JackieMoon

Minor League Hockey Shake-up...coming

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1 hour ago, nash61 said:

Utica has one of the smallest (if not THE smallest) arena in the AHL, but as a byproduct of that are rolling with 55 straight sellouts and counting.

 

Conversely, Albany has one of the biggest arenas among the small-northeast-market teams, something like 12,000, and their attendance is terrible. I suspect apathy toward the Devils and the Devils running a bare-bones operation that doesn't get people in the door. Maybe that's where the Rangers' affiliate belongs, not Hartford or Binghamton. You've gotta imagine most people in Albany are Rangers fans.

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16 hours ago, the admiral said:

They won't, but I can see an AHL where New York State is down to Rochester, Syracuse, and Albany, and that's it. The AHL has already retreated from the Maritimes, and now they're barely even in New England (Bridgeport is in Fairfield, it doesn't really count). The Pennsylvania teams all seem safe because the arenas are new, medium-sized, and in proximity to their parent teams, but you gotta think Utica isn't gonna last much longer with a distant parent team and a small old arena in a small poor town. Hard to feel great about the direction of this league; no one's calling for an all-New York bus league but concentrating on the hockey-fertile Northeast seems like good business for the game at all levels.

If Binghamton doesn't get another AHL team, which would honestly be crushing considering how depressed the city is, I could see Syracuse getting a solid bump in attendance. It's only an hour north from Bingo, which has had AHL hockey almost continuously since the late 70's, and seeing the crowd that shows up at B-Sens games I'm sure many of them are traveling a bit to even get to Binghamton in the first place.

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15 minutes ago, the admiral said:

 

Conversely, Albany has one of the biggest arenas among the small-northeast-market teams, something like 12,000, and their attendance is terrible. I suspect apathy toward the Devils and the Devils running a bare-bones operation that doesn't get people in the door. Maybe that's where the Rangers' affiliate belongs, not Hartford or Binghamton. You've gotta imagine most people in Albany are Rangers fans.

 

The city of Albany has 100,000 people, give or take.  The market, however, is close to 1 million: It goes north past Glens Falls, south to Catskill, west to past Amsterdam, and east to the MA, VT, and CT borders.  

 

The Times Union Center holds over 13,000 for hockey, but with upper deck curtains is reduced to around 8,000.  

 

The Capital District is strange when it comes to major league sports fandom.  By vehicle, it's within 3 hours of Boston and NYC, another hour you can hit Buffalo and Montreal.  With that said, there are probably an equal amount of Rangers, Islanders, and Bruins fans here, with the Sabres next, the Devils trailing the Canadiens.  The major sticking point of the low attendance has been the location of the arena.  Downtown Albany was NOT the most ideal place, 10 miles east across the Hudson would have been better, even 12 miles west in Schenectady as well.  

 

The parent Devils don't maintain a good presence at the arena, send terrible front office personnel up.  Also, discontinuing the River Rats identity didn't help. 

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2 hours ago, nash61 said:

Utica has one of the smallest (if not THE smallest) arena in the AHL, but as a byproduct of that are rolling with 55 straight sellouts and counting. It may not be Vancouver in there long term, but one has to think the AHL is pleased at the show of support.

 

Utica to Newark = 236 miles
Utica to NYC = 240 miles
Utica to Brooklyn = 246 miles

If a local team were the affiliate, that'd be different. I just don't see any incentive for Utica to stay. The Devils moving from Albany might make the most sense.

49 minutes ago, sohiosportsfreak said:

I see a Reno AHL team in the near future (for the Knights of Columbus, I mean Las Vegas).

Not likely, this article indicate that, as of now, Fresno, Reno and Sacramento aren't happening. It sounds likenthey'll work out a short-term partnership and look at their options.

 

http://m.reviewjournal.com/sports/nhl-vegas/bill-foley-seeks-minor-league-affiliate-las-vegas-nhl-team

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15 minutes ago, the admiral said:

 

Conversely, Albany has one of the biggest arenas among the small-northeast-market teams, something like 12,000, and their attendance is terrible. I suspect apathy toward the Devils and the Devils running a bare-bones operation that doesn't get people in the door. Maybe that's where the Rangers' affiliate belongs, not Hartford or Binghamton. You've gotta imagine most people in Albany are Rangers fans.

This is the problem in my understanding. I'm not sure how much of an NHL following there is in Albany, but many SUNY students from Westchester, NYC, & LI are Rangers fans. Of course college students aren't buying season tickets, but if they actually make an effort to appeal to that demographic their attendance could shoot up remarkably.

