jimjom wrote:Id really hate to see that arena empty perhaps if they do leave a lesser league like the CHL or new IHL would move in. If that happens the team wouldn't have that same tradition though.
The IHL actually merged with the CHL (still called the Central Hockey League) at the beginning of last year, and having seen a bunch of Central Hockey League games (when the steelhounds were in Youngstown) and ECHL games down in wheeling, I would say that the leagues are about on the same level. The Steelhounds used to play preseason games against the Dayton Bombers, Toledo Storm and Johnstown Chiefs and they were definitely on equal footing. The league that would be a step down from the ECHL and CHL would be the SPHL, and that league consists of teams all in the Southeast. (Pensacola, Knoxville, etc.)
I wonder if Junior Hockey would succeed in the Wheel. There were several teams that were in the Central Hockey League that folded and then purchased a franchise in the North American Hockey League, Jr A Tier 2 (Amarillo and Corpus Christi, TX for example). Costs are substantially lower, and a high attendance number wouldn't be required in order to help the club come closer to break even.