In a move that could calm speculation about the team’s future, the Norfolk Admirals (ECHL) have extended their lease at the Scope through the 2020-21 season.
There have been some questions about the future of the Admirals, as the team has struggled in terms of attendance. In addition, former team president Michael Santos was fired last fall, and it was revealed shortly thereafter that the working agreement between the Admirals and the NHL’s Nashville Predators would be terminated just months after it began.
However, the team has announced a new three-year lease extension with the City of Norfolk to remain at the Scope while continuing to be a member of the ECHL. Financial terms of the lease extension were not included in the team’s announcement, but Admirals officials had previously emphasized that they were committed to remaining in Norfolk. More from The Virginian-Pilot:
Admirals president and CEO Trent Ferguson said in a lengthy interview with The Virginian-Pilot last month that owner Ardon Wiener was committed to the area and had no plans to move the team. Ferguson said at the time that the Admirals sought a six-year deal with the city.
“The mission of the Admirals’ organization continues to be creating a winning culture on the ice and an exciting atmosphere off the ice,” Ferguson said in a statement .
“The vision we have for this team is a grand one, but will not happen overnight.”
The Admirals drew publicity in the last year when they filed a lawsuit against the Norfolk Tides, fired their team president and lost their NHL affiliation with the Nashville Predators. Ferguson said those moves, while painful, were necessary.
“Our goal has been to continue the legacy of professional hockey in Hampton Roads,” Admirals owner Ardon Wiener said in a statement issued on Monday. “The Admirals are a staple in this community, and we plan to keep it that way for many years to come. Fans have a lot to get excited about with the future of hockey in Hampton Roads.”
The ECHL incarnation of the Admirals have played at the Scope since 2015, filling a void of hockey that was created by the move of the AHL Admirals to San Diego after the 2014-15 season.