First off, let me begin by saying that working in minor league sports is not a tremendously secure career path. Well over 100 teams in minor league hockey alone at the AA level or higher have folded since the Condors came into existence 18 years ago. It’s not easy. In most cases, it’s a losing proposition. That’s why I feel fortunate and the city of Bakersfield should feel fortunate to have had a successful organization for this long. There are not many organizations that have been around longer and that number has appeared to dwindle lately.
That’s the only Condors-related piece of this blog. You may come here looking for Condors news, but as I’ll remind you, it’s my blog and I’ll do what I want…
Now for the blog…
I thought it would be a good lesson to look at four “relocations” that never actually happened, but were thought to be in the final stages. They’re all hockey related, because if you stretched it to include all sports, you would be reading the blog for weeks. There are four of them and they’re in no particular order. Click the bolded part to read more on each situation.
- LAS VEGAS WRANGLERS TO THE “TENTLIKE STRUCTURE” ON TOP OF THE PLAZA HOTEL: I begin with my favorite and the most recent. The year was 2014, the Wranglers needed a new home, and they struck a deal with The Plaza Hotel in downtown Las Vegas to play hockey on top of a parking garage in a “tentlike structure” which would cost nearly $4 million to build and secure. There was going to be a pool, a cabana, frozen drinks etc. I may have made some of these things up, but you get the picture. It didn’t happen. Forget an NHL team at that lavish new arena. Put them on top of the parking garage in the “tentlike structure.”
- PITTSBURGH PENGUINS TO KANSAS CITY: Believe it or not, the Penguins used to be fodder for relocation talk often. One of the more interesting ones was the team moving to Kansas City, which hadn’t had hockey since the 1970’s. The building offered the team to play rent free and be a partner in the brand new arena. Ultimately, the team stayed, Crosby and Malkin arrived, a new building was built, and the rest is as they say history.
- NEW JERSEY DEVILS TO NASHVILLE: Speaking of teams that used to call Kansas City home, the New Jersey Devils dealt with rumors of a move to Nashville all the way thru their Stanley Cup playoffs run of 1995. Think about this. They’re on the verge of winning a Stanley Cup and Bill Guerin has to field questions about Nashville where he comes up with this gem of a quote … “You’ll hear guys saying, ‘Who’s going to buy a horse farm? Who’s going to hang out with Dolly Parton?’ That’s classic. Anyways, in July, the owner worked out a lease in New Jersey, the team stayed, they opened a new building years later and yada yada yada, @KevinBartl gets to keep his childhood memories.
- ST. LOUIS BLUES TO SASKATOON: Way before my time, but an interesting case study in the league stepping in to prevent the sale of a team. By all accounts, the St. Louis Blues were sold and were to be moved to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Of course, you have to get approval from the rest of the league before such a move can take place. The vote was 15-3 against the move, the Blues stayed, and even though they didn’t have a front office, continued to operate. They remained with a new owner and you can now watch them tonight against Dallas.
Until next time Condorstown… Happy Mother’s Day Mom.
Ryan Holt a.k.a. Holty is the Voice of the Condors and enters his six season in 2016-17. His birthday is Saturday and much like in 1988, his birthday is on Kentucky Derby Day. Exaggerator (11) with Outwork (15) and Mor Spirit (17) is the betting choice. Follow him on Twitter @CondorsHolty or shoot him blog ideas and questions to firstname.lastname@example.org