Cincinnati AHL franchise transferred to Illinois

Assuming this deal doesn’t fall through like the earlier Windsor one, AHL hockey in Cincinnati is officially dead. Not that I particularly expected a miracle comeback after the failure of the RailRaiders to get off the ground last year, but this pretty much puts the period at the end of the sentence.

I wonder how long ’til Cincinnati Gardens meets the wrecking ball? I love that building; it will always be one of my favorite old hockey barns, but it’s really hard to see it as economically viable for much longer without a regular tenant. I suppose the only thing that might save it is that the location isn’t exactly prime for redevelopment, so it may be worth the Robinsons’ while to hold onto it and get what business they can. Still, it hardly seems like it can go on forever.

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2 responses to “Cincinnati AHL franchise transferred to Illinois

  1. I didn’t even know the chance still existed.

    Icehogs? That’s salt to the wounds.

  2. It never really did. The Robinsons still owned the franchise, so in theory they could have started up a team if they could find an affiliate, but after failing to reach 2,000 tickets for the RailRaiders (I did my part, pledged to buy two ten-game packs between myself and a fellow Cincinnati-expat/Columbus-resident) it was never very likely, although rumors still circulated.

    The reborn Cyclones are drawing in the range of 1,700 (and that’s what they’re officially claiming; reality is probably far worse). It’s rumored that moving to Greensboro, NC in the off-season is a done deal. So Cincinnati will soon be a no hockey town again.

    I honestly feel like the only way any team is going to succeed in Cincinnati right now is to have no connection to the Robinsons or any of the Cyclones owners and play neither at the Gardens nor Riverfront. Too many people among the small base of hockey fans in town still seem to have some stake in one side or another of the “hockey war” and don’t want to support a team connected to one of the sides. And the casual fans have just stopped caring.

    Does that new arena they’re building at NKU have an ice-making plant? That could be a future spot for a team, perhaps.

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