OK, the Richmond hockey situation is getting stranger still… and this one could explain why the Coliseum has been undercounting ‘Gades attendance…
John Walton is the voice of the AHL Hershey Bears, so he does have good sources for this one…
First, some news perhaps on the Philadelphia Phantoms relocation front. It’s far from a sure thing, but an AHL executive (and no, it wasn’t the one I work for) that Richmond, Virginia is being looked at as a possible site for the Phantoms to move to next season.
The Phantoms, the Flyers’ top farm club, are homeless as the
Corestates First Union Wachovia Wells Fargo Spectrum, their current home, is being torn down after this season.
Of course, if the Flyers do bring their AHL club to Richmond, it would close an almost 40-year circle… the Flyers’ farmhands played at the Coliseum as the Richmond Robins from 1971-76. For four of those years, Detroit had an AHL franchise in Norfolk.
If the Flyers come to Richmond, it would rekindle the I-64 rivalry with Norfolk, which ended when the city of Norfolk forced the Admirals to move from the ECHL to the AHL in 2000. The Admirals are the Tampa Bay Lightning’s AHL farm club – and currently stand very much alone in the AHL geographic footprint. The AHL would probably enjoy the scheduling benefits gained from having Richmond back in the league.
Gee, the hockey picture seemed so gloomy a few days ago… now everyone’s looking at Richmond. Obviously, there’s a lot to watch… 🙂