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Hockey deal for Chevy Centre advances



Published: Fri, April 17, 2009 @ 12:10 a.m.

By David Skolnick

An ECHL ownership group is no longer negotiating to bring a team to Youngstown next season, the league’s commissioner says.

YOUNGSTOWN — If there is to be hockey next season at the Chevrolet Centre, it will be played by a team from the United States Hockey League, the top junior hockey league in this country.

No deal has been finalized, but the center’s management is negotiating with Bruce Zoldan and the USHL for a team from that league to play its home games at the city-owned facility, said Skip Prince, the USHL commissioner.

Zoldan owns the Mahoning Valley Phantoms of the North American Hockey League that played most of its home games at the center this season. The Phantoms, which typically played to smaller crowds, won’t return to the center next season.

The Phantoms are in the NAHL playoffs facing the U.S. National team in the North Division championship. The winner goes to the NAHL finals.

“The city and [Zoldan] have reached a preliminary understanding and are moving forward,” Prince said.

“Protocol” calls for the announcement of a deal to wait until the Phantoms’ season is finished, Zoldan and Prince said. If the Phantoms keep on winning, the team’s season could end as late as May 3.

That’s probably too long to wait to make an announcement of a final deal, Prince said.

Zoldan said Thursday that he hopes a deal can be finalized and announced in the next five to eight business days.

“I feel comfortable there will be Tier 1 hockey at the Chevrolet Centre next season,” Zoldan said.

Without a signed contract, Mayor Jay Williams would only say, “I concur with Mr. Zoldan that there will be Tier 1 hockey at the Chevrolet Centre next year. This will be Tier 1 hockey and not what’s presently played at the center.”

The center’s management also had discussions with an ownership team from the ECHL, a high-level minor league with each team having a National Hockey League affiliation.

But Brian McKenna, the league’s commissioner, said, “There is absolutely nothing going on with the ECHL in Youngstown.”

The ECHL ownership team couldn’t come to terms with the center on a lease, ticketing and operations in time for next season, he said.

“The group has withdrawn their bid [to play in Youngstown] and to the best of their knowledge, the building would be signing a lease to bring in a junior team,” McKenna said.

Center and city officials had considered not having a hockey team play next season at the facility. But in recent weeks they have said negotiations were going well to field a hockey team at the center.

skolnick@vindy.com


Comments

1scrooge(563 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Since the Phantoms won't be playing there, where is this "phantom" team now and will THEY be willing to locate here to play?

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2houndsfan(68 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

League draft is next month, I am sure most players will come from there.

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3valleyred(1100 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

You won't be getting my money. I don't care if these kids go to the NHL or not. I went to two Phantoms games and left early because it was that boring and dull. I went to 30+ Steelhounds game in my time and loved every one of the games I attended.

Sorry Mr. Zoldan, I thought the petition with 200+ fans calling for the ECHL would have given you the idea of what we want: PROFESSIONAL hockey, not JUNIOR hockey.

I'll go out and guarantee that the attendance will not rise to more than 1500 per game. ECHL gets you 3000+ at least!

I want hockey in Youngstown, but not this Junior Level Hockey..

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4Bluejackets1(7 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

I agree with valleyred. You would think the low attendance at the Phantom playoff games and regular season would have given them a clue that junior hockey won't be supported in Youngstown. Youngstown WANTS ECHL HOCKEY.

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5valleyred(1100 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

I could recall Phantom fans telling me when the Steelhounds were here that I'd be vastly impressed with the speed and ability of the NAHL's teams.....

My thoughts today: I was not, not one bit.

And may I add hockeyfan09: I graduated with five Phantom players in High School. They are great kids and I wish them the best, but this is a 6000 seat arena: NOT THE ICE ZONE.

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6Bluejackets1(7 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

What makes you think that more people will want to go see the USHL than the NAHL?

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7toddfranko(101 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

There are aspects of the ECHL hockey that are certainly more appealing than USHL, but the ultimate issue of success will have nothing to do with the play.

If red and blue and 3,000 of their pals show up for ECHL games, they will have one year to enjoy that team simply because 3,000 fans cannot sustain an E franchise.

