SBD/September 21, 2010/Franchises

Baldwin Taking Over AHL Team, Renaming It Connecticut Whale

Former Hartford Whalers Owner Howard Baldwin yesterday announced that his sports marketing company "will take over business operations" of the Hartford Wolf Pack and rename the AHL team the Connecticut Whale, according to Paul Doyle of the HARTFORD COURANT. AEG will continue to operate XL Center. MSG "remains the owner of the franchise and the Rangers will still supply the players." Baldwin promised that his newly named Hartford Hockey LLC will "market and promote the team with a goal of increasing sagging attendance in the building." The Wolf Pack averaged just 4,188 fans last season, down from 5,045 four years earlier. Baldwin has said that "the market must be 'rebuilt' before the NHL will consider a return to Hartford," which means "increasing and sustaining the attendance at the AHL game." Baldwin has a "long-term goal of luring the NHL back" to Hartford, and he has "relocated to the area to ratchet up his chase." Doyle notes yesterday's announcement is a "signal that the franchise will have a higher visibility in the market." Baldwin insisted that he was "not legally blocked from using 'Whalers,' but instead decided to simply pay homage to the old franchise while declaring the start of a new era." It is unclear whether the "copyright of the name and logo are owned by the NHL or the Connecticut Development Authority, but Baldwin says he could have used the name if he wanted it." Also, by using Connecticut instead of Hartford in the name, Baldwin is saying that he "will market throughout the state" (HARTFORD COURANT, 9/21).
Return to top

Related Topics:

Franchises, AHL

Video Powered By - Castfire CMS Powered By - Sitecore

Report a Bug