Are The Albany Devils Leaving Albany?
Published reports in the July 17th edition of the Times Union are saying that the Albany Devils could be looking at perhaps relocating the franchise to Glens Falls if ticket sales don't pick up.
Mind you no threat of relocation has been made, and of course everyone spoken to by the paper denies or deflects, but if there is a little smoke might there be a tiny fire?
The daily mentions how the GM of the Times Union Center, the home of the Devils, is urging Albany business leaders to purchase tickets and maybe fend off a future-near future push by Glens Falls to have the New Jersey Devils top farm club move to GF. Glens Falls is losing their club to Allentown, Pennslyvania in 2013-2014. The Adirondack Phantoms last year drew an average of 3,522 fans per game, 29th in the 30 team AHL. Last you ask? Albany and the Devils at 3,435 per contest.
Times Union Center GM Bob Belber reportedly sent out letters to business and community leaders seeking some help and he is offering-or the team is offering some great deals if you want to purchase tickets. Deals like this: Buy four season tickets at 580.00 a piece and get four free season tickets on top of that.
In addition the tickets can be used in various ways. Great flexability is being offered for those that buy the season tickets.
In the letter by Belber he emphasizes that there has been NO threat by the Devils that they are moving.
I will opine this-let's not be blind here. Minor league franchises in all sports virtually move about freely. Happens in hockey and baseball a lot more then you realize. Albany has already suffered a defection by the River Rats who relocated to Charlotte. The current Devils relocated back to Albany from Lowell, Massachussets 2 years ago.
The Devils are currently in the 3rd year of a five year deal with the TU center and city but Belber mentioned the franchise does have an out but didn't specify what that out was.