In the last 10 years, 27 cities have failed at hosting an ECHL team. And they failed with attendance in the 4,000-5,000 range. They succeeded with crowds in the 8,000-9,000 range. Hell -- Dayton just threw in the towel, essentially. We're not bigger and more hockey educated than Dayton.

Look it up. I'm not a junior hockey junkie making this up.

The City and the Chevy hated the thought of junior hockey -- until they put their perceptions aside and just looked at the numbers.

And it helped to see sophisticated sports markets like Green Bay, Des Moines, Lincoln and Omaha packing them in for USHL.

You may not like junior hockey. But our market cannot sustain an ECHL team. Period.

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8valleyred(1100 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

I understand that Mr. Franko, but the same could be said about af2 franchises, they come and go due to bad ownership groups. Should that have kept the Thunder from going to the af2?

Needless to say, Mr. Zoldan can try to compare other USHL cities to Youngstown, but it will not work. The attendance at Phantoms games this season was dismal. What makes you think it will improve with a new league, that remains a Junior Hockey League?

That is fine that Omaha-Green Bay-Des Moines have successful junior-level teams, but we are not those cities, we are Youngstown.

Fans came out and supported Professional Hockey for 3 seasons. Fans DID NOT come out and support the Junior Hockey this past season.

Nothing will change. Attendance will not rise. Fans like me that have not attended any games this season will continue to not go to games.

I am very disappointed in this news... As are all of these fans: http://www.petitiononline.com/mod_per...

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9valleyred(1100 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

http://www.petitiononline.com/mod_per...

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10houndsfan(68 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Actually valleyred my wife and I signed that petition and we are not disappointed at all. Junior hockey is much better than no hockey and that is what we are facing. We will not get a pro hockey team to come here with the attendance #s we had. You have to realize we would need about 4000 a game to be successful in the ECHL. The ECHL is overpriced.

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11houndsfan(68 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

I am not sure we would get an af2 team if we didn't already have one. Things have tightened up. Even people with $ are not spending it unwisely.

Valleyred, I would like you to bring an ECHL team here; I will support it.

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12toddfranko(101 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

What you saw this year at the Chevy was a weak facsimile of a hockey organization.

The marketing was horrendous, and there was little in the way of bridge building from the organization to the community.

Some within the Phantoms would say that with only a 1-year guarantee for the Chevy, they were guarded about really hitting a home run in terms of drawing a huge crowd out of fear it would be a market that would only get turned over to a new ownership group next year.

If that was an organization-wide belief, there's some merit to that, but it was a bad decision.

(Colin Powell's Rule No. 12: Don't take counsel of your fears or naysayers.)

The Phantoms were given the ball to run with, they should have run with it as best they could, and not just on one skate. If another team indeed was to bump them, then at best, they built the hockey appetite and will get a residual result. At worst, they could shown the community that we ran a top-notch effort despite the forecast.

Aside from that, I think there are some major operational concerns that need to be addressed if Zoldan's crew is to make this work. I like Zoldan's intentions and his commitment, but between his office and the ice surface there is major operational gap that needs spackle.

The USHL mandates a more structured operation than what exists now. That perhaps will create better bridge building and visioning to build upon the decent organization the Phantoms have now.

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13paul21045(28 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

While Mr. Zoldan is willing to underwrite financial losses for the benefit of his team, Junior hockey will not benefit the Chevy Centre nor downtown businesses. It does not create the number of people looking for a place to go after the game to eat and Holders of expensive loges (costing 10's of thousands of dollars) are not likely to renew contracts to watch JUnior hockey/ The greatest concern is that while the city may see junior hockcey as a stop gap solution THEY MUST NOT DRANT MR. ZOLDAN AN EXCLUSIVITY CONTRACT such as they gave Herb Washington. If they do, that will prevent any professional hockey team coming in here in the future. The economic times prevent a pro team coming in now BUT an exclusivity contract will slam the door for the future!

