The City Council unanimously passed a resolution last night that pledges $150,000 to Skipjacks owner Tom Ebright to keep professional hockey in Baltimore next season.
The pledge is expected to be matched by Baltimore's corporate community and would help negate financial losses Ebright has had operating the Skipjacks.
The resolution was written by city councilman Joseph J. DiBlasi, chairman of the Professional and Municipal Sports Committee.
Ebright has indicated his plans are to relocate his American Hockey League franchise to Portland, Maine, and replace it with an East Coast Hockey League team. The City Council's pledge would apply to either team.
DiBlasi said he hopes that with yesterday's vote and a prompt response from the business community, Ebright might keep the AHL franchise here.
"When the business community sees what we've done, maybe they'll react and he would keep the [AHL] team here," DiBlasi said.
DiBlasi said he had talked with Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke and Schmoke "indicated he had talked to some business people. We'd like the mayor to use this to go to the Greater Baltimore Committee to put more focus on retention of the hockey team. If Mr. Ebright moves one franchise and brings in another, we'd still like to see professional hockey continue in Baltimore."