A hockey town minus a hockey team: Phantoms disappear

Posted at: 04/19/2014 12:09 AM
By: Dan Levy

GLENS FALLS - Everyone knew all along that the Adirondack Phantoms would be providing a temporary hockey fix in the Glens Falls area. On Friday night, people in that community were beginning to wonder if the team's exit will create a permanent or temporary void.

After five years at the Glens Falls Civic Center, the Phantoms have gone through four head coaches, they've never been to the playoffs, and their average finish in the standings has been 13th in a 15-team American Hockey League.

Despite the dismal performances on ice, the team has produced somewhat healthy box office revenues, averaging more than 4,000 fans per game, in an arena that seats about 4,800 people.

On Friday night those fans packed the civic center for the Phantoms final game, and many of them were already beginning to miss the team.

Bert and Terri Rappaport of Queensbury have been Adirondack Phantoms season ticket holders since the team arrived in town for the start of the 2009 AHL season. Knowing that Friday night was the team's swan song was hard to take.

"I'm looking forward to Glens Falls getting another team," Bert Rappaport says, "a team of our own, a team that will stay here."

"For a team that hasn't been doing stellar, they've had very loyal fans," Terri Rappaport boasts, "and we're not at the bottom of (the league's) attendance statistics."

Phantoms fan Marie Remillard says she keeps coming back to the games because she loves the fights.

Tiana Wells she's sad to see the team go because she met a lot of the players and "the players are really nice.

If and when Glens Falls gets another team, that day couldn't come soon enough as far as Rick Davidson is concerned. He operates Davidson Brothers Brewing Company on Glen Street where the tables are usually filled when ever the Phantoms take the ice.

"We keep track," Davidson says, "I will say (the increased number of patrons on hockey nights) is significant. It's a positive impact because it puts bodies in the seats and money in the civic center and that helps everybody."

The Phantoms will move to Allentown, Pennsylvania next season to play in a brand new 10,000 seat arena as the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.