The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


February 28, 2007

MIKE MASTOVICH | Proposal perks up owner

By nature, Jim Weber usually is a high-energy, enthusiastic person.

But in the past two weeks, the Johnstown Chiefs owner had been more subdued.

That changed Wednesday morning. Weber seemed rejuvenated. The Lancaster businessman displayed enthusiasm and excitement during a telephone interview. A few minutes earlier, he had received a fax detailing the Cambria County War Memorial Authority’s proposal to share revenue from food and beverage concessions sold during the ECHL team’s games.

“It’s as much or more than I would have wanted,” Weber said. “We have a sold-out building (Wednesday night). I know how to pack the house. It’s by lowering ticket prices and by doing special things.

“If this is all a smokescreen where they have unrealistic expenses in there, then it’s not going to work. But if they’re being open, honest and candid with me, I can make this work. I’m optimistic. I think the War Memorial board is trying to do something that works for everyone. In Johnstown, it’s a small pie.”

One point is certain: The Chiefs will stay in Johnstown next season.

The question is, what’s next?

If Weber and the War Memorial Authority reach a formal agreement, Weber probably would continue operating the team through next season and beyond. He is confident he can boost both attendance and concessions revenue enough to make hockey work in a market that has fielded one money-losing team after another.

There are two other scenarios that involve a potential sale to NHL teams.

Both of those NHL teams would keep the Chiefs in Johnstown next season. But one of those then would move the Chiefs in 2008-09 to a city where an arena for its minor-league club currently is being built.

The other NHL team would “make a go of it in Johnstown” for at least one year, Weber said, then reevaluate.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • racin 0416 Jennerstown Speedway gearing for May open

    Jennerstown Speedway released a very ambitious schedule on its website and continues to prepare for its 2014 reopening.
    The track is set to hold a practice day for drivers as well as an open house and media day on April 26.

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • Pirates 0416 Dominant Cueto drops Pirates in matinee

    That playoff loss in Pittsburgh last year? Johnny Cueto never thought about it much. So getting a chance to shut out the Pirates in a rematch wasn’t any more special.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Penguins 0416 Penguins rally to wear out Jackets

    Brandon Sutter scored on a wrist shot from the left circle 8:18 into the third period, helping the Pittsburgh Penguins rally for a 4-3 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals on Wednesday night.
    Beau Bennett and Matt Niskanen scored power-play goals 45 seconds apart in the second period, erasing Pittsburgh’s two-goal deficit.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Shelley and McElligot Series serves as reunion for former Chiefs personnel

    Not so long ago, Bob McElligott, like most Western Pennsylvania hockey fans, would savor a long Pittsburgh Penguins playoff run.
    The Somerset native followed the Pens’ Stanley Cup-winning teams in 1991 and 1992.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Malkin nearing return

    The Columbus Blue Jackets are the closest NHL team to the Pittsburgh Penguins, at least geographically. The two franchises are separated by 185 miles of highway.

    April 15, 2014

  • Reds swing way past Pirates

    Mike Leake doubled and hit a two-run homer Tuesday night, ending Gerrit Cole's winning streak and leading the Cincinnati Reds to a 7-5 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates that completed two days full of homers and delays.
    First, the NL Central rivals completed a game that was suspended in the sixth inning because of rain the previous night.

    April 15, 2014

  • Pirates Game 1 0415 Pirates edge out Reds in suspended game

    After all those home runs and an overnight delay, it was settled by a single.
    Andrew McCutchen doubled and came around on Russell Martin’s single in the seventh inning on Tuesday, giving the Pittsburgh Pirates an 8-7 victory over the Cincinnati Reds in the completion of a game that spanned two days and 10 home runs.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Penguins 0414 Pressure on Penguins to capture Cup

    The statistics are gaudy.
    And if the Pittsburgh Penguins can’t find a way to extend their season into the final days of spring, ultimately forgettable.
    The same team that led the NHL in man games lost due to injury (more than 500) also earned 109 points, led the Metropolitan Division from mid-October on and received another peerless effort from star Sidney Crosby, who topped the league with 104 points and is a near lock for the second MVP award of his career.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pirates 0413 Brewers sweep away Pirates

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Senators dump Penguins in shootout

    April 13, 2014


Do you think that Jack Williams will get the 270 signatures from city residents needed in order to have a referendum placed on a municipal ballot to have the city's pressure test mandate repealed?

I'm not sure
     View Results
Order Photos

Photo Slideshow

House Ads