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Manchester Monarchs Cease Operations

Manchester Monarchs

The 2018-19 ECHL season was the last for the Manchester Monarchs, as it was announced Wednesday that they are ceasing operations.

The ECHL Monarchs have played continuously at the current SNHU Arena since 2015, arriving after the original AHL Monarchs–who debuted in 2001–relocated to Ontario, CA as part of that league’s westward shift. The ECHL club’s run at the facility ultimately lasted through the 2018-19 season, as it was revealed Wednesday that the Monarchs are shuttering operations.

In announcing the decision, PPI Sports, LLC–which purchased the Monarchs from AEG back in 2016–stated that it had sought prospective buyers, but that no viable offers emerged and the existing situation was unsustainable. Locally, an attendance decline over the ECHL years has been noted. The Monarchs were once among the AHL’s strongest clubs in terms of attendance–leading the league in three of four seasons from 2002-2006–but their numbers had dropped in recent years, including an average of 2,400 fans per-game this past season. More from the New Hampshire Union Leader:

The team had been for sale, and Monarch chief executive Brian Cheek said the owners spoke to several potential buyers. No offer was acceptable; he said operations have ceased and an orderly wind down has started.

Twenty-one jobs — 17 front-office staff and four hockey-related positions — will be lost.
“It’s just clear to us minor league hockey is not viable in Manchester at the ECHL level,” Cheek said….
In a statement, Mayor Joyce Craig noted the steady decline in attendance with the loss of the AHL franchise. But she said concerts and other entertainment sell out.

The Monarchs posted a goodbye letter to fans and partners on their website. The ECHL’s 2018-19 season featured 27 teams, with the Monarchs included in that total.

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