The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

February 15, 2010

Chiefs plan to move franchise to South Carolina

JOHNSTOWN — The Johnstown Chiefs franchise will move to Greenville, S.C., after the current ECHL season concludes, pending approval by a Greenville arena authority and then the league, owner Neil Smith confirmed before Sunday’s game at Cambria County War Memorial Arena.

The Chiefs distributed an official news release after the game against the Cincinnati Cyclones.

“It was a combination of things,” Smith said, noting that his attempts to find a local owner to buy the team had been unsuccessful. “With the economy and the attendance going down and the cost going up, and the other thing that people might not know is our lease is up, and this is not against SMG, but early indications are the cost of the lease is going up. It’s not going down. We have to make a decision. What do we do? Really, we were left with no choice.”

Smith has been primary owner of the Chiefs since 2002, though he said he had openly invited local businessmen to either purchase the team from him or invest in the franchise in order to solidify its foundation in Johnstown during the past five years.

The Chiefs are the only original member of the ECHL remaining in the same city since the league formed with five teams in 1988-89. Johnstown has fielded an ECHL team for 22 seasons.

The Greenville arena board will hold a vote on today to approve a lease agreement with Smith and investor Steve Posner that would bring an ECHL team to the state-of-the-art Bi-Lo Center for the first time since 2006. The Greenville Grrrowl competed in the ECHL from 1998-99 through 2005-06, winning a Kelly Cup in 2002 and ranking at or near the top of the attendance category in its first four seasons before falling on tough financial times.

Should the Greenville board approve, as expected, then the ECHL Board of Governors would probably hold a teleconference call later this week to vote on approving the transfer of membership from Johnstown to Greenville.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • WilliamsA ‘I thought I was going to die’

    Hornerstown resident Robert “Bobby” Williams said he endured two hours of surgery, suffered a heart attack and fears he may never again be able to fully use his right arm.

    April 23, 2014 3 Photos

  • JFD traing Firefighters practice river rescues

    Johnstown Fire Department members lift a “victim” out of the rescue basket during training Wednesday along the Stonycreek River flood-control wall

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Home is Where The Tribune-Democrat is Delivered!

    Here are the names of the 10 entrants that were chosen today-April 22, 2014.  If you see your name, call the Circulation Department at 814-532-5000 (#1) or 1-866-307-0905 to verify your information.

    April 22, 2014

  • sewer meeting map Sewer work will tie up traffic

    Brace yourselves.
    This summer’s sewer main replacement project will delay traffic with detours, closed streets and lane restrictions through one of Johnstown’s notoriously snarled neighborhoods.

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • USS Somerset USS Somerset arrives at San Diego homeport

    The USS Somerset is home.
    The amphibious transport dock ship named in honor of the passengers and crew of United Airlines Flight 93 arrived at its new homeport of Naval Base San Diego on Monday.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jablonski, Stephen Charges filed in courthouse bomb threat

    A Johnstown man was charged by Ebensburg Borough police Wednesday with threatening to blow up the Cambria County Courthouse, a call he admitted to Ebensburg police he made Tuesday.

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • Vizza, Peter Vizza voted deputy mayor

    The top vote-getter in last year’s Johnstown City Council election is now also the city’s deputy mayor.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Conemaugh Township rezoning opens business possibilities

    A portion of South Main Street in Davidsville will be rezoned to give greater allowances to the businesses along the road.

    April 23, 2014

  • Sculptor’s work to be raffled off

    The work of a local sculptor will be raffled off during the Art in Bloom show.

    April 23, 2014

  • Katie and Gary Lamer Birthday remembrance bash provides aid to region

    It’s been four years since Johnstown resident Gary Lamer died of complications from pneumonia, but his memory lives on through an annual party that gives back in a big way.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

Poll

Would you like to see the Johnstown Community Corrections Center remain open after its lease runs out on Oct. 11, 2015?

Yes
No
I'm not sure
     View Results
House Ads