franchise to KC?

Call Jim Balsilie. Ask him to state publicly that he wants to be involved.

Gary Bettman will veto the idea immediately.

At 7:41 p.m., September 23, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well....Are there any other failed markets the NHL can go back to?

At 8:29 p.m., September 23, 2008, Blogger Black Dog said...

Seeing as Leiwike and the Kings are involved I presume that they are moving their franchise to KC then? Because if not this would all appear very unseemly. I know the NHL would certainly want to avoid that, right?

Oh wait a second, its the NHL!

What a bush league. But then again what's another embarrassment.

At 11:31 p.m., September 23, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I’ll bet we have as many in here tonight as we have in LA.”

Then move the Kings to KC.

At 5:00 a.m., September 24, 2008, Blogger GMCN Innovations said...

Although they got 11K people there, anything less then a sell-out should be a disappointment for KC. It may not be a home team that they can root for, but it shows they aren't starving for NHL hockey...

At 6:16 p.m., September 24, 2008, Anonymous Mike in MN said...

Give one of the new teams to Winnipeg (or Hamilton), and move their AHL team to KC to prove the market wants hockey.


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