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Amerks hurting for fans

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Old
02-18-2011, 06:05 PM
  #1
joshjull
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Amerks hurting for fans

http://buffalonews.typepad.com/sabres/


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The team ranks 27th in attendance in the 30-team AHL, drawing just 3,536 fans per game to the 11,000-seat Blue Cross Arena. As Kevin Oklobzija of the Democrat and Chronicle wrote today, that would have been a bad season-ticket base in the 1990s, let alone the total attendance.

The Amerks have made a video to draw attention to their plight using former players Jody Gage, Scott Metcalfe, Jim Hofford, Geordie Robertson, Gates Orlando and Ted Nolan, who all live in the community. One of the reasons they cite for lack of fan interest is the team's affiliation with Florida instead of Buffalo. The Amerks were sixth in AHL attendance at 6,835 during their final season with the Sabres (2007-08).

"I donít see too many people wearing Florida Panthers hats around town," Metcalfe told the D&C. "No matter who it was, Razor (Rob Ray), Barney (Matt Barnaby), Bouch (Philippe Boucher), everybody that came through here, the fans could follow up to the Sabres."


This thread isn't a dig at Rochester or hoping we leave Portland.

Regardless of who was to blame I've always thought it sucked that our affiliation with Rochester ended. There was always something unique and special about it. This is a sad story to read from my perspective.


Kevin Oklobzija article http://rocnow.com/article/amerks-sabres/2011102180336

Youtube clip thats referenced. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1gPYK...layer_embedded


Last edited by joshjull: 02-18-2011 at 06:18 PM.
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Old
02-18-2011, 06:18 PM
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MillsyMyers30
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yeah it really is sad. i went to the amerks game last friday and i tell ya, it's just sad how many open seats there were. it was my first amerks game since 5 years ago. They really are in trouble and if they don't start getting people this team will leave. i hope they stay here because the whole community needs them.

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02-18-2011, 09:02 PM
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eSabre
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I could see things changing with new ownership, but until the Amerks' philosophy changes, I doubt it.

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02-18-2011, 09:07 PM
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sabresfan129103
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why did the Amerks go dual affiliation? Was it b/c the Sabres didn't want to fit the entire bill of an AHL squad?

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02-18-2011, 09:10 PM
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joshjull
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eSabre View Post
I could see things changing with new ownership, but until the Amerks' philosophy changes, I doubt it.
What about their philosophy would prevent a reunion?

Inform me please

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02-18-2011, 09:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sabresfan129103 View Post
why did the Amerks go dual affiliation? Was it b/c the Sabres didn't want to fit the entire bill of an AHL squad?
all 30 franchises had to be represented but there were only 29 teams until EDM ACTIVATED THEIRS in Oklahoma City; Florida got booted from San Antonio so the Panthers had to go somewhere......

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02-18-2011, 09:15 PM
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Not really surprising, either. As nice as it is to have a local team to support, when the main club is a team nobody in the area cares about it makes caring about the farm team harder.

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02-18-2011, 09:15 PM
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Originally Posted by CHRDANHUTCH View Post
all 30 franchises had to be represented but there were only 29 teams until EDM ACTIVATED THEIRS in Oklahoma City; Florida got booted from San Antonio so the Panthers had to go somewhere......
Thanks for the clarification.

As far as the Amerks go, I feel bad them, but that ship has sailed. The Sabres have a great thing going with Portland and I don't want them to mess with it.

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02-18-2011, 09:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sabresfan129103 View Post
Thanks for the clarification.

As far as the Amerks go, I feel bad them, but that ship has sailed. The Sabres have a great thing going with Portland and I don't want them to mess with it.
I don't know what Buffalo would've done had Rochester folded if they elected to prior to their Golden Anniversary season.....

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Old
02-18-2011, 09:56 PM
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Timbo Slice
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No one goes anymore. The Amerks home record is horrible, and the support for the Panthers is nonexistent. It's a ghost-town at Amerks games these days. The organization knows it, too.

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02-18-2011, 10:04 PM
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WhoIsJimBob
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sabresfan129103 View Post
why did the Amerks go dual affiliation? Was it b/c the Sabres didn't want to fit the entire bill of an AHL squad?
Yes

Rochester didn't want the dual affiliation.

Buffalo did.

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02-18-2011, 10:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joshjull View Post
What about their philosophy would prevent a reunion?

Inform me please
The Amerks owners want to be able to stock the team with a few veterans to improve the team's competitiveness to help draw fans and the Sabres want total control of the roster.

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02-18-2011, 10:07 PM
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eSabre
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joshjull View Post
What about their philosophy would prevent a reunion?

Inform me please
As has been covered before on these boards, the Amerks think they should be entitled to sign veteran talent to win. NHL teams are going to prefer environments that focus on development, giving prospects the big ice time instead of AHL vets.