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14YtownSports(244 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Would you rather see a low level of professional hockey or a high level of amateur hockey? Would you rather risk losing yet another Youngstown-based team because there is insufficient support to make it financially viable or build a fan-base which could grow to the point where a more ambitious franchise effort could realistically move forward? The Mahoning Valley has to realize it is not a "major league" market. Stop being so "snobbish" about what you'll support. Support what you've got and grow from there.

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15ytownhockey(12 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

hey whatever, i would prefer echl just because in my opinion it will draw a bigger crowd. but i like hockey so i will still support the ushl, i just hope that the majority of people that wanted the pro level dont turn their back because they didnt get what they wanted. the ushl is coming, so at least give it a chance with and open mind.

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16ytownhockey(12 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

with that being said, i hope that bruce and his minions at least have a plan on how they intend to convince people that this is good hockey, just because you say it is good doenst make it good. they better step up the marketing, and maybe get with the chev people to make the prices on food pop beer and team gear more inviting.

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17valleyred(1100 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

YtownSports... I'd much rather take the 2nd highest level of Minor League Hockey, greater than the CHL, than this High Level Junior Hockey.

The Steelhounds DID NOT FAIL. They were kicked out of the league. Let's get that point across right now.

Attendance would easily be 2x-3x more than what this team will actually get next year. I mean honestly, if fans did not attend the Phantoms this year, what makes you think the will attend it next year.

For me:
Steelhounds: 30+ [loved them]
Phantoms: 2 [lacks action-speed-intensity--->dull]

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18valleyred(1100 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Attendance for an ECHL team that is.

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19iwantprohockey(13 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

nope not goin...dont care to see boring hockey

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20houndsfan(68 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Fail: To stop functioning or operating. To fall short of success or achievement. I believe this decribes the current status of the Steelhounds. If it was a success they would have moved to a new league, which they had the opportunity to do so. Hope to see you at those 2 games.

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21YtownSports(244 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Excuse me for jumping in again. Isn't all this "it won't work" / "I won't support it" typical of Youngstown? It's why stuff here does fail...repeatedly. It's also why, despite some window dressing, Youngstown is dying a slow, agonizing death.

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22houndsfan(68 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Nice post ytownsports, you are exactly right. I have tried to support as many activities at the Chevy Centre as possible. Look at the af2 Thunder, this is supposed to be a football area, and it doesn't get enough support from the community.

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23valleyred(1100 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Mr. Franko,
It is worth noting the CHL projected attendances of 5,000-6,000 per game here based on other cities, we got 3,000+.

Mr. Zoldan is expecting an increase in attendance because the USHL has 3,000-4,000 per game in other cities?

See where we are coming from?
I am 100% Youngstown, but I want my money going to a worthwhile cause. I love Youngstown State and the Scrappers, but this junior hockey will not cut it.

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24toddfranko(101 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Valley: I was at a bunch of Hounds games. Never did I see 3,000. I know that's the number they touted, but it was tickets sold, not butts in seats.

And the community support that funded 3000+ seats was quickly fading, as was Herb's commitment. From his own mouth, Herb did not want his wife to know how much money he lost. He was as tired of losing cash as the CHL was of him.

One way or another, death was coming to the Steelhounds the same as it was to 85% of the other ECHL squads.

If you like YSU and Scrappers, then I can't understand your anti-USHL stance as they are all roughly the same talent level. If anything, I would suggest the USHL players will be more advanced at their sport than the YSU and the Scrappers players are at theirs.

If the Phantoms were called "Class A" or "D1 AA" hockey, would that bluff you into thinking they were more advanced?

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25AustintownPenguin(27 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

You guys expect us to get the equivalent of a AA baseball team for hockey? I don't hear anyone complaining about the Mahoning Valley Scrappers A-league baseball team... I say give the USHL a chance before making your decision, especially since I hear that it is very different from the current NAHL league. Maybe if this new team averages 2,500 or more in attendence, then they will try harder to get a higher level team in here for hockey. I'm happy to at least have a team playing here, the Chevy Centre could be empty.

At least Bruce Zoldan is trying to give some form of entertainment to this city, I don't see anyone else out there besides the owner's of the Thunder and the Scrappers trying anything...

