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SBD/April 16, 2014/Franchises
Departure Of AHL Abbotsford Heat Will Cost Local Taxpayers Almost C$13M
Published April 16, 2014
SEARCH FOR A REPLACEMENT: In Calgary, Scott Cruickshank notes the Heat this season "drew an average crowd of 3,007." Only the AHL Portland Pirates franchise had a lower mark at 2,260. King said, "I think the American league model is as difficult to make work ... lots of teams have had challenges in lots of different markets." He added, "It's a struggle to find a viable market. The question really becomes: what's it going to cost you to operate your development system? Can you find a place that's a great place to have young guys go and develop?" (CALGARY HERALD, 4/16). Meanwhile, in Vancouver, Elliott Pap notes the Canucks "aren't about to fill the void" in Abbotsford with their AHL franchise. The Canucks "were eyeing Abbotsford a year ago but eventually settled on a six-year agreement" with Utica, N.Y. Abbotsford Mayor Bruce Banman indicated that "perhaps a Western Hockey League team" could become Abbotsford Centre's new anchor tenant (VANCOUVER SUN, 4/16).