After losing out on a prospective investor, Godfrey Wood says he is continuing to seek partners in an initiative to bring an ECHL team to Portland, ME.
Since the departure of the AHL’s Portland Pirates, Wood–a former Pirates executive–has been trying to form a group that will lure an ECHL franchise to Cross Insurance Arena. Earlier this summer it appeared that Wood had found a willing partner who would bring significant clout to the group. That commitment would have, in turn, given Portland more options when it came to pursuing either an expansion of existing franchise.
Recently it was revealed that the prospective investor passed on the proposal. That left Wood without an investment that had been hoped for, and a narrower time frame for securing an expansion team. The ECHL is set to finalize expansion teams for 2017-18 in September, and competing markets have already submitted their bids.
Wood says that he has not given up, and that a franchise could still be in Portland by next season. However, it might be more likely at this point that the group pursues a relocating franchise. More from The Forecaster:
Wood said the group that includes [Brad] Church – who is a former Pirates player, executive and member of the team’s hall of fame – is looking for investors to put up $1.75 million.
“We have a number of people who have expressed interest in being a minority investor,” he said, but how many will invest for how much cannot be determined until a majority investor steps up.
The estimate for bringing a team to Portland is based on an expansion team that starts from scratch, and would allow any team to begin operations in January 2017, Wood said.
But by luring an existing franchise to Portland, Wood said, “payment terms may be better and a schedule for getting a team better.”
He went on to add that the Pirates’ name may used for the franchise.
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