Oklahoma City Barons Season Seat Holder Message

From the season seat holder email sent this afternoon from the Prodigal offices:

Barons season seat holder:

Your support of the Oklahoma City Barons from the team’s humble beginnings in 2010 has been unmatched. Night in and night out, you’ve witnessed many of the best hockey athletes in the world play in our city. Our coaching staff has produced teams that have qualified for the playoffs in each season, twice reaching the Conference Finals. Nearly 40 players and staff members have graduated from Oklahoma City to realize their dream of playing or working for an NHL team.

The success of the franchise from a business perspective however has not been what I anticipated. After extensive negotiation with Edmonton and careful deliberation, we are announcing the 2014-15 season will be the final for the Barons in Oklahoma City. The current economic model presented by the Oilers to operate the franchise does not allow for sustained, long-term success from a business perspective.

Although this is the last season for the Barons in Oklahoma City, that doesn’t mean that the current season is over. The Prodigal staff will support the Oilers players and coaching staff in their quest for a Calder Cup championship.

Thank you to each of you for your support during five great seasons in Oklahoma City.

18 comments on “Oklahoma City Barons Season Seat Holder Message”

  1. LaForge was on Oilers Now and said this announcement came out of the blue, conflicting reports if there was extensive negotiation with Edmonton. If I didn’t know better, I would say Prodigal is trying to place some of the blame on the Oilers.

  2. Trust me, I feel your pain.

    At least they were up front with you. The Wild were never up front with us. The Wild made the announcement of the move in Des Moines where they also showed the new sweaters before they ever, officially, told us.

    I’m also worried for San Antonio, with all the talk of the Panthers moving to Quebec City.

    1. Hockeyless…we now feel your pain. But you’re right, at least they gave an explanation prior to the seasons end. I too worry about the Rampage. But it looks like Texas is safe for a long while.

  3. Yes, just terrible – all the players LOVE OKC……but it is business. No word if they went to the City to “try” to get anything off on the lease of the incomparable Myriad — still a GREAT BARN to this day!
    Tulsa is averaging over 5,000 per hockey game and Wichita also both now in the ECHL….Maybe Edmonton will find a partner in Tulsa town and the ECHL team can move to OKC!
    It is clear with the approx 1.5 mil or so in greater OKC metro with:
    Thunder a top NBA team and selling out every game PLUS everyone watching on tV
    More and more “casinos” everywhere in every direction from downtown
    OU and OSU football doing — well – they have always been a factor but that is already factored in…..
    We just seem to can’t draw over 4,000 unless the NBA team would be a cellar dweller or marginal BUT we will never know because the OKC Thunder have been “up” for all the last 5 years…..
    One thing is certain – Oklahoma fans are historically fair weather win fans….just ask OU and OSU football and basketball…..if the fortunes of Thunder ever go south — which we never wish on anyone….more fans would most likely come out ot the Myriad for hockey.
    It is just too bad – such great AAA talent —

  4. Neal, the wound is still fresh, but can you do a report about the possibility of an ECHL franchise in Oklahoma City? With so many former CHL teams within “close” proximity to OKC now playing in the ECHL, seems like it would be a good fit.

    1. This will be coming soon, but you’d have to think that if a local owner wants to give ECHL a go (Prodigal or otherwise) they would seriously have to consider the dollars and cents of it all. Allen, Tulsa, Wichita, Missouri, OKC would indeed be a pretty solid ECHL “South”. Something worth exploring, again if the dollars and cents add up.

      1. And, potentially San Antonio if the Quebec City Panthers pull the plug on the affiliation agreement. The Rampage are owned by the Spurs/arena, so it may just be a case of switching leagues and level.

        As for Houston, we still have our recalcitrant, hockey-hating NBA owner who controls what goes on inside the Toyota Center. Either he needs to sell or someone needs to build a barn outside of Harris County (due to a non-compete clause in the legislation that made the Toyota Center a reality). Most likely that would be Sugar Land, which already has AA baseball, but I see the chances of either to be slim in the near future.

