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RowdyFan42

The future of professional hockey in Glens Falls

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I really hope that you guys can attract a team to replace the Phantoms once they head south to Lehigh Valley. Glens Falls has always been a great hockey town and they prove along with Utica and Binghamton that the AHL can be successful in smaller cities with inherent lower costs.

I never believed that Utica would ever see the AHL again but they put together a great plan that was successful in bringing pro hockey back to the Mohawk Valley that Glens Falls should emulate.

First you need a local investor group to run the business side of the team. In Utica that is Rob Esche and Frank DuRoss. They put together the business plan and worked with the state to secure the funding needed to upgrade the Aud to AHL standards. The upgrades will occur over a two year period with suites, new restrooms and a restaurant being added for next season. Esche and DuRoss also formed a separate corporation that took over the management of the Aud so they profit from other events at the Aud which is the business model that can make the AHL financially viable in an arena which currently only seats 3815.

Glens Falls needs a similar private group to drive this type of structure.

Most NHL teams only care about controlling the hockey side of the AHL farm team. They don't want to worry about selling season ticket, corporate sponsorships, game day promotions..... They just want to make sure their prospects are being developed properly and outsource all of that other stuff to a local group who pays them an affiliation fee.

Edited by UticaHockey

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I was talking to one of the Utica coaches recently and he was telling me about the upgrades to the auditorium. Being from Utica originally, and growing up with hockey there (all the way back to the Clinton Comets), it was a good story to hear.  Hopefully, hockey has come back to Utica for a long time to come.

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I was talking to one of the Utica coaches recently and he was telling me about the upgrades to the auditorium. Being from Utica originally, and growing up with hockey there (all the way back to the Clinton Comets), it was a good story to hear.  Hopefully, hockey has come back to Utica for a long time to come.

I too hope they stay in Utica for a long time.  I was just there Saturday night seeing them play Hamilton, and I have to say the arena there is one of my favorites!  From the outside, the entrance looked like an entrance to an old elementary school (at least from the pictures on Google Maps).  But the inside, however, was a lot nicer than I expected!  The place was pretty packed too!  The fans must be really happy to have the AHL back after two whole decades!

 

I have a few pics that I took inside the arena just minutes after I went in.

 

post-6-0-35253500-1388434054_thumb.jpgpost-6-0-48243600-1388434088_thumb.jpgpost-6-0-91962300-1388433741_thumb.jpg

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I was talking to one of the Utica coaches recently and he was telling me about the upgrades to the auditorium. Being from Utica originally, and growing up with hockey there (all the way back to the Clinton Comets), it was a good story to hear.  Hopefully, hockey has come back to Utica for a long time to come.

I too hope they stay in Utica for a long time.  I was just there Saturday night seeing them play Hamilton, and I have to say the arena there is one of my favorites!  From the outside, the entrance looked like an entrance to an old elementary school (at least from the pictures on Google Maps).  But the inside, however, was a lot nicer than I expected!  The place was pretty packed too!  The fans must be really happy to have the AHL back after two whole decades!

 

I have a few pics that I took inside the arena just minutes after I went in.

 

attachicon.gifIMG_04852.JPGattachicon.gifIMG_04901.JPGattachicon.gifIMG_04891.JPG

Wow, my home town did a great job.  Thanks for sharing. 

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I was talking to one of the Utica coaches recently and he was telling me about the upgrades to the auditorium. Being from Utica originally, and growing up with hockey there (all the way back to the Clinton Comets), it was a good story to hear.  Hopefully, hockey has come back to Utica for a long time to come.

I too hope they stay in Utica for a long time.  I was just there Saturday night seeing them play Hamilton, and I have to say the arena there is one of my favorites!  From the outside, the entrance looked like an entrance to an old elementary school (at least from the pictures on Google Maps).  But the inside, however, was a lot nicer than I expected!  The place was pretty packed too!  The fans must be really happy to have the AHL back after two whole decades!

