Smith has said many times that he never wanted to move the team. And if he did, he certainly didn’t think he’d be in town if and when it happened.
But he's been in Johnstown since making the announcement on Sunday, and fans that he’s spoken with have been saddened by the decision instead of angered.
“I really haven’t gotten a negative reaction, people saying that it’s unfair,” Smith said. “They’re understanding, they’re just mad at the community that they didn't support it enough.”
Smith also understands that the Chiefs’ declining attendance has more to do with a weak economy than a apathetic fan base.
“In fairness to them, it’s not that they didn’t support it because they didn’t want to,” he said. “I think they didn’t support it because they didn't have the money to support it. I understand that. I know the community is in a tough economic time. When it comes to feeding your family or sending your kids to school, you better be doing that and not going to hockey games.”