Posted 26 July 2017 - 12:38 PM
Posted 26 July 2017 - 02:09 PM
"sources" are from the adult recreational league. I'm very close with people that play in that league and I have not heard these rumors at all.... are you just stirring up the pot Jimi? The bucs own the arena and land it stands on, the league would have a hard time stepping in. Try to stay positive and hope for another solid season from the bucs.
Jim has been contributing on this board a long time, MOH. He's not a pot-stirrer.
Posted 26 July 2017 - 02:19 PM
Not stirring the pot at all. Said in the first post that is what I heard from guys in the adult league. I did not hear it first hand so take it at that.
There is no doubt that ownership owns the team and building, I even stated that I think they likely have the best deal in the league, when it comes to that.
I think you are completely wrong that a league could not step in at any time. At the junior level on up. They will and they have. I would agree in the case of a team playing in a building they own, would certainly be a little harder to do. To think that any sports team is bigger than the league they play in, is just plain foolish.
I would even suspect that the league has just this problem, concerning the bucs, and how they really can control some things. In most other arenas, it effects the team none and it would go towards a landlord.
Trying to stay positive. I always thought if the team could get a better product on the ice, then better things would come. If you had ever been to many games before the current ownership took over, there is no doubt you have to see they could do better. The team is better and I hope it is even better this year, but if you can not get and keep fans coming it does no good.
I think you can have good hockey in an old barn. Matter of fact I would guess there are many fans that are OK with it. It is all about the fan experience, and current ownership misses at at all levels. Even when you think it can not get any worst it does.
Solid seasons or not, if the fan experience is not there, no team can make it with out butts in the seats.
Posted 26 July 2017 - 06:17 PM
Minnesota/Iowa Wild and new rinks in Des Moines: Not going to happen, unfortunately. My understanding is that the Wild ownership does not have an interest in philanthropically building arenas like the Anaheim Ducks have. That's not to say the Wild might not donate some to the cause and be interested in having their AHL team practice at it; but, they're not going to bankroll it.
Future of the Bucs: There is none at Buc Arena. There is a small cadre of fans who love the team and the arena; but, new fans (particularly new fans with money) are not going to the Bucs. They are going to the Iowa Wild and it's all about creature comforts. People with disposable income just aren't going to take their family to a facility as dingy as Buc Arena when Wells Fargo Arena and the Iowa Wild are right there. If West Des Moines gets the Cedar Rapids-caliber facility that's being sought after, I have little doubt the Bucs will average over 3,000 fans per game. The Bucs and the Wild can co-exist; but, the Bucs must get a new arena. That said, if WDM gets such a new facility, I doubt any lease is every signed with the Bucs unless there is different ownership. If the Bucs get a new facility, they suddenly rocket back toward being a destination for USHL-caliber players. There are a lot of good education options in Des Moines (high school and college) for the players while they're here.
Growth of West Des Moines: West Des Moines is growing some, but the true population growth has been in Ankeny, Waukee, and Johnston in recent years. That's where the money has gone, too. (I'm waiting for the new houses near the golf course in Ankeny to start having gold driveways.) That's not to say there isn't still money in West Des Moines--there is. But, old West Des Moines is starting to have a lot of the same problems Urbandale is having to a larger degree. Urbandale is, more and more, reminding me of Bloomington, Minnesota--a suburb past its prime that still has some nice areas but, for the most part, is starting to see an increase and crime and more and more buildings in disrepair. We're not Detroit by any stretch; but... I'd compare it to Richfield, Minnesota; but, I'm not sure a nice part of Richfield still exists, so I choose Bloomington. RIchfield and Bensenville, Illinois, equate well... Des Moines proper is becoming Chicago-lite. We're not at two homicides a day just yet; but, we're getting there. While West Des Moines is in better shape than Urbandale, the writing is on the wall to me that West Des Moines is starting its decline. If it makes anyone in the DM metro feel any better, all the apartment complexes Johnston has put up in the last three years should help ensure that it starts going downhill, too, in 15 years. Apartment complexes typically start out nice; but, almost inevitably go to heck and become cesspools. Crime has already risen in Johnston to coincide with this (mostly petty crime; although, there was a murder of note in an apartment complex near my house that left a couple kids at my son's school orphans). The number of cars parked on the streets of Johnston that don't appear as if they can roll (or at least roll well) has definitely increase, as have the number of cars that appear to have been used for Monster Jam at Wells Fargo Arena in January.