  5. I am writing up some thoughts on the ECHL possibilities. I have been covering the local ECHL teams this season and from their standpoint they would LOVE to see ECHL hockey in OKC.

  6. An interesting find…maybe I spoke too quickly.


    Observations from a beat reporter following the Texas Stars

    AHL could return to Houston in not-too-distant future

    December 18, 2014 · by Sean Shapiro · in AHL, NHL · Leave a comment

    The Houston Aeros left the Toyota Center after 2012-13 season, but minor league hockey could be returning to Houston sometime in the not-too-distant future.

    “There is some chatter about creating this building (the Cedar Park Center) and with its success in a suburban community in Houston,” Dallas president and CEO Jim Lites said. “And that would be great … we think that Houston would be just as vibrant and they’d have a franchise and a building that would fit the American Hockey League.

    “I think teams would flock there,” Lites continued. “I’ve talked to my counterparts in Calgary and Edmonton. They would love to have a franchise in Houston.”

    The statement comes at an interesting time for the Oilers, who will not be renewing their AHL affiliation with the Oklahoma City Barons.

    Lites said Dallas wouldn’t be involved in the official building process for a potential AHL team in Houston. But they would “open their books and numbers” and help any potential owner look at the positives of finding the right suburban community.

    A Houston franchise would be great news for the Stars and the San Antonio Rampage, who would be able to re-create the Texas AHL triangle and save a significant amount of money on travel costs.

    Lites also believes Houston would be a better market than some of the California markets that have been mentioned in the AHL proposed “Pacific Division.”

    “I’m not wild about the cities I’ve heard being involved in the California expansion,” Lites said. “Some of those cities are kind of rough and not great. But that’s up to them … but I understand what they want to do.”

    “You can save a day’s worth salary on a $3 million guy and it really matters,” Lites said. “That’s the kind of thing that’s important to the LA Kings, Anaheim Mighty Ducks, the San Jose Sharks. Just like it is to us. We’re able to bounce Jamie Oleksiak back down and he can play a couple games on a weekend and then back to Dallas later in the week. That’s the type of thing that literally saves you over a million dollars a year in payroll.”

  7. Why isn’t OKC making more of an effort to keep the Barons but most importantly — AHL /AAA hockey for a growing vibrant town????????????

    The OKC Barons / AAA hockey is an important part of any growing city the size of OKC. I think of a short sided investor who invests in only one stock (specific stock risk). Enthrawled by the current returns but setting one up for HUGE risk in the market when the stock tumbles or goes lower — which team do too!

    When OKC Thunder is up — IT IS IMPORTANT to have the other AAA hockey venue here and viable in town for conventions and visitiors to “do something” — to have both AAA hockey and AAA baseball!

    When the OKC thunder is down — you will see attendance pick up at all venues because like it or not — Oklahoma fans tend to flock toward winning teams (you can only look at OU , OSU, football and basketball season ticket and gates over the last 40 years).

    Bottom line – A RISING TIDE RAISES ALL SHIPS… OKC – “the 70’s song which opened the myriad was “Growing with Pride” —

    It is time the City of OKC and Citizens of OKC get out and do all they can to support and keep AAA ice hockey in OKC!

    If OKC “believes” they are the “city which we think we are” — we DO NOT LET A MEMBER OF OUR FAMILY go off the deep end — we rally behind it and support it.

    If you look at the landscape – TOO MANY POSITIVE facts point to OKC to have a team…..

    OKC City Council and City Manager and SMG need to roll up their sleeves and do all they can to “HELP” keep the AAA hockey team here…. Should we not make some concessions?????? Have we not before for other economic and entertainment interests?

    Read this recent release about the pride of Austin and the Texas Stars — they are investing and looking LONG TERM!!!! Where is the long term – DIVERSIFIED thinking for OKC!

    Citizens of OKC – wake up and get out and come to AAA hockey. Tell your friends, tell your neighbors, tell your business associates.


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