Q.C. Mallards Get Ownership Boost - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Q.C. Mallards Get Ownership Boost

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A big announcement was made Wednesday by the Quad City Mallards. The minor-league hockey team introduced Jordan Melville as the head of the current ownership group that is keeping control of the local franchise.

The same people who were running the Mallards last season are still in charge, but the team is no longer owned by the Central Hockey League.

Melville's group is part of a company based out of Vancouver that owns a chain of Boston Pizza restaurants. The company says it wants to focus primarily on the long-term success of the Mallards.

"We wanted to do what was right for the team and what was honestly a great business venture for myself was to continue on as the ownership," Melville said. "I know this is not something that's been happening a lot lately, but you look back into the history of the team, when it was very successful, when it sold out that building on every night. What did it have in common? It had a good strong ownership that supported the team on an ongoing basis and we're going to go back to that model of running this business."

The past few seasons, the Central Hockey League has featured a revolving door of franchises. But, this past season, there were multiple home games that saw the Mallards draw more than 7,000 fans, including the biggest home crowd in ten years at a game in January. Melville says he hopes to see more than 9,300.

"What that showed to us is that there is the market here, if you just let people know and give them the incentive to go to the game they'll return to that arena and fill it. So, that helped a lot in making our decision of whether to maintain ownership or find someone else to take it on."

Another good sign for the Mallards' staying power is that the club drew interest from other potential owners.

"We had a number of groups come to us - especially at the end of the season last year and shortly after the playoffs - that wanted to look at buying the team. And we said 'no, we're not interested in selling,'" Melville added.

"It gives us some credibility. It will certainly help us in the corporate community I believe and it will help us when we try to sign players," said Mallards President, Bob McNamara.

Newly re-signed captain, Darren McMillan says its a relief to know the ducks are no longer skating on thin ice like they have the last few seasons.

"It was just a rough go. Every year, a new owner. If there's going to be a team, late starts. Now that this is solid, the fans will keep coming out and it should help. The owners are confident. I think that's why they stepped up and took over the team because they saw the potential there," McMillan said.

Fans like Mike Teel seem encouraged by the news, but still are cautiously optimistic.

"I hope it goes well for me, for the team, and for the rest of the fans. We've had so many broken promises the last five years, so, I really hope everything goes well."