Peter Karmanos has issued the challenge: Show up to games or the Plymouth Whalers are moving.

Karmanos made the declaration Friday after announcing new personnel appointments for the Whalers and Compuware Arena, where the Whalers play.

The Whalers are preparing to play their 25th season in the Ontario Hockey League. They missed the playoffs in their first season but have made the postseason every year since.

Yet, despite the success on the ice and the steady amount of young players who have gone on to become NHL stars (Tyler Seguin, James Neal, David Legwand, Stephen Weiss, James Wisniewski and Gregory Campbell, among others) hockey fans have yet to consistently flock to Compuware Arena.

"It's not anything we didn't expect," said Karmanos, noting Detroit is a major professional sports town, with a highly popular NHL team just down the road. "The players want to play in a building that's full. When you put a quality team on the ice and you win every year and you're in the playoffs 23 straight years, sooner or later people have to start coming.

"(But) sooner or later, we have to do something."

The Whalers were 28-33-7 last season (63 points) and ranked 19th of 20 teams in the OHL with average attendance of 2,478 (64.3 percent capacity), totaling 84,265 fans in 34 games.

"I'd much rather prefer having more people in the building (than moving)," Karamanos said.

Speculation has centered around two possible destinations — Flint and Hamilton, Ontario — as possible landing spots.

Other Ontario markets could also evolve.

As for the personnel moves Friday, Karmanos announced Mike Vellucci will remain governor of the Plymouth Whalers after recently being promoted to assistant general manager/director of hockey operations for the Carolina Hurricanes (which Karmanos also owns), while Mark Craig was named GM of the Whalers, Joe Stefan assistant GM, and Don Elland is the new head coach.