Monday, September 09, 2013

Diamond reaffirms Glens Falls' intention to keep AHL hockey

At Monday's meeting inside the Glens Falls Civic Center, town Mayor Jim Diamond laid his cards on the table regarding the future of hockey in the region.

"We've been in discussions with Rob and Jim Brooks. My intentions are to go in front of the (AHL) Board of Governors, make a presentation, and tell them a little bit about Glens Falls and our rich history," Diamond said.

"We know that in a competitive market the building is going to need a little upgrade so we have submitted applications for funding to do some improvements that may be required. Getting in front of the American Hockey League ownership group is very important."

The area, which comprises Glens Falls, South Glens Falls, Hudson Falls and Fort Edward, will be celebrating 25 seasons of AHL hockey (20 as an affiliate with the Red Wings and five with the Flyers) this year, its last under the current contract. 

The Phantoms are scheduled to relocate to the Lehigh Valley for the 2013-14 season, with a new arena currently under construction in downtown Allentown.

With their departure, the northernmost post on the AHL's I-87 and I-90 corridor would become vacant. There are already clubs in Rochester, Syracuse, a new one in Utica as well as the Capital District (Albany) along with the southern reach of the Adirondacks.

"We are very excited about this coming year. 25 years worth of history is phenomenal in Glens Falls," added Diamond. "We are looking for a seamless transition. I am fully committed to having American League Hockey in Glens Falls for 2014-2015. I'm excited about our opportunities."

Adirondack has failed to make the postseason in each of its first four seasons in upstate New York, and head coach Terry Murray will have to deal with another set of roster changes this year.

As former Post Star writer Tim McManus has stated in the past, it is a matter of political importance that Glens Falls retain a hockey presence for its arena located on the lower portion of Glen Street.

In the 10 years between AHL stints, the GFCC entertained a relocated United Hockey League club, the IceHawks/Frostbite (1999-2006), and had to endure a concession-stand raid as well as the death of head coach Marc Potvin in 2006, along with sub-standard, losing hockey in the equivalent of a Single-A league.

The paper reported that Glens Falls has requested about $700,000 in funding for upgrades, and a decision is expected in early December. The city is seeking an additional $900,000 from the state towards that end.

Full video of the press conference is below:

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