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Tailing the Komets

Dayton is folding

You can read it here. This is something the IHL should leave all kinds of alone for at least a year. This city needs a total fresh start in hockey, and going in there next year would be a huge mistake.

Posted in: Komets


Mon, 03/30/2009 - 2:52pm

I disagree. Dayton had solid attendance but HORRIBLE arena management w/ the Nutter Center who hated hockey. You put an IHL team in Hara Arena and I'd be pretty confident that they would be a success.

Blake Sebring
Mon, 03/30/2009 - 3:17pm

Part of the problem I heard was that the team did not pay its bills over the last few years and the arena finally said screw it. I just think there's going to be a lot of bad feelings and litigation going on for a while down there that the IHL should stay away from. Now, if Dayton and Cincinnati should decide together... that might be a different story.

Mon, 03/30/2009 - 3:26pm

If the owner of Hara gets his way, they'll be hockey at the old barn before too long. If that happens, the IHL had better jump on that chance because the fan support is there.

Mon, 03/30/2009 - 3:35pm

I agree with Misconduct...

Also Dayton didn't "fold" they just suspended operations for the upcoming season meaning their franchise is still alive and owned by Papista, just not playing.

You're right, they didn't their bills.

But, again, I disagree that going in is a bad thing. It's a stable market. Heck, they drew 8,100+ fans to their final game (they hadn't announced their suspension yet) with their team out of playoff contention.

The Bombers are a SOLID draw on weekends and draw about 1,500-2,000 on weeknights.

Mon, 03/30/2009 - 3:38pm

Also, how would litigation between the owners of an ECHL team and the Nutter have any effect on an IHL team? It surely won't stop fans from showing up and supporting a team because 99% of their fans HATE and I mean HATE the Nutter Center. If hockey is to ever have a chance in Dayton, they HAVE to stay away from Nutter and go to either Hara or up the road in Hobart.

anonymous guy
Mon, 03/30/2009 - 3:41pm

I played down at Hara a few years back and the place is in no shape to host a team that could bring people back anytime soon. Old solid wood team benches that are about half the size of the Coliseums, low glass on the sides of the arena, so low that fans could reach over the glass and grab a guy skating by. It needs updated locker rooms, half the ceiling tiles are missing, and it has old wooden seats in the arena similar to the old Coliseum seats but not as nice. Very Flint-like building, but the ice was excellent. I know the attendance this year in Dayton would put it #2 in the IHL. Hara is located closer to the North end of town where the other arena is 20 minutes east of town. Just an observation, but if the owner of the Chicago Hounds were interested in moving his team to a place with almost guaranteed better attendance it would probably be in his best interest to check it out. I do know that the owners of Hara had been trying to get a team back there ever since the Bombers moved many years ago. That place could be rockin' with a little investment in the building to bring it up to date. If they could show that Dayton could work in this league, maybe Cincinnati would take a look at the 'I' in the future.

Mon, 03/30/2009 - 3:47pm

Hobart wouldn't be ideal for a whole season because it barely seats over 3,000. There is also quite a bit of obstructed view seating with the "wrigley field" poles supporting the ceiling. I'm thinking it's Hara or bust...

I mean Hobart worked before in the old days...but I think it's too "old fashioned" even for old fashioned hockey purists...

Mon, 03/30/2009 - 3:54pm

I'd say Hobart as a last ditch effort but yeah, Hara is key.

Mon, 03/30/2009 - 4:14pm

The ceiling tiles were replaced due to a water leak.

I skated there in 2006. They put in a new scoreboard as well.

Mon, 03/30/2009 - 4:18pm

You give Hara a little TLC and a LITTLE modern updating and you've got yourself a perfect arena for the league. I agree with the ice being excellent too, atleast the last time I played there acouple years ago.

Mon, 03/30/2009 - 6:06pm

So how many teams are we up to now that will be going dark next year in all of minor hockey?

Like the economy, it will get worse before it gets better.

Blake Sebring
Mon, 03/30/2009 - 6:36pm

I've got Augusta, Phoenix, Mississippi and Dayton in ECHL; Quad City in AHL and Twin City and Richmond in SPHL. I don't know if that's a complete list, though.

Mon, 03/30/2009 - 7:14pm

You might be able to add the Peoria Rivermen. The Blues want to move their team to St. Charles. Closer to St. Louis. If that happens they could come back to the IHL. That would be a better fit for the Hounds. I have been to Ohara. Great site lines. I am sure it needs updated.

Mon, 03/30/2009 - 9:03pm

What is the seating capacity at Hara Arena and does anyone know what size the ice surface is?

Mon, 03/30/2009 - 11:06pm

Seating capacity is 5,500.

Ice surface is 194 X 85.

*per the Hara arena website...

Tue, 03/31/2009 - 9:55am

Thanks for the info, FWKRTJ.

That would make it slightly more seating than Muskegon and Kalamazoo's arenas with an almost regulation size rink.

Is Hara Arena in a decent part of town? Some of the comments I saw from the Dayton article make it sound like either the place is a dump or it's in a really bad area, or both.

If it is a decent building, etc. it sounds like it could make a decent fit if the underlying problems are rectified.

Tue, 03/31/2009 - 10:34am

It's not in the best area, but not the worst either. Basically it's in a "Southtown mall (pre-2007)" type area. There's not a whole lot of stuff around it anymore because of the economy, but it's easier accessable than the Nutter Center.

The arena is no worse than the old Toledo Sports arena. Sure it needs a few upgrade, but not a whole makeover...

Tue, 03/31/2009 - 6:20pm

Interesting. I remember what that area used to be like.

One of the classes I'm taking is inside the new Public Safety Academy at Southtown Centre. It is a really nice building and I sometimes shop at that new Wal Mart after class. The area has really been improved.

Perhaps someday, someone will spruce up Hara Arena and place a team in there again.

Wed, 04/01/2009 - 10:52am

I know they claim 5500 in Hara, but from pictures I've seen online I don't know how they could possibly fit 5500 in there. It's not even the size of Wings Stadium.

However, it looks to be more like 3500 - 4000 possibly, which would still probably be OK for the "I" for the time being. It would need some love (again judging from the pictures) though before you could put a team back in there.

To the person mentioning Peoria's possiblites... St. Charles boasts a nice arena that seats about 10,000 so it would be possible the Blues could move their franchise there. However, I remain skeptical that Peoria fans would then be willing to embrace the IHL right away -- the drop from essentially AAA to Single-A hockey is a big one.