But recent news in the minor league hockey world has to make you think a little bit about where Wild prospects might end up after 2012-13.
|SUX (Airport code for Sioux Falls) has a nice arena.|
They are also exploring other places for the team to play ... in Houston. Hey, you're not smart if you're not looking for the best deal, right?
Last week, a minor league sports ownership group (Sioux Falls Sports, LLC) in Sioux Falls announced that it sold out to former the Wild's former owner and that the current COO for Minnesota Sport Entertainment (who own the Aeros) was joining that group, too.
Then, today, SF Group announced the hiring of Tom Garrity as their President and CEO. Who is Tom Garrity? Nobody except the former two-time President of the Aeros.
No, I am not saying the Aeros are going to pack up and get moved to Sioux Falls. But all of this is not a coincidence. Tom Garrity is one of the very best on this planet at putting butts in seats and he has the resume to show that. He also has a good repoire with that group, and I am sure that helped Tom land that pretty sweet gig.
From a business standpoint, the Wild-owned Aeros would benefit tremendously from lowering their operating costs AHL hockey is for-profit hockey. The Wild have every right to get the best deal for their product. But the Aeros are in the top 10 in attendance every year, and because of IAH, they can get their prospects to just about any city in North American before Noon central.
The flight time from IAH to MSP is just 140 minutes, and 1,094 miles is not that big of a deal when you consider relationships like Worcester/San Jose.
Sioux Falls has a brand new hockey arena, seats about 12,000 and would be an attractive proximity facility for the Wild. But it is Sioux falls and long term, I think it would be a complete fail for the AHL.
Moline didn't work, Omaha didn't work, Des Moines didn't work, Abbotsford is not working, OKC is not working ... and the list goes on and on.
Right now is not the time to worry about the Aeros leaving, but the next few months will be key. If the Wild and Toyota Center don't get something worked out before Christmas, then it might be time to get a little nervous.