By Wyatt Earp | February 6, 2009
My son Kyle is going to be pissed!
The Flyers suffered a setback, club officials agreed, when Comcast-Spectacor reached an agreement yesterday to sell their AHL minor-league affiliate, the Phantoms, to the Brooks Group of Pittsburgh.
The setback has nothing to do with Brooks. It has everything to do with the fact that, after this season, the Flyers’ top minor-league team will not practice in the same Voorhees facility as the Flyers – and won’t play its games across the parking lot at the soon-to-close Wachovia Spectrum.
Having the two teams next to each other made it easy for general manager Paul Holmgren to scout the minor-league players and reduce travel expenses. The proximity also made it convenient to send players back and forth between the clubs.
I still think closing the Spectrum is a big mistake. Sure it’s an old building, but it is also home to the Phantoms, and the NISL’s Kixx. The AFL’s Philadelphia Soul and the NLL’s Philadelphia Wings have also played there.
The Phantoms games are very kid-friendly, and parent-friendly for those of us who can’t shell out close to $100 for a night out at the Flyers game.
Luukko called the sale “a very difficult decision for us to make. When we decided to close the Spectrum, we explored many alternatives for relocating the Phantoms, and this really became the best scenario. We looked locally very hard.”
“We’re going to go with them, wherever they want to put the team,” said Luukko, adding that “the goal” was to have the franchise within two hours of Philadelphia. (H/T – The Philadelphia Inquirer)
Within two hours of Philadelphia? I think the Phantoms just lost their home fan base. Very few people will drive two hours from Philadelphia to see them.
This sale (and the impending move) is a damned shame, especially for the younger fans Philadelphia fans who won’t be able to see them play anymore.