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Old
03-30-2007, 02:11 PM
  #76
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Originally Posted by Forechecker View Post
I highly doubt the team will move to Glens Falls. The Albany River Rats struggle to bring in fans, and GF couldn't even muster the fans to support a very entertaining UHL team. The area is not particularly flush with income right now, so a higher ticket price won't help draw more fans. Add in the fact that the AHL might be unwilling to cannibalize another AHL team that's on life support, makes it highly unlikely. I see a LI or 5 boroughs future for the Pack. Any word from MSG on this subject?
I have to disagree with you there. Having grown up in the Glens Falls area, I know what kind of hockey town it really is. When the Red Wings left in '99, it was hard for fans to acclimate to the UHL and its perceived lower quality of play. Sure, towards the end of their tenure, the Red Wings attendance was on the decline, but no effort was put into the quality of the team and they hadn't made the playoffs in a long time.

Sometimes, however, once you lose something, you realize how valuable it actually is and I feel like this is the way a new AHL team in Glens Falls would work. The Albany River Rats have always had attendance problems, but the few games in which the Rats have played in Glens Falls have been sellouts. Bringing back an AHL team would be huge to Glens Falls. Look at Binghamton who lost their original AHL team due to low attendance but now sell out almost every night.

Do I think the Rangers will move to Glens Falls? I don't know. But would I rule it out? Most certainly not.

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03-30-2007, 02:26 PM
  #77
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Originally Posted by alkurtz View Post
are there really enough hockey fans in NYC to draw 5000-8000 for minor league hockey?
There are more people on Manhattan then in the entire country of Sweden, is two hockey teams really that many?

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03-30-2007, 02:30 PM
  #78
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Originally Posted by Thor God of Thunder View Post
I have to disagree with you there. Having grown up in the Glens Falls area, I know what kind of hockey town it really is.
Is that where Barry Melrose was a head coach? Or he just owed the team?

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03-30-2007, 03:10 PM
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Originally Posted by 94now View Post
Is that where Barry Melrose was a head coach? Or he just owed the team?
Barry Melrose was the head coach of the Adirondack Red Wings when they won the Calder Cup. He then ended up settling in Glens Falls. When the UHL team was having issues with its ownership, Melrose ended up buying the team, but there was too much red tape at that point and debt owed by the previous owner that Melrose had no choice but to close up shop.

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03-30-2007, 03:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thor God of Thunder View Post
I have to disagree with you there. Having grown up in the Glens Falls area, I know what kind of hockey town it really is. When the Red Wings left in '99, it was hard for fans to acclimate to the UHL and its perceived lower quality of play. Sure, towards the end of their tenure, the Red Wings attendance was on the decline, but no effort was put into the quality of the team and they hadn't made the playoffs in a long time.

Sometimes, however, once you lose something, you realize how valuable it actually is and I feel like this is the way a new AHL team in Glens Falls would work. The Albany River Rats have always had attendance problems, but the few games in which the Rats have played in Glens Falls have been sellouts. Bringing back an AHL team would be huge to Glens Falls. Look at Binghamton who lost their original AHL team due to low attendance but now sell out almost every night.

Do I think the Rangers will move to Glens Falls? I don't know. But would I rule it out? Most certainly not.
I live in Saratoga, and used to go the UHL games. I do know what kind of hockey town it is, but it's just not realistic on any level. They don't want to hurt the Rats anymore; the Civic Center is in dire need of an upgrade; jobs are scarce and getting scarcer (at least in the immediate GF/Queensbury area).

Binghamton has had a resurgence with minor league teams lately, the Mets team does very well there, plus it draws on a larger immediate population including a university nearby.

I would love a Rangers team to coem to GF, or any good AHL team, I just don't see it happening. Not a slight on GF at all (all my in-laws live in the area), just MHO.

