Coming off a rebound fiscal year, officials in Portland are wondering how things will shake out without a hockey team at Cross Insurance Arena.
The latest reporting shows that Cross Insurance Arena lost $85,000 last year. Though still a loss, it is an considerable improvement over the $600,000 in revenue shortfalls over 2014-15.
An area of change for this coming year is the loss of the Portland Pirates. This spring, the AHL franchise packed up and moved to Springfield, MA, where they replaced the departing Springfield Falcons. That decision was prompted by low attendance and revenue issues in Portland.
Facing at least one year without a professional hockey operation in the arena, those in Portland are weighing both the good and bad of not having a team in place. More from the Portland Press Herald:
The arena ended up taking in $33,000 more from hockey operations than it anticipated in fiscal 2015-16.
While the lack of a hockey team could cut into revenue, it also opens up more dates, particularly on weekends, for concerts and other shows at the arena, [chairman of arena trustees Mitchell] Berkowitz said.
“That’s an opportunity for management” to use Spectra’s national connections with tour promoters to bring more acts, he said.
There is an ongoing effort to bring an ECHL franchise to Portland for the 2017-2018 season. Led by Godfrey Wood— a former Pirates executive and previously the head of the Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce–is leading a group of investors that would attract a franchise to the Maine city. That group has been working to secure a lease to Cross Insurance Arena, and the Press Herald reports that they would like to reach an agreement by the end of this month.
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