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26Phantoms08(14 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Ok look the steelhounds were NOT pro they were SEMI pro and they are 3 levels from the pros so stop saying that you want a pro team because #1 there not pro and there never will be a pro team here and #2 you wont support it anyways! Now IF you want the steel hounds back pay $1.5 million and you can have them back, o yea dont forget you have to pay the players they coach the rest of the staff and $2500 per game to play down at the centre, and dont forget you league fees which are a couple thousand more. oooooooo wait your not supporting these teams so why should somebody spend this kind of money on something your not going to support. Mr. Zoldan is a class A business man and what he's doing for this city and its centre is very brave and i myself am glad he is the one down at that centre with this team then thoes steelhounds, because let me tell you that steelhounds team doesnt play hockey that team was a joke from the get go. So if you dont like watching this team because you cant have your little steelhounds then be sour but dont bad mouth another team. Maybe if you would have gone and supported the steelhounds they would have made enough money to pay their league dues and wouldnt have gotten kicked out.

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27Phantoms08(14 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

hey valleyred first off the steelhounds did fail because they sould have gottin into a new league, o wait they didnt because they didnt have the money because youngstown didnt support it, and dont lie to me you never got over 2500 fans. I work with pointstreak and the attendance isnt there. And let me tell you there hockey was slow dull and to top it off they barely won. Did the steelhounds ever go to the championship game ooooo wait no they couldnt make it past the first round the "1" time they made it in 3 years ha what a joke that team was o look the phantoms made it 2 years in a row and made it 2 years in a row the the championship game. not to mention they went the last 5 years hmm yea Bye Bye steelhounds there will never be a "SEMI" pro team in this town again ever!

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28Bluejackets1(7 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Hey Phantoms, why don't you look at your own attendance? They averaged 1000 per game for the regular season and are only averaging 900 people per game for the PLAYOFFS. The support for junior hockey is not here in this city and never will be.

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29Phantoms08(14 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

And its not going to be there for the echl either so face the fact NO! "SEMI" pro team ok? its already decided, done and over with. Stop dreaming, hmm maybe if you support the team thats going to be there they might think about moving up but showing these kinds of attendance you will NEVER see it again. And for your information the steelhounds didnt do it either so both teams are in the same boat. If you want a SEMI pro team fine, come up with $1.5 million and another $2.5 million and you can have the team but when it fails you will see why these teams dont want to come in here. echl needs 8 to 9k people a game to make money and 6k to break even.

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30Phantoms08(14 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Just drop it, no echl end of story.

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31valleyred(1100 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Go ahead and tout the success of the Phantoms and their fabulous 1000 fans per game 'Phantoms08'. Want to talk about losing money... How do you expect to remain viable with that revenue stream being so tiny?

And looking back on the Steelhounds, anyone that attended the March 22, 2008 game against the Colorado Eagles understands why we want Professional Hockey here.

Youtube Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_O6rAx...

Crowd was around 4000 in this game..

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32Bluejackets1(7 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

There is no team in the ECHL tha even averages 7000 per game so i dont know where you got that information. All the successful teams in the ECHL average 4000-6000 per game and I think with the right marketing Youngstown could average this.

Also, I guess all these former ECHL players who are playing in the Stanley Cup Playoffs are just "Semi Pro"
http://www.echl.com/cgi-bin/mpublic.c...

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33Phantoms08(14 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

look its NOT pro ok can you understand that ITS NOT PRO! and idc what you say theres not going to be another SEMI pro team anymore end of story game over get over it!!!!!yes your right 4000 at "1" game you need that EVERY game jees people open your eyes your obviously not a business person look at the long term picture not want you see for "1" game what about the other 40 games dont even respond back because your not getting an echl team they dont want to come here, do you not read the paper they pulled out for good get it through your head end of story!

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34Phantoms08(14 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Why dont you give the new team a chance and just maybe you might get use to it. The ushl is a league that you live eat and breath hockey if you search online its rated higher then any semi pro team when it comes to the style of play. The steelhounds arent comming back EVER! your not getting an ECHL team EVER they dont want to come here EVER! what dont you get!!!!!

