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AHL board approves Flames' move to Glens Falls

2014-05-06T01:00:00Z 2014-05-21T12:35:29Z AHL board approves Flames' move to Glens Falls Glens Falls Post-Star

GLENS FALLS -- Glens Falls Mayor John “Jack” Diamond got home from a meeting Monday night, looking forward to settling in to watch the New York Rangers and Pittsburgh Penguins in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Next season, he will again be watching live hockey at Glens Falls Civic Center, not just from the comfort of his couch.

The AHL Board of Governors approved the relocation of the Calgary Flames’ AHL affiliate from Abbotsford, British Columbia, to Glens Falls on Monday, according to press releases from the team and league. The Flames’ affiliate will begin its tenure in Glens Falls next season, after the Adirondack Phantoms vacate the building for their new arena in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

The mayor, who had been tight-lipped until the announcement came, called it a “great day for Glens Falls and a great day for hockey fans.”

Diamond said the contract has been agreed upon and will be signed next week, when Flames officials will be in town to announce more details at a news conference.

“The Common Council will have to ratify it, but I don’t see a problem,” Diamond said. The next Common Council meeting is May 13.

Diamond said the contract would be three years in length with an option for two additional years. He said a three-season contract with an option of two more seasons is the standard contract terms for most AHL teams.

“It hasn’t been indicated to me that this is just a stop-over,” Diamond said Friday, before the announcement.

“Glens Falls has had a terrific history with the American Hockey League and will be an ideal location and environment for the development of our prospects,” said Flames General Manager Brad Treliving in the press release. “When we announced on April 15th our discontinuation of operations in the City of Abbotsford, we had a few options available to us and there was much speculation about Glens Falls. There has been a high level of interest demonstrated to ensure the AHL remains in that market. We look forward to finalizing details and beginning this new partnership.”

There have been many rumors of teams looking into and potentially moving to Glens Falls during the past few years.

“We didn’t give up; there was a lot of criticism,” Diamond said.

“It’s challenging because of the size of our community, our building is a little bit older. The quality of life in terms of player development, I think that means a lot to a NHL team — get them ice time, less distractions and get them up to the NHL as fast as possible. They knew there was a dedicated fan base out there.”

When the Phantoms came to town as a temporary team five years ago, it was billed as a chance for the city to prove itself after being without an AHL team since the Adirondack Red Wings left in 1999 after 20 years in the city. The plan seems to have worked.

“I have to give credit to the Phantoms; they gave our market some exposure,” Diamond said. “They showed that the American Hockey League can work here. If it weren’t for the Phantoms, we would not be signing a team right now.”

Diamond credited both the fans and the Phantoms for making this happen. Attendance was strong at the end of this season despite having a lame-duck team that finished near the bottom of the league.

The new team’s name has not been determined, Flames officials told the Calgary Herald.

It is not clear which league or division the team will play in. Alignment is usually determined at the league’s Annual Meeting in July. The Abbotsford Heat played in the West Division of the Western Conference. If the new team plays in the Eastern Conference, the conferences would be uneven or a team would have to be shifted west. It could also play in the North Division of the Western Conference, which is made up of Hamilton, Toronto, Rochester, Utica and Lake Erie.

Staff writer Maury Thompson contributed to this report.

Copyright 2015 Glens Falls Post-Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(36) Comments

