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Beavis Stiffler is offline Old 12-27-2012, 08:29 PM   #1
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This is not a good time for hockey fans with the NHL Lockout still going on and now the Aeros possibly moving out after this season

http://thethirdintermission.blogspot...-hmmmmmmm.html
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Famous Song? Yes ... Famous catch phrase, yeah ... that, too.
But recent news in the minor league hockey world has to make you think a little bit about where Wild prospects might end up after 2012-13.



The Toyota Center lease is up after next season, and Aeros president David Burke confirmed to me late during the season that the team is working with the building to hammer out a new lease. They do play in one of the league's nicest facilities ... and they pay a pretty penny for that.

They are also exploring other places for the team to play ... in Houston. Hey, you're not smart if you're not looking for the best deal, right?

Last week, a minor league sports ownership group (Sioux Falls Sports, LLC) in Sioux Falls announced that it sold out to former the Wild's former owner and that the current COO for Minnesota Sport Entertainment (who own the Aeros) was joining that group, too.

Then, today, SF Group announced the hiring of Tom Garrity as their President and CEO. Who is Tom Garrity? Nobody except the former two-time President of the Aeros.

No, I am not saying the Aeros are going to pack up and get moved to Sioux Falls. But all of this is not a coincidence. Tom Garrity is one of the very best on this planet at putting butts in seats and he has the resume to show that. He also has a good repoire with that group, and I am sure that helped Tom land that pretty sweet gig.

From a business standpoint, the Wild-owned Aeros would benefit tremendously from lowering their operating costs AHL hockey is for-profit hockey. The Wild have every right to get the best deal for their product. But the Aeros are in the top 10 in attendance every year, and because of IAH, they can get their prospects to just about any city in North American before Noon central.

The flight time from IAH to MSP is just 140 minutes, and 1,094 miles is not that big of a deal when you consider relationships like Worcester/San Jose.

Sioux Falls has a brand new hockey arena, seats about 12,000 and would be an attractive proximity facility for the Wild. But it is Sioux falls and long term, I think it would be a complete fail for the AHL.

Moline didn't work, Omaha didn't work, Des Moines didn't work, Abbotsford is not working, OKC is not working ... and the list goes on and on.

Right now is not the time to worry about the Aeros leaving, but the next few months will be key. If the Wild and Toyota Center don't get something worked out before Christmas, then it might be time to get a little nervous.
I'm guessing Reliant Arena (formerly known as The Astroarena), The Berry Center (Cypress, TX), or Merrell Center (Katy, TX) will be the options if they don't play at the Toyota Center before the 2013-2014 season.

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DonnyMost is online now Old 12-27-2012, 08:57 PM   #2
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If the Aeros leave Houston, won't that open the door for the NHL?

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Poloshirtbandit is offline Old 12-27-2012, 09:51 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by DonnyMost View Post
If the Aeros leave Houston, won't that open the door for the NHL?
Unless the team has a Dynamo-like start here, I can't see an NHL team lasting here long term.
 
Rocketman95 is offline Old 12-27-2012, 11:03 PM   #4
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Merrell Center would rock.

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Hicklander is offline Old 12-27-2012, 11:34 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Beavis Stiffler View Post
This is not a good time for hockey fans with the NHL Lockout still going on and now the Aeros possibly moving out after this season

http://thethirdintermission.blogspot...-hmmmmmmm.htmlI'm guessing Reliant Arena (formerly known as The Astroarena), The Berry Center (Cypress, TX), or Merrell Center (Katy, TX) will be the options if they don't play at the Toyota Center before the 2013-2014 season.
Cough cough.. look how old that article is..althought there is no lease update the Aeros have the 5th largest attendance in the AHL.

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tellitlikeitis is offline Old 12-27-2012, 11:37 PM   #6
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The Berry Center? I'm not too sure about that. Barker-Cypress is an absolute nightmare after football games.
 
Jontro is offline Old 12-27-2012, 11:54 PM   #7
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In all my years of living in Houston, I've only met 1 person who was a fan of the Aeros (or hockey for that matter), but that's because he was in my hs hockey team.

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Hicklander is offline Old 12-27-2012, 11:58 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Jontro View Post
In all my years of living in Houston, I've only met 1 person who was a fan of the Aeros (or hockey for that matter), but that's because he was in my hs hockey team.
Make me #2..

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houston#1 is offline Old 12-28-2012, 03:42 AM   #9
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I think Houston deserves NHL. We are the fourth largest city. But I don't have problem with Aeros staying here, but I think it's time to move on and try to get NHL team.

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, 4 AHL/WHA/IHL champions for Aeros, 4 WNBA champions for Comets, 2 MLS champions for Dynamo, 16 National Champions for University of Houston Golf, 2 AFL Champions for Oilers , 2005 NL Champion for Astros, 2011 AFC South Division Champion for Texans

More to come...
 
DonnyMost is online now Old 12-28-2012, 07:53 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Rocketman95 View Post
Merrell Center would rock.
If they do stay in Houston, this would be my preference too.

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tehG l i d e is offline Old 12-28-2012, 08:08 AM   #11
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Are the Aeros any good? I honestly have no idea.
 
Jontro is offline Old 12-28-2012, 08:26 AM   #12
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Do we have enough hockey fans in Houston to fill up Merrell Center, at least 50% throughout the season?

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DonnyMost is online now Old 12-28-2012, 08:36 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Jontro View Post
Do we have enough hockey fans in Houston to fill up Merrell Center, at least 50% throughout the season?
Merrell Center seats 7,600. Aeros average 7,324 this year.