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35Phantoms08(14 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

AND IM GOING TO SAY THIS FOR THE LAST TIME THE STEELHOUNDS AND THE ECHL TEAMS ARE NOT PRO THEY ARE SEMI PRO! THE ONLY PRO LEAGUE IN THIS COUNTRY IS THE "NHL" GET IT RIGHT!!!!

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36Phantoms08(14 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

You cant tell me there was 4000 + look at the empty seats a blind person can see that theres a crap load of empty seats i think you need to watch that movie again http://www.pointstreak.com/prostats/g...

now go on here to point streak you didnt even make 4000

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37iwantprohockey(13 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

actually you keep using the word pro in your points and technically anyone who is playing in a minor league system somewhere who is receiving a paycheck for his/her time spent playing is considered a pro whether its in the minors or big leagues. Go ahead and tell one of our scrappers this year that they aren't a professional baseball player. what are you 8?

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38Phantoms08(14 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

ha well buddy i hate to tell you but they will be the first to tell you there minor league would you like to talk to any of them i leave near a couple of the players and they will be the first to tell you there not pro the are semi pro mlb, nba, nhl, nfl these are pro leagues i dont see echl chl or any of thoes leagues so there for its minor league and or semi pro and no i am 20 yrs old nice try thoe

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39Phantoms08(14 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

let just put it this way right now everyones word on here means jack because its not our decisions as to what team and what level comes in here, its the cities so im sorry but it looks like they have decided that its gonna be junior and thats all there is to it

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40valleyred(1100 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Phantom, I'll gladly take the pictures off my phone for you to see. And okay so the ECHL is semi-pro, still better than junior level hockey.

Another thing here: You go on and attack the Steelhounds attendance and the fact they need 4000 every game..... Well Mr. Phantoms08: What attendance does the Phantoms need to be a viable business??? They only are getting 1000 right now, and judging by the TV footage I've seen, even that seems to be a stretch.

You got to understand something here Phantoms08: It costs a LOT OF MONEY to rent out the Chevrolet Centre each and every night. 1000 fans will not cover that rent, nor will the concessions. They need a lot more than 1000 fans and they will not get it in the USHL.

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41iwantprohockey(13 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

a 20 year old from the Robert bycroft school..."will be the first to tell you there"? over where? "nice try thoe"?

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42houndsfan(68 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

If the city finalizes a deal with the USHL we will probably never see pro hockey here again. I am ok with that as I have come to the conclusion that the only level of pro hockey that would have a possibility here is "A" hockey(which is not an option currently). So we would get the same level of hockey as the USHL but they would be able to go to the bars and socialize a little more.
To the people that want pro hockey you have 3 leagues 1.5 hours away, do the travel and stop complaining

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43AustintownPenguin(27 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Maybe we should all try to get on the same level here. Here are the levels of hockey.

NHL - Pro

AHL - Pro - This league is the NHL version of AAA baseball(Columbus Clippers)

ECHL - Highest Mid-Level Pro - This league is the NHL version of AA baseball(Akron Aeros).
41 teams have folded or suspended opeataions since 1989

CHL (Central Hockey League) - Mid-Level Pro -
16 teams have folded/suspended operations since 1992

IHL(6)/AAHL(5)/EPHL(4)/SPHL(6) Low-Level Pro - Number of teams in league are in (). These leagues are the NHL version of A baseball(Kingston Indians).
All of these leagues have been founded since 2004.

USHL - Tier 1 Junior A hockey - comparable to Short-Season A Mahoning Valley Scrappers

NAHL - Tier 2 Junior A hockey.

To also be fair, there are also a few:
Tier 3 Junior A leagues, plus some Tier 3 Junior B and Tier 3 Junior C teams.

I am not saying that we deserve a ECHL team right from the start as this is not a hockey area. I went to many SteelHounds games over the years, and even had a neighbor that played on the team. Rarely did they ever get more than 3000 people in the stands. Only on special 'giveaway' nights did they get more than 3000 there. BTW- they made the playoffs 2 years in a row(not 1 like stated above). And yes, they lost in the first round of the playoffs both years, to the Colorado Eagles.

