Wheeling Nailers last season?

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Re: Wheeling Nailers last season?

Postby K2 on Sun Dec 21, 2008 11:06 am

Let's hope not. They've had a pretty good team this year, but times are tough with the economy, especially in places like Wheeling. Some people just can't afford the $60-$75 it costs to take a family to a minor league hockey game. I think Johnstown's in some danger of losing hockey as well.

IF Wheeling were to relocate/go under, I wonder if the Pens would consider putting an AA affiliate in Youngstown. They have a nice, new (albeit vacant) arena. Then again the local economy there isn't so hot either. There was a thread on HF about how there's an inverse relationship between economically thriving areas and interest in hockey. It seems like markets that generally support hockey have been hit hardest. It's a shame, really.
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Re: Wheeling Nailers last season?

Postby Keith on Sun Dec 21, 2008 9:50 pm

I have gone to 2 games this season (both against Johnstown) and the attendance has been horrible. The first game was $1 beer night then when we went this past Friday night kids got in for free and they still can't attract any fans to the games.

I think the biggest problem is the ticket prices. When we went to the box office, we were told the cheapest ticket was $13 and that they were sold out of that price. Yet, the $13 sections had nobody sitting in them. Seems like bait and switch to me.

We paid $14 for our ticket and another 50 cents service charge. Can you believe that? A service charge to buy tickets from their own box office window!!!!

My buddy is from Johnstown and he said they are having the same problem. He said it is $17.50 to buy a Chiefs ticket.

I think the Nailers and the Chiefs are turning fans away because of the ticket prices. It is a shame because I really like going to see the Nailers play.
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Re: Wheeling Nailers last season?

Postby K2 on Mon Dec 22, 2008 9:31 am

If you can't sell out on dollar beer night, you are in trouble
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Re: Wheeling Nailers last season?

Postby Keith on Mon Dec 22, 2008 5:56 pm

The ECHL just announced that the Fresno Falcons have folded due to financial problems. I guess it has begun. Are Wheeling or Johnstown next?
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Re: Wheeling Nailers last season?

Postby KC_PENS_FAN on Tue Dec 23, 2008 6:18 pm

Although i'm certin it would fill the 20,000 possible for hockey and is kind of far away from Pittsburgh I'd like to see Wheeling move to Kansas City if they fold. I just want some kind of hockey here for gods sake.
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Re: Wheeling Nailers last season?

Postby ulf on Tue Dec 23, 2008 8:20 pm

KC_PENS_FAN wrote:I just want some kind of hockey here for gods sake.

there you go trying to take our hockey teams again :wink:
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Re: Wheeling Nailers last season?

Postby canaan on Thu Dec 25, 2008 11:58 pm

K2 wrote:If you can't sell out on dollar beer night, you are in trouble
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Re: Wheeling Nailers last season?

Postby jimjom on Sat Dec 27, 2008 10:50 am

I was at the game with the wife last night, it was decently full, but by that I mean a little less than a third of the arena. I'd guesstimate there were 1,400 there. I was wondering about this thread as I was there, and I think one thing that sets Wheeling apart is that the team is owned by a parent franchise that is particularly strong profit-wise, the Pens. Plus, I doubt that the franchise would relocate soon despite bad attendance as Wheeling is basically a "do not pass go" symbol for the Blue Jackets' territory vs. the Pens territory. If the Nail folded or moved, Cbus would place an ECHL team there that day.
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Re: Wheeling Nailers last season?

Postby ulf on Mon Dec 29, 2008 8:37 pm

because there is a team there already.
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Re: Wheeling Nailers last season?

Postby WWGRD on Thu Jan 01, 2009 9:45 pm

I talked to Jonathan Bernier who played for the Nailers earlier in the season. He said that the Nailers treat their players terribly. That's why he left the team (he now plays in the CHL).

He told me his brother who is still on the team (Cedrick Bernier) had to buy a gun because of the creepy apartment they put him and his fiancée in. And the Nailers are too broke to find him a new place to live.

