Report: Blackhawks Buying Rockford IceHogs
According to a report out of Rockford, the Chicago Blackhawks are buying their AHL affiliate, the Rockford IceHogs. The City of Rockford currently owns the IceHogs.
The affiliation agreement between the Blackhawks and IceHogs is due to expire next year. Obviously this changes the dynamics of the agreement.
According to the report, the Blackhawks want to make “upwards of $20 million in improvements to the BMO Harris Bank Center,” the home of the IceHogs. The report indicates $16 million of that amount has already been secured from the state.
The group that operates the BMO Harris Bank Center, Rockford Area Venues and Entertainment Authority (RAVE), has been paying the Blackhawks $400,000 per year as part of Chicago’s affiliation agreement.
10 thoughts on “Report: Blackhawks Buying Rockford IceHogs”
Does anybody have an educated guess in why the Blackhawks would want to make that type of investment to the upgrades of the BMO Center plus “own” the actual Rockford team?? Does any other NHL team “own” their affiliate?? And if this helps RAVE somehow do the Hawks get part of the gate from concerts that are held there?? I’ve been to the BMO for a Hog game about 5 times in the last couple of years and yes you could say the building is a tad outdated but it still has some appeal to it unless its ready to fall apart and then you have to wonder why the Hawks are getting into this.
The hawks would join 20 other teams in owning both ahl and nhl franchises. Gives them more control over operations I’d assume. Plus another source of income for the Wirtz’s, Maybe make Rockford a hockey destination for people that can’t afford hawks tickets or are too far north for the UC. Or at the bare minimum, pump money into Rockford because lord knows they need it
@Kevin. Thanks for the response, didn’t know that most teams own both. And that’s exactly why I would drive out to Rockford, or Milwaukee or cruise over to Rosemont….Its to check out some hockey on the cheap with the Mrs. and not blow out the budget, I get to check out up and coming players, the wife doesn’t know any better(she only knows 1 player, Kane) about the talent level and its a decent night out on the town!!
I think this is a great move! Now, they have full control of the entire product in Rockford. Maybe they should change the name to the Rockford Redskins! Oh…
Sad that they wouldn’t use $20 million to keep players that they never should have traded from the Blackhawks.
Great move! As stated, most teams own their AHL franchise. This stabilizes the future of the team, and will only improve it. The Wolves, a team with a significant ownership group are one of the few left that can withstand problems. AHL teams are always fungible. This is an excellent development to make sure the Ice Hogs thrive after the pandemic (A few of the other independent franchises are not playing due to lack of income)
The IceHogs constantly filled the BMO. Lots of support in Rockford for this team.
If you read the article, the Blackhawks are on the hook for a whopping 4 million of the 20 million they desire. That’s like half of what Brent Seabrook makes for doing nothing every year. I remember everyone saying that they would go to Rockford to watch the Hawks prospects. What’s their REAL attendance, 2,000 a game?
Fantastic. Vertical integration. Commitment to Illinois. Our city, our team.
Ticket prices won’t be a bargain once Wirtz owns them. Doing renovations, who pays.
What’s really sad Pucks for Autism which was held in BMO will not be able to afford the fees. Pucks for Autism played a game at BMO and All State Arena to raise monies. They asked for donations and never got any from the Blackhawks. My daughter plays in this charity event. We enjoyed BMO center but it will not be the same. Due to pandemic no fund raisers have happened over a year, last one 2020 in Rockford.