Monday, March 12, 2007
Is Steve Donner going to fold the Amerks?
Some alarming news coming out of Rochester this past week as Rochester Americans President/CEO Steve Donner has stated that his Amerks and the NLL Rochester Knighthawks will not play in Rochester next season unless they get more money, namely in the form of concession revenue. The city has offered a six-figure cash advance and a promise to delay for a year collection of that money and a past-due $500,000 loan given to the Amerks in 1995. The Amerks rank third in AHL attendance, with 7,603 per game.
Donner claims financial losses of $390,000 for the 2005-06 season.
Rochester Mayor Robert Duffy said there will be hockey next season at Blue Cross, but if the Amerks do indeed suspend operations, they would still maintain AHL territorial rights to the market, meaning that only a lower level league such as the UHL or ECHL would be available to Rochester hockey fans.
Rochester is one of the oldest franchises in the AHL, with its history going back to the 40s. Their working agreement with the Buffalo Sabres is the longest such arrangement of any of the NHL teams.