  1. Bama9739
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    Bama9739 - May 08, 2014 11:01 am
    Congrats to Glens Falls. Good to see this happen for my home town. But nothing will drive a person (and businesses) out of your area faster than the climate and taxes; both suck.
  2. hawkeye
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    hawkeye - May 08, 2014 12:33 am
    good leave then .
  3. hawkeye
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    hawkeye - May 08, 2014 12:32 am
    amen to what ? people like you and others complaining about paying $40.00 dollars a year and the breakdown is 15,000 people who line in this town of glens falls at $40.00 dollars a year come on now . second is $40.00 dollars a year to much for every Tax payer please thats chump change . GO Calgary flames and the new adirondack hockey team here at the glens falls civic center this FALL.
  4. hawkeye
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    hawkeye - May 08, 2014 12:28 am
    hey if you think you can do a better job in running this city grow up and run to become the next mayor or just move and let the people who went above and beyond to get this new team have there moment in the sun ok and stop complaining period ok.
  5. NeeSey
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    NeeSey - May 07, 2014 9:04 am
    LOL!!! So true acrj8. Every blog has to have its negative nellies I guess.
  6. NeeSey
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    NeeSey - May 07, 2014 9:00 am
    Thank you @Iggysback05! It's so great to already be hearing such positive comments from a Calgary Flames fan! We will definitely give great support to your team from this whole Adirondack region and enjoy every game. Regardless of the few chronic complainers, this is a wonderful community and beautiful region! Your Flames are going to love it here!
  7. NeeSey
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    NeeSey - May 07, 2014 8:41 am
    I'm very happy hockey is returning! I don't live in Glens Falls and am not employed but would be willing to pay a regional tax out of my Soc. Security to keep some decent local entertainment in the area! I like what you say about yearly improvements too. As for me being willing to pa a little more in taxes for the CC, I don't have any children in school but pay Hudson Falls school tax. I want America to have good schools! That's life!
  8. smpotter
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    smpotter - May 06, 2014 8:53 pm
    Yes, Iggy, most of us are excited that the Flames are coming. We think that GF will be a perfect fit for the Flames. The fans are knowledgeable and hungry for a competitive team after 5 losing seasons by the Phantoms. The Flyers never cared about the city or its fans, so the bar is set pretty low . We are hoping for a long and happy relationship.
  9. acrj8
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    acrj8 - May 06, 2014 8:16 pm
    The Flames already announced their first promotional night. Glens Falls Tax
    Payer Flame Out night. Wine and
    cheese will be served in Heritage Hall with a local violinist playing "My heart bleeds for you". Sell your houses people, your situation sounds awful. Go Flames! Way to go Ninja Jack!
  10. Iggysback05
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    Iggysback05 - May 06, 2014 6:18 pm
    As a Calgary Flames fan I'm really excited with the prospect of moving our team to Glens Falls. I can't speak to the municipal issues in this thread but for the hockey fans I do have some encouraging words for you. You will love this team! They are young, talented and exciting and they will be competitive. I can't foresee a scenario that would keep them out of the playoffs next year. They have a great coach, Troy G Ward and a great General Manager, Craig Conroy, the latter is from Potsdam, New York. They are community minded and will be positive contributors to your fine city. A couple guys that you'll be particularly interested in, provided they don't make the big club are Johnny Gaudreau and Kenny Agostino. Joni Ortio, the starting goalie will also be a fan favourite. For anyone that might be interested we have a great message board here for all Flames fans NHL and AHL called calgarypuck.com and we welcome all contributions from fans in our partner cities. Enjoy the upcoming season.
  11. millerrat
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    millerrat - May 06, 2014 6:04 pm
    boo hoo I have to use my tax money for the gfcc. Move to another city if it is so bad. Can't wait to spend My MONEY in glens falls at least 36 nights next year instead of 0.
  12. RogerA
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    RogerA - May 06, 2014 4:55 pm
    As a Comet fan living in Utica I am happy for the city of Glens Falls. I lived in that arera for 12 years and your city, like Utica, is definitely a hockey town. You guys deserve a hockey team and now run with it!!!! Good Luck!
  13. Cricket
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    Cricket - May 06, 2014 2:20 pm
    Oh I agree with almost everything you said, but the low life of GF, drugs etc has NOTHING to do with bringing hockey back. It's not like Wash Cty doesn't have everything you just mentioned and MORE and we have no CC here. Our taxes are even HIGHER. If I could leave NYS I would be packing right along with you believe me.
  14. bfarenell
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    bfarenell - May 06, 2014 12:35 pm
    I'm all in favor of those outside the city trying to dictate changes ponying up some of their own cash, instead of just mine.
  15. bfarenell
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    bfarenell - May 06, 2014 12:33 pm
    Amen!
  16. bfarenell
