Yet another owner will come into downtown Moline and try to make a go of the Quad City Mallards, but this outfit — owner Eric Karls and CEO Bill Davidson — has the pedigree to make it work.
Tape2Tape Sports and Entertainment LLC is buying the Mallards franchise from QCHT, LLC, who owned the IHL franchise for a little more than a year, moving to the Quad Cities after the Calgary Flames pulled out its AHL affiliate and moved it to Abbotsford.
The Mallards will be owned by Karls, a Canadian clothier, and led by Davidson, who has wide experience in minor-league sports as CEO of the ECHL’s Stockton Thunder and Gwinnett Gladiators, as well as baseball’s Harrisburg Senators (Class AA; Eastern League). He’s also CEO of National Sports Services.
“In my search to acquire a hockey team, I reviewed a number of leagues all across the United States and Canada,” Karls said in a statement. “I felt the Mallards had some significant potential to grow their attendance, particularly as they move into the Central Hockey League.”
Hockey used to reign in the Quad Cities, but that was many years ago, and since then the Quad Cities River Bandits have risen to the top of the local sports heap.
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