 

I have a few pics that I took inside the arena just minutes after I went in.

 

attachicon.gifIMG_04852.JPGattachicon.gifIMG_04901.JPGattachicon.gifIMG_04891.JPG

Nice pics there, buddy! I hope the Comets remain in Utica for a long time as well....since I know two or three Utica fans personally, I can tell you that they're more than thrilled hockey is back in town after being away as long as it was...very happy for Comets fans, no question about it! :thumbsup:

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Glens Falls will get another team, maybe not next year (in which case we'll have to follow the Albany Devils), but I would imagine in 2 years.  They just received $675,000 from NY State and next year could be the GFCC upgrade year, which would mean 2015 would be a new starting point for the city.

But in the meantime, we wait, and hope for any springtime announcements.

 

Might not be a bad idea for them to take a year to upgrade and formulate a plan for an incoming team.  If they can get some improvements made and have a solid base with which to attract someone, it could work out better for them in the long run.   Thing is, I've seen some articles that show the people in charge saying they want a team to commit long-term and also commit money to aid in renovations and upgrades (that $675K won't cover nearly all their needs), so their prefernce might be to get a team in and work on the improvements as they go. 

I would agree with you here on this Rum, no question....doing it the way you suggested would really be the best way to do things if they want to attract another franchise to Glens Falls once the Phantoms leave town next summer...I've seen some in the Glens Falls area say in articles in the Post-Star that they are seeking a long-term commitment and what I think they should do and would make far more sense would be just to get a team at first and then as you said, work on the improvements to the GFCC as they go....can the GFCC be improved? Absolutely, but it isn't something that needs to happen overnight...sure, the most important upgrades should be addressed and I'm sure they will be in due time...the rest can be phased in over time, there's really no need to get everything done right off the bat... :)

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I really hope that you guys can attract a team to replace the Phantoms once they head south to Lehigh Valley. Glens Falls has always been a great hockey town and they prove along with Utica and Binghamton that the AHL can be successful in smaller cities with inherent lower costs.

I never believed that Utica would ever see the AHL again but they put together a great plan that was successful in bringing pro hockey back to the Mohawk Valley that Glens Falls should emulate.

First you need a local investor group to run the business side of the team. In Utica that is Rob Esche and Frank DuRoss. They put together the business plan and worked with the state to secure the funding needed to upgrade the Aud to AHL standards. The upgrades will occur over a two year period with suites, new restrooms and a restaurant being added for next season. Esche and DuRoss also formed a separate corporation that took over the management of the Aud so they profit from other events at the Aud which is the business model that can make the AHL financially viable in an arena which currently only seats 3815.

Glens Falls needs a similar private group to drive this type of structure.

Most NHL teams only care about controlling the hockey side of the AHL farm team. They don't want to worry about selling season ticket, corporate sponsorships, game day promotions..... They just want to make sure their prospects are being developed properly and outsource all of that other stuff to a local group who pays them an affiliation fee.

be very careful about having Duross aboard the ownership tandem, utica, he isn't exactly above board after how he strongarmed his way into Portland's original ownership group that returned pro hockey to Providence, and they probably were glad he sold the P-Bruins when he did.

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be very careful about having Duross aboard the ownership tandem, utica, he isn't exactly above board after how he strongarmed his way into Portland's original ownership group that returned pro hockey to Providence, and they probably were glad he sold the P-Bruins when he did.

In other, more recent news the Berlin Wall came down, Russia went quazi-democratic, gay and lesbian marriage is now legal in certain states, and Twinkies almost disappeared...

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Please take this with a huge grain of salt because the source, while occasionally accurate, doesn't have a great track record.

Oklahoma City

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If it is a west team Oklahoma City makes the most sense. Depending on where and who you read it from Oklahoma City has an out on their lease that states the lease can be broke this year if they don't average 4,000 fans a game and at last check they were at about 3,250 but only got about 1,850 Thursday vs Utica.

