New Home For Indy Ice

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New Home For Indy Ice?

For months now, we along with everyone else in the Junior Hockey world have been speculating and talking about potential new homes for the USHL’s Indy Ice.

The conversations have ranged from the team going dark for a few seasons while the arena receives upgrades, to playing at the University of Notre Dame, moving to Quad City on a temporary basis, or any other number of scenarios.

Breaking these potential scenarios down we can see some sort of picture unfolding.

The USHL is not going to let one of its teams go dark. That would cause scheduling problems, and is simply something that the USHL woouldnt allow as it could damage franchise values, and slow the planned expansion east over the next few years.

The team will not be moved to Quad City. The Mallards of the Central Hockey League are returning, and will continue to build on their fan base. QC will however remain on the USHL radar as an expansion site should the CHL falter.

The University of Notre Dame scenario could work. The Ice have played games there already, and it is not that far from their home base. Take into account the additional scouting opportunity that the team would receive from the University and its incoming opponents and this actually makes very good sense. Not only would it make sense, but free agent players would flock to the team based on that thought process. However, just because it make sense, doesnt mean it will happen. We will call this a possibility.

Another possibility…….

The Ice could be sold to a group based out of Missouri. Ice ownership could then wait out the two years while the arena in Indy is renovated. Should negotiations go well, they bring back a USHL team. This scenario actually makes the most sense from a business standpoint.

USHL franchises have never had a higher purchase value. There are no expansion franchises being added this season, which creates more demand than there is supply in the market. Selling, and waiting out the construction while negotiating with the arena is smart business.

Arena management in Indy has openly stated they will look at minor pro hockey as well as junior over the course of renovations. So, with that statement, smart money would say that competition for the lease could drive the price of the lease up. If two teams want in, who is going to pay more? They have to pay for the renovations some how.

Sell now and say that you will negotiatiate and think about repurchasing is a great tactic. Arena management would only then have two possible expansion tenants. Much harder to drive the price up on teams that dont even exist yet. It would also make sense that the arena work with someone they have worked with in the past. Comfort in business relationships can not be understated or under valued.

Missouri? Yes, sources have informed TJHN that there may be competition to get into Family Arena in St. Charles Missouri. The CHL has been working on placing at team in that building, and recent events have suggested this could be a USHL option for the Ice.

Sources have also informed TJHN that St. Louis and the success of the Blues may also be a driving force to bring the USHL into the city. One source speaking on the condition of annonymity stated that they were aware of St. Louis Bandits owners having conversations with Indy.

Three solid options on the table, which do you think it will be, which makes the most sense?

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