Updating the Oklahoma City AHL franchise situation

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Some additional details have emerged on the new AHL franchise in Oklahoma City.  Prodigal Hockey, LLC owner Bob Funk, Jr. recently told the AP

"We’re close. We have some things to finalize, and there are some approval processes that need to be gone through, but I think we’re really close to getting something done."

The AHL Board of Directors will meet during the AHL all-star break, January 18th and 19th, and it's expected that the "approval processes" that Funk spoke of will be at the top of the agenda.  Expect an announcement in the coming days.

OKC Slackers was the first to mention the marketing surveys by an Edmonton-based company that are being conducted this week, beginning with ex Oklahoma City Blazers season ticket holders, but branching to others in the Oklahoma City community.  Some additional details about the survey:

Banister Research & Consulting Inc. is conducting the surveys as "independent market surveys".  The scripted questions revolved around the level of interest in hockey including questions about how many games the respondent will would attend during a season should an AHL team play in Oklahoma City and how interested the respondent is in professional hockey returning to Oklahoma City. One of the questions asked was if the respondent or any family member has played organized hockey in the last two years.  Banister is also inquiring about a Founder's Club.  If a Founder's Club was established, would the respondent purchase a three year season ticket package.  Included in the package is premium parking for all three season, the respondent's choice of premium seats, team merchandise, and a plaque designating the respondent as a Founder's Club member.

Finally, they've inquired about team names.  The OKC Slackers board was strongly against "Oilers" as the Tulsa Oilers were the Blazers biggest rival.  Early respondents were asked about the "Oil Cats" as well.  The choices have changed a bit, as the Banister employee asked about:  the Oklahoma City Rail Kings, the Oklahoma City Blazers and the Oklahoma City Oilers.

If you're a betting man, place your money on an Oil-based name for the new franchise, specifically the Oilers, Oil Kings or Oil Barons.  The reason for my confidence?  A whois search turns up the following domains as privately registered to a P.O. box in Oklahoma:

http://www.okcoilers.com
http://www.okcoilkings.com
http://www.okcoilbarons.com

Also registered to that same P.O. Box?  http://www.prodigalhockey.com

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