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If it is a west team Oklahoma City makes the most sense. Depending on where and who you read it from Oklahoma City has an out on their lease that states the lease can be broke this year if they don't average 4,000 fans a game and at last check they were at about 3,250 but only got about 1,850 Thursday vs Utica.

This is exactly the same thinking I have on this too, 518....while Mayor Diamond is being smart and NOT naming who he's talking to right now and he won't, I would have to agree with you that if ANY team from the West that is most likely to relocate, it would absolutely have to be Oklahoma City and for the totals that you mentioned too. I've seen other games with their attendance and in all honesty, it just hasn't been there and it wasn't just one or two games I looked at, I checked out at least 5-10 home games they've had out there and the attendance has been pretty low in each instance....and then let's not forget that they had that water damage from either the tornadoes or rain storms that deluged the OKC area last year and that may have something to do with it too. 

 

I'm definitely pulling for Glens Falls here and hope they can relocate a decent team to occupy the GFCC after the Phantoms leave after this season. I also hope that the money they will be receiving from New York state will help upgrade the GFCC as well. As I've said before more than once, I could just say 'Oh well, we're getting our team so who gives a damn who Glens Falls gets, if anybody', but I'm not like that...they've been great hosts and we've stayed two seasons longer than originally planned and not a soul has complained.  I just hope they can attract a team that will have a nice following behind it and better than the Phantoms have been in the past...

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It this a new AHL trend? Western teams moving to the East?

I wouldn't say it's a new trend.  Outlying, isolated teams tend not to last forever except for the most hockey-mad markets.  It just so happens that most of the league's singletons have been out West.

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The latest rumors out of Glens Falls, and these are only rumors, I have NO inside information, is that there are 3 teams interested in moving here next year. (and from what I've heard, one of the teams is a contender). The city sent the contract proposal to the team they would like to have move in to the Civic Center.  The city is also asking the league for permission to give the league all available dates for next season so the league can use that information when they do the schedule for next year.

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The latest rumors out of Glens Falls, and these are only rumors, I have NO inside information, is that there are 3 teams interested in moving here next year. (and from what I've heard, one of the teams is a contender). The city sent the contract proposal to the team they would like to have move in to the Civic Center.  The city is also asking the league for permission to give the league all available dates for next season so the league can use that information when they do the schedule for next year.

They wouldn't need permission, they can just submit them. Other buildings trying to attract teams have done the same thing.

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Just catching up on what was said in this thread, and obviously we're well into the 13-14 season already, but why wouldn't the new arena in Brooklyn have been an option for a temporary home?

Edited by caps02

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In my opinion the best way to narrow down the possible suspects of who it could be would to see who is already selling season tickets for next year. It's not 100% guarantee because some teams might start late but I would say if a team isn't selling them by Valentines Day it definitely raises a lot of questions about their future. Mind you I in no way am saying this is 100% fool proof but it is the best I can come up with to figure out who it could possibly be.

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Pure speculaton, but here's my guesses for who Glens Falls might be talking to.

Most Likely

OKC Barons- they have a local owner partnership with deep pockets, but the attendance and corporate support just isn't there. There is also the recovery from the tornados that smashed the city last year that did some damage to the arena and put a lot of people out of work in an already relatively poor communty.

Wouldn't surprise me

Hartford Wolfpack- Things have soured so badly down there between the owners, the arena, the fans, and the affiliate the sentiment is when not if the team will move. There's long been rumors of the upstate teams courting the rangers affiliate. Its also just as likely they move to Bridgeport given those domain names that got registered recently.

Albany Devils- This is the cynical person in me, but it wouldn't surprise me if they moved a few miles down the road to save a few bucks.

Not likely but possible

Abbotsford Heat- I'm aware of the lease and everything, but one has to wonder how long either the city or the team just says screw it and works out a way to leave.

Utica Comets- I just don't trust the affiliate. Its pretty clear they want to go to Abbotford, so untill they get it I wouldn't be surprised if the don't set down roots for too long.