Posted 26 July 2017 - 07:31 PM
Do you mean an exhibition game against Iowa State or playing in Ames for a season?
If the latter, Ames' locker rooms are already spoken for and I doubt the Bucs would average more than a few hundred fans per game up in Ames (not enough Des Moines fans would travel on a consistent basis to pack Ames, which can only fit about 1,000 people anyway). You'd lose major, major money at Ames and Cyclone Hockey and the AMHA have the inside track to all the arena signage, etc.
Exhibitions between the Bucs and Cyclones don't work out, if that's what you meant. With the USHL pre-season becoming more developed the last 20 years, the days of Iowa State playing exhibitions against Des Moines, Sioux City, and Waterloo are long done (even though Iowa State is better than it's ever been in terms of caliber of players top to bottom). Although, back in the day, a lot of the exhibitions against USHL teams were in the middle of the season. But this was before places like Lincoln even had a team, let alone everywhere else the USHL is now. When the USHL was truly a Tier II league, things were different. Iowa State hasn't approached the Bucs about playing in a long time. There's a lot to lose and not much to gain for either side. If the Bucs were to lose to Iowa State, that would not look good for the USHL--even though the NHL now has interest in the ACHA to a degree that different NHL cities and organizations are vying to host the national championships. If Iowa State loses to the Bucs, that doesn't really help recruiting. The score between the Bucs and the Cyclones would be closer now than at any other time since the USHL turned Tier I, though. Jason Fairman has Iowa State playing very detailed hockey. More detailed than the NHL playoffs. (I swear at the Sharks' players way more than I do Iowa State's players--the Cyclones make far fewer stupid decisions.)
One ACHA development to be on the lookout for is the ACHA's NAIA division, which is going to offer scholarships. Those teams could become pretty good in short order. Indiana Tech is already pretty reasonable and will only get better being able to offer scholarships. There are a number of other NAIA schools currently in the ACHA, including ACHA D1, that could follow suit and join the original members. I could see some lower-end USHL guys opting to go to certain ACHA NAIA schools a few years down the road.
Posted 26 July 2017 - 10:35 PM
Kewy24 I think you overall assessment of the metro area is pretty close. You are right that a few of the suburbs have had very large growth recently. That is not a good thing in some ways. Those suburbs are dealing with that growth now. You have a lot of taxpayers paying for the new areas, that have not come online for paying taxes. Due to abatement. Sure it will catch up at some point, but some of them are feeling the pinch of providing services now, while not getting the taxes of a vast amount of property.
I think the bucs moving into the far reaches of any of the metro is a deal breaker. I am not sure many towns would be willing to throw the kind of funding at it, that t would take to build that new arena. I think DM itself could and would likely welcome it. They have plenty of space in the MLK corridor, and if you want to get to the outer reaches, the airport all the way east near the bypass is full of empty ground.
Those suburbs are sort of getting picky with what they want, while DM is reaching out, trying to get it.
Tin foil hat time again, but do you really think the wild would never think about an arena. A place they could call their own. I think it is a way different business model than most businesses have. If it could improve any of the operations they have why would they not think about it. Especially if a city will step up for them. Of course they could not let it bleed a bundle of cash, but their goal is producing, and getting the top players to the NHL level. That makes the serious money.
I am not sure you need to throw the towel in on the current arena. While you are right there are many people that would never go there, but there are still a lot that would. Bucs hockey is tradition for people to enjoy a game or two a year. A place that you can go and be in the action and get a great game experience. You will never have that at WFA.
The problem with the arena, is not totally the arena. A little league ball park is managed better. They have raised the prices and dumped the service. Whether you are out on a date night or taking the wife and kids, who would want to deal with the service that you get any more at Bucs arena.
