Another Hockey League Considers Cincinnati - Coliseum Would Host Team Targeted For 1991.
Cincinnati Post by Bill Koch
A month ago, Cincinnati had no professional hockey franchises. Soon, it may have two.

Canadian businessman Michael Gobuty, who is trying to form a Global Hockey League to begin play in the fall of 1991, said Monday that
Cincinnati is being considered as the site for one of eight North American franchises in the 14- team league.

"It's under negotiation," said Gobuty, who calls himself the chairman and founder of the league. "Nothing has been finalized, but the Global Hockey League has had discussions with the people at Riverfront Coliseum."

Earlier this month, three businessmen from Knoxville, Tenn., announced plans to bring the minor-league
Cyclones to Cincinnati as a member of the East Coast Hockey League. The Cyclones will play their games at the Cincinnati Gardens beginning this fall.

Gobuty, former owner of the NHL Winnipeg Jets, said the Global Hockey League franchise would have local ownership, but he would not identify the prospective owners.

Coliseum general manager John Nath confirmed that discussions with Gobuty were held last spring.

"We have had some preliminary discussion and contacts, as we do with a lot of sports leagues," Nath said. "We talk to every prospect that's out there. We'd love to have a major tenant. But we haven't talked contract terms with any potential owners."

Nath said the Coliseum would not be involved in ownership of the proposed franchise.

Gobuty said the Global Hockey League will have franchises in North America and Europe and will play an "interlocking schedule." In addition to Cincinnati , Gobuty said he has discussions about placing franchises in Miami; Birmingham, Ala.; Los Angeles; Cleveland; Geneva, Switzerland; Milan, Italy; Prague, Czechoslovakia; Lyon, France; Barcelona, Spain and Birmingham, England.

He said he hopes to start play with six European cities and eight North American cities.

A franchise would cost $400,000. Each team would operate under a $2.2- million salary cap.

Gobuty said the league would compete with the NHL for players, but not for established stars. The Global Hockey League's emphasis, he said, would be on landing top junior players.

"The beauty of our league is that we're going to play international hockey rules," Gobuty said. "We're going to cut the violence down. The kids will make a good living and see the world."

Cincinnati professional hockey franchises have closed over the years. The most recent was the Central Hockey League Cincinnati Tigers, who played here in 1981-82.

Gobuty remembers the Cincinnati Stingers, who competed in the now-defunct World Hockey Association from 1975-78. The Winnipeg Jets started in that same league.

Cincinnati has a great facility," Gobuty said. "It's time hockey came back to Cincinnati . The Stingers were a very, very strong franchise initially. They have one of the best buildings in North America. I think we can fill it when teams come in from Geneva and Birmingham, England, and places like that."

Nath wouldn't speculate on the chances of a Global Hockey League franchise appearing in the Coliseum, but he said he likes the concept.

"I know this global strategy is being applied not only to hockey," Nath said. "Basketball is looking at it. Football is looking at it. It's still kind of new, but we are looking at a global market for goods and services."
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