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Allentown mayor hopes Phantoms in place for 2012-13 season

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  • Allentown mayor hopes Phantoms in place for 2012-13 season

    The Allentown Morning Call ran an article recently about the status of the Phantoms’ eventual move to a yet-to-be-built arena in Allentown.

    In the article, Allentown mayor Ed Pawlowski is quoted as saying he hopes the arena can be opened by October of 2012. That would be two seasons from now. The story also says the Phantoms owner shares that hope, though neither Rob or Jim Brooks are quoted directly to that effect.

    Construction on the arena, which the M-C calls a proposed $80 million facility, is yet to begin. The Brooks had hoped to have shovels in the ground this spring, but the project has been delayed by complications. Here’s the key excerpt from the Allentown paper:

    “This is a very complex deal. We’re blazing a new trail here,” Pawlowski said. “It’s not as easy as we thought so it’s taking longer, but it’s getting done. We’re almost there.”

    Pawlowski said he hopes to break ground for the new stadium this fall. But Sen. Pat Browne, R-Lehigh, who authored the taxing district law, said it could happen as late as next spring and the 18-month project still would be finished by fall of 2012.”

    According to the story, some of the complications stem from the special tax district which will be used to fund the construction. Here’s the excerpt:

    “Pawlowski said officials from the city, the Brooks Group, developers and the Allentown Economic Development Corp. are negotiating a complicated deal that will spell out what obligations each party has. Making matters more difficult is that the taxing district — which will pay for much of the $80 million arena by diverting all state tax money generated in the district for the next 30 years into paying off the arena debt — has never been used before in Pennsylvania.”

    2012-13 has always been the season I thought this would happen, though if construction can’t begin this fall, I may push that estimate back another season. We’ll see. If the Phantoms are doing well here, they may not rush the issue.

    – Tim



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  • #2
    I honestly can't see this happening. No way any town in the Valley comes up with the money for such an expensive project. Homeowners will never accept more taxes for Ed Snider's ego trip. The Flyers should've kept the Phantoms in Philadelphia or better yet, stayed in Hershey. Terrible marketing decision giving the Craps central Pennsylvania and allowing the Pinheads to take over NE PA with a team in Scranton. Dumb dumb dumb. They better watch out before the Devils start making inroads in South Jersey too.

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    • #3
      Yeah this does seem very unlikely. I doubt that the people can afford it, much less attend the games. Most people in central pennsylvania are Caps fans, and with Allentown being pretty close to Hershey, this move makes little sense.
      \_(ツ)_/

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      • #4
        Originally posted by gagnyeah View Post
        Yeah this does seem very unlikely. I doubt that the people can afford it, much less attend the games. Most people in central pennsylvania are Caps fans, and with Allentown being pretty close to Hershey, this move makes little sense.
        Ummm no most people in central PA are not Caps fans. It's either Philly or Pittsburgh, with a small percent being actual Caps fans. It's not a bad move. It'll reunite the inter-PA rivalry with the Bears and Baby Pens and will allow someone like me to travel only an hour and a half to see the Phantoms play (at home at that), rather than wait for them to come to Hershey all the time. Besides if people don't show up to the games, that leaves better seats for guys like you and me. LOL

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        • #5
          You are in the minority then. There are many Caps fans in central PA, and while there may be plenty of Pens and Flyers fans, Allentown is not at all far from Hershey. I think Reading would be a better move.

          Your right though, that just means better seats for us!
          \_(ツ)_/

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          • #6
            In case anybody hasn't heard, the Devils moved their AHL team from Lowell to Albany. They will be the Albany Devils. Just what the Flyers need, to be rivals with with the Devils in the AHL too. The Hurricanes moved the River Rats franchise to Carolina. Also, I read that the Wheeling Nailers of the ECHL will be playing part of their home games in Johnstown because the Chiefs left. The guys who own the Nailers (and the Phantoms) thought this would be a good idea to keep hockey going in Johnstown. I guess the name is appropriate though (Nailers). Jay

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            • #7
              I did hear that. Good move IMO. Never even heard of the town of Lowell lol

              I wonder if Anaheim will get an AHL team. They are still without one last I heard.
              \_(ツ)_/

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              • #8
                Originally posted by jaymul View Post
                In case anybody hasn't heard, the Devils moved their AHL team from Lowell to Albany. They will be the Albany Devils. Just what the Flyers need, to be rivals with with the Devils in the AHL too. The Hurricanes moved the River Rats franchise to Carolina. Also, I read that the Wheeling Nailers of the ECHL will be playing part of their home games in Johnstown because the Chiefs left. The guys who own the Nailers (and the Phantoms) thought this would be a good idea to keep hockey going in Johnstown. I guess the name is appropriate though (Nailers). Jay
                While we're on the subject of NJ moving their AHL franchise to Albany: the difference between this time and their previoius, multi-year stint in Albany is that this time they will own the team. NJ's team will be the Albany Devils, with a horned/tailed letter A to continue the branding of the parent club.

                HOWEVER... The person who wrote, a few posts ago, that NJ might want to make inroads into south NJ is onto something. The Albany Devils will play four games in Atlantic City this season. There's a general presumption, at least among fans, that it's a test run to see if Atlantic City would be a viable venue for the Devils to move into. Which, personally, I have my doubts at this time that AC is the way to go. Darth Luukko and company investigated the possibility of moving the Phantoms to AC, prior to selling the team outright, and they came away with the impression that they'd lose a lot of money if they went that route.

                Maybe when the economy improves, Atlantic City will be a location more worth considering. Unless the Devils just don't care if they can't draw flies. Their ECHL and NHL teams play to many empty seats, and their AHL club in Lowell looked like it had more employees working at the game than there were fans in attendance. It was sad.

                But anyway, the Devils have a track record of not filling the arena at all three pro levels, so maybe they won't care if that trend continues in Atlantic City. Heck, they might not even have to change the horned, tailed "A" logo they plan to use in Albany.
                Read the Flyers Farm Team Chronicles: a long-distance Phantoms Phan's blog.
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                • #9
                  If I remember correctly, there were preliminary plans to build a small arena at the Bellmawr Waterfront Project. It's easily accessible, where 295 turns into 76 going into Philly, and goes into 42 south. There's plans for a light rail line to be done along that area around 2016.
                  If it ain't orange, black, and white, punch, hit, and fight.

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