Membership to vote on $1 sale to five partners offering $100,000 in support
AMHERST - The Amherst junior A Ramblers could enter a new era as an ownership group has come forward to buy the 42-year-old hockey club.
The five-member group would put up $100,000 to support the team and then buy it for $1. It's not known whether the group was made up of individuals or businesses or a combination of both, but the group is comprised of local entities who would keep the club in Amherst as part of the terms of the sale.
"I'm not saying we're going to do it, but I think if we found somebody with some backing to take over the organization and guarantee the club stays in Amherst it might be a great thing to look at," Ramblers president George Baker said after a membership meeting last night at the Amherst Fire Hall.
Sixty-eight members of the Ramblers organization attended last night's meeting and it would be those 68, plus the other 93 members who didn't attend, who would vote on whether or not to allow the team to be bought.
"It's something I brought back to the membership tonight," Baker said. "It's up to the membership to vote on it."
Baker would like to see the vote take place in the next four to six weeks. The team's bylaws state they have to give at least three weeks notice before a vote.
"I would like to have a meeting on this before the draft so that we know where we're going," Baker added. "Because if we go to the draft in June without a decision, we'll be in the same situation as any other year and have no money to buy players."
Last night's meeting was called to talk about the team's bylaws, and that's what the members discussed for a little more than an hour.
It wasn't until near the end of the meeting that Baker dropped the bombshell about an ownership group stepping forward to buy the team.
With gate receipts down over the last few years, several members at last night's meeting were pro-ownership, while others were lukewarm to the idea.
Baker said whether people want an ownership group to take over the team or not is beside the point.
"If we don't want a ownership group, we will need people to donate money and donate time so we have money in the bank come draft time," Baker said. "We need to have something in place by the draft in June.
"If we vote to keep the team owned by the community, we need some of these people who signed up as members to ask if they are here to help and work as a group or if they're here to work against the executive.
"We were voted in by the membership but we've had certain people working against this organization."