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Phantoms' Allentown arena project runs into trouble

2012-05-23T01:24:00Z 2012-05-23T01:30:17Z Phantoms' Allentown arena project runs into troubleBy GREG BROWNELL -- Glens Falls Post-Star

A continuing dispute over financing for an arena in Allentown, Pa. has opened the door toward a possible fifth season for the Adirondack Phantoms in Glens Falls.

The Phantoms are committed to play at the Glens Falls Civic Center through the 2012-13 season, their fourth season here. They plan to move to Allentown to occupy a new building starting with the 2013-14 season.

But a legal dispute has put a stop to construction of that building. Suburban communities are suing over the use of certain taxes to pay for the arena, according to The Morning Call of Allentown.

On Monday, Bethlehem Township rejected an offer to settle the lawsuit. The Morning Call reported on Tuesday that Hanover Township had also rejected the offer. However, arena supporters told the newspaper they were still optimistic a settlement could be reached.

Glens Falls Mayor Jack Diamond on Tuesday said he had not talked to Phantoms team officials recently about events in Allentown. The Phantoms have an option in their contact to return to the Civic Center for the 2013-14 season, if they are unable to relocate.

Diamond said it would be premature to talk about the Phantoms’ plans beyond next season until the situation in Allentown is decided.

“When we get to that point, we’ll have that discussion,” he said.

Diamond said the city is continuing to forge ahead on its campaign to find a long-term American Hockey League tenant for the Civic Center. Officials are seeking to reach 1,756 season tickets for next season as a sign of support for hockey in Glens Falls.

Land has been cleared for the new building in Allentown, but little has been done in the way of construction. According to The Morning Call, the arena was to be funded by a tax zone, but officials in some suburban townships filed suit against the state law that allows that tax money to be used.

Phantoms co-owner Rob Brooks told The Morning Call he was still confident that the Phantoms would be playing in Allentown in 2013. Brooks did not return a phone message from The Post-Star on Tuesday.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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