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Elmira Withdraws ECHL Membership


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http://www.echl.com/elmira-withdraws-membership-echl 

PRINCETON, N.J. – The ECHL announced on Friday that the Elmira Jackals have withdrawn from Membership in the League, effective at the end of the 2016-17 Season. The ECHL regular season concludes on April 9, 2017.

 

The ECHL will play with 27 Members in the 2017-18 Season.

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Team press release.  Very sad news for the organization AND for the fans ...  :sad:

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From: The Elmira Jackals > News > News Releases

Quote

Elmira Jackals to Cease Operations After This Season
March 10, 2017  .

Jackals to Suspend Operations After the 2016-17 Season

The Chemung County Industrial Development Agency (IDA) and the Elmira Jackals have announced today that the Jackals will cease operations at the conclusion of the 2016-17 season.

The team has informed the ECHL of the decision and the league's Board of Governors has approved the request for Voluntary Suspension of operations at the conclusion of the season.

The Jackals will play out the remainder of their 2016-17 schedule, which includes 10 more home games, before shutting down at the end of the season.

The Elmira Jackals organization would like thank its incredibly loyal fans and sponsors for their support over the past 17 seasons. We are proud of the positive impact the Jackals organization has made on the community during this period.

First Arena will continue to operate and host events after the Jackals season has concluded. ...

 

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Unfortunately, efforts to bring hockey back to Portland won't immediately help the hockey fans left without a team in Elmira.  But if that "Maine Sports and Entertainment, based out of Florida" would just change its name to "Upstate New York Sports and Entertainment" or better yet "Twin Tiers Sports and Entertainment," maybe the new Elmira arena owner can woo himself another hockey team to fill some seats.

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Elmira is in the middle of the Southern Tier of New York state. Think that would qualify for the SPHL?

5 SPHL cities are well within the travel distances the league currently deals with.

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An SPHL team in Elmira might be a stretch (in more ways than one, but the Star-Gazette did confirm plans to bring in another hockey team ...

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County officials ... were confident another hockey team would be playing at First Arena in time for the next hockey season. Barrett, who wasn't in attendance at a Friday news conference, will have more information at a later date "pending closure of a franchise deal," said Chemung County Executive Tom Santulli. Additionally, finalization of the arena transaction is pending (Brian) Barrett obtaining a new franchise, county officials said.

 

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20 minutes ago, JMC-STL said:

An SPHL team in Elmira might be a stretch

If you leave out Evansville, the 5 closest cities to Peoria average only 45 miles closer than the average of those 5 closest to Elmira.

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2 hours ago, MacGuy said:

If you leave out Evansville, the 5 closest cities to Peoria average only 45 miles closer than the average of those 5 closest to Elmira.

BUT E'ville was supposed to be the carrot that the League used to convince Peoria to stick around.  Thus the two teams play each other 12 out of 56 regular season games.  But if you wanna dream of road trips to Upstate New York, Mac, go right ahead.  It is pretty country - with an average of 39 inches of snowfall each year.  "The South shall rise again ... on its Arctic Cats."

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Disappointing end for Elmira, but not an unexpected one. Their attendance this year has only averaged 2247 against a league average 4174. That's down about 600 people from last year. I'm sure being in last place in the league didn't help either.

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The Jackals were on proverbial thin ice before this season.  Team ownership was assumed by an Elmira community based non-profit in the fall of 2014, from the businessmen who retained arena ownership until April 2016 when it was turned over to the city.  Each of those transactions were made in a desperate attempt to save a hockey team & an arena which had been struggling financially.  I'll be interested to see what the new arena owner has up his sleeve regarding a new team in town.  Brian Barrett reportedly has "connections" to one or more NHL teams, so I'm leaning toward him working a deal to bring in an existing AHL franchise.  Or maybe Elmira becomes the much anticipated 31st AHL team with the award of a new franchise, to complement the NHL adding Las Vegas.  Stay tuned.  :popcorn:

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39 minutes ago, Jimangie0 said:

Guys I was on a job and lived close to Elmira for 2 yrs recently and I can assure you it is not an AHL stadium.

The same thing was said about The Aud in Utica, but that somehow was accepted as at least a temporary home for an NHL affiliate.  Both facilities have roughly equivalent hockey seating capacities.  So if there's a way to upgrade locker room & player training & office spaces @ First Arena - the typical improvements cited publicly by the AHL for recent acceptance of home ice for relocated teams (e.g., Tucson Convention Center) - then IMO it's not beyond the realm of possibility for Brain Bennett to attract an AHL franchise looking for a place to play.  An ECHL relocation seems more likely, but either or maybe even a junior team would be better than the FHL for Elmira hockey health.

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