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The Journal Gazette

November 17, 2015 6:39 PM

On Evansville situation

Justin A. Cohn | The Journal Gazette

Citing dissatisfaction with the terms of its lease with the Ford Center, the ECHL’s Evansville IceMen are threatening to shut down if a new arrangement isn’t made with the city by Dec. 1. According to a press release from the IceMen, the team pays $650,000 for its lease, when the median in the ECHL is about $152,000. The IceMen claim the city receives $1.2 million each season in rent and concessions, while the IceMen operate at a loss.

What do I think? If those lease numbers are correct, that does seem like an awful deal.

However, owner Ron Geary stated, “When we signed our lease for the Ford Center in 2011 we had already moved 22 families to Evansville based on some good faith negotiations with the city. After we moved those families, and at the last minute, we were presented with different terms and told to sign or lose the opportunity. We signed a lease that was not in our best interest, but we have honored it. Now that lease is set to expire and we need to be treated fairly in the new lease.”

Wow, that sounds like bad business, operating on a good-faith agreement instead of something, oh, I dunno, on paper.

And there is some humor in the IceMen, of all teams, bringing up families. That organization has fired more broadcasters and coaches than I can remember.

There are good fans in Evansville, and that’s the sad part, but the IceMen are second fiddle to University of Evansville and I don’t see this ending well for a franchise that has never fielded a very good team.

On the Komets’ front, Quinn Smith, who was picked up off waivers this week, has been released. The Komets expect to sign Curtis Leonard, who had one assist in three games with Reading.

jcohn@jg.net