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5 minutes ago, scottysprings said:

This is the problem in my understanding. I'm not sure how much of an NHL following there is in Albany, but many SUNY students from Westchester, NYC, & LI are Rangers fans. Of course college students aren't buying season tickets, but if they actually make an effort to appeal to that demographic their attendance could shoot up remarkably.

 

When the Capital District Islanders played out of the Houston Fieldhouse on RPI's campus, the student tickets were dirt freaking cheap, even for rival Union College students.  The River Rats always tried to appeal to UatAlbany, Siena, and other colleges' students.  Once the Devils took over, they seem to forget about them.  

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2 hours ago, sohiosportsfreak said:

I see a Reno AHL team in the near future (for the Knights of Columbus, I mean Las Vegas).

I'm not quite sure about that. The ECHL tried for years to get an ownership group to either expand or relocate the Reno  for literally decades ever since they merged with the WHL, and was never even able to get its foot in the door in even getting an arena built.

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I'd like to see the Devils have a minor league team in Jersey again.  Atlantic City might be a good spot.  In the wake of casino closures and other financial difficulties, the city has made several efforts to become a "year-round" family destination.  I imagine a minor league hockey team would bring at least some additional traffic into the city during the otherwise quiet winter months.  Furthermore, with a minor league team in Atlantic City, the Devils could strengthen their influence in South Jersey and build on the "Jersey's Team" marketing theme.

 

The Albany Devils and Phantoms have had a few meetings at AC's Boardwalk Hall.  Maybe this was an attempt to test the market?  I recognize that this scenario is very unlikely -- it is wishful thinking on my part.

 

 

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29 minutes ago, TampaBayEverybodyLovesRays said:

I'd like to see the Devils have a minor league team in Jersey again.  Atlantic City might be a good spot.  Help the city expand on its attempt to become a year-round "family destination," while the Devils can try to widen their appeal as "Jersey's team" and build a stronger foothold in South Jersey.  The Albany Devils wouldn't even have to change their logo.

 

The Devils and Phantoms have had a few meetings at AC's Boardwalk Hall.  Maybe this was an attempt to test the market?

I don't know how old you are, but that sentence reads like it was written by someone who is under the age of 25. Vegas tried that from 1990 to ~1996 and it didn't work plus that was before internet gaming and Pennsylvania having casinos. 

 

The city is still teetering on insolvency and their fiscal woes are not worth the trouble. It's still a Ghost Town.

 

http://www.nj.com/atlantic/index.ssf/2016/09/major_announcement_about_atlantic_city_mua_coming.html

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1 hour ago, dfwabel said:

I don't know how old you are, but that sentence reads like it was written by someone who is under the age of 25. Vegas tried that from 1990 to ~1996 and it didn't work plus that was before internet gaming and Pennsylvania having casinos. 

 

The city is still teetering on insolvency and their fiscal woes are not worth the trouble. It's still a Ghost Town.

 

http://www.nj.com/atlantic/index.ssf/2016/09/major_announcement_about_atlantic_city_mua_coming.html

 

Please excuse my poor grammar.  I'm fully aware of Atlantic City's many social and economic issues.  The post was merely wishful thinking on my part.

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The Devils will NEVER become New Jersey's team. We love the Flyers too much around here. Besides having a minor league team in New Jersey cannot be anywhere in South Jersey. It's not economically feasible.

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15 hours ago, teddthebucfan said:

I'm not quite sure about that. The ECHL tried for years to get an ownership group to either expand or relocate the Reno  for literally decades ever since they merged with the WHL, and was never even able to get its foot in the door in even getting an arena built.

 

Well since those cities are out, I bet he snags up one of the ECHL teams left out West. I'm sure one of those owners would take a buy-out. You would be dumb not to, with that kind of money.

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15 hours ago, TampaBayEverybodyLovesRays said:

I'd like to see the Devils have a minor league team in Jersey again.  Atlantic City might be a good spot.  In the wake of casino closures and other financial difficulties, the city has made several efforts to become a "year-round" family destination.  I imagine a minor league hockey team would bring at least some additional traffic into the city during the otherwise quiet winter months.  Furthermore, with a minor league team in Atlantic City, the Devils could strengthen their influence in South Jersey and build on the "Jersey's Team" marketing theme.

 

The Albany Devils and Phantoms have had a few meetings at AC's Boardwalk Hall.  Maybe this was an attempt to test the market?  I recognize that this scenario is very unlikely -- it is wishful thinking on my part.