I did like their style of hockey, but I would like to see players that might have a good chance of playing in the NHL. Yes, you do get a small percentage of ECHL/CHL players make it to the big house, but not nearly as high as the percentage of USHL/NAHL players that get to go pro. I just want to see quality hockey in the area for the fans to get around. If each community can get around high school football (we know how many of them get to go pro), then i think we could get around hockey.

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44Bluejackets1(7 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

I think you are confusing the OHL with the USHL. The OHL is the league that sends many of their players straight to the NHL or AHL. Look at Columbus's Steve Mason. He was in the OHL only a year ago and now he is already a star in the NHL. The USHL has very few players go straight to the NHL or AHL.

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45Phantoms08(14 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Look visit ushl.com and see the kids that have commited even look at nahl.com and you will see the kids who have commited to pro teams. Its no different other then the ages.And valley red for your information NON of the concessions money go to the team, ticket sales and pro shop only, and even then its only a percentage of the ticket sales. And its $2500 per game to play at the centre.

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46Phantoms08(14 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Why doesnt everyone stop complaining and just give it a chance. As you can all see the complaining and wineing that you want an echl team isnt going to get us one. The ushl is the level as the scrappers, you go watch them why not watch this team. Give it a chance go more the "2" games. And no offence to the steelhounds but most of the guys in that league were guys who couldnt hack it in the nhl so thats why there in the lower levels.

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47valleyred(1100 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Phantoms08. I gave the Phantoms a shot twice and I was greatly disappointed. I'll stick with watching the Pittsburgh Penguins on TV and attending each and every YSU Basketball Game.

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48Phantoms08(14 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Hey as long as you support my school im good

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49AustintownPenguin(27 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

YSU basketball? what a joke that is... At least the Phantoms win.

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50Phantoms08(14 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Wow man easy there thats my school and yes i am a phantoms fan and huge one but dont put down ysu there in there rebuliding years

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51AustintownPenguin(27 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

It was my school too, I graduated with my Bachelor's Degree for computer information systems in 2005. I plan on going back there for my masters degree in the future. I hope YSU basketball eventually comes around, but they have been rebuilding for years.... At least in the current, the Phantoms are winning and YSU basketball wasn't (when they were playing during the active season). I could only hope this new team, Youngstown Phantoms or whatever they're going to be called, will have as decent of a season as this current team has had.

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52valleyred(1100 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

I am a proud supporter of all YSU sports. They may be under .500, but yet they still drew more people last year in basketball than the Phantoms did my friend.

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53commoncents(53 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Let's all try to understand the real issue here. It's not as much about what league is right, or which one offers hockey worth paying to watch... the issue is really about keeping the Chevy Center open. I don't see anyone proving that there are enough ticket-buying hockey fans in our market to make any team in any league viable over time (it's not just marketing, Todd). Maybe we are just not a viable hockey town. If not, let's find something that will work here instead of trying to make hockey work. We have had enough failures and don't need any more. We also need to find something of QUALITY that we can be proud of... not just more crap that is "all we can get here." Wouldn't it be better to to have fewer teams/events that are at least good at what they do than a lot of everything - even if it shows that we have no quality nor pride? I like what Eric Ryan is doing at the Chevy Centre and want him and the facility to succeed - if they can, but not by trying to push poor quality sports with little chance of success into a market already saturated with that (YSU sports, Scrappers). No matter what seed you use or how many times you plant... it may be impossible to get grass to grow in concrete!

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54AustintownPenguin(27 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

For those of you that think the Mahoning Valley Phantoms aren't good or quality hockey... at least they made it to their 4th straight Robinson Cup Championship Tournament....meaning that they have been the best in their division for the past 4 years.

What more can you ask from your local team but to make the playoffs year in and year out and then win 2 series to go to the championship tournament. Congratulations to the Phantoms for their hard work and hard play!!! Good luck in the tournament.

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