Another Hockey League Considers
Cincinnati - Coliseum Would Host Team Targeted
Cincinnati Post by Bill Koch
A month ago, Cincinnati
had no professional hockey franchises. Soon, it
may have two.
businessman Michael Gobuty, who is trying to
form a Global Hockey League to begin play in the
fall of 1991, said Monday that
is being considered as the site for one of eight
North American franchises in the 14- team
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
Earlier this month,
three businessmen from Knoxville, Tenn.,
announced plans to bring the minor-league
Cincinnati as a member of the East Coast Hockey
League. The Cyclones will play their games at
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.
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
Gobuty said the Global
Hockey League will have franchises in North
America and Europe and will play an
"interlocking schedule." In addition to
, 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."
hockey franchises have closed over the years.
The most recent was the Central Hockey League
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
"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."