The AHL is close to finalizing an agreement that will allow the Albany Devils to relocate to Binghamton, NY, according to a report from the Times Union.
Nothing has been finalized, but the AHL’s board of governors is expected to authorize the move this weekend. For the league, this move would represent the relocation of its lowest-drawing team, as the Devils per-game average attendance of 2,888 ranks last in the 30-team league.
Binghamton, meanwhile, has made it known that it is actively seeking a replacement for the Binghamton Senators, who are set to move to Belleville, ON after the 2016-17 season. More information will be available once the decision is announced, but the franchise shift is expected to be effective for the 2017-18 season. More from the Times Union:
Binghamton is 29th at 3,436, 19 percent higher than Albany.
New Jersey reportedly absorbed a seven-figure loss in revenue operating its AHL team in Albany last season. The A-Devils have ranked among the bottom four in average attendance for all seven of their AHL seasons.
Despite the financial losses, the Devils signed a three-year contract extension with Times Union Center over the summer. But New Jersey likely is exercising an out clause to make its move to Binghamton.
The Devils’ tenure in Albany traces back to 2010, when the Lowell Devils moved to the Times Union Center. Last summer, Albany was one of the teams we identified as a possible fit in Binghamton in the event that the Senators finalized their move to Belleville.