Terrible. Hopefully another league, like the ECHL, will step in and place a team back in Houston, like they did in Utah.
If the Toyota Center was looking to increase the rent for an AHL team from $24k to $42k per game (as reported on Twitter), why on earth would they offer terms any more affordable to an ECHL or CHL team?
Now that was sarcastic, but this is genuine -- are there any other facilities in the Houston metro that could host minor-pro hockey? Cause the Toyota Center is pretty clearly out of the hockey business, intentionally.
I think if there was another option that they would have at least looked into it. Yes, Des Moines is closer to St. Paul than Houston but you'd rather be in a huge city that can fly anywhere in the US or Canada in case you need a player for a road game.
It just goes to show the difference across the league in terms of lease agreements... The Pirates just signed a new lease with the Civic Center and they'll pay just $1,000 a game for rent and receive 57.5% food and beverage revenue on top of advertising in the building. That's why attendance figures can be deceiving in a team's success and failure. Pirates will likely only need to draw 3,000 a game to make a profit.
Either A> Houston is freeing up their arena for the prospect of the Coyotes or B> Peoria could move to Houston for now if the lease is reasonable. (assuming Abbotsford & Calgary don't split up).
Answer to A = No. (Les Alexander has already stated he's not interested in the NHL. His attempt to buy the Edmonton Oilers several years ago was only a ploy to get a new arena built in Houston. An arena he would have control of. If he's scared an AHL team takes business away from him, and since he wants no competition for the Rockettes, an NHL team would do him in.)
Answer to B = No. (Peoria to Houston? Not until a new 8,000 - 10,000 seat arena is built. The only current hockey arena in Houston is Toyota Center. Corpus Christi has more hockey arenas (2) than Houston (1). I kid you not.)
Or C, they wanted the AHL team out so they could host more events at the venue and make more money.
Answer to C = Good Luck on that front. Toyota Center is not the most sought after venue in Houston for those events/concerts. Most concerts go to the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavillion, and even Disney on Ice is now at Reliant Stadium.