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03-30-2007, 04:12 PM
  #81
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Originally Posted by Ola View Post
There are more people on Manhattan then in the entire country of Sweden, is two hockey teams really that many?
Brings up an interesting question: just how many hockey fans are there in the New York Metropolitan Area?
In the 50s, the thinking was that there (I read this in a mag.) about 65,000 hockey fans in NY with 15000 always showing up to sell out the old MSG/
Current television ratings on MSG for the Rangers are about the same, 65,000 sets tuned in. During the Cup year, I believe the number was twice that, about 120,000.
The Rangers of course sell out, but the Isles and Devils don't.
Large groups of people in NYC are not hockey fans: African-Americans, Latino/Hispanic, Asian-Americans, etc. For whatever reason, they are not hockey fans. I wish this weren't the case, but it is. So the potential base of fans is limited. In places like Manhattan, there probably aren't many hockey fans. Same for the Bronx. Some but not many. I would think that the majority of hockey fans in NYC are from Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island.
As for the suburbs: Nassau and Suffolk Counties on Long Island is Islander country. There are still many Ranger fans there: Ranger roots go deep on the island. Westchester County and Connecticut (both to the north) is strongly Ranger territory and hockey is growing by leaps and bounds in the suburbs with high schools adding teams, rinks being built in the last ten years, youth hockey growing, etc. Westchester is also where the Ranger practice facility is and where most of the Ranger players (not all) with families live. Rockland County to the NW seems split between Ranger and Devil fans as Rockland adjoins northern NJ. Jersey is Devils country, but like the island, has many Ranger fans.
So whats the total? Perhaps 200,000-250,000 hockey fans? This is just a wild guess on my part and I could be way off. Not that great a percentage out of a total Metropolitan Area population of 15 million.
Could a minor league hockey team survive in the 5 boroughs? Perhaps in Brooklyn but I don't know whether it could draw 5000-8000 to the AHL, especially since AHL tickets are not cheap. Could a UHL or SPHL team survive drawing about 3000 and with ticket prices about $15 (what I paid in Danbury)? Probably.
Maybe the Rangers are not that interested in making a profit (or losses ) with a minor league team. Maybe the benefits of having a minor league team closeby outweigh all the other factors. If thats the case, the Rangers should expand Aviator Rink to 5000 and go in that direction or look to play in the new Nets arena in downtown Brooklyn in a few years. There is really no other place in the 5 boroughs for a rink.
I know minor league baseball is thriving in Brooklyn and Staten Island with Mets and Yankee low minor league teams. But baseball is a whole other animal in NYC. NYC has always been a baseball town: what did the Mets and Yanks draw last year...over 7 million? People love minor league baseball: the idea of going to sit in the summer sun, eats hot dogs and beer, take the family to the the ballgame....wells there's something very American about it, modern and nostalgic at the same time.
So yeah, there are more people in Manhattan than Sweden (I spent a fantastic few days in Stockholm a few summers ago), but hockey in America and in NYC is a niche sport. Wish it weren't so.
Anyway, this is all off of the top of my head. Where will the Pack end up? Brooklyn, the Meadowlands, Glens Falls, Danbury, stay in Hartford, or some place we have not thought of yet.....who knows.

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03-30-2007, 10:54 PM
  #82
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Originally Posted by Forechecker View Post
I live in Saratoga, and used to go the UHL games. I do know what kind of hockey town it is, but it's just not realistic on any level. They don't want to hurt the Rats anymore; the Civic Center is in dire need of an upgrade; jobs are scarce and getting scarcer (at least in the immediate GF/Queensbury area).

Binghamton has had a resurgence with minor league teams lately, the Mets team does very well there, plus it draws on a larger immediate population including a university nearby.

I would love a Rangers team to coem to GF, or any good AHL team, I just don't see it happening. Not a slight on GF at all (all my in-laws live in the area), just MHO.
I don't actually think that having a team in GF will hurt the Rats. In fact, I think the Rats would actually welcome the team and the rivalry it would bring. In fact, in order for GF to even have a team, the Rats would have to approve it since they are so close and I don't think they would have a problem with that.

I agree with you that there is very little chance of an AHL team coming to GF, but I do think that if it does it would be very successful.

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03-31-2007, 07:23 AM
  #83
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Talked to someone close to me and lives in the Albany area and is a huge Ranger fan.
He expressed major concerns about Glens Falls: the rink is old and in need of major renovation, parking is poor. He has also been disappointed with the lack of people attending games in Albany and wonders whether the two areas, with an overlapping fan base to draw upon, can support 2 teams.

So, if Danbury and Brooklyn are to small and Glens Falls doesn't seem the answer, where then?

And, there is also the question of the Rangers wanting to move their Charlotte ECHL team closer.

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03-31-2007, 07:27 AM
  #84
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How about this new rumor: if the new Devils arena is not ready come the start of the season, the Devs would play their home games in Hartford until it is ready.
Denied by the Devs of course.

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03-31-2007, 07:38 AM
  #85
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I say when the Devils move out to Newark bring the pack to the Meadowlands (at least temporarily)

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03-31-2007, 07:45 AM
  #86
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alkurtz- Thanks for a interesting post.

To be honest, when I think about it, there is only about 16 teams in Sweden who would draw around 5-6000 people for a "ordinary" hockey game in Sweden.

My thinking that a NYR farm team ought to be able to draw decent numbers if they where placed at the right place around Manhattan is that of thoose 65.000 NYR fans, how many can afford to go to MSG on a regular basis? IE for how many would a cheaper AHL game be great option to take the kids to a interesting hockeygame?

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