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?

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