An article in the local paper states that Florida would be selling its half of the San Antonio franchise and purchasing the Utah Grizzlies to relocate them to Orlando. The smartest thing to do would be to have both Utah & San Antonio play next season and then move Utah to Orlando. During the whole season, it would give the organization time to solicit corporate sponsors, season ticket holders, and get the area ready for AHL hockey.
I believe there will be a large tie in with present Magic sponsorship. They've been talkin to the Magic's owner, from what I've been told. Many hockey fans disillusioned with the owner of their low minor affiliate, and many former Solar Bear STH that would jump at the chance for high level minors again. They just didn't want beers and brawls.
Count me in!! I have wanted to move down there for 5 yrs now, but there was no hockey team for me to apply with (didnt wanna work with an NHL team) WOO HOO hope this happens, not just for my own selfish reasons, but for all the fans who lost out when the IHL went out.
Keep us posted PLEASE
(need to know when to send my resume and get on the phones lol)
It just logistically doesn't make sense with the nearest team being Utah and the possibility Utah might move. The travel costs of an AHL team in California and its nearest rivals being in San Antonio, Houston, or Omaha if Utah moves doesn't make a whole lot of sense for someone to put an AHL team in CA. For example right now in the Atlantic Division you have Providence, Hartford, Manchester, Lowell, Portland, and Springfield are all within a couple hour bus rides from each other. But say you had an AHL team in Long Beach and it's going to be at least a 2 hour flight for its nearest road game. Hartford probably never flew to a game all season or maybe had one trip where they needed to fly to the game. Yes the AHL is expanding more towards the west but until you see teams closer than at least a 2 hour flight, I doubt you'll see an AHL team in CA anytime soon.
The other thing is where are you going to put this team? San Diego, Long Beach, and San Francisco had IHL teams and San Diego and Long Beach are in the ECHL now. Bakersfield has an ECHL team and an I believe an 11,000 seat arena but its at least a 2 hour drive from LA which is where teams would have to fly in to play if you put the AHL team in Bakersfield. That leaves Oakland or Sacramento as your most logical choices. Other factors are LA owns the AHL team in Manchester and the team draws well so they don't have an interest in moving their affiliate. Perhaps San Jose or Anaheim would be interested in moving their team closer but the cost is just prohibitive which is why the AHL is still mostly based on the East Coast.
Please check out our "Support AHL in Orlando" website at http://www.4floridahockey.com
We have a list of Contacts (people close to the decision making process) and a guest book.
If you don't want to send emails/letters to our contacts, at least sign our guestbook.
It'd be nice to see them called the Solar Bears and reprise that logo, I always liked it.
While the Solar Bears name and jersey were awesome, for some of us we'd like to leave them in the past as champions. They were just special players in all their history. They held a lot of the best memories for us, and I know that I'd rather start fresh and let the new team make some new memories. I'll even change my avatar if this happens hehe