"Let's keep hockey in the Quad Cities." That's the slogan at the TaxSlayer Center in Moline - on Friday it began selling season tickets for next year even though the Quad City Mallards will officially cease operations this weekend.
The center's Executive Director Scott Mullen is asking people to make a 25 dollar deposit as a way of showing prospective team owners that local fans want some sort of hockey in the Quad Cities.
"It's really just an exercise to start gathering interest to show that there is interest in hockey here. And that if they put money down, it shows they're serious - that they actually would buy a season ticket. And that goes a long way when you're trying to decide whether to come to a market and own a team."
And it's an idea that worked about ten years ago when the Quad City Flames announced the team would be leaving the Quad Cities - Mullen says at that time 700 people signed up for season tickets.
He's talking now with several groups that are interested in owning a team.
"So we're trying to get their financial information, show them what the leagues would look like , and try to make sure they understand what it takes to run a team in this market, what the environment is like, and what they can expect in income and corporate sales and that type of thing."
Mullen hopes to have an answer within 2 to 3 weeks - either that we will have a team of some kind next season, or not.
He emphasizes the 25 dollar deposit is fully refundable - if there is no team or if the person decides not to buy tickets.