(Chicago, IL) - The Philadelphia Phantoms will relocate to the city of Glens Falls, New York, and begin play at the Glens Falls Civic Center for the 2009-10 season, it was announced during the American Hockey League Board of Governors meetings. The Board of Governors also approved the sale of the Phantoms from Comcast-Spectacor, the Philadelphia-based sports and entertainment firm, to the Brooks Group of Pittsburgh, PA, owners and investors of other minor league hockey and baseball teams.
“This is a very exciting announcement for the City of Glens Falls,” said Glens Falls Mayor Jack Diamond. “We have been waiting for the return of a professional hockey team to this region for quite a while. We look forward to making Glens Falls, a supporting and enthusiastic home for the Phantoms.”
“We’re excited that the Phantoms will be playing in Glens Falls,” said Comcast-Spectacor President Peter Luukko. “The Glens Falls market is rich in hockey history, and we’re glad that the Brooks Group will continue the tradition of the Phantoms by playing in Glens Falls.
“It’s also very exciting for us as our management company, Global Spectrum, operates the Glens Falls Civic Center, and having the Phantoms occupy 40 plus dates is an immediate boost to our success there,” added Luukko.
“Having the Phantoms continue playing next season is a tremendous advantage for us,” said Flyers General Manager Paul Holmgren. “We will be able to make frequent trips to Glens Falls to closely monitor the development of future Philadelphia Flyers.”
In addition to owning the Wheeling Nailers of the ECHL, the Brooks Group has ownership interests in the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Pittsburgh Penguins, and two minor league baseball teams: the State College Spikes (Class A for the Pirates), and the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Class A for the Atlanta Braves).
“We are thrilled that the Board of Governors has approved our transfer of ownership,” said Rob Brooks, a principal in the Brooks Group. “We are also very encouraged by the outpouring of support from the Glens Falls community and those who have already made their deposits for season tickets. The community has fully embraced us, and we cannot wait to drop the puck next season.”
Comcast-Spectacor sold the Phantoms when the company made a decision to close the Wachovia Spectrum, where the Phantoms had played since their inaugural season in 1996-97, at the end of 2009. Demolition of the Spectrum will make way for Philly Live, a spectacular new retail, restaurant, and entertainment district. Cordish Company, of Baltimore, MD, a world-renowned developer of similar projects throughout North America, is partnering with Comcast-Spectacor in Philly Live.
The American Hockey League granted the Flyers an AHL franchise on December 18, 1995. The Phantoms made their home ice debut at the Spectrum hosting the defending Calder Cup champion Rochester Americans on October 6, 1996. The Phantoms prevailed 3-1 with Shawn McCosh recording the Phantoms’ first-ever home ice goal at 5:58 of the first period.
The Phantoms captured the Calder Cup twice – June 10, 1998 in front of 17,380 fans at the Spectrum, then the largest crowd ever to see a Calder Cup playoff game in AHL history. The team set a new attendance record on June 10, 2005, when they captured t their second Calder Cup in front of 20,103.
In addition to managing the Glens Falls Civic Center, Global Spectrum manages more than 80 other arenas, stadiums and convention centers throughout North America.