It's about control, which is why the situation with the Panthers dissolved. Florida didn't want to deal with old scrubs taking roster spots from guys who need to develop. I doubt the Sabres would want to do the same.

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Old
02-18-2011, 10:28 PM
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joshjull
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Bob View Post
The Amerks owners want to be able to stock the team with a few veterans to improve the team's competitiveness to help draw fans and the Sabres want total control of the roster.
Quote:
Originally Posted by eSabre View Post
As has been covered before on these boards, the Amerks think they should be entitled to sign veteran talent to win. NHL teams are going to prefer environments that focus on development, giving prospects the big ice time instead of AHL vets.

It's about control, which is why the situation with the Panthers dissolved. Florida didn't want to deal with old scrubs taking roster spots from guys who need to develop. I doubt the Sabres would want to do the same.
Thanks guys

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Old
02-19-2011, 12:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Myllz View Post
Not really surprising, either. As nice as it is to have a local team to support, when the main club is a team nobody in the area cares about it makes caring about the farm team harder.
Are there many people in Portland who care about the Buffalo Sabres? If anything, I'd imagine most of the hockey fans in that area would be Bruins fans. Not only a rival team to us, but a team that's built a lot better.

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02-19-2011, 12:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Bob View Post
The Amerks owners want to be able to stock the team with a few veterans to improve the team's competitiveness to help draw fans and the Sabres want total control of the roster.
Not just "a few veterans". THEIR veterans. The Amerks want final say on which veterans are signed.

Also not mentioned is that the presence of a highly successful alternative. I know several people who have gone to RIT games, loved the atmosphere and experience, and have told me they will be attending more in the future as opposed to the Amerks. Once RIT gets their bigger rink built, this effect could be increased as well.

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02-19-2011, 12:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Icedus View Post
Are there many people in Portland who care about the Buffalo Sabres? If anything, I'd imagine most of the hockey fans in that area would be Bruins fans. Not only a rival team to us, but a team that's built a lot better.
Regardless of most Portland fans being Bruins fans as well, it doesn't matter to Portland fans, they love their Pirates no matter what, no matter who the affiliate is.

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02-19-2011, 12:29 AM
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Yeah I was just curious about that.

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02-19-2011, 02:23 AM
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that video was one of the most pathetic things i've ever seen. whoever runs their PR should be ashamed.

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Old
02-19-2011, 03:56 AM
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Originally Posted by sabresfan129103 View Post
why did the Amerks go dual affiliation? Was it b/c the Sabres didn't want to fit the entire bill of an AHL squad?
that makes no sense....they are in portland where it would cost more

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02-19-2011, 06:36 AM
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Originally Posted by jflory81 View Post
Not just "a few veterans". THEIR veterans. The Amerks want final say on which veterans are signed.
True.

But, in defense of the Amerks, they are also willing to pay for the ability to sign some vets of their choosing.

There are still a few AHL teams like Hershey & Chicago that operate in this manner.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jflory81 View Post
Also not mentioned is that the presence of a highly successful alternative. I know several people who have gone to RIT games, loved the atmosphere and experience, and have told me they will be attending more in the future as opposed to the Amerks. Once RIT gets their bigger rink built, this effect could be increased as well.
Like any problem, there isn't one silver bullet to fix it.

But I do see the competition from RIT being something to deal with, especially if they get a 5000 seat rink built and the ticket prices don't jump up big time.

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02-19-2011, 06:38 AM
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that makes no sense....they are in portland where it would cost more
That's because Rochester didn't want anything to do with a dual affiliation and the Sabres brass was sick of the Donner regime in Rochester.

If it weren't for Donner and the insistence on a sole affiliation, I wouldn't have been surprised if the Sabres never moved to Portland.

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02-19-2011, 10:23 AM
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from a distance standpoint, yeah, it was nice calling up rookies within the few hours before a game, but other than that.... I like having Portland as our affiliate.

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02-19-2011, 12:43 PM
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from a distance standpoint, yeah, it was nice calling up rookies within the few hours before a game, but other than that.... I like having Portland as our affiliate.
What advantage is there with Portland over Rochester?

Rochester gives you the advantage of quicker call ups and send downs and the added regional marketing of Amerks fans that have stronger ties to players once they graduate to the NHL.

Portland gives you what exactly?

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02-19-2011, 01:41 PM
  #25
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I wouldn't rule out the Sabres/Panthers - Amerks/Pirates swapping affiliations as soon as next season. If Pegula drops some cash, the Pirates will cooperate. Styres isn't benefiting from an empty building and disenchanted fan base. He's finding out that it just isn't that easy to bring in quality veterans. The Sabres have been more successful with their approach and they do sign good veterans. They just wouldn't do it with Donner. Pegula has shown he can move quickly and quietly. I don't have any doubt his wife who's from Fairport wants the affiliation restored.

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