He is now awaiting a trade.
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Re: Wheeling Nailers last season?

Postby WWGRD on Fri Jan 02, 2009 1:45 am

Yeah, Bissonnette had a problem but I believe it was just his attitude.
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Re: Wheeling Nailers last season?

Postby K2 on Fri Jan 02, 2009 2:43 am

I'll never forget the youtube video made by a "band" of Biz Nasty, Curtiss Patrick, and Ned Havern, among others. They even had a myspace with some funny songs that trashed on Wheeling pretty badly
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Re: Wheeling Nailers last season?

Postby jimjom on Fri Jan 02, 2009 2:19 pm

Thanks for the info, 1970. And yes, the Nailers video should be on youtube under "wheeling feeling"
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Re: Wheeling Nailers last season?

Postby Nailers on Tue Jan 06, 2009 12:18 pm

The Bernier Bros. are both terrible hockey players who couldn't hack it in the ECHL. I'm sure it won't be hard to replace Cedrick's 2 shifts a game.

On a side note, the Nailers used to put their players in an apartment complex in a nice part of town...the players trashed it and were evicted...
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Re: Wheeling Nailers last season?

Postby jimjom on Tue Jan 06, 2009 6:48 pm

Nailers wrote:
On a side note, the Nailers used to put their players in an apartment complex in a nice part of town...the players trashed it and were evicted...


There's a nice part?

J/K is it by the college?
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Re: Wheeling Nailers last season?

Postby Jim on Wed Jan 07, 2009 8:50 am

I think that I am going to go to the game next Saturday (1/17)
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Re: Wheeling Nailers last season?

Postby Keith on Wed Jan 07, 2009 10:13 am

Anybody notice the table that the Nailers have set up at Penguin games? I have walked past it several times this season. They make no attempt to talk to anybody and sell tickets.

Last night, they had 3 people working the table. I stopped with my son to see the brochures that were laying on the table. The sales reps made no effort. It was like I was bothering them by stopping by and that they couldn't wait to leave the place.

With uninterested sales people, no wonder they can't sell tickets to a team fighting for first place.
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Re: Wheeling Nailers last season?

Postby Nailers on Wed Jan 07, 2009 12:33 pm

Yes...It is by the college and Wheeling Hospital. Some of the single players used to live in a couple houses next to the college that I guess used to be frat houses at one time or another. Not sure if they are still using those houses or not.
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Re: Wheeling Nailers last season?

Postby jimjom on Wed Jan 07, 2009 2:16 pm

I know right where you mean, near the entrance to WJU if I am correct. Those houses are still party houses I was in town on the day after Xmas and the cops came to a party at one of those duplexes a few times.
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Re: Wheeling Nailers last season?

Postby Bathgate on Thu Jan 15, 2009 7:23 pm

Wheeling simply does not have enough population. There are only about 150,000 in the metro area. That is very tiny for any professional sports team. If Wheeling has a hockey future, it might be in the NAHL, a Tier II junior circuit.

As someone else opined, the Pens should move their AA operations to Youngstown. It has a very nice new 5,500 seat arena. The Youngstown metro population is five times that of Wheeling. The economy there is probably terrible, but the population is AAA size. They recently lost a CHL team, but all their opponents were so far away that there could be no rivalries. The ECHL could be a big hit there.
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Re: Wheeling Nailers last season?

Postby Keith on Fri Jan 16, 2009 10:50 am

Bathgate wrote:Wheeling simply does not have enough population. There are only about 150,000 in the metro area. That is very tiny for any professional sports team. If Wheeling has a hockey future, it might be in the NAHL, a Tier II junior circuit.

As someone else opined, the Pens should move their AA operations to Youngstown. It has a very nice new 5,500 seat arena. The Youngstown metro population is five times that of Wheeling. The economy there is probably terrible, but the population is AAA size. They recently lost a CHL team, but all their opponents were so far away that there could be no rivalries. The ECHL could be a big hit there.



