Friday, February 25, 2011

Allentown Morning Call: "Hockey arena no sure thing"

Allentown's Morning Call has a less-than-optimistic article about the downtown site that's been proposed for the new arena. It's a site that has been beset by sinkholes, causing the nixing of a previous attempt at an arena on that site, as well as the demolition of an office building that the sinkholes damaged in the 90s.

Surrounding properties would also have to be purchased from their current owners, or else taken via eminent domain, and the appeals process for that could take "a couple years".

CLICK HERE to see the article itself.

Can someone please explain to me why Bellmawr, NJ was rejected as an arena location? It would have been PERFECT -- minutes away from the Voorhees practice facility, and minutes away from the Spectrum site so the entire existing STH fan base could easily make the shift and go there instead. They already had done an environmental impact study and had plans to manage the increased traffic flow to the area (as there's other developing going on there, with or without the proposed arena). They were ready for, and WANTED, an arena there. Their original plans even had a tentative location shown where the arena would go. And in the meantime, the rumors were that the team would spend the interim in Atlantic City.

But NOOOO. That made too much sense. We couldn't do THAT. Instead, we get the team moved 288 miles away, to a place where we have to reserve a hotel room if we want to see them play a home game. The AC interim move was nixed because they had concerns about poor attendance, yet we are currently 29th out of 30 AHL teams in attendance. Moreover, the intended permanent home in Allentown, from which we'd heard nothing since last summer, is only surfacing in the news to report plan changes and potential problems.

All this is making me a Very Grouchy Fan right about now. Can you tell?

Pronger questionable for Saturday; Gustafsson called up

Because Chris Pronger is questionable for Saturday's game with a swollen hand, Erik Gustafsson has been recalled from the Phantoms. CLICK HERE for the story on the Phantoms site.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Allentown arena: a construction site has been chosen. Or has it?

For the first time in a long time, we are hearing news of actual decisions being made in Allentown, regarding the placement of their new arena.

I don't know the layout of Allentown, so I can't offer an opinion on the suitability of the various potential construction sites. But apparently the original waterfront site, which is near their baseball stadium, has been ruled out in favor of a downtown site. Or at least it's PROBABLY ruled out. Per the Morning Call article:

"Logistically, if downtown doesn't work, then the riverfront goes back on the table. But there's a hope to get it downtown," the source said. "Until it's all signed, sealed and delivered, no one really knows what's going to happen. If they did, there would have been a press conference already."

So there you have it. It's been decided, unless it hasn't been decided, and it's a great big definite maybe. But someone actually mentioned the arena plans in a public venue, so that in itself is a measure of progress compared to hearing nothing whatsoever.

Click on the links to see coverage in Glens Falls's The Post-Star, Allentown's Morning Call, and Easton's Express-Times.

P.S. I couldn't help but notice the irony in the photo of the Brooks Brothers, taken in the Allentown press conference in 2009, which accompanied the Easton article. Notice anything about those jerseys? How about the SPECTRUM commemorative patches? Which, incidentally, go nicely with the shoulder patch depicting Phlex with the SPECTRUM.


Sunday, February 6, 2011

Phantoms register a hat trick AND shutout in the same game!

It figures last night's game was one I couldn't watch because I wasn't home. I'll have to watch the archived video, because not only did the Phantoms beat one of the league's better teams in Hamilton, they earned the W in style. Denis Hamel registered the team's second hat trick in as many weekends, and Michael Leighton earned something that no Flyers goalie has achieved yet this season, a shutout, as the Phantoms downed the Hamilton Bulldogs 4-0. Way to go!

Here is the link to the game's box score. Read it and rejoice! :-)