Thursday, September 05, 2013

Special meeting called for Monday in Glens Falls

The Adirondack Phantoms on Thursday revealed that a special meeting has been scheduled for next Monday at 2 PM, a joint venture between the hockey club and the town of Glens Falls.

A new logo will be revealed and the state of hockey in the region will be on the table, attended by Mayor Jim Diamond, Chamber of Commerce CEO Peter Aust, and owner Rob Brooks.

The 2013-14 season will be the fifth, and most likely final, season for the Phantoms in Warren County, as a new arena is being constructed in downtown Allentown in time for the start of next year.

It's also the 25th anniversary of American Hockey League action in the locale, as the Adirondack Red Wings called the Civic Center home from 1979-99 as the primary affiliate for Detroit and won four Calder Cups during that time.

The question of what becomes of the GFCC and its empty home dates once the Phantoms leave is a prickly one from a political and financial standpoint. Attempts to place two UHL clubs there at the turn of the Millennium proved disastrous, and there has been talk in the last year that either another AHL club or an ECHL franchise could be placed there.

The ECHL, essentially the premier Double-A minor league for the NHL, has never established a presence in Upstate New York, though it has a team -- the Elmira Jackals -- along its Southern Tier.

Due to the growth of the AHL into larger cities further south into the Continental US, any team placed in Glens Falls will finish in the lower third of overall attendance though percentage of capacity per game will be among the highest due to local support of upper-level minor hockey in the past and present.

The Utica Comets, affiliate for the Vancouver Canucks, were rumored to be a prime candidate upon their creation due to the state of the Utica Memorial Auditorium, but that was quickly squashed once the club signed a multi-year lease with the facility earlier this Summer.

Adirondack will host the Albany Devils in the preseason opener on September 28, and then travel to Rome, NY to take on the Comets the following afternoon.  

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