Later today Bob Schlegel owner of the "now gone to Austin" Iowa Stars will announce a new agreement between the Anaheim Ducks and Des Moines. It seems the Portland Pirates are headed from Maine to Iowa. It will be the second AHL franchise in the city in four years.
Portland has had a good run (15 seasons) in Maine but they've been playing in an aging facility and the fan base seems to be stuck at "nearly 5,000" accorting the their website.
In addition a move to Des Moines would allow them to be closer to California. But, the question is: Will they stay?
A visit to the Ducks website has owner Henry Samueli saying his "long term goal" is to have all their farm clubs "playing in California". They just inked a deal (May 21) taking their ECHL farm club team out of Georgia and moving them to Bakersfield in the Golden Bear State.
- Will they remain the Pirates or is that too close in conflict to the Des Moines Buccaneers? We think they will change.
- How will they market to Iowa? We tried to help the Stars but nobody was listening. Maybe this time.
- Will California "play" in the Midwest? It might not matter there are only seven years left on the AHL deal and if the Ducks want all their teams in California, Iowa could be just a stopping off point.
The announcement will be this afternoon at 2:00PM at Hy-Vee Hall. See you there.
Michael P. Libbie - Insight Advertising, Marketing and Communications. "Me Like Hockey!" "Let them fight, let them fight, let them fight!"