I can not tell you how many times people have sat around us, and have missed a significant portion of the game, waiting in line to get in, or waiting in a concession line. One game you just kind of say it happens, but it is game after game. Believe me they talk about how much they spent and how long it took.
There is no doubt the arena could use some upgrading, but that is no reason, to not do the best with what you have. If the very basics are not being met now, a new arena or anything else will not help.
What I just do not get is how clueless ownership or management is. It is not rocket science. Do they not ever go to other entertainment venues to see them in action. No games at the barnstormers, or iowa cubs. Never been to the civic center or a movie theatre.
Posted Yesterday, 08:19 AM
Let's not forget the Wild ownership is heavily involved in a possible team for Kenosha, WI.
I don't see the Wild being players in any Buccaneer development. Possibly the Buccaneers relocate to Kenosha once that arena is built (if ever).
I do not see the Buccaneers relocating, coming off their best season since 2007. Things could be on rise if they keep winning.
Posted Yesterday, 08:57 AM
As I said earlier a lot of this is still up in the air. I would think even if the USHL took over control, that they just can not yank ownership. I would have to think there is a franchise agreement somewhere that would not let that happen. Imagine just taking a team away from owners, and the owners are just out.
As far as the bucs ever playing DT, I am not sure that will ever happen. I think a lot happens on the ownership side before that will ever be considered. Meaning that if the league took over operations, but could not get a deal with the arena Pelids own, then maybe. The biggest reason I could see is the availability of open dates. Global spectrum manages WFA and they are doing a great job. It is quite a busy place. I would guess they do as much as they can to stagger out venues thereto give them time to convert it to what ever sport is in need.
Every year it seems like they are converting it more often, for sporting events that are stacked on top of each other. I just could not imagine they could accommodate that many more events.
This is the first I have heard of the group and WDM doing a study.
This topic can be a bit difficult to follow, at least for me. Help me out, Jim.
What is DT? What is the purpose of the study WDM (West Des Moines?) is doing? WFA is Wells Fargo Arena? Bucs Arena is in downtown Des Moines proper?
RIP Huckleberry. 1995-2009.... Thanks for 14 unforgettable years Huck. You will forever be loved and missed.
Posted Yesterday, 09:00 AM
II am sorry I kind of derailed this thread a little. The returners threads are kind of focusing on individual teams, and that is why I put it here.
I too have heard rumors and such for years, and you can just kind of take them as you want. They will always be around no matter.
Lets look at what current ownership have done since being here.
For a long time, opening a coaching carousel thread ment that you were most likely going to see DM mentioned. There has been so many coaches through here it is actually hard to keep track. Some went on to do better things and some have not. Not all were bad coaches.
We now have a coach entering his third year. I am not so sure that it was any kind of recruiting being done by the organization, as much as a coach finding a job that he was happy with. He has lived here, and one thing he said after being hired was he would get to see his family so much more. It certainly did not hurt that he has the kind of resume he does. I think for him though, he seen what has happened, and I am sure he done as much as he could to help him succeed before ever taking the job. You would have to think most coaches talk, and I am sure he knew going in what he was getting into.
They have bought the ground under the arena. Blessing or curse, I do not know. If you recall there was plans floating about an upgraded arena. Much of that stemmed from the city wanting to get investment for themselves. Once the ground was bought, no need to satisfy the city.
While owning an arena is likely way more complicated than any of will ever know, they have done some upgrades. It was in no way perfect, but they have done some things. If I recall they have put in AC, installed new ice making units, a few remodels of locker rooms and bathrooms, sprinkler system. It is not like they have done nothing, and I am sure some of these cost plenty to do.
They have never really played well with others. Pretty much cut ties with metro west, even fired some staff that found them self in the middle of that. Have never really partnered with the other hockey team in town for much of anything.
Ticket prices. As a STH you buy them as early as you can to get the best pricing. It seems like that gets earlier every year. The perks for buying ST has dropped considerably. It also seems like every game there is ticket specials to be had. Get them a week early and get a discount, black friday sales, the list goes on. I have never actually tracked it, but I bet you could take advantage of most of the specials, and spend less than a STH if you went to many games.