San Antonio Rampage- good attendance and support, but one has to wonder if the owners feel uncomfortable now that their closest rival is gone they might cut and run.

At the end of the day you really have to wonder about things. Last off season looked to be one of the most stable in years then all hell broke loose in Houston, Peoria etc changing the landscape of everything. It could be very likely a team you least suspect that is stable and popular is the one moving.

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In my opinion the best way to narrow down the possible suspects of who it could be would to see who is already selling season tickets for next year. It's not 100% guarantee because some teams might start late but I would say if a team isn't selling them by Valentines Day it definitely raises a lot of questions about their future. Mind you I in no way am saying this is 100% fool proof but it is the best I can come up with to figure out who it could possibly be.

Are any teams selling tickets for next season already?

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It this a new AHL trend? Western teams moving to the East?

I wouldn't say it's a new trend.  Outlying, isolated teams tend not to last forever except for the most hockey-mad markets.  It just so happens that most of the league's singletons have been out West.

 

I'm thinking one of the reasons that some of those teams are singletons is that they aren't in a hockey-mad market. Otherwise, there would be more teams around them, because the demand would be there.

Some of those areas might do better with lower-level, small, regional minor-pro leagues. They'd have less travel, lower payrolls, and the lower ticket prices would give people incentive to attend. Not that I think AHL tix are expensive -- they're not. But for people who haven't yet bought into this whole ice-hockey thing, there might be a limit to the amount of their entertainment budget they're willing to invest in an unknown quantity.

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Pure speculaton, but here's my guesses for who Glens Falls might be talking to.

Most Likely

OKC Barons- they have a local owner partnership with deep pockets, but the attendance and corporate support just isn't there. There is also the recovery from the tornados that smashed the city last year that did some damage to the arena and put a lot of people out of work in an already relatively poor communty.

Wouldn't surprise me

Hartford Wolfpack- Things have soured so badly down there between the owners, the arena, the fans, and the affiliate the sentiment is when not if the team will move. There's long been rumors of the upstate teams courting the rangers affiliate. Its also just as likely they move to Bridgeport given those domain names that got registered recently.

Albany Devils- This is the cynical person in me, but it wouldn't surprise me if they moved a few miles down the road to save a few bucks.

Not likely but possible

Abbotsford Heat- I'm aware of the lease and everything, but one has to wonder how long either the city or the team just says screw it and works out a way to leave.

Utica Comets- I just don't trust the affiliate. Its pretty clear they want to go to Abbotford, so untill they get it I wouldn't be surprised if the don't set down roots for too long.

San Antonio Rampage- good attendance and support, but one has to wonder if the owners feel uncomfortable now that their closest rival is gone they might cut and run.

At the end of the day you really have to wonder about things. Last off season looked to be one of the most stable in years then all hell broke loose in Houston, Peoria etc changing the landscape of everything. It could be very likely a team you least suspect that is stable and popular is the one moving.

it's not Utica nor San Antonio, since Utica is/was Peoria and the switch and sale by St. Louis last year, with them going to Chicago in the trade of affiliates, it's not San Antonio, since Holt controls that market, as SSE owns the Rampage, off, just as they do the Spurs and Silver Stars.

 

Houston had to go because of the expiring lease, and is owned by Minnesota.

 

It's not Hartford either, if that lease was extended as well as the return to the WolfPack  MONIKER  went hand in hand with that contract extension.

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It this a new AHL trend? Western teams moving to the East?

 

I think there was a belief that once a few teams moved West then others would follow, but this never happened.  You also have to consider the financial side of this for parent clubs.  If NHL teams were losing money, as claimed by owners, than it would not make sense to increase spending on development if your top product was not making money. 

 

There is a movement now that if teams are in close vacinity of each other it means less travel.  With less travel, it leads to more practice.  With more practice your prospects get better and are more prepared for the NHL.

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