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The final pro hockey game at the Spectrum has been played.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Phantoms franchise has been sold

Here is the announcement on the Flyers homepage:

Phantoms Sold

Comcast-Spectacor Sells Philadelphia Phantoms
Team to relocate with closing of Spectrum; final game on April 10

Philadelphia Flyers
Feb 4, 2009, 5:36 PM EST

(Philadelphia, PA) - Comcast-Spectacor, the Philadelphia-based sports and entertainment firm, announced today it has reached an agreement to sell the Philadelphia Phantoms hockey team, the Flyers top American Hockey League affiliate, to the Brooks Group, of Pittsburgh, PA, owners and investors of other minor league hockey and baseball teams. In keeping with company policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Comcast-Spectacor will continue to operate the Phantoms until the conclusion of the 2008-09 hockey season.

“This was a very difficult decision for us to make,” said Comcast-Spectacor President Peter Luukko. “When we decided to close the Spectrum we explored many alternatives for relocating the Phantoms and this really became the best scenario.

“We want to thank the thousands of fans who supported the Phantoms over the past 13 seasons,” added Luukko. “We had two Calder Cup Championship Teams and many wonderful memories.”

With this being the final season of the Wachovia Spectrum, the Phantoms will play the final regular season hockey game ever in the Spectrum on Friday, April 10 against the Hershey Bears (a new date from the previously scheduled game on Sunday, April 12).

“The Phantoms far exceeded all of our expectations,” said Luukko. “The Phantoms were and will continue to be a tremendous asset to helping us develop future Philadelphia Flyers. We will miss having them share the same sports complex and the same training facility which was an incredible advantage to us."

All individual adult tickets for remaining Phantoms games are now $10 and kids tickets are only $5. Tickets can be purchased exclusively through ComcastTIX at,, 1-800-298-4200 or in person at the Wachovia Complex box office.

In addition to owning the Wheeling Nailers of the ECHL, the Brooks Group have ownership interests in the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Pittsburgh Penguins, and three minor league baseball teams: the Altoona Curve (Class AA for the Pirates), the State College Spikes (Class A for the Pirates), and the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Class A for the Atlanta Braves).

“We have been involved in professional sports for many years, and this particular opportunity is very exciting to us,” Rob Brooks said. “We plan on announcing the long term plans for the Phantoms in the next few weeks and look forward to continuing the team's great tradition of excitement, winning, and providing great family entertainment.”

Comcast-Spectacor announced that the Wachovia Spectrum, where the Phantoms have played since their inaugural season in 1996-97, will close and be razed in the fall 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, the largest crowd ever to see a Calder Cup playoff game in AHL history, and again on June 10, 2005.

That's it, then. The Cash Cow's death warrant has been signed, and the death sentence will be executed upon the start of the Phantoms' offseason.

Now they will continue to claim to celebrate the life of the Cash Cow and pretend to honor the Spectrum. But all they're really doing is trying to salvage some income that they can throw into the Money Pit that I sincerely believe Philly Live! will become.

Here's to the REAL people who deserve celebrating: the people who actually make the Phantoms' team function on and off the ice, and the fans who love the team. All of us will be screwed over when the season is complete.

And so will the Flyers, when push comes to shove, because the Flyers have been quite adamant all along that they WANT their farm team nearby and the WANT them practicing in the Skate Zone along with the parent club. If being one of the crown jewels of the ¢om¢a$t-$p€¢ta¢or empire isn't enough to get your wishes considered, the peons known as the fan base have ZERO chance of qualifying as even an afterthought.

Let's enjoy the season we have left. If we're lucky, next season the farm team will crop up somewhere in this time zone, so we can at least watch the games online at a reasonable hour.

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