Tri-City staying put

RANDY SPORTAK -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:44 AM ET

The Tri-City Americans aren't heading north of the border after all.

The WHL club, based in Kennewick, Wash., had its bid to move to Chilliwack, B.C., blocked by the league's board of governors during a nearly five-hour meeting yesterday in Calgary.

Commissioner Ron Robison said the vote came down to the rest of the league's owners believing the team could still make it work in Washington State.

"When you look at the league currently, everyone is pretty pleased with the overall alignment, including the new U.S. Division that we've created," Robison said. "I think the Tri-City market obviously is viewed by the clubs in that division, as well as the league overall, of playing an integral role."

The Americans, whose ownership group is headed by Vancouver businessman Darryl Porter and includes ex-Vancouver Canucks GM Brian Burke and New York Rangers GM Glen Sather, petitioned to leave after 17 seasons.

To move, they needed a two-thirds majority vote but, according to one source, it was only 11-9 in favour of allowing the move.

A move would certainly have thrown a wrench into the existing alignment of the league, which currently has four, five-team divisions, including a U.S. group that aslo includes Spokane, Seattle, Portland and Everett.


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