The Adirondack Phantoms shook up their front office Wednesday in the largest restructuring since the team moved to Glens Falls.
Co-owner Rob Brooks confirmed the firing of Mike Thompson, who ran the team's off-ice operations since their move here in the summer of 2009. Thompson was the club's vice president of business operations.
Brooks said that Chris Porreca has been promoted to the new position of executive vice president and will oversee the front office. Porreca had been the club's executive director of corporate sales.
"Our business model is not where we want it to be, so we've got to get that back. We've got to get on the right track," Brooks said. "These things are never easy. They're never easy decisions. They're never small decisions, but this is what we felt was best for our organization now and moving forward."
Thompson declined to comment.
Porreca was hired at the same time as Thompson in May of 2009. Prior to working for the Phantoms, he was director of competition for Special Olympics New York. He's lived in the area for 11 years and has also worked for the Vermont Voltage professional soccer team, State Farm Insurance and Green Mountain College.
Porreca didn't return messages left on his office phone or cell phone.
Brooks said the Phantoms also will add the position of vice president of ticket sales. That person will report directly to Porreca. His corporate sales position will be filled, meaning the front office will grow by one.
"We wanted to beef it up a little..." Brooks said. "We just want to get some real ticket experience and we think Chris will be a great leader. He's shown us that already."
Phantoms attendance was down 18 percent from last year through the first 22 home games.
"I think we have a lot of great ideas. We're just having a hard time executing right now," Brooks said. "I think we'll get someone in here with a lot of good experience and I think Jim (Brooks) and I are very confident we can start filling up this barn again and make it fun for everyone."
The Phantoms have struggled on the ice. They're in last place overall in the American Hockey League. As recently as November, they were on pace for the worst record in league history.
Brooks said he considered the team's record and the impact it may have had on Thompson's ability to market the product.
"I don't like to talk about the individual people in the office, but we've looked at everything. We've taken into account everything like that," he said.
Thompson assumed his duties on June 1, 2009 and has been the only person to hold the job. He came from the Springfield Falcons, whose front office he had a part of since 2005.
Thompson began his career in minor-league baseball in 1995. He took over as the ticket sales manager for the Florida Marlins in 1999.
From 2000-2004, Thompson was a consultant for the NCAA and ECHL.