 

 

 

The occasional Devils' game in AC is all that's going to happen.  The league office and many of the franchise owners, and that does include NHL teams, prefer to have Albany in the league than AC

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4 hours ago, Needschat said:

 

The occasional Devils' game in AC is all that's going to happen.  The league office and many of the franchise owners, and that does include NHL teams, prefer to have Albany in the league than AC

I wanna see Vegas put their affiliate in Atlantic City... because, you know.

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No way the AHL relocates a team to Atlantic City. The city goes through some pretty extreme boom and bust cycles, and right now, they're in terrible shape economically. The casinos are failing under intense competition from casinos Connecticut and the Poconos, as well as racinos in and around NYC, and the city is damn close to bankruptcy.

 

The Atlantic League put a team in Atlantic City back in 1998, and they wound up failing within a decade, leading to a now vacant ballpark right in the middle of Atlantic City. No way a team would build a new arena for an AHL team, which would likely meet the same fate even quicker.

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On October 1, 2016 at 2:42 PM, Needschat said:

 

The occasional Devils' game in AC is all that's going to happen.  The league office and many of the franchise owners, and that does include NHL teams, prefer to have Albany in the league than AC

I wanna see Vegas put their affiliate in Atlantic City... because, you know.

 

From today's Toronto Star:

Quote

 The St. Louis Blues are toying with the idea of starting an AHL team in Kansas City, where the Sprint Centre remains looking for an anchor tenant.

 

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My preference would be a Blues affiliate in Peoria, but failing that, Kansas City could be good. I'd worry that people in Kansas City might get itchy about being a farm club for St. Louis, whom they see as a little too full of themselves considering they're St. Louis, a race-relations dystopia that turns your asscrack into a waterfall for four months a year. I also don't think a 17,000+ arena is right for the AHL right now, where attendance across the board seems to be smarting a bit, surely for macroeconomic reasons and not simply because the league finally started ejecting dudes for fighting. Also, KC seems quite far afield from the rest of the midwestern circuit, considering how tightly packed Milwaukee, Rockford, Rosemont, Des Moines, and Grand Rapids are, but then this is a league that has Tucson and Winnipeg in it now for some reason, so maybe mileage doesn't matter like I think it does.

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10 hours ago, the admiral said:

My preference would be a Blues affiliate in Peoria, but failing that, Kansas City could be good. I'd worry that people in Kansas City might get itchy about being a farm club for St. Louis, whom they see as a little too full of themselves considering they're St. Louis, a race-relations dystopia that turns your asscrack into a waterfall for four months a year. I also don't think a 17,000+ arena is right for the AHL right now, where attendance across the board seems to be smarting a bit, surely for macroeconomic reasons and not simply because the league finally started ejecting dudes for fighting. Also, KC seems quite far afield from the rest of the midwestern circuit, considering how tightly packed Milwaukee, Rockford, Rosemont, Des Moines, and Grand Rapids are, but then this is a league that has Tucson and Winnipeg in it now for some reason, so maybe mileage doesn't matter like I think it does.

Close off the upper deck in KC and you'll be fine.

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On 9/30/2016 at 9:38 AM, rams80 said:

 

Vancouver bought the Peoria Rivermen with the intent of moving them to Seattle....if not immediately, then in a year or two.  The Peoria Civic Center balked at limbo status, so a move needed to happen, and the NHL said no, you can't set up shop there because we might put a team there whenever that hypothetical arena that will never get built gets built, and Abbotsford grew tired of pulling a Glendale/ran out of money.  Utica was kind of an "any port in a storm" situation on the grounds that at least travel costs wouldn't be run up and they had an arena.

 

One has to wonder if Utica is a long term solution. I mean the rest of the western teams bought and moved their teams when a suitable location was found in California or Arizona. You'd have to think the Canucks will follow suit eventually with all of the potential AHL markets on the western US or Vancouver itself. And of course I'm sure they're keeping their eyes on what Las Vegas does as well with regard to an AHL team.

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18 hours ago, bosrs1 said:

 

One has to wonder if Utica is a long term solution. I mean the rest of the western teams bought and moved their teams when a suitable location was found in California or Arizona. You'd have to think the Canucks will follow suit eventually with all of the potential AHL markets on the western US or Vancouver itself. And of course I'm sure they're keeping their eyes on what Las Vegas does as well with regard to an AHL team.

I would think they'd hit up Abbotsford, before doubling down in Vancouver proper. A Canucks farm team would probably be a bigger draw than the Heat were.

 

Victoria is, easily, the more attractive option, but history has shown us that Canadian markets tend to follow their Junior teams, over the AHL. I doubt the AHL could compete with the Royals.

 

They might have a better shot at Seattle, if they can find a suitible home, or just joining the California fray.

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