Hockey Back With Cyclones.
Cincinnati Post by John Lachmann
Cincinnati will not have to endure a second
consecutive season without professional hockey.
Nederlander-owned ECHL Cyclones are activating
their dormant franchise, which last played here
during the 2003-04 season.
The Cyclones will
again play at U.S. Bank Arena, and will hit the
ice this October. The American Hockey League's
, who were also dormant this season, announced
April 5 they will not play this fall.
"It is our
distinct pleasure to bring hockey back to
Cincinnati," U.S. Bank Arena and CFO Ray Harris
said in a press release. "We have been working
on bringing back the Cyclones for months and are
excited to see our hard work come to fruition."
The move came in
response to the
' recent failed season ticket campaign and
continued dormant status. Yet, the move is still
puzzling because another Cyclones team folded
along with the International Hockey League in
2001, then after the current ECHL team moved
here the following season, it went dormant after
three seasons because of paltry attendance.
-- formerly the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks -- were
unable to secure 2,000 season tickets for the
2006-07 season the past few months, despite
offering lower prices for a team in a
significantly higher league.
The ECHL is
considered a Double-A league, but few players
from that league actually make the NHL. The AHL
is hockey's only Triple-A league.
hockey fans might (shy away), unfortunately, but
we're looking to put the the best possible
product out there," U.S. Bank Arena marketing
coordinator Sean Lynn said.
The Cyclones are
charging $22, $17, and $12 for tickets. The
were charging $18 and $15 at the Cincinnati
name is also tarnished, which could make it
tough for them to regain trust in the corporate
community. The IHL Cyclones were in financial
distress, and the ECHL Cyclones have a history
of fabricating their attendance figures.
going to be that distrust," Lynn said. "It's our
job to earn back those fans."
A document filed by
Nederlander with the Hamilton County courts said
the Cyclones' actual paid attendance for the
2001-02 season was 1,473, less than half the
figure the team reported to the league.
average reported attendance for their final two
playoff games in 2002-03 was 1,008.
Lynn said he thinks
Cincinnati has become a better hockey market the
past couple of years with the development of
The team does have
a solid track record on the ice. The Cyclones
advanced to the second round of the playoffs in
2001-02, then came within a game of the Kelly
Cup finals in 2002-03, but did not bring coach
Malcolm Cameron back, and failed to make the
playoffs in 2003-04, going 25-43-4.
surfaced that the
could be bought out by an unnamed NHL team, and
could play here in 2007-08, which could again
give Cincinnati two pro teams. The Ducks and two
Cyclones franchises coexisted in 1997-2004.
improbable that the American Hockey League
franchise would play at Cincinnati Gardens in
2007-08," Rail-Raiders vice president of