Concessions have went up, and the product quality did not follow. We all have bought concessions, and you just kind of know what to expect, but it is junior hockey, not some pro level event. Getting your nachos in a bag, and a bottle of pop for $10 doesn't cut it. Also consider that there less places to buy those products. Last year during the play off game there was two food stands open, and two drink stations open.
I get it times change and prices need to go up, but the entertainment dollar can be spent in so many other ways. Those running establishments, that are trying to get that dollar, need to be doing things to make it easier to spend it. Making it easier to want to spend it, and keep them coming back, to spend it over and over.
Posted Yesterday, 10:48 AM
Wells Fargo Arena is downtown Des Moines. It was built by the county and to replace an aging auditorium. At the time it was built the hockey was the tenant of choice. I have to say that the county did not get a very good managment group in there in the beginning, and it showed. It lost millions every year. The hockey has always been AHL affiliated. The first round of hockey was the chops and they had a few teams they were affiliated with. The owner if I recall got into trouble with the league over borrowing money and using the team as collateral.
I think the league pretty much shut them down. Now the county had a new building, with no major tenant and a management company that was not doing so well. All on the taxpayers. Sure indoor football, and basketball leagues have come in, but no hockey.
That has certainly changed. The county brought in Global Spectrum to manage it. A few years later the Wild decided to relocated here and it has taken off. The last I heard there was something like 90 days that the arena did not have something going on. They are now building a five star hotel next door, that will do doubt help them even more. They county has hit it out of the park, and it is actually returning money to the taxpayers now
Des moines as a city is pretty much land locked by suburbs. While DM is not growing much, the suburbs are growing fast. I know the suburbs of DM are making the lists of the fastest growing towns in Iowa, and many are making the list on a national level. Having said that you can still travel across the metro in minutes and not hours, just about any time.
The Bucs arena is in a suburb, but just blocks from the city of DM. I would suspect like many older structures that it was built in the middle of no where at the time and through growth, it has pretty much found itself in the city. The bucs arena is on the far east side of Urbandale, which is suburb along with several others, that are growing west very fast. West Des Moines is also a suburb in the western edge.
I am not real sure about the study, and to be honest this is the first I have heard of it. I am not surprised really that it s happening. Most of the names associated with it, have been involved in the hockey community for a long time. I have seen many studies, and much of them go no where. Some do.
As far as the reason for it I am not sure You know about as much as me. IMO most studies are done by people that have a passion for what they love and looking for a reason to spread that passion. I have never put much faith in one to be honest. Most are done biased to what is being studied. Have you ever heard of one coming back saying it would be a total failure to proceed any further.
That is why I mentioned how much skin in the game the city of WDM has. If it is just enough to satisfy a passionate group of people. Possibly donors to some political process. Politicians always have that little fund that they can use for well what ever they want and this maybe one of those.
For all I know WDM has been looking at something like this. Maybe they approached this group about getting together and helping them get it off the ground. Maybe it has sort of been some thing the city wanted to explore. I really have no idea.
My opinion only. But I would suspect it is a group of people very passionate about the sport of hockey, and seeing where it is headed in the metro. Maybe finally got some politician to see where they are coming form and willing to pacify them. Good or bad.
Going out on a limb, I would say that some of those people were around when bucs hockey was sort of a volunteer organization. Long before there were actual owners. I suppose they may feel that bucs hockey is not going the direction that they would like to see, and with no means to change it.
All in all I really do not know what could come of it. Are they doing it, for the existing team. Even then would current ownership want to locate in a building they would just be a tenant. I would think if any money is going to be spent, current ownership would spend it on something he owns.
That brings up to what league would play there if any. It seems they are looking at a few thousand seat arena. That would look like they would get a team to be housed there. Sounds a little much for ice skating and adult & youth hockey. Not sure what other leagues could be looking. I suppose the area high school league, not sure about any leagues further up the chain. Not even real sure the metro is big enough to support another venue.
I think the USHL finds themselves in a pretty unique situation. Their hands are kind of tied to do anything. Really that has been discussed. I would suspect if current ownership does just good enough to keep the league some what happy, what choices does the league have. I would say I think it would have to hit an all time low, to transfer ownership of a team with in a city.