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plee is offline Old 12-28-2012, 11:07 AM   #14
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Are the Aeros any good? I honestly have no idea.
Yes...It's actually better to watch in person. Pretty affordable to catch a game or two for the high rent Yoda center.
 
jdh008 is offline Old 12-28-2012, 09:47 PM   #15
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I've said it once, I'll say it a thousand times, being there in person improves no sports more than it improves hockey.

I can't watch more than ten minutes of a hockey game on TV, but in person, it's a ton of fun.

I'm not a season ticket holder or anything, but I would be pretty bummed if the Aeros left town. Going to their games is kind of a fun thing to do on a random night when there isn't much else to do.
 
Hicklander is offline Old 12-30-2012, 09:29 AM   #16
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Are the Aeros any good? I honestly have no idea.
2nd in the South Division at 16 and 10.. Perennial playoff team and made it to the finals 2 years ago. A couple of nights ago they put 10k in the Toyota Center. I must say the Aero's fan are much more exciting and laid back than the suits at Rox games. If they would move to the Merrill Center I certainly would stop going that is too far for me. It would be quicker for me to get to the Ford Center than to the Merrill Center

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leroy is online now Old 12-30-2012, 10:55 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by jdh008 View Post
I've said it once, I'll say it a thousand times, being there in person improves no sports more than it improves hockey.

I can't watch more than ten minutes of a hockey game on TV, but in person, it's a ton of fun.

I'm not a season ticket holder or anything, but I would be pretty bummed if the Aeros left town. Going to their games is kind of a fun thing to do on a random night when there isn't much else to do.
For me, I disagree. There are way too many stoppages in hockey. At least while watching at home, I can get up and go to the restroom or get a beer. Also, I don't like hockey enough to enjoy minor league hockey. That's just me, though.
 
xcrunner51 is offline Old 12-30-2012, 11:10 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by houston#1 View Post
I think Houston deserves NHL. We are the fourth largest city. But I don't have problem with Aeros staying here, but I think it's time to move on and try to get NHL team.
Disagree. In my bandwagon hockey days I figured similarly that Houston being a large city "deserves" a NHL team, but its false reasoning.

The fact is hockey would probably be the 5th most popular sport in the city (if that) behind pro football, basketball, baseball, and soccer. It's sad but I bet the Dynamo would consistently outdraw hockey for regional and culture specific reasons. There's pretty much no hockey-culture in the city.

Plus, outside of Dallas, pro hockey has been almost a total failure in the South. Phoenix, Atlanta, Florida are all teams that have moved or contemplated moving for poor attendance reasons.

If the NHL were actually zoned properly, there would be 15 Canadian teams and 15 American teams.
 
Hicklander is offline Old 01-02-2013, 05:35 PM   #19
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Aeros home games will now be broadcast on CSN Houston...
EWS: Comcast SportsNet Houston will broadcast at least six Houston Aeros home games.

All games, originating from Toyota Center, will air the day after each game is played. The first game features the Aeros taking on the Texas Stars and is set to air on Saturday, Jan.5, at noon. Aeros radio voice Joe O’Donnell will provide the play-by-play for each game.

Aeros Hockey on Comcast SportsNet Houston
Jan. 5 vs. Texas – noon
Jan. 6 vs. San Antonio – noon
Jan. 14 vs. Charlotte – 8 p.m.
Feb. 2 vs. Texas – noon
Feb. 5 vs. San Antonio – noon
Feb. 24 vs. OKC - TBD

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Hicklander is offline Old 01-19-2013, 10:55 AM   #20
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http://thethirdintermission.blogspot....html?spref=fb

Last week, we had a few people tell us that they read in the Chronicle that the Aeros were leaving Houston and that it was a done deal. There were also a few people that mentioned this to us in the comments section of one of our home game stories from last week.

And we were like, "What the ... ?"

So we did what any normal person would do - we Googled it. It took awhile, but we finally found the Chronicle/Aeros reference literally buried in a Ken Hoffman column. Whether or not you don't like him does not matter. The guy is random, which really makes the following lines so curious coming from a column entitled "Pethouse Pet of the Week: Jan. 13:"

(Ideal home: Where will the Houston Aeros play next season? Toyota Center is just too big for the small crowds the Aeros draw. They need to find a more "intimate" ice rink. I'm betting there will be an announcement soon)



Come on Scooby, help us out!
Now it is no secret that the Aeros lease with the Toyota Center is up after this season. They signed a 5-year deal after the 2007-08 season, and that comes to an end when this season is officially over. I think many people are so nervous because this is by far the longest its ever gone to renew the deal.

The Aeros and Wild are on the record from last year as saying they have done and will do everything they can, within reason ($$$$$) to keep the team in Houston. I believe them based on who I have talked to, but I also understand that when business comes to business ... well, money always wins.

So what about the odd/random comment in the Hoffman column? Them staying or going has nothing to do with the size of the rink ... they have been here for 19 years, and have consistently been in the top 10 in the league's attendance recently.

The line that sticks out to me is "I'm betting there will be an announcement soon ... " Someone told Hoffman something, and this thing is about to get really interesting either way.

In the summer, I thought there was an 80 percent chance the Aeros would stay, then it went down to 70 around training camp. When we got past Thanksgiving, my faith dropped to 60 percent. Now, I am afraid the Aeros will be forced out of Houston. I think there is only a 20-percent chance the Aeros (as an affiliate of the Minnesota Wild) sign another multi-year lease agreement with the Toyota Center.

I really do think the Wild wants to keep them here, but as we've said on this blog several times before ... it has to make sense financially. And I don't think it does any more.

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