The Quad City Mallards and Club 9 Sports- the Mallards’ ownership group- have entered into a 10-year license agreement with the Central Hockey League, making the Mallards a CHL member for the next decade, the Mallards announced today in conjunction with the CHL.
“We are delighted to have entered into this long-term agreement with the CHL. After years of uncertainty about league affiliation, it is nice for our fans to know we have a long-term home in a well-managed league,” said John Prutch, managing partner of Prometheus Capital Partners, parent company of Club 9 Sports. “We appreciate the support of the i wireless Center, the Quad Cities community and especially the season ticket holders and corporate sponsors who have remained committed to seeing the Mallards survive and revitalize.”
The Mallards are closing in on the finish of their second CHL season, competing in the league under the terms of a joint agreement between the CHL and the International Hockey League that was put in place in the summer of 2010 for the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons. The Mallards and three other clubs- the Dayton Gems, Fort Wayne Komets and the Evansville IceMen- are currently operating in the CHL under that agreement.
“This is truly exciting news for our fans. We’re happy to be committed to the CHL,” said Mallards executive vice president Ryan Simmons. “It’s another exciting development for us as an organization after the successes we’ve seen on and off the ice this season- attendance has increased by 14 percent and last weekend we reached 3.5 million in all-time attendance for Mallards hockey. On top of that, of course, is the success the team has enjoyed on the ice this season.”
The Mallards already this season have won more games (35) and totaled more standings points (72) than they have in any season since 2006-07. The Mallards have used an aggressive, attacking style of play to become the second highest scoring team in the league. The team’s high-powered offense has been keyed by Brandon Marino, a finalist for the CHL Most Valuable Player award and a member of the All-CHL Team. Marino scored in the Mallards’ game last night in Dayton to become the first player in the league this season- and the first Mallard since 2006-07- to reach 40 goals. In addition to leading the league in goals, Marino also ranks second in points (87) and has recorded more points this year than any Mallard has since 2004-05.
“This is a very good day for the Mallards organization, the team’s fans and the CHL,” said CHL commissioner Duane Lewis. “The steps taken to reinvigorate the market in the Quad Cities by Club 9 Sports have brought back the excitement of years past for the Mallards and their following. We are excited for the future of the team and their place within the CHL.”
The CHL is nearing the conclusion of its twentieth anniversary season. The league’s regular season ends next Sunday, March 25, with the Ray Miron Presidents’ Cup playoffs to follow beginning next week. Before transitioning to the CHL in 2010, the Mallards competed in the United Hockey League from 1995 through 2007 and in the IHL in 2009-10.
The Mallards play their final regular season game Saturday night at 7:05 p.m. against the Bloomington Blaze at the i wireless Center. The first 1,000 fans through the doors for Saturday’s regular season finale will receive free 2011-12 Mallards player card sets. An auction of game-worn Mallards jerseys will immediately follow Saturday evening’s game.
Fans can contact the Mallards at (309) 277-1364 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about tickets for Saturday night’s game.
Tickets are also available at the i wireless Center box office, at Ticketmaster outlets, through www.ticketmaster.com or through Ticketmaster charge-by-phone toll free. The box office is open weekdays from 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and on game days from 10:00 a.m. until the start of the second period. Individual game tickets are available for $13 in the upper level and $18 in the lower level and $25 for the first row along the glass for adults. Tickets for kids 12 and under are available for $5 off adult rates. In addition, tickets are available to military personnel for $2 off the regular adult rate.