I think DM is absolutely important to the USHL. For many reasons already given. I could see them keeping abreast of anything going on with inside and outside of of bucs hockey, in the area.
Posted Yesterday, 09:38 PM
The group involved in the study in West Des Moines is, indeed, a group passionate about hockey. I know almost all of them. The amount of time this has taken has seemed glacial; but, everyone is trying. Hearing about different potential ownership groups for the Bucs has been interesting; but, it's my understanding all of that has fallen through with things not being able to move forward with this proposed arena in West Des Moines, which really needed a new ownership group for the Bucs to really gain some momentum. It's kind of a vicious cycle and now, here we are, with a feasibility study and fundraising efforts. It's going to take a miracle (I lost Powerball again). Although I'd be more passionate about donating to West Virginia University/Morgantown for a new rink, donating to Waldorf/Forest City for a new rink (Waldorf will have scholarshipped hockey players starting next year), and owning a Federal Hockey League team or two, Des Moines just needs this so bad I'd put down the money and just get it over with if my jackpot were big enough. Iowa State Cyclone Hockey would obviously get some, too.
It was about 20 years ago the Metro Ice opened based on the money donated and raised by a number of hockey parents. Interestingly, none of their sons even play hockey anymore (not men's league, not anything). It only took about 10 years for it to go to Hades... The last 10 years have been rough.
Kenosha: That's not the Minnesota Wild as a company doing that, it's one particular owner. I'd argue that it's different.
Arena in downtown Des Moines or anywhere Des Moines proper: Not the route I'd go. Put it out in the suburbs where people are that can afford to go and spend a lot less time than going all the way downtown. Going downtown is fun and you can make it a day doing things and then going to the hockey game; but, that's what the Wild are for. I wouldn't want to compete for the same experience with the Wild. The location the group is looking at is pretty quick for people in West Des Moines, Waukee, Clive, Johnston, and Grimes to get to; but also Norwalk and even Winterset. Put a rink like that near the interstate on the south side of WDM like they're looking at doing, and suddenly playing hockey becomes truly feasible for kids from Madison County. My son played with a kid from Winterset and it was a heck of a drive to come up to Metro Ice to play mite hockey and then go back home. This would cut that time in half. If the proposed facility can have free parking like Cedar Rapids offers, you're going to get a lot of west-suburban families who, on a Friday night, don't have the time to drive from work downtown back to Waukee (or wherever out West) and then drive right back downtown after picking up the kids and the spouse. You'll get a lot more young families going and that's where the growth is. Yes, the Bucs have their dedicated core at the old arena; but, they aren't getting many new fans. Construct something on par with what Cedar Rapids or Omaha has and people will most certainly come. I can't bring my four-year-old daughter to Buc Arena for a game. She'll probably get some sort of flesh-eating disease.
Both rinks in Des Moines: Home Depot sells these things called mop buckets and mops (the flooring in both arenas is so cheap that you can't use one of those nice machines every other arena uses on their active flooring--the ones that actually have wall-to-wall active flooring and not hundreds of sporadic squares). Neither arena keeps the locker rooms clean. No effort whatsoever. It's because they both always have skeleton crews. It's very, very common for it to only be the zamboni driver at both places. It's hard for one person to do everything. It also allows a lot of people to get onto the ice and not pay. Compare that to Ames, where, after a Cyclone Hockey game, they have four workers cleaning. It's an everyday thing there and it shows. The Ames/ISU Ice Arena, even after a mite tournament on a slushy day, is cleaner that Buc or Metro ever get these days. It becomes a vicious cycle, too, because when the ice users detect the rink doesn't seem to care, they care less and less about making any effort to keep it clean.
Transfer of ownership: I guarantee that if this new rink happens, the Bucs will never play in it with the current ownership. I don't personally have a problem with the current ownership; but, I just know this to be the case. At the current pace in Buc Arena, the Bucs are going to have to drop down to being an NA3HL team. I mean, how much money can the Peleds lose with their current attendance?
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