Youngstown has a team in the NAHL, the Phantoms. They are currently in first place, play competitive teams including the US National team, have local kids on the team and the ticket prices are reasonable.

They play in the new arena that you mention and nobody shows up. If they won't support that team, why would they support an ECHL team?
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Re: Wheeling Nailers last season?

Postby K2 on Fri Jan 16, 2009 2:52 pm

Keith wrote:
Bathgate wrote:Wheeling simply does not have enough population. There are only about 150,000 in the metro area. That is very tiny for any professional sports team. If Wheeling has a hockey future, it might be in the NAHL, a Tier II junior circuit.

As someone else opined, the Pens should move their AA operations to Youngstown. It has a very nice new 5,500 seat arena. The Youngstown metro population is five times that of Wheeling. The economy there is probably terrible, but the population is AAA size. They recently lost a CHL team, but all their opponents were so far away that there could be no rivalries. The ECHL could be a big hit there.



Youngstown has a team in the NAHL, the Phantoms. They are currently in first place, play competitive teams including the US National team, have local kids on the team and the ticket prices are reasonable.

They play in the new arena that you mention and nobody shows up. If they won't support that team, why would they support an ECHL team?


I love hockey, but I'm not paying to go see a NAHL team on a regular basis. I'd pay the extra money and drive the extra distance to see the game played professionally. IIRC, they supported the Steelhounds fairly well and that's a step down from the ECHL, plus it's unaffiliated. Put a Pens AA team in Youngstown and I'm sure that would generate some excitement
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Re: Wheeling Nailers last season?

Postby Keith on Fri Jan 16, 2009 4:26 pm

K2 wrote:
Keith wrote:
Bathgate wrote:Wheeling simply does not have enough population. There are only about 150,000 in the metro area. That is very tiny for any professional sports team. If Wheeling has a hockey future, it might be in the NAHL, a Tier II junior circuit.

As someone else opined, the Pens should move their AA operations to Youngstown. It has a very nice new 5,500 seat arena. The Youngstown metro population is five times that of Wheeling. The economy there is probably terrible, but the population is AAA size. They recently lost a CHL team, but all their opponents were so far away that there could be no rivalries. The ECHL could be a big hit there.



Youngstown has a team in the NAHL, the Phantoms. They are currently in first place, play competitive teams including the US National team, have local kids on the team and the ticket prices are reasonable.

They play in the new arena that you mention and nobody shows up. If they won't support that team, why would they support an ECHL team?


I love hockey, but I'm not paying to go see a NAHL team on a regular basis. I'd pay the extra money and drive the extra distance to see the game played professionally. IIRC, they supported the Steelhounds fairly well and that's a step down from the ECHL, plus it's unaffiliated. Put a Pens AA team in Youngstown and I'm sure that would generate some excitement


I disagree with you on the Steelhounds support. I went to several of their games and there were plenty of empty seats.

According to the CHL website, attendance dropped every year that they played. They averaged around 4,000 the first year, 3,600 the second year and around 3,300 last season. Average attendance during the play offs last season was roughly 2,700 per game which is less than 1/2 capacity.

The team improved but attendance dropped then fell even further during the playoffs. I don't see that as support.
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Re: Wheeling Nailers last season?

Postby Keith on Mon Mar 02, 2009 2:44 pm

It doesn't look like there will be hockey in Youngstown in the near future.

http://www.vindy.com/news/2009/mar/01/h ... y-dubious/
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Re: Wheeling Nailers last season?

Postby Keith on Mon Mar 02, 2009 10:16 pm

I saw an article last week on another website that said that the owner of the Nailers just purchased the Philadelphia Phantoms of the AHL. They are looking to relocate the Phantoms to another market, possibly Reading or somewhere in New Jersey. The purchase of the Phantoms just might spell the end of the Nailers. Would he relocate the Phantoms to Wheeling or Youngstown?
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