According to the team’s ownership, the Bloomington Thunder want to continue to remain in operation at the U.S. Cellular Coliseum. At the same time, club officials are also emphasizing that they have yet to make an official decision.
With attendance issues unfolding, there has been some talk that the Thunder may not return to the U.S. Cellular Coliseum for the 2017-18 USHL season. As of this date, the club’s per-game average attendance is 1,069, which ranks 15th in the 17-team league.
Zoran Rajcic, the COO for CSH International, the entity that owns the Thunder, says that the team wants to improve upon that figure over the remainder of this season. That will be a point of emphasis going forward as the team tries to stay in Bloomington, but Rajcic stressed that the Thunder have not formally committed to a plan for 2017-18. More from Pantagraph:
“We want to maintain a franchise in the USHL and we want it in Bloomington. But we’ve had little success in getting people to come out to see the product. We’re looking to see what options we have for the future.”
But Rajcic admitted the group has not made a firm decision about returning for the 2017-18 season.
“We’re not guaranteeing anything right now. We’re just trying to finish off this season on a positive note,” he said.
However, the USHL confirmed through its spokesman that all 17 current clubs have committed to play for this season and next. Those commitments were given during the league’s winter meetings last month in Sioux Falls, S.D.
“We’ve spoken to USHL and their timeline has come and gone,” said Rajcic. “Our intentions are to finish out the season as strongly as possible and get some people out there to keep the Thunder in the community.”
The Illinois-based franchise has played its games at the U.S. Cellular Coliseum since it was established for the 2014-15 season.