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    bfarenell - May 06, 2014 12:33 pm
    So all the ninnies in the cheap seats who spent months crucifying the mayor for "not trying hard enough" to get another team, I assume they will apologize here?
  17. Cricket
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    Cricket - May 06, 2014 12:26 pm
    I am so very happy with this decision and I can NOT WAIT to get my tickets!!! One can side with the positive, or the negative. Me, I am all positive about this. Negativity is a useless emotion and gets one no where. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!
  18. humble_observer
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    humble_observer - May 06, 2014 12:24 pm
    This is excellent news. It's sad to think back to the years we didn't have an AHL team or didn't have hockey at all for that matter. I'm thinking Adirondack Wildfire has a nice ring to it and would mesh well with the parent organization's namesake.
  19. 5756917
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    5756917 - May 06, 2014 11:18 am
    Glens Falls can have its money pit civic center and all the hockey teams it wants. We are sick and tired of the taxes in this city, the dirt, the noise, the welfare apartments with 8-10 people living in them, all by the way able bodied and able to get a job if they would just get off the bloody dope, the empty houses, and the list goes on. As soon as able, we will be leaving this city and NYS with its crazy progressive liberal agenda and high taxes and going somewhere where sanity is the norm.
  20. bowled300
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    bowled300 - May 06, 2014 10:51 am
    I am pleased to see a team staying in Glens Falls, I travel and watch a couple of games every season from Syracuse. I think the team should have the nickname the Glens Falls Inferno's. This would be a nice new name that matches up with the parent club and does not carry the history of the heat or the Miami NBA nickname. Just a suggestion from a Crunch fan. My last trip DAX popcorned our entire group who had come to the game. We also attended your pregame buffet in the hall downstairs. Nice operation, I hope the change of affiliation does not change the fun staff you have. thank you
  21. robzzyzx
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    robzzyzx - May 06, 2014 10:11 am
    GoGators15, You might find we are in agreement. I have no problem with having a hockey team, as long as the cost of the operation is passed on to those who really want to go to games. If the regional attendees would actually split the cost of keeping the place open (like you point out with the library) I would agree! Unfortunately, that isn't the case (and talk by those saying they are willing to pay is cheap). And while you may be supportive of adding a line to your tax bill to pay for this, there are obviously a substantial number of locals who can't afford or don't want to continue supporting this. While I'm actually glad another team has been landed (please note that), it's time for the region to get serious and show that they can muster support (4,000/game avg attendees needed to make this a break even effort). If that happens, great, if not, then no more excuses about the team isn't winning games or the facility isn't any good, it's time to stop wasting tax dollars and move on!
  22. Solomon112
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    Solomon112 - May 06, 2014 10:04 am
    Lose the CC and see how fast downtown disappears and your store fronts go empty.
  23. robzzyzx
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    robzzyzx - May 06, 2014 8:26 am
    This is obviously good news for the FEW regular GF hockey fans that buy tickets and show up for games. Sadly, many of the comments about subsidizing the Civic Center because it's a local venue for various events that helps create business for downtown are missing the point. Government and the local taxpayers in Glens Falls should not be in the long term situation of subsidizing losing venues like this, particularly when taxes are so high and this venue has consistently been unable to break even (let alone make a profit). Do the math, there are probably no more than 1,000 fans that live in GF and pay local taxes going to the games so the rest of GF taxpayers are picking up the cost of running this center. LG, SGF, FT Edward, etc. fans tix are also being subsidized by GF taxpayer. It's OK initially for economic development to subsidize things to get started, but this is a long term loser, and unless you are a rich community (Saratoga) it is a burden that must fly or die on its own.
  24. GoGators15
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    GoGators15 - May 06, 2014 7:50 am
    To the leaders of our communities please add it to your agenda to make the Civic Center regionally funded. I am so sick and tired of listening to some of the residents of Glens Falls complaining about having to pay taxes to fund the Civic Centers deficit even though they were the ones who decided to buy there house in the City. And let's not just fund the deficit lets have a budget that allows for yearly improvements to the Civic Center which in turn will help with getting more events and keeping the new hockey team to stick around for a long time. Maybe start with a new speaker and sound system. I attended the last country concert and when the performers were talking to the audience you couldn't understand anything they were saying. A lot could be achieved with the Civic Center being regionally funded. Come on leaders lets do it.
  25. GoGators15
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    GoGators15 - May 06, 2014 7:31 am
    Where are all the people that were trashing the Mayor and leaders of Glens Falls saying they would screw it up and never get a deal done for a new AHL team. Well the deal is done sounds like a few apologies need to be handed out. @ robzzyzx. Like I stated in previous posts figure out how much it would cost the average taxpayer if the civic centers 700,000 deficit was split up by the region like how the library budget is maybe add a few towns and I'll gladly come drop off my check to city hall. I'm guessing it would be in the neighborhood of roughly $30.00. Instead of ripping on the people who live outside of Glens Falls who have no say on how the civic center is funded how about you direct your resentment towards the leaders of our communities for not making the civic center regionally funded. I would be more then willing to have another line on my tax bill saying civic center.
  26. smpotter
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    smpotter - May 06, 2014 7:28 am
    Go Flames! I will renew my seats as soon as I can. I trust all those who promised to buy tickets will do the same. A government cannot put every decision to a vote, thats why you elect leaders to do that. One hopes they put the interest of the majority when making decisions. Attracting a team for a vacant building is a no brainer, for all you anti-government people. Just ask the people who work there and the many businesses that benefit from a full CC. Its now time to put up or shut up. Everyone who supports hockey- buy season tickets. Everyone who doesn't, please show your displeasure by writing letters to the city government or letters to the editor. Let the rest of enjoy this moment and use articles about hockey for hockey.
  27. jdguay
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    jdguay - May 06, 2014 5:06 am
    Its a story like this that raises the question of the Post Star's slant on City issues. The Post Star touts its Pulitzer prize, won for articles on the need to open up closed door negotiations between the school board and the teacher's union. The prize "winning" pieces touted the need and right of the taxpayers to know what is being discussed between these parties before it comes to a vote by the school board. Also, that the public should have direct input into the dealings while its being done. Now compare that position to the negotiating for this hockey team. City taxpayers have no idea what has been discussed or agreed upon. They won't know until the Common Council vote. I'm sure the position is that those discussions have to be secret or we won't get the team. However, if the position is a taxpayer's right to know, then risking a team is a necessary evil. Or maybe the Post Star needs a team for all the extra ad space it generates.
  28. thursday83
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    thursday83 - May 06, 2014 3:03 am
    This guy can whine and cry all he wants - rob the naysayer - but the rest of us 99% are psyched and thrilled that hockey is back in Glens Falls!!!! Way to go Jack Diamond, thank you AHL, and bring on the Flames! I'm buying season tickets as soon as they are available. This is AWESOME!!!!!
  29. Dave
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    Dave - May 05, 2014 11:12 pm
    It makes a person wonder who is running things in Glens Falls. It sure is not the homeowners in the city !! So much for democracy!!
  30. Jonny
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    Jonny - May 05, 2014 10:28 pm
    Thank you Jack Diamond, Ed Bartholomew, and all the others that brought this together! I'll be getting season tickets as soon as they are available.
  31. mdavid
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    mdavid - May 05, 2014 9:29 pm
    I've said this a few times, but its worth repeating for some. you can not measure the success of an arena I. how much the venue profits or loses. there is a reason cities across the country pony up tax money to build and maintain these venues and that is to bring people to the area to spend more money. Is GF better off with hockey and the CC? I honestly don't know but don't just look at the +/- and make misinformed statements. I can tell you hockey and the CC I'd the only reason I ever think of going to GF. if there isn't am event I'm off to Saratoga or Queensbury sling with my money.
  32. MattyB
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    MattyB - May 05, 2014 9:11 pm
    Awesome news. I know I'll be putting my deposit down for seats as soon as they become available
  33. hockey
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    hockey - May 05, 2014 8:49 pm
    THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  34. beyond - belief
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    beyond - belief - May 05, 2014 8:40 pm
    YES.
  35. lifelong
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    lifelong - May 05, 2014 8:02 pm
    Congratulations to Mayor Diamond, Ed Bartholomew, and others for keeping AHL hockey at the GFCC, at least for a while.
  36. robzzyzx
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    robzzyzx - May 05, 2014 7:54 pm
    And another round begins. Well, hey Glens Falls and all the fans in other townships, pony up! They need average of 4,000+ attendees per game to make this work. So you folks who said you would pay from South Glens Falls, Lake George, etc. how about running down to City Hall with a check for donation to support the cost to prove your mouth and money are in the same place! I'll bet not one person will go there and make a contribution! At the end of the first season, if the minimum crowd hasn't been met to break even, then this should never be an issue again! The repeating cycle of teams has NEVER been profitable and the Glens Falls taxpayers have always been on the hook. Just sayin...pay up or shut up!

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