AHL in Independence Arena’s future?

Whenever there is talk of a NHL team coming to KC there are a lot of variables and speculation. If this happens, then this might happen, then we might have a NHL team at Sprint Center. Each scenario is rather convoluted.

As a full-time hockey fan and part-time blogger, I’m going to do my own speculation for what I believe is the best option for Kansas City — an American Hockey League team.

The group that is going to operate the Independence Arena is having trouble, as documented in the KC Star.
Excitement about new Independence arena is tempered by questions about venue’s operator

This could mean an AHL team in Independence. How?

Let’s say Global Entertainment’s deal with the city of Independence falls apart. Well, since Global owns and operates the CHL, the agreement to have a team in Independence ends — just as it ended in Youngstown.
SMG comes in to operate the Independence Arena and looks for a new hockey tenant. They target the AHL, just like SMG has AHL teams in the following arenas they operate.

Rochester, NY
Worcester, MA
Providence, RI
Lowell, MA
Peoria, IL
Albany, NY
Grand Rapids, MI
Manchester, NH

The AHL is interested, because, well, the AHL has always been interested in KC, but has never been properly approached about putting a team in the #31 television market. Kevin Gray never properly approached them. AEG never properly approached them. NHL21 thinks there is an AHL team in Philadelphia, so they have no idea and no clout anyway.

Far-fetched? Yes.
Are the scenarios for an NHL team in Sprint Center equally as far-fetched? Yes.

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3 Responses to AHL in Independence Arena’s future?

  1. Aaron says:

    Interesting thought…My first reaction was that the Ind. Events Center would be a little small, but it looks like the average AHL attendance was 5,115 last year, which would make it about right.

  2. Media Observer says:

    As I wrote in our exchange at KC Confidential, I agree that an AHL team is far superior to a CHL team. I’d support that. But, as you know, I’d also be very supportive of a USHL team that I think fits our town a bit better … especially once everyone realizes these are kids in our local high schools or colleges living in sponsor families’ homes. That in itself creates a network of fans that doesn’t require a single marketing dollar. I also think the dynamics that could be leveraged with the fact that other USHL teams are in cities with which Kansas City competes for other entertainment and tourist resources. An Omaha rivalry would be a very positive factor in this. I was part of a group of citizes that helped establish a USHL team in Kearney, Neb.; I know first hand how much of a buzz this can be.

    I noticed in Hillman’s recent TV interview he mentioned that the game would be fast. I’ll reserve judgement and let the play on the ice prove just how fast this team will be. I’m a bit skeptical because Hillman played in the league for a handful of years and coached in it for two, so I can’t see him doing anything really different or finding players that are going to change the CHL game.

    Hoping for the best!

  3. scott says:

    Purely by coincidence, I spoke with the commissioner of the USHL earlier this year. The USHL is interested in Kansas City as one of their markets. Unfortunately, there isn’t a place for them to play right now.

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