The Las Vegas Wranglers are in flux, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal:
[Head coach Ryan] Mougenel has little choice but to hope his current players contribute more because his paltry payroll prevents him from making significant moves.
“We have the lowest payroll in the ECHL,” he said.
ECHL teams are allowed a weekly salary cap of $11,800, not including players on injured reserve. Mougenel said he’s “operating nowhere near $11,800.”
“It’s tough,” he said. “Alaska has five or six guys on IR and their cap is like $16,000. Ours is $10,300 with IR.”
A higher payroll doesn’t seem likely because team ownership is in flux. The franchise is in the process of being sold, Mougenel said.
Charles Davenport, the team’s principal owner since its inception in Las Vegas in 2003, recently sold his share to co-owner Jonathan Fleisig, who also owns the Bakersfield (Calif.) Condors.
With attendance at the Orleans Arena down more than 20 percent from four years ago — from 5,075 to 3,945 per game — and corporate sponsorships also down during the recession, Fleisig appears intent on keeping his expenses in Las Vegas as low as possible.
The local hockey team is only one of many local institutions to suffer during the recession in a city built on tourism. In fact, it might be among the smallest. Check out this article in the L.A. Times from September for some perspective.