Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Thrashers Might Well Be Moved, Sez Spirit Goblin Michael Gearon

The AJC:

Atlanta Spirit co-owner Michael Gearon said there is now a “sense of urgency” to find additional investors or a buyer willing to keep the Thrashers in Atlanta. If the ownership group does not get additional financial help in the near future the franchise could be sold and moved to another city.

Shit, son.

“If we are faced with that as the only alternative, that’s what’s going to happen,” Gearon told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in an exclusive interview Tuesday. “I don’t think there is an ability to stomach another $20 million in losses. We just can’t do it.

“The reality is we need fans showing up and we need investors, or a primary investor.”

Yes, because it really is somehow our fault, isn't it?

Folks, it might be time to accept that we're getting near the end of the line. One can't help but wonder if Dustin Byfuglien's big contract yesterday has something to do with this, i.e. that it's a very real possibility the team will be moved, and that this makes playing for the Thrashers more attractive, etc. It's also a way of sprucing up the team for a potential sale.

There have been good-intentioned calls for Arthur Blank to buy the team, but your editor has a hard time imagining that will happen. But there are many, many extremely rich people in Atlanta, and surely there's someone who's willing to add a money-losing hockey team to their list of responsibilities in a depressed/depressing economy.

No? Then saving the team will require some serious public-spiritedness/civic solidarity. Demonstrations with goofy signs, letter-writing campaigns, raising money, asking the city gubmint to intervene, public ownership a la the Green Bay Packers, etc.

But Green Bay is a small town, and Atlanta is a big city not really known for such stuff. Desperate times.


Big Shooter said...

I'm glad they finally came out and said something, although not in the best form (typical).

Bottom line is this is a disaster for ticket sales. When it's a very real possibility that a team will move, most fans will not put any more money down on the team until things are figured out. I know ASG's intention is to rally the fans to save this sad panda face of a franchise, but the reality is not many (myself included) will fork over another year for season tickets, just to watch a team finish 10th again and have them move the next year.

Amazing things have come to this.

Mr. Speaker said...

Why buy more ST when you can buy from scalpers to see hockey played the last 41 times in Atlanta next season??

Sad panda indeed. Hope Big Buff's checks don't bounce next year! Then you'll have one very big and angry panda on your hands!

Jay said...

I would think it would be better to show up. Show prospective owners that there is a reason to purchase the Thrashers. That there is a fan base, that this could be a good investment. I would think that by selling the place out it would show commitment from the fans. This is no longer about the Atlanta Spirit Group. This is about saving our team. People stopped showing up because they were fed up with ownership. Well this ownership has come out and said they want to sell the team. By us showing up, it makes them selling it much easier. I do not want to see some damn dinky Canadian market end up with my team when I KNOW that it could have worked in Atlanta.

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