(WINDSOR, ON) – After much speculating, including the notion that Chatham soon would have an OHL franchise, Detroit businessman Peter Karmanos today announced that the Plymouth Whalers has been sold and the team will relocate to Flint.
The owners of Flint’s Perani Arena and Event Centre are the buyers, but the terms of the deal have not been made public. As well, the sale and pending move still have to be approved by the OHL, which is expected on February 2.
The reason for the sale and move is down to lack of attendance at Plymouth’s games. During the summer, Karmanos hinted that a move could be in store if attendance didn’t pick up. The 46 year-old Perani Centre seats 4,421 while the Whalers’ current arena holds up to 3,504 hockey fans. It is currently the home of the Michigan Warriors of the North American Hockey League.
Karmanos indicated that the move to Flint makes sense considering the location of the Saginaw-based Spirit and the Sarnia Sting. The move announcement has been expected since November 2014 when there was an apparent agreement to sell Compuware Arena to the USA Hockey Federation. That deal could still be finalized.
If the move is approved by league officials, the Whalers are expected to start play in Flint starting in the 2015-16 season.