OHL Whalers Sold To Flint
The announcement comes after months of speculation sparked by Plymouth Whalers owner Peter Karmanos’ statement that he hoped Chatham, Ontario would be the new home of his team.
That hope however, wouldn’t come to fruition, in part because of Chatham’s lack of an OHL size arena, in part because Plymouth has an ownership group in place, and also, as many have stated, because of the OHL’s desire to maintain their presence in the USA.
Flint’s Perani Arena, which currently seats just over 4,000 fans, is scheduled to be revamped and fully renovated by IMS Group Inc, who bought the aging arena last year. The renovation, which is privately funded, will meet all OHL standards.
IMS Group Inc. followed up the acquisition of Perani by announcing today as part of the Whalers’ press conference, that they had also purchased the Whalers from Peter Karmanos.
Although the move is still pending OHL approval, that hurdle is expected to be hopped soon, as the OHL will vote on the sale of the team, and pending move February 2.
Chatham on the contrary, was touting Memorial Arena, which seats less than 3,000 fans, as a temporary home, until the Municipality of Chatham-Kent could construct a new arena. No fixed plans for an arena however, are in place.
The relocation of the Plymouth Whalers organization was hastened due to the fact that Compuware Arena in Plymouth, in partnership with Peter Karmanos, is slated to become the new home of USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program.