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Owner says Komets out of Fort Wayne

FORT WAYNE, Ind. -- The owner of the Fort Wayne Komets of the International Hockey League has confirmed that he plans on moving the team out of the city.

David Welker also said he is working on a plan to put another hockey team in Fort Wayne.

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'I'm not coming back (to Fort Wayne),' Welker told the Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette. 'I've tried and tried to keep the team here, but under the present situation, I can't afford to stay in Fort Wayne.'

Team and league officials were not available for comment Tuesday. Welker's plans still have to be approved by the league's board of directors, who meet Thursday and Friday in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Welker said he has a verbal agreement to move the team to Albany, N.Y., under a three-year contract to play at a 15,000-seat arena.

The team owner also said he has been working with 'a prominent Fort Wayne family' to secure a hockey team for the city.

The Komets have been a losing proposition for Welker since he rescued the franchise out of U.S